Milena Gregorczyk, General Manager, Bossard Poland (on the left) and Marek Samborski, Managing Director, Garo Poland
Exploiting multifaceted optimization potentials
Garo Poland is the largest manufacturer of charging systems for electric vehicles in Northern Europe. The company is specialized in electrical installations and systems. It offers a range of products, from simple eletrical sockets to charging stations for electric and recreational vehicles as well as boats. The state-of-the-art company is committed to innovation and lean management. Garo has used Bossard's SmartBin logistics systems for several years. These systems have played a key role in significantly increasing the efficiency of the production processes.
What does Bossard contribute to lean management at Garo?
Milena Gregorczyk: In the field of C-part management, Garo has been working with Bossard Poland for several years. Seven locations in the production are equipped with Bossard SmartBin systems that manage over 900 different order items. An average of 22,700 fasteners are processed per day. Thanks to these systems and ARIMS, our interactive supply chain platform, material management is leaner and more predictable. This means that the associated processes are always under control.
Which requirements does an efficient logistics system of the "Industry 4.0 generation" need to meet?
Marek Samborski: Our goal is to fully focus on efficient production. To accomplish this, we have to be sure that the right material is available at the right place at any time. The ARIMS platform from Bossard ensures exactly that. Our C-parts are always available just where they are needed. All production orders are transferred to a cloud associated with the smart ARIMS platform. This makes it possible to optimize the generation and sorting of procurement orders. With SmartOrdering, ARIMS offers a range of demand forecasts and improved procurement processes. Ordering and delivering processes can be continuously optimized using artificial intelligence and historical data. The automated processes reduce the workload of our employees and lead to time savings.
How does the automated odering process work?
Milena Gregorczyk: The individual assembly workstations are equipped with containers for the C-parts to be processed. These Kanban systems include either weight sensors (SmartBin) or an e-label (SmartLabel). Depending on the materials withdrawn from the containers, fully or semi-automated order requests are sent to ARIMS. This platform generates optimized order lists that are directly forwarded to the purchasing department. This ensures that the workplace has a sufficient supply of C-parts, thereby guaranteeing smooth assembly processes. For a company such as Garo, that is a decisive cost factor.
How does Smart Factory Logistics affect production efficiency?
Marek Samborski: The ARIMS platform optimizes the trigger of orders, both in terms of time and quantity. This reduces the workload of our purchasing staff. What is crucial, however, is that we have been able to reduce our inventories by 33 percent. In the end, this means that less capital is tied up, and we are able to focus on our core competencies. As a company with tremendous innovation potential, this is extremely important for us.
Do you see additional optimization potential in Garo's production?
Marek Samborski: Yes, we do. The next step is to optimize the material flow in internal logistics as part of Last Mile Management. This helps intralogistics workers, also referred to as "milk runners" or "water spiders", to distribute their materials as efficiently as possible from the central storage locations to the specific workstations on the assembly line. The responsible logistics worker receives a digital picking list and a digital route plan.
What could Expert Walk service provide on top?
Milena Gregorczyk: It might be interesting to support Garo with our Expert Walk service, one of our six engineering modules. As part of this service, we analyze the production processes with regard to the fasteners used and make suggestions for improvement. Often it is possible to optimize the process through minor adjustments, for example by using a new coating or more suitable material, or by reducing the number of elements used. This allows for an additional boost of efficiency in production.