Connected, Digitized and Automated: Kinexon Paves the Way for Continental to Fully Automate Material Flow
A fully automated supply chain, from planning to product delivery: KINEXON Industries GmbH (KINEXON) and Continental turn visionary dreams of the future into reality today.
As an industry experienced IIoT technology provider, KINEXON currently supports the automotive supplier in the field of geolocation, one of the key technologies of Continental’s large-scale “Smart Factory” project. After just a few months, the companies were able to report the first successes — from assured quality to higher throughput speeds and improved efficiency.
The market share of smart factories is increasing worldwide. In the future, smart factories could contribute around 1.5 trillion US dollars to the global economy by 2023. This is the result of the latest study “Smart Factories @ Scale” by the Capgemini Research Institute. Right at the top of the list: Germany. A prime example is provided by the German automotive supplier Continental.
The company is pursuing the “Smart Factory” as a company-wide future project. Within the framework of this project, frequently occurring routines and processes are to be improved in order to reduce costs, increase efficiency and improve production speed. A close look at the structures in advance showed that the greatest potential lies in the material flow.
360° connectivity: seamless integration of platform and data
In order to seamlessly digitize, connect and automate the material flow, from incoming goods to the delivery of final products, KINEXON provides the automotive supplier with its real-time localization technology based on ultra-wideband (UWB). It enables all components involved in the material flow (objects of all kinds as well as machines) to be tracked seamlessly, interference-free and with centimetre accuracy using stationary anchors and mobile tags — and all this in real time. The localization data can be analyzed live and controlled in a value-added manner via KINEXON’s own platform “RIoT” (Real Time Internet of Things). 360° connectivity also enables the integration of the platform and data into the customer’s existing IT landscape.
“Because we use UWB technology, we have zero interference with other networks. Compared to other localization technologies like Bluetooth or WLAN, UWB is therefore interference-free”, says Oliver Trinchera, co-founder and managing director of KINEXON Industries GmbH.
“We were on the lookout for a full-stack provider with industrial and logistics experience that could offer highly accurate UWB technology and a software platform from a single source. KINEXON fulfils these high demands, plus it provides capacities for a global roll-out. This includes reliable 24⁄7 support, agility, and connectivity for example. The main advantage: The IoT platform RIoT is intuitive and can be customized, both for the administrator and the end user.”
The result: assured quality, higher throughput speed and improved efficiency
Less than two months have passed from planning to live go. Today, a logistics center and three production areas with an area of about 30,000 square meters (equivalent to about four soccer fields) are tracked in real time using KINEXON localization technology. After only a few months, production quality was assured, throughput speed increased and production efficiency improved.
This is initially the first step of the large-scale project with a scope of six applications in the Regensburg model factory. A seventh, still visionary, application is currently being worked on jointly in a development partnership.
“With KINEXON, we have succeeded in implementing a pilot area in geolocation – a strategically important field of innovation for us – within just one year. The decision to roll this out at the entire site was therefore an easy one.”
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Ambroise Fayolle, EIB Vice-President: “At the EIB, we strive to support companies that shape the future. KINEXON is such a company and given how they seized the opportunity to make use of their knowledge and expertise during the COVID-crisis, I am thrilled that we can bolster their creativity and vision with EIB financing.”
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