Pick to light opens doors for ASSA ABLOY
ASSA ABLOY is the global leader in door opening solutions, dedicated to satisfying enduser needs for security, safety and convenience. Comprising of operations in over 60 countries world-wide and with over 42,000 employees, they are uniquely placed to serve the global marketplace with a range of safe, convenient, secure and reliable automatic entrance solutions. The Besam division was incorporated into the ASSA ABLOY group in 2002 and are focused on pedestrian entrance systems for the commercial market worldwide. Quality is a key component in the suc-cess of this global organisation making it no surprise that they constantly look for ways to improve their production processes to unlock further gain in qua-lity improvement. At their production facility near Plzen in the Czech Repu-blic, ASSA ABLOY turned to Pcdata to improve their parts picking operation with the implementation of the PickStar pick-to-light system. The implementa-tion has led to significant increases in delivery reliability and accuracy of parts picking and thus led to the most impor-tant goal – customer satisfaction.
The Cost of Claims
The customer is at the heart of the ASSA ABLOY supplier approach. This focus on quality and customer satisfac-tion was being let down by the reliabi-lity of some of the processes in place, particularly in the case of parts picking. Radek Poskocil, Head of Production Quality & Engineering at ASSA ABLOY says that delivery accuracy left a lot to be desired in the past.
He illustrates this with a file from his records: “This is a sample of claims re-ceived in 2011. Our analysis shows that 80% of the total number were directly related to missing or incorrect items shipped”
Resolving each claim also leads to significant cost. The additional cost of handling, returns, administration and additional visits by field engineers soon mounts up. “We calculated that with all the ‘hidden’ costs included, a claim would cost us as much as €450. Put simply, it was costing far too much to deliver the guaranteed quality we were aiming for. Something had to change”.
To tackle this issue, the project team at ASSA ABLOY looked closely at several potential options such as voice or RF Scanning but finally chose the pick-to-light technology of Pcdata. Radek ex-plains some of the thinking behind their supplier selection process: “In our case pick-to-light is much more flexible than a scanning solution. With pick-to-light we can very quickly and easily adjust the order assembly area if required when we add new components. We do not need to worry about getting our suppliers to barcode label or RF tag every product. We also have a large number of SKU’s which are very diffi-cult to tag or barcode due to their size. We now have one solution that suits the whole assortment of products and fu-ture flexibility is guaranteed”Alongside the flexibility of the system, Radek ex-plains that the fact Pcdata had succes-sfully delivered a pick-to-light solution at sister company FlexiForce in Barn-veld NL was also an important factor. “Although FlexiForce installed a more extensive system in the beginning, it was an excellent reference. They had already been working successfully with the technology for 5 years, had realised the benefits and had a positive experience with the supplier. Due to this we were also convinced about the knowledge, quality and professional approach of Pcdata.”