HANGCHA Group is one of the leading material handling equipment manufacturers in China and globally. Starting as a small company, HANGCHA has grown into a large group company with 80 domestic subsidiaries and 5 overseas ones. It has gained nationwide recognition as a “National High-tech Enterprise” and ranks 8th in the world in terms of sales volume according to MMH (Modern Material Handling) magazine. And the sales volume accounted for more than 8% in the world in terms of industrial vehicles.
Founded in 1956, HANGCHA has been determined to provide state-of-the-art material handling equipment for its global clients and lead in the industry. Now it has embarked on its way of reform and innovation for a dozen years and found that the efficiency of the company is closely related to the efficiency of logistics. Not only is it vital to manufacturing high-end equipment, but improving its productivity in warehouse and logistics is also crucial. In its forklift warehouse of nearly 20,000 square meters, over 170,000 vehicles are produced and stored per year and more than 1,300 per day. And everyday inventory can reach 3,000 or above. As a consequence, growing problems arise.
1. Entry. Forklifts off the production line were driven directly into the warehouse and placed randomly, leading to a split between vehicle and information. Then it was all manual work to identify the model or location of vehicles.
2. Exit. For a forklift to be repaired, lack of handover norms made it hard to bond the vehicle and its repair records. For a forklift to be customized, nothing could be traced until its return. As for a forklift to be lent, staff noted it down by hand without follow-up management.
It turned out that before shipment, staff had to spend 10-15 minutes on average searching for the vehicle, and sometimes they came back, empty-handed.
After field investigation and rounds of meetings, HANGCHA and BlueIOT partners decided that a high-precision indoor locating solution should be applied from the very beginning.
The warehouse is reorganized and divided into several zones, each for a specific purpose, and the route for a vehicle to drive in and out is also planned.
2. Once a vehicle comes off the production line and before it drives in, a locating tag will be attached for tracking and recording its location and movement.
3. Electronic fences are set at entrances and exits so that the entry or exit of a vehicle will be recorded.
4. Only after the tag is detached by the person in charge can a vehicle be sent for delivery, customization, or lending.
So far, hundreds of AOA locating anchors and thousands of tags have been deployed. BlueIOT not only provided a basic locating system but also supported the development of a customized APP. It has been proved:
Accuracy. The margin of error is basically 0.5m, which can be negligible in terms of forklift tracking, and it is easy to find a vehicle on the electronic map without visible drift.
Efficiency. The average search time for staff is shortened to merely 1 minute on average. It is a 90% increase!
Low energy and cost-effective. The battery life of a tag reaches up to 5 years and the daily cost is only $ 0.016.
This project has been completed after two months of deployment and construction. BlueIOT solutions enable the warehouse to bring real-time tracking to all ranges and bring its business under control. HANGCHA spoke highly of the BlueIOT RTLS solution, which is expected to be applied to its production lines and more warehouses. BlueIOT is also looking forward to cooperating with and empowering more manufacturers.