Industrial group UPB uses DENSO's BHT-1600 in manufacturing plant
UPB is one of the largest industrial groups in the Baltics with a yearly turnover of around 150m EUR; 60,000 m² of production area and more than 100 in-house engineers. UPB is active in precast steel and curtain wall business areas and provides full cycle services including engineering, production, delivery and construction. UPB’s precast manufacturing plant located in Liepaja, Latvia, manufactures more than 100 precast elements (walls, stairs, balconies etc...) a day.
UPB has implemented DENSO’s BHT-1600 Android handheld terminal in the pre-cast element manufacturing plant, starting from manufacturing process to the finished elements which are then loaded onto trucks and shipped to customers.
DENSO’s BHT-1600: the perfect device
The working environment in the pre-cast plant is harsh – manufacturing processes are dusty, and working in the warehouse means that any weather condition can influence the scanner. UPB uses DENSO BHT-1600 ruggedized data capture devices to scan the manufacturing steps and to work in the warehouse. The benefits are that they are rugged, splash-proof and crash-proof scanners. UPB can use both Wi-Fi and Cellular data when necessary, and the built-in camera can save more time when images are required for some inspection tasks. DENSO provided also a device management software that allowed UPB to push updates to all the devices when applications were updated.
Easier to do quality assurance
During the manufacturing process, each element goes through multiple steps and it is important to have quality checks at different manufacturing points and also for managers to have correct information on the manufacturing process in order to plan ahead the next actions. DENSO handheld terminals BHT-1600 are used in the manufacturing plant to mark when a specific manufacturing step has been finished and when the element is ready for shipment. As the scanner has an integrated camera, progress pictures are taken of the elements after some specific manufacturing steps and sent immediately to the ERP system which reduces the work load for the quality assurance specialists.
It is easy to get lost in a large warehouse
The warehouse of the plant is approximately 10 000 square meters and is located outside the plant. Each day, it has approximately 1000 building elements stored at any time inside. When manufacturing has finished producing different elements, these are then transfered to the warehouse. Each element has its unique barcode. The element is scanned, its location in the warehouse is saved and sent to UPB’s ERP system to be retrieved later when needed.
It takes time to load a wall on a truck
The weight of each element is a couple of tons and loading it on the truck takes time. It takes even more time if the wrong element is loaded on the wrong truck. With DENSO’s BHT-1600, loading lists are downloaded from the ERP, elements are scanned individually before loading them onto the truck, and in order to verify that the loading has been done properly. When the loading is finished, images are taken with the BHT-1600 and uploaded to the ERP so they can be used to check whether something has happened to the shipment during the transport to the customer.
Developing the application software
All the Android software used on the BHT-1600 was developed by an internal IT branch of UPB that implemented this system into the manufacturing plant. In total, UPB developed three Android apps – one for quality assurance and two for warehouse management. Additionally, some modifications to the ERP API’s were made by UPB’s web developers.
After the implementation of the BHT-1600, UPB sees less paperwork for warehouse managers, less mistakes made when elements are loaded from the warehouse onto the trucks. The easy image upload to the ERP saves more time and the element manufacturing information is updated immediately.