Arcon Sunmark

Problem solved with CodeIT.

Situation.

Arcon-Sunmark first saw light of day in 2015 after two of the world’s leading companies within large-scale solar heating – ARCON Solar and Sunmark merged. When the two companies joined forces, they became the world’s leading company in this line of business. ARCON Solar was established in 1974 in Skørping, Denmark and was a pioneer in the large-scale solar thermal industry, with a special focus on solutions for district heating. ARCON Solar had installed the largest large-scale solar thermal systems in Europe. Sunmark was established in 2008 on the island of Ærø in Denmark but nonetheless had more than 25 years of experience and know-how to look back on. Sunmark established highly specialized production facilities both in Denmark and in Asia and has installed more than 200,000 m2 of solar heating plants, including the world’s largest solar plant for the mining industry in Chile.

Need.

This case starts in Vietnam, at ASMP (Acron-Sunmark Production Co. Ltd., Vietnam). Here, CodeIT Enterprise™ software plays a central role and required data is batch uploaded to CodeIT Enterprise™ after being collected using handheld PDAs. The solution is perfect for local requirements. Following this successful integration with ASMP’s production lines word spread within Arcon-Sunmark and CodeIT drew the attention of the parent company, ASDK in Denmark. ASDK wanted to repeat the success of Vietnam in Denmark.

Meanwhile, Kai Maierhofer, ASMP Managing Director, warned the CodeIT R&D Team in Ho Chi Minh City “Automation in Denmark is at a whole new level compared to Vietnam” – and it turned out so true. When Thue Stensgaard, IT Manager from ASDK in Denmark, came into the picture it became apparent that, for starters, something more responsive and with better interconnectivity was needed in Denmark.

Solution.

CodeIT took the challenge and visited ASDK in Skørping in December 2017 to do a site survey and pre-study for “Arcon-Sunmark Traceability v2”. It became clear in th epre-study that ASDK’s Danish Traceability Requirements would have to be viewed as a totally new project and not just repetition of what was done in Vietnam. CodeIT Enterprise™ would be needed to be fully integrated with the existing ERP system in Denmark. CodeIT would need to extract necessary data from the ERP system as input and cover the entire information flow from raw material receipts all the way through to deliveries to ASDK’s customers. For other solution providers this may sound like trying to achieve the impossible, but at CodeIT demanding customers are seen as the only way to grow, and at the end of the day CodeIT came up with a creative way to get these tasks done using smart scanners.

This approach is typical for CodeIT. Whenever a new request is made for something that hasn’t been done before, CodeIT digs deep and thinks about alternative rather than giving up and asking the client to change. By way of example, printing may, on the surface, seem to be an easy job. But you’ll think twice if you have to dig deeply in to how to manage conversions from colors to grayscale. And this happened with the green part of the ASDK logo. The solution? CodeIT found a way to invert the color scheme before sending it to printers and now the logo looks great on the finished products.

Another good example of the challenges CodeIT were faced with in Denmark is the handling of delivery information, where the finished products destinations are managed by the ERP system, but the identities of each product and packaging are handled by CodeIT Enterprise™. In addition to this, ASDK wanted there to be performed a cross-check whenever a forklift driver picks a unit, to verify whether it is the correct one for delivery. There’s also parts and information flowing in the other direction too, as ASDK wanted the system to be able to record any returned products and parts replacement history.

To make sure ASDK’s needs were meet in the best possible way, the project used some of the best brains available at CodeIT, including: Claes Park, Software Development Head, and Peter Axelsson, a guru in reconfiguration of smart scanners (yes you read it correctly, CodeIT configure 100% how the scanners should respond).

Results.

Switching from the PDAs used at ASMP in Vietnam to scanners at ASDK in Denmark means all data and logics are performed in real-time. This opens for lots of exciting possibilities, including a new fast lane: The CodeIT Enterprise™ Management Dashboard where managers can easily monitor all the events and progress from their individual workstations, facilitating instant response to any potential bottleneck detected. With the CodeIT Dashboard, the age when production managers must wait until the end of the shift to get reports and then think about countermeasures is something of the past.

Another benefit of CodeIT Enterprise™ is that while other software requires the strict use of specific hardware, this is not the case with CodeIT. In Denmark, the long-range Zebra Bluetooth scanner that ASDK deploys at the packing area was something CodeIT hadn’t worked with before. However, there was never any doubt about CodeIT compatibility as this is not the first time the company has had to deal with a completely new hardware type. In fact, connectivity turned out to be very smooth even though the way it is solved entails the Zebra sending its signal via RF to a receiver on a forklift, and from there to the CodeIT Server using 4G.

Success factor.

Tan Le, the Vietnamese CodeIT engineer who travelled to Denmark to team-up with Scandinavian colleagues for the installation sums it all up.

We feel grateful for ASDK’s professionalism, that’s for sure! - ASDK saw everything to do with the project very clearly from an overall perspective, what the information flows should look like, and the requirement at each workstation. This allowed us to build a very clear specification from an early stage of the project.

Tan Le, CodeIT Vietnam.

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