Symbio and Konecranes to use AI to develop an autonomous warehouse

4 minute read, posted on 11/21/2017, by Prateek Hastir


November 15, 2017. VXI’s digital transformation arm, Symbio, and Konecranes have agreed on a partnership to develop an intelligent autonomous warehouse. The partnership brings together Konecrane’s expertise on automated warehouses and Symbio’s capabilities in software engineering. The collaboration will deliver an intelligent robotic warehouse able to learn and adapt to usage patterns and end-user needs.

Symbio and Konecranes are offering the solution for customers in forest, metals, chemicals, automotive and other similar industries. Appropriate management of maintenance stocks is business critical for mills and factories in such industries.

– The lack of a single spare part or a critical safety equipment can lead to production shutdowns incurring costs up to millions in the process industries. This can be avoided through intelligent and automated warehouse management, says Tapani Tilus, Head of Konecranes’ Agilon business. Konecranes and Symbio are expecting the partnership will provide remarkable outcomes.

-This is about a world-class product based on world-leading Finnish engineering and craftsmanship. We will start offering the solution locally but our gaze is definitely set on the global markets. Handling maintenance and MRO inventories is a global challenge in the industry. We are both in this to take the world, says Arto Kuusinen, Chief Executive – Europe, VXI Symbio.

With artificial intelligence, the warehouse can adapt to users’ needs

Both stock-outs and excess stock are common problems with maintenance and MRO warehouse logistics.
Yet that single spare part might be business critical. One might even have the required part in an another stocking location nearby – but lack of visibility prevents the use of that other location. The traditional approach is to overstock but this builds excess working capital and often leads to obsolescence.

– Automated and intelligent warehouse management can help companies to avoid downtime and reduce working capital tie-up. Artificial intelligence not only allows us to take proactive action to avoid stock-outs but also helps us to learn usage patterns and circumstances at the mill. The solution will remember supplier replenishment times and will continuously learn to anticipate better,” says Kuusinen.

According to Symbio and Konecranes, they are pioneers in developing a fully autonomous warehouse.
There are no other suppliers for such a solution. The partnership will deliver a complete solution covering inventory and materials management for maintenance and MRO stocks. The key is that Konecranes’ Agilon solution, already with more than 70 installations, provides fully automated material handling enabled via high quality real-time data. This data is fully traceable and covers everything that takes place in the warehouse – each requirement, each stock movement and each and every item on stock. All this information is collected to a secure and scalable cloud solution with machine learning and advanced analytics capabilities, allowing the solution to learn usage profiles, to estimate stock coverage and to provide visibility across different facilities. The solution comes with a control tower providing full visibility and steering capabilities. The intelligent warehouse knows exactly each inventory item is, knows the needs of its users, remembers the fulfillment times and is able to match inventory levels with actual needs.

About Symbio
Symbio is a global R&D partner with strong expertise in automation, robotics and IoT. We work as software partners for the world’s leading technology companies like Nokia, Microsoft, HP, Cisco, Google and IBM, and with automotive and industrial equipment companies like Volvo, STMicroelectronics, Ponsse and Sandvik. We want to be part of building a better future, both for the competencies digitalizing companies and for people. Robotics is an opportunity – not a threat. In the successful teams of the future there are both humans and robots. Symbio is headquartered in San Jose, CA. and is the information technology subsidiary of VXI Global Solutions. VXI is a customer experience management and digital transformation company with 28,000 employees across 42 service delivery and development locations.
About Konecranes
 Konecranes is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of lifting equipment, including its machinery and process industries, yards, ports and terminals. The company supplies its customers with lifting solutions and maintenance services that enhance the efficiency of all crane models. In 2016, the Group’s (comparable combined company) net sales totaled EUR 3 278 million. The company has 16,600 employees and 600 service points in 50 countries. Konecranes Corporation Series A shares are quoted on Nasdaq Helsinki (share code: KCR).

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