- arie maor
Boost your manufacturing teams with smart AI-based troubleshooting and knowledge management software
Updated: Jan 23, 2022
KIAMI's FASTtroubleshoot is a top-class troubleshooting and knowledge management software that was implemented in one of the largest pharmaceutical companies. This article describes the use and benefits of the system in one of their highly automated distribution centers, with a storage capacity of 72,000 pallets.
The warehouse includes a complex conveyor system that moves the stock into and out from the automated storage areas, automated cranes, lifts, picking machines, shrinking machines, contour check, shuttles, pallet changers, and other automated equipment, controlled by a Warehouse Control System (WCS) and a network of PLCs. A Warehouse Management System (WMS) manages all the warehouse activities such as transferring materials to the company's manufacturing sites, receiving and putting them into storage, packing finished goods for orders, and shipping them to customers. The WMS sends these tasks to the WCS that transform them into physical stock movements and warehouse actions. An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system manages all order aspects and financial activities relating to these stock movements into and out of this distribution center. This distribution center is working around the clock, supplying stock to the company's sites and the company's customers on real short notice. Picking and shipping stock can be divided into many sub-processes involving the ERP, WMS, and WCS systems and several automated types of equipment such as cranes, conveyors, picking stations, checking stations, weighing stations, printing machines, closing machines, which works sequentially one after the other. A system malfunction or equipment breakdown can stop all the processes and in some cases shut down the automated warehouse activities. It is very important in such cases to provide fast and reliable resolution. It is also important to enable the warehouse logistics teams to handle by themselves a wide variety of failures that can be fixed quickly.
How FASTtroubleshoot help the teams?
The system was implemented a short time after the installation of a new WCS system and automatic picking equipment. A tremendous impact was observed, shortening the ramp-up period of the new systems, minimizing the unplanned downtimes, and reducing the learning curve of all logistics, IT, and maintenance teams.
FASTtroubleshoot is used by the following teams' in the warehouse:
IT WMS, WCS, and ERP applications' support (level 1 and 2)
Equipment maintenance and engineering teams
When one of these teams' members handles a system malfunction or failure, FASTtroubleshoot provides all the necessary information for a fast, high-quality fix. He/ She goes over possible reasons until the root cause is detected, and a best-practice repair procedure is provided. The users can access the system on the warehouse floor, with their tablets, laptops, or mobile devices.
FASTtroubleshoot stimulates knowledge sharing within the team members, and between the teams, increasing the professionalism of all, while enabling a faster learning curve of new employees, and minimizing the loss of highly skilled workers that leaves the company or the support team.
The impact on the bottom line is very dramatic:
Cut-down failures' repair time and automation downtimes by 50%.
The system helps the operational teams to fix a wider range of failures by themselves, before calling maintenance, IT, or other support teams, while reducing the calls for support by 40%, and reducing support teams' workload.
Preserve and share technical best practices and experience inside and across teams
Provides better operational and maintenance analytics, revealing equipment deterioration and hidden failures.
New employees learning curve is shortened by 30%.