Swiss Federal Railways

Untying the knots in a forklift warehouse

Identifying the bottlenecks for heavy forklift traffic in the train repair site at Swiss Federal Railways was tremendously time-consuming and tedious. Installing an Indoor Positioning System from Senion makes the analysis quick, accurate and well-founded. Swiss Federal Railways estimates its return on investment was less than two weeks.

Counting Forklifts for Months

Activity at the train maintenance site in Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland, has increased over the last years. The spare parts inventory is surpassing capacity, creating bottlenecks and disrupting forklift traffic flow. The railway company decided to re-organize and extend the site to fit the actual needs, which required detailed data on forklift movement. Obtaining the data required for analysis involved operators manually counting forklifts passing into certain zones. But the process proved difficult and was neither cost-effective nor motivating for the operators. A different way of collecting data was desperately needed. Dirco de Corso, Senior Project Manager at Swiss Federal Railways, contacted Senion with the following inquiry:
We are looking for an economic, easy-to-install solution, which can be relocated from one location to the next in order to determine optimization levers and to avoid further congestion of our forklift traffic.

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“At the end of the day, we need a complete system that delivers reliable positioning data that can be represented in a comprehensive way to pinpoint the congestion areas caused by heavy forklift traffic in our indoor/outdoor environment,” de Corso says. “This will completely replace the manual eye count that we formerly conducted.”

Innovation Making a Real Difference

Senion’s Indoor Positioning System, StepInside®, was installed and each forklift was equipped with a device to collect the valuable data. “We put a couple of hours installing the system and instructing the forklift drivers on how to use the app provided by Senion,” de Corso explains. “Together with Senion, we defined how to visualize the data. We ended up with a system that automatically could generate higher quality reports for us.” The Senion solution saved Swiss National Railways several man-hours on a daily basis for three months. “In less than two weeks the investment was returned,” de Corso says, “the next step will be to deploy Senion’s solution on the rest of our major sites.”

Industry

Warehousing

Size

Multiple warehouses

Use cases

Congestion analysis
Forklift density analysis

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