Case: Ponsse Oyj
Expansion at Ponsse’s Vieremä Plant also enhances logistics to reach a global pioneering level
The biggest plant expansion project in the company’s history is ongoing at Ponsse’s Vieremä Plant. The production area of 6.7 acres becomes a production area of 10 acres. This is Ponsse’s move to seek an even more superior level of quality, flexibility for working, and enhancing both safety and productivity. We can confidently claim that in the end of 2018, Vieremä has the world’s most modern forest machinery plant. How have goods and internal logistics been designed in a state-of-the-art facility such as this?
“Achieving renewal of this standard is not achieved by looking in the rear-view mirror. Leanware made us focus on an extremely innovative concept and produced calculations to assist decision-making. One thing we soon noticed was that the number of material events in internal logistics showed material flows had to be simplified and holistic solutions needed to be sought. Operations had to be simplified and accelerated”, stated Ponsse’s Development Engineer Teija Pesonen about the goals set for the internal logistics for the new plant.
Leanware’s CEO and consultant for the Ponsse solution, Janne Viinikkala, tells that once the internal logistics designs and handling strategies reached completion in the consultation stage, Leanware compiled preliminary calculations of a manual warehouse and automate warehouse.
The Ponsse plant expansion became concrete with construction of new premises. The new plant warehouse has a pallet automation solution with three stacker cranes and a 34-level shuttle system in addition to warehouse. The LeanwareWMS warehouse management system directs everything.
“One of the changes was receipt of materials from supply chain in units satisfying warehouse site requirements and there was no need for further processing during inbound. In the future, the structure of entireties can be developed better in the future, thereby making all internal logistic parts work together better”, Viinikkala states.
Customer-orientation the driver even for plant expansion
“Ponsse’s strategic choice is a strong desire for serving forest machinery buyers better than ever before. This desire had an incredible impact on plant expansion”, Pesonen reveals.
“Intense focus on material sorting methods for forest machinery development also requires constant production improvements. Only in this way can we respond to the needs of our customers and retain our position as world leaders on the forest machinery market. Furthermore, a safe and modern plant is definitely an important investment into our employees”, adds Ponsse Oyj’s CEO Juho Nummela.
With the Ponsse plant project and arrangement of its internal logistics, it was vital for a highly professional, external expert, who was knowledgeable about Ponsse’s operations to provide support for running through internal logistic processes and who had the courage to question certain ways of working.
“During the new plant warehouse project, we realized that processes require simplification in order to minimize time-wasting and potential errors”, Pesonen adds.
During the designing of the new plant warehouse, material flow strategies were modelled for internal logistics, on the basis of which Ponsse started seeking automation for its internal logistics.
“Automation suppliers have their own warehouse management systems, but because of Ponsse’s extreme goals, special production requirements and future development, their choice was LeanwareWMS, that has proven itself to be outstanding because of its flexibility and suitability for production warehouses”, tells Viinikkala.
Teija Pesonen praises working with Leanware as being extremely fluent and unobstructed. She thanks them for their direct and active communication.
“Ultimately, it was a natural decision to involve Leanware in our plant expansion project, as we have a long-established history of partnership, we know each other well, and this always help dealings”, Pesonen says pleasingly.
- The new assembly and warehouse premises of the expansion will be commissioned into operation in stages during 2018.
- The move to the new premises starts in March 2018 with warehouse operations.
- The new, intelligent warehouse technology significantly enhances the productivity and level of automation for production warehouse logistics. The warehouse automation includes storage slots for 15,500 small items and 3,900 pallet slots.
- Following the revamping of the warehouse, the harvester end assembly line relocated to its new premises.
- In addition to basic machinery, the new assembly line was ramped up in late summer and the year-end of 2018, and the control cabin and lifting assemblies were also modernized.
- Production time testing will be added to all lines for supporting quality assurance.
- Ponsse’s Vieremä Plant currently employs 570 employees, 390 of which work in production duties.
- All Ponsse forest machinery is manufactured at the Vieremä Plant.
Ponsse Oyj was established in 1970. Ponsse is the world’s leading forest machinery manufacturer, with operations still guided by the needs and desires of its customers, forest machine operators. Products manufactured by Ponsse widely satisfy the numerous demands set by machine entrepreneurs all over the world seeking efficient harvesting means.