Valeo has implemented an additional two mobile robots in its windshield wiper plant in Skawina, further improving the optimization of internal transport processes and allowing for increased flexibility. Valeo, a French automotive parts manufacturer, has a global presence with factories worldwide, including four production plants in Poland.
The Skawina facility has been operating since 2001 and is one of the largest windshield wiper factories globally and the largest in Valeo’s portfolio.
One of the challenges faced in this implementation was the diversity of pallet carriers used. “Each customer uses their own type of pallet. We are a manufacturer who has to adapt to customers, which means that each line has a different way of delivering goods. In addition, there are different sizes of roads inside the plant,” explains Dominik Wąsiel, Site Supply Chain Manager & Regional Supply Chain Engineer and Development Manager at Valeo, Windshield Systems Production Plant in Skawina.
The first mobile robot was implemented in 2020 for transporting components on the assembly floor. Currently, there are four robots in operation, including two MiR250 robots. The mobile robots transport containers with components on specially prepared carts with racks and pull them behind using a cooperating hook.
Tasks are dynamically assigned to the robots based on their current location and the workload with missions. Fleet management software oversees the queue of orders. The robots transport approximately 18 pallets per hour. The fleet software allows for monitoring the utilization of robots and maintaining safety stock for increased production or testing new solutions.
Logistic costs, on-time delivery costs to customers are a significant item in our profit and loss statement. Every opportunity for automation is crucial from the profitability perspective of our factory, says Michał Odyniec, Director of the Windshield Systems Production Plant at Valeo in Skawina
“The automation of intralogistics has significantly improved the efficiency of our processes. We estimate the payback time from the investment to be around 12 months,” adds Dominik Wąsiel.
“Improving safety, eliminating damages, and reducing time are just a few examples where the implementation of mobile robots has provided us with many benefits,” says Michał Kanarek, Warehouse Manager at Valeo, Windshield Systems Production Plant in Skawina.
The implementation was carried out by the Krakow-based company ASTOR.