With the 100% digital vertical and horizontal platform, the average time to complete the loading process has been reduced by 50%.
Industry, like so many other economic sectors, has also had to look for innovative and agile ways to deal with the challenges that have arisen in recent years. But success has only been possible by focusing on effective measures within the digital transformation movement that the industrial sector has been pursuing recently. This has been the constant journey of IHM Stefanini, a Stefanini Group company specializing in the industrial segment and with a strong presence in sectors such as Mining, Steel and Metal, Pulp and Paper, Oil and Gas. Faced with this scenario, the entire IHM team has been working hard to contribute to the reshaping of Brazilian industrial production towards an even more targeted performance to align with the new market reality.
With the aim of improving operational performance, IHM works on various initiatives in which the main efficiency offenders are inaccurate inventory, high picking times, unrecorded movements, non-optimized layouts and/or routes, inefficient use of transport equipment, and failures or delays in orders or requests. The adoption of IoT (Internet of Things) in industry, for example, has been key to the growth of the merchandise inventory management software market. IoT solutions serve to reduce the data gap by structuring operational data on a single basis. In this way, they allow management software to be applied, reflecting improvements in key business performance indicators.
At a large fertilizer company, IHM helped implement an IoT solution to solve some of the logistical obstacles to the flow of its production. The marking process for loading and unloading, as well as the weighing stages, did not correspond in an ideal and dynamic way with the time taken to carry out all the fiscal tasks. Internal logistical control ended up being an obstacle, especially during the harvest season, and the slowness of the process led to queues of trucks at the entrance to the plant.
Faced with these issues, there was an urgent need to find ways of tracking the trucks and improving internal logistics control, identifying the main bottlenecks in the loading process and possible ways of adapting them, as well as implementing process improvements and automation, including instrumentation, commissioning and starting up a system that would handle all this demand.
To meet this customer need, IHM Stefanini has developed a new logistics management solution, underpinned by a set of emerging IoT technologies to handle all the logistics in factory and truck load control. This system monitors all the stages and movements of the vehicles through a 100% digital vertical and horizontal platform- from the arrival of the trucks at the company’s facilities to their departure after the invoice has been issued.
Among the main IoT technologies employed are self-service totems for drivers, biometric access control, a tracking system with automatic opening of gates, fully automated road weighing scales, and an automated vehicle call system. There is also information panels for drivers, and an Analytics and AI software platform that assists and supports the decision-making processes of the yard management team, with numerous tracking and control resources.
The initiative has enabled the customer to enter the Industry 4.0 era, connecting all the layers, from SAP to the factory. The company has achieved a series of benefits for partners, end customers, drivers and transporters involved in the entire chain. Gains have been identified in terms of agility in automatic weighing, optimization in production setup (sequencing), as well as significant advances in information security, with biometrics at the entrance and exit of the factory. The unit also now has self-service counters, automatic vehicle call, and vehicle traceability from the moment of registration. Another important advancement is the command center, where, from a single location, the team can monitor everything that happens inside the plant and make necessary decisions quickly.
For the driver, as well as improvements in safety, there have also been improvements in satisfaction and experience, especially due to factors such as the absence of queues, visibility of the loading sequence, SMS notification of when to load, and greater clarity in the progress of the logistics process. To paint a picture of just how effective this was, the plant’s loading capacity went from 576 to 1920 trucks/day.
“It’s important to note that automated billing with accurate data closes the truck driver’s digital journey and allows him to leave the factory autonomously. All IoT devices and sensors are supported and monitored in the operations center and on mobile devices. After the project was launched, the average time to complete the loading process was reduced by 50%,” emphasizes Gustavo Brito, global director of Digital Industry at IHM Stefanini.
If you are looking for expert advice on improving your logistics processes, contact IHM Stefanini. Our team can provide you with all the information and support you need for the changes you want to make in your industry with the support of AI.