Invotech® specializes in equipping vehicles, production equipment and people with sensors and algorithms that register and process data.
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Case Study

Sandvik Materials Technology

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Sandvik Materials Technology is a world-leading developer and manufacturer of products in advanced stainless steels and special alloys for the most demanding environments, as well as products and systems for industrial heating.

 

Visit smt.sandvik.com

CASE STUDY - SANDVIK MATERIALS TECHNOLOGY

The Challenge

With huge storage areas of 6 square kilometers and around 800 transports per day, Sandvik Materials Technology, SMT, faces big logistical challenges. Relying on manual handling when it comes to keeping track of transports and location of material brings a heap of problems, for example:

  • Drivers have problems finding material, especially in the winter when signs are covered with snow.

  • A lack of geographical documentation means material gets lost. In SMT’s case, this often means several months delay in delivery of orders to customers.

  • Difficulty to maintain delivery precision.

  • Problematic for the management to maintain statistics for SLA follow-up.

  • Wasted resources and unneccesary strain on both environment and personnel caused by e.g. lack of optimized routes and unpredictable time schedules.

The Quest

SMT’s logistics department saw a great opportunity in what could be done with GIS solutions and started experimenting with simple GPS devices on a truck, for proof of concept. This turned out promising, but SMT didn’t have the competense to create a full scale solution themselves, so they set out to find a partner. After evaluating the market they found that Invotech® was the only company that could provide a complete solution with both hardware and software. Invotech® had previously made a GIS solution together with the Swedish emergency services (Räddningstjänsten) that included both driver- and management support, so there was already a working concept and a foundation to build on.

  • It’s a complex logistics apparatus. Our goal was to increase health and security but also to streamline the transports and decrease the environmental impact. We wanted to create a better support system for our drivers and management.
    Roland Andersson, Logistics manager, SMT

The Solution

In a joint effort, Invotech® and SMT worked on an implementation project to come up with the optimal technical solution. What this rendered was a tailored version of Invotech® System, development of a driver aid application and installation of sensors and GPS in the vehicles.


The management support system enables management to make well informed and expeditious decisions by offering accumulated and real-time statistics in the form of key figures, trends, geographical heatmaps and more. The main concrete results so far of this increased insight can be summed up as follows:

  • Employees tied up with searching for missing material can focus on other tasks.

  • Increased control of all the stored material.

  • Significant decrease in vehicle idling time.

  • Increased health & safety and decreased costs for vehicle maintenance through automatic detection of pot holes.

 

The driver aid application contains the list of work orders and a real-time map that shows the truck’s position and its destination. It also enables the driver to search for the location of material and to see all the other vehicles in the area, helping in avoiding crowding and collisions. Sensors on the truck informs the system of when the truck is loaded/unloaded and automatically registers new locations for the moved material in the system.

 

It was important that the design and functionality of this application didn’t differ too much from its predecessor, enabling a smooth transition for the drivers. The main news in the user interface were the introduction of the map, the search tool, and the ability to switch color theme based on viewing conditions, for less eye strain. The user interface has a responsive design and touch support, enabling mobility and easy hardware replacement for the future.

Custom sensors

Driver aid

Management support

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“In all my years with Sandvik I have never seen a project with this much potential.”

Lars Lundberg, Project Manager, Sandvik Materials Technology

“Our solution has grown into more that just material positioning, it also improves safety and has an impact on environmental aspects.”

Therese Öhman, COO, Invotech Solutions

Video produced by the Municipality of Gävle (in Swedish).

The Future

Our digitalization project with SMT is evolving and things are constantly tweaked and added. Through workshops with key personnel, ideas and plans for new solutions and improvements continually emerge. Examples of such plans are environmental noise pollution control, eco driving, optimized snow removal routines, order optimization, route optimization, indoor positioning, vehicle proximity alerts etc. When it comes to the management support system, Invotech® System, which is an Application Platform as a Service (aPaaS), has the inherent ability to grow and evolve with an organisation, so new applications for big data analysis can be created on demand with little or no new investment.

 

"We are taking it step by step and are aiming to push the limits, applying this new technology to every part of our supply chain. We see unlimited possibilities."

Roland Andersson, Logistics Manager, Sandvik Materials Technology