"Standstills almost disappeared."

The company albis-elcon uses the technology of CompControl in order to optimize the material fl ow in the course of the production. In an interview, the project manager Jan Homilius explains how the logistics costs could be signifi cantly reduced and why an easy operation of the system is so crucial.

Mr. Homilius, albis-elcon produces network technology for telecommunications service providers. What do you exactly manufacture in Hartmannsdorf?

Our range of proprietary products ranges from fiber optic terminals through intermediate generators for DSL lines to business end devices. Furthermore, we are also EMS service providers to use our lines – with a very colourful program. These can be ignition controllers for diesel generators, chargers for e-bike batteries or electronics for pigeon houses.

What are the quantities you are dealing with?

We have an extremely large stock of components. This includes approximately 10,000 active item numbers on blanks. There are 400 to 500 active products which are repeatedly produced. Some are produced on a weekly basis while others are only produced once a year. The quantities range between five and several hundred.

How does CompControl support you?

We use the table of the incoming goods and the underlying database of CompControl dealing with the management of all containers. This is connected to an X-ray counting device as well as to a storage and commissioning system. Furthermore, there is the production planning system. This means that the orders are transferred from the ERP system to the planning tool.

What significance does the overall solution have for albis-elcon?

We exclusively work on the lines with the system. Without the CompControl database, we would not be able to set up any more since this way the lines would not even know what is on the roll. For we work with unique IDs. And the unique ID barcode is scanned on the placer of the manufacturing machines. The machine software then queries the material and the corresponding quantity in the background from the database. Only when this is consistent, the machine starts the production.

How was the work done before?

When we expanded our production capacities in 2015, we also wanted to improve our material flow. For there is no point in simply being able to produce faster. You also have to bring the material to the lines. And you have to know how much of a certain material you have and where this is at the moment. This results in the following insight: We need unique


IDs in order to track the roles individually. Until then, the material was only monitored at its item number level. However, if you want to work with unique IDs, first of all, you have to create them. And you need a system managing them. When we started looking for such a system, we quickly landed at CompControl.


Mr. Limpert of CompControl has put together an attractive package offering good conditions. This means that CompControl has not only provided us with hardware but has also supplied the respective software and taken care of the complete integration and especially of the connection to the ERP system.

Were there any specific requirements the system had to meet?

It was very important that it was easy – intuitive – to operate. For with us, people work with a very different professional background and not all of them have a connection to IT. The prerequisite was the following: Everybody who can use a mobile phone must also be able to handle the user interface. Since the system is very clearly designed, we were able to. You have even to refrain from external training.

Have you achieved the objective of reducing logistics costs?

We even did a scientific review of that. For the said purpose, we have made an actual recording of the processes before and after the introduction of the solution. After that, we have compared them to each other. And the result exceeded our expectations. The workload for the material flow on the SMD side was reduced by 50 percent.

Are there any other benefits you can mention?

We now have the chance to track the material flow at the container level. As a consequence, we do not have to work with estimated quantities anymore. So, it no longer happens as it was the case in the past that the material on the line is surprisingly used up and that for now the machine must stop. The standstills due to avoidable lack of material on the line have actually almost disappeared.

Are there certain lessons learned that you could pass on to other companies facing a similar project?

This may all sound banal. However, you have to make a clear plan from the beginning, like what you want to achieve, with the conditions which is to be implemented individually for each company. For such a solution has an impact on many places in the fields of production and throughout the entire organization. For example, there are many interfaces – such as the ERP system. This plan should be discussed with the respective provider. What is also really important is to listen to it well and to use its experience. This is how we managed it at CompControl. And it was worth it.

About the company albis-elcon:

albis-elcon provides products, solutions and services supporting companies, especially communication service providers, to build and operate more powerful networks by at the same time reducing their energy demand. With more than 15 million devices installed in more than 40 countries, the company is one of the leading companies when it comes to the provision of software-defined and virtualization-enabled devices permitting the creation of Gigabit networks for cloud computing, enterprise connectivity and 5G campus networks. Advanced hardware, software, network management and implementation services cope with the complexity by ensuring sustainable and secure communication. The company albis-elcon is a subsidiary of the listed UET AG in Eschborn.