During the early years of 2000, an extensive improvement project was launched within the Valeo organisation. The following critical points could be identified. The total warehouse costs were too high. The area for incoming goods took up too much of the warehouse space.
A large area was claimed by heavy forklift trucks handling the replenishment with pallets in production premises. This is also an important safety issue.
All the goods handled in pallets occupied large space, both in the warehouse and on the production floor.
When whole pallets were transported to the assembly line and only a few items were used before taking the pallet back to the warehouse, a lot of goods transports were carried out in vain.
Manned forklift trucks used for material replenishment from warehouse to production required a lot of personnel and meant inefficiency.
Every battery exchange required 20 minutes, and since working three shifts, this meant a lot of time wasted several times a day.
Just-In-Time Instead of Storage
The truck solution from Helge Nyberg AB played an important part in the process of creating a more efficient internal logistics. When changing the way goods were handled, they could make progress and reach a Just-In-Time solution for incoming goods. Instead of handling goods in pallets, all incoming goods were placed in small plastic boxes loaded on dollies. This enabled a reduction of the replenishment warehouse, and goods were instead stored in small volumes directly on the production floor.
Dollies connected to each other in trains were then transported to production where they were unloaded at certain zones. Fitters got access to the correct material in correct volumes, in a smooth way. It also meant that replenishment wasn’t necessary several times a day, but several different components were transported in smaller amounts at the same time. This minimised the truck traffic and meant an optimum use of area, at the same time as efficiency in terms of personnel was increased.
Battery Exchange from 20 Minutes to 20 Seconds
Helge Nyberg AB developed a unique battery exchange system which resulted in a battery exchange in less than 20 seconds. A task which previously took 20 minutes to perform!
Every charging station was marked with an ID-number with a corresponding mark on the truck. This made it easy for the operators to find their loading station fast. The battery that should be charged was retracted into a battery table. The same table held a full charged battery which was pushed into the truck and the old battery was transported to a charging station. A simple and ergonomic solution, which was unique on the market.
The smooth and easy to handle electric truck also meant an improved environment in production premises regarding safety. No longer were heavy forklift trucks used for internal transports. The solution from Helge Nyberg was globally implemented for all production units within the Valeo organization.