Improve Raw Material Management with Zebra Technologies

Challenge

Founded in 1896, owned by a family for 5 generations and based in Vicenza, Italy, the Italian Steel Sheet Producer produces steel rolled sections, beams, reinforcing steel, special steel and flat products from scrap metal. Its products are used in shipyards, excavators, and construction industries throughout Europe and the Mediterranean region. The Steel Sheet Producer had previously been using an outdated PDA with Telnet connection and cameras to assess incoming scrap. The process was time-consuming; data was delayed and had to be manually collated. Wanting to improve the efficiency of its inbound raw materials audit, the Steel Sheet producer approached a long-term Zebra ISV partner and a software house and system integrator, to develop a future-proof, robust Android solution.

Solution

The solution comprises Zebra TC70 Touch Computers and a bespoke Soluzione 1 scrap classification Android application written in Xamarin using components of Zebra’s EMDK; it has been deployed for plants in Italy, Switzerland and France. The first module is installed on the TC70. At the start of the process operators scan the ID barcode badge allocated to each truck arriving at the plants with scrap steel, which enables the linking of all the subsequently entered information relating to that shipment. They then classify the unloaded material by selecting prefilled fields for the correct scrap category; they also have the option to insert precompiled notes related to all the different situations encountered, as well as to take photos and videos of the scrap. The application has been designed to be very easy and quick to use.

The data is transferred via Wi-Fi from the TC70 to the Steel Sheet producer’s remote server. The second module is a web application used by management to collate this information, which comes through in real time, to have a complete, clear and immediate view and control over the provisioning process, utilising different tools, such as specific views and statistic reports.

Result

Scrap material provisioning is a critical process for the Steel Sheet producer, so the improvement of control functionality and efficiency are always key aims; and with up to 200 trucks delivering daily to each plant, time savings and ease of operation are also of fundamental importance. Powerful control tools, meanwhile, aid quality control, with the use of the correct scrap category ensuring better performance in the steelworks’ processes. Moreover, managers can easily analyse and extract data and statistics in real-time; this information can be sent on to suppliers, thus improving supplier relationships and enabling speedy resolution of any issues. As Mirco Destro, Group CIO at the Steel Sheet producer summarises: “The introduction of this new integrated solution enables the business to operate efficiently and have an important data source for strategic analysis.”

Finally, end-users are enjoying the simplified processes and the important benefits that raise productivity in daily operations; users can operate the TC70’s touch screen wearing gloves and the devices have long-life batteries and are rugged and reliable, even in extreme temperatures or the wet.

“Our staff work in difficult and complex environmental conditions, often having to operate the Zebra TC70 whilst wearing gloves or at awkward angles. A critical factor to the success of this project was the simplicity of the device and the application, which was created to be smart and intuitive, in line with the specific needs of our operators. It’s a winning solution.” – Group Service & Governance Manager, Italian Steel Sheet Producer.

 

Article credit: https://www.zebra.com/ap/en/resource-library/success-stories/beltrame-group.html