KONE is looking to improve productivity and service speed in manufacturing through internal logistics development. We want to hear from you if your solution enables efficient autonomous transportation of various materials within our factory premises.

Opportunity overview

Internal factory logistics plays a critical role in the success of manufacturing operations of a company like KONE – a global producer of elevators, escalators, and automatic building doors. It involves moving materials and goods within the factory premises, ensuring the production process runs smoothly and efficiently. In a low-volume, high-mix factory, such as customized KONE elevator manufacturing in Finland, reaching a high utilization rate for transport is a challenge due to the wide variety of transportable materials with different sizes and weights. In addition, human-operated logistics include transporting materials from point A to B, usually using forklifts. This creates safety risks for human factory operators and can result in unnecessary empty loads on returning transports.

KONE envisions handling most of the internal material movement via automation to improve the utilization rate and the overall efficiency and safety of intralogistics. We are looking for innovative approaches to autonomous intralogistics robotic solutions that can transport various loads between different points on KONE factory floors. This would also include loading, charming, and unloading already collected materials to the destination, reducing the need for human operators. We are interested in hardware and software solutions that enable safe and efficient transportation and can handle different sizes and weights of transportable materials. The answers should offer integration capabilities with existing KONE IT systems, such as the manufacturing execution system (MES). Furthermore, optimizing the overall efficiency of material movement inside our production facilities with, for example, effective routing, scheduling, and load prioritization is considered a benefit. Overall, we are interested in novel, intelligent, and environmentally friendly solutions tailored to KONE’s requirements.

Your opportunity with KONE

As a global elevator and escalator industry leader, KONE has ten manufacturing units in seven countries, including Finland, Italy, the Czech Republic, China, India, Mexico, and the USA. The production scope ranges from more customizable and lower volumes in, e.g., Finland and the USA to high importance in the Chinese and Indian factories. Around 750 units are delivered to customers globally, while even in lower-volume factories like Finland, hundreds of materials are transported daily. The solution could first be piloted in the KONE elevator car factory in Hyvinkää, Finland.

KONE is looking for a solution that can handle a wide variety of transferrable materials in size and weight. To support the pilot case, KONE can offer expert financial support and support from local and global manufacturing development. In the longer term, if a suitable solution is found, there is potential to scale the technology into other KONE production sites globally. The most exciting business model for KONE would be purchasing, leasing, and licensing the solution or parts of it.

Examples we're looking for

Autonomous intralogistics robots

We are looking for automated logistics robot solutions to collect and deliver materials from one floor point to another. The answers should be able to handle different sizes and weights of materials and consider that many loads may have an uneven center of gravity due to, e.g., a tall load. The dimensions of the bags may vary between 0.5m x 1.5m to 1.5m x 3m, and weights can get up to 1 ton. The solutions should preferably be integrated into the KONE manufacturing execution system (MES).

Autonomous robot fleet management

In addition to hardware solutions, we are interested in software solutions enabling efficient fleet management, including, e.g., routing, scheduling, and prioritization of transports. The answers should be able to prioritize pick-up locations with the most giant footprints and heavy loads. In addition, the solutions should offer operators good user-friendliness and be environmentally friendly, for example, through separate power and environmental modes.

Improved operator safety

The solutions KONE is looking for should preferably consider safety aspects and improve the overall safety of factory intralogistics. Overall, KONE factories include narrow corridors and a mix of human and robot operators.

The safety measures can include but are not limited to controlling the speed of autonomous transportation systems across the factory.

The KONE mission is to improve the flow of urban life. As a global leader in the elevator and escalator industry, KONE provides elevators, escalators, and automatic building doors, as well as solutions for maintenance and modernization to add value to buildings throughout their life cycle. Through more effective People Flow®, they make people's journeys safe, convenient, and reliable in taller, smarter buildings.

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