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Reference project - GKN ePowertrain

GKN ePowertrain manufactures and sells power transmission components to the automotive industry. In their factory premises in Köping, they have an automated pallet crane warehouse for pallets with insert parts. The parts are used in the adjacent production of sub-components and finished goods.


Various changes in the business have meant that today's crane solution does not work as well as before. GKN ePowertrain has therefore developed the following proposals intended to lead to a solution that is better adapted to today's needs. The proposals mean that the crane system will pick up and transport pallets to:

• A new station for 3 pallets to be picked up by a pallet train for further transport to 15 different production lines.

• 2 new stations for depalletizing and then manually filling picking walls adjacent to the crane. Replaces today's solution with picking directly from pallet locations in one of the crane's pallet racks.

• A new delivery station on the side of the crane warehouse which is otherwise mainly used for storage.


In order for GKN ePowertrain to decide on the investment and know how to operate the crane warehouse after implemented changes without queuing, they needed answers to the following questions:

• Maximum storage capacity per hour with normal outflow intact?

• Maximum outflows to the pallet train pick-up station at different inflows?

• Maximum storage capacity when 1 of 3 cranes is out of order with normal outflow intact?


GKN ePowertrain turned to Sim Logistics, an independent internal logistics consultancy company for help with the issues. Magnus Jarnekrantz at Sim Logistics started with a visit with a thorough tour of the business and interviews with experienced staff to understand the logic and flow of the crane system. Then followed an analysis of flow data to get the correct input to the simulation model that could now be created.


Technical specifications for the crane system such as the speed of cranes and conveyors were collected from the crane supplier. These were added for the corresponding equipment in the model to achieve sufficient level of detail and realism.


Test simulations were conducted to verify the model's results with data known from reality. Subsequently, a number of different scenarios were created to answer the 3 questions at different loads. Both visual and statistical results were collected and compiled. The results were analyzed and conclusions were drawn which were finally presented for GKN ePowertrain.


The project resulted in GKN ePowertrain receiving answers to its questions. They now know within what limits they can operate the crane warehouse after rebuilding at different flows without getting any queues. Through the creation of a realistic 3D model and Sim Logistics know-how in flow simulation, the new solution's concept and logic have been clearly visualized, analyzed and verified.


What the customer thinks:

“We now know what capacity and thresholds for queue formation we can expect in our crane system after rebuilding. Through the results of the flow simulation, we have gained important knowledge and evidence before our investment decision. In addition, the model's clear and impressive visualization simplifies our internal communication about the project. We can highly recommend Sim Logistics and Magnus Jarnekrantz if you, as well as we have complex issues regarding your internal logistics that require advanced flow simulation and analysis."

Thomas Quist

Head of Production Technology

GKN ePowertrain.


About GKN ePowertrain:

GKN ePowertrain develops and produces products for electric power transmission and 4-wheel drive for passenger cars. The company is part of GKN, a global subcontractor for aircraft, vehicle and machine manufacturers. GKN (Guest, Keen and Nettlefolds) with headquarters in England has a turnover of approximately SEK 130 billion and has a total of about 60,000 employees in some 30 different countries.

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