Technology

Smart warehouse digitalizes delivery of service parts

The huge new state-of-the-art warehouse in Madrid holds up to 9,800 replacement parts and components vital to maintaining and repairing elevators and escalators – essential features of modern life. With 6,800 m2 of storage space, this smart spare parts facility can handle more than 1.4 million orders per year. But what really makes it special is that it uses digital transformation to streamline the provision of vital urban mobility solutions to customers. This is possible by fully utilizing the potential of the Internet of Things (IoT) – and by turning Big Data into Smart Data.
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Published on 12.02.2020

Customers benefit from the smart-data warehouse

The San Fernando spare parts warehouse near Madrid is set to make a large impact on both mobility and logistics. For example, the ultramodern facility is designed to be exceptionally efficient: reducing the work required to get crucial repair parts to where they are needed by an impressive 30%.

That leads to better user experience (UX) for customers who depend on smoothly functioning elevators, escalators, and moving walkways. Service technicians receive the correct spare part in less time, which means a 20% optimization in user waiting time in the resolution of technical problems. Not to mention, the improved sustainability and decrease in energy use and CO2 emissions that come from a 10% reduction in the number of trips made by technicians to obtain parts and materials.

Julio Arias Warehouse Madrid

Julio Arias at San Fernando Spare Business Center in Madrid.

“Thanks to the new facilities and systems at the Smart spare parts warehouse, we can more easily deliver all the spare parts that our maintenance technicians need to make our customers' life easier and better. We also use reusable blue containers, which reduce the amount of packing materials and contributes to the environment.”
Julio Arias, thyssenkrupp Elevator warehouse technician
Opening Warehouse Madrid

Inside the digital transformation of logistics

The new warehouse is the result of a phased roll-out of the Spare Parts Business Excellence project by thyssenkrupp Elevator. The goal is to provide an unbroken chain of digitalized logistics that puts both Big Data tools and the service technician at the center.

Using the wealth of Big Data generated by the Internet of Things and mediated by Machine Learning, a new inventory management and planning system at the warehouse calculates which parts or components are most likely to be needed by the technician in the next month. It assigns those to a blue “tote”, which is then sent out to a convenient pickup point. The system also ensures that parts likely to be needed are already on hand at the warehouse.

In the meantime, field technicians can order additional items to be included in their tote and monitor delivery over their mobile devices. All of this allows technicians to more efficiently schedule their workloads and aids them in ensuring that none of the mobility solutions under their care ever break down.

Next step: The MAX connection

The next phase in the digital transformation of mobility service will be to fully integrate the Madrid facility with the power of MAX. MAX is the first cloud-based real-time failure prevention system for elevators and escalators and replaces corrective maintenance with predictive maintenance.

By using the Internet of Things and Machine Learning, MAX collects data from elevators and other mobility solutions around the globe and automatically applies the diagnostics for real-time analysis and action. The results offer a synchronized, unified view of which parts or components will be needed, where, and when, and proactively triggers shipping and delivery to the assigned field technician for a timely installation. The goal is no more downtime – ever.

To reach that goal, the Madrid warehouse is specifically designed to harness the ability of MAX to transform Big Data into Smart Data by applying the appropriate analytical algorithms. The warehouse itself thus becomes an intelligent logistical system – a “learning” warehouse. The result: technicians have the right tools, in the right place, at the right time. Customers benefit – and technicians like it, too!

 
Video

How is the digital transformation improving urban mobility? This short video shows the new Smart spare parts warehouse in action. thyssenkrupp Elevator is always on the move!

Putting sustainability at the center

Another advantage of the new Madrid facility is its reduced environmental footprint and increased sustainability. Again, it is the digital transformation that makes much of this possible, as real-time data and analysis, as well as systems interoperability, are designed into the processes and the facility that houses them.

This means that logistical journeys are greatly reduced. According to the IPCC, about 5.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions are due to logistical activities. thyssenkrupp Elevator’s new warehouse eliminates many of the trips previously needed to move parts and components – by as many as 400,000 km per year. That’s about 10 trips around the earth and keeps about 64 tons of CO2 from vehicle emissions from going into the atmosphere.

thyssenkrupp Elevator’s commitment to the environment extends even to the packaging used at the new facility. All the packaging used by the new warehouse there will be recyclable or reusable.

Enrique Gallegos Warehouse Tote
Warehouse Tote

Enrique Gallegos picking up a new “tote” of spare parts.

“Being able to pick up the spare parts I need at a convenient drop-off point on my route is an advantage. Thus, I avoid traveling the more than 100 km I have to reach the branch and pick up any spare parts I need. I gain in health and safety.”
Enrique Gallegos, thyssenkrupp Elevator maintenance technician

Pioneering the digital transformation of service

The Madrid smart warehouse will provide parts and components service to a large part of southern Europe. Similar thyssenkrupp Elevator facilities will be strategically placed near key global locations such as Stuttgart, Shanghai, Porto Alegre, and Pune. Ultimately, ten new centrally managed facilities will replace and improve upon the current network of 10,000 storage depots, factories, and logistics centers.

The new Madrid warehouse is a clear indicator that thyssenkrupp Elevator is leading the way in the ongoing digital transformation of urban mobility service.