Autonomous Intralogistics with KONE

Intralogistics
Autonomous robots
Material movement
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Industry

People, Material & Robotics Flow

Revenue

2021

€10.5B

Employees

2021

60,000+

Countries

2021

60+

About

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

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 the movement of materials and goods within the factory premises, ensuring that 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 the transportation of materials from point A to B, usually using forklifts. This creates overall safety risks in the factories for human operators and can result in unnecessary empty loads on returning transports.

In order to further improve the utilization rate, and the overall efficiency and safety of intralogistics, KONE envisions handling most of the internal material movement via automation. 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, transporting, and unloading already collected materials to the destination, reducing the need for human operators. We are interested in both hardware and software solutions that enable safe and efficient transportation and can handle different sizes and weights of transportable materials. The solutions should offer integration capabilities with existing KONE IT systems, such as the manufacturing execution system (MES). Furthermore, the ability to optimize 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 that can be tailored to meet KONE's requirements.

Your opportunity with KONE

As a global leader in the elevator and escalator industry, 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 volumes in the Chinese and Indian factories. In total, around 750 units are delivered to customers per day globally, while even in the lower volume factories like Finland, there are hundreds of material transportations 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 high variety of transferrable materials in terms of size and weight. To support the pilot case, KONE can offer expert support from both local and global manufacturing development and financial support. 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 interesting business model for KONE would be purchasing, leasing and/or licensing the solution or parts of it.

Focus Areas

Examples of solutions we’re interested in

Autonomous intralogistics robots

We are looking for automated logistics robot solutions that can collect and deliver materials from one floor point to another. The solutions 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 sizes of the loads may vary between 0.5m x 1.5m to 1.5m x 3m and weights can get up to 1 ton. The solutions should also preferably be integrable into KONE manufacturing execution system (MES).

Autonomous robot fleet management

In addition to hardware solutions, we are interested in software solutions that can enable efficient fleet management, including e.g. routing, scheduling, and prioritization of transports. The solutions should be able to prioritize pick-up locations with the largest footprints and heavy loads. In addition, the solutions should offer good user-friendliness for operators as well as 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 both human and robot operators.

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

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