Behind the administration building in the Danish city of Kjellerup towers the large, green production hall. Here, Skanroll produces special equipment such as sorting plants, pull rolls and various types of conveyor belts.
On the opposite side of the road, Skanroll has designed a production hall in a former dairy. Production of standard components is done in this portion of the machine factory, generating up 25% of total revenue. And this is the portion of the Skanroll business which the owner and director, Søren V. Andersen, wants to scale up.
According to Søren V. Andersen, the solution is not to increase the size of the production area, but instead to invest in robots. This was made to clear to him after he – at the recommendation of trade association ‘Arbejdsgiverne’ – invited two robotics experts from Gain & Co to review the production of Skanroll.
“I probably believed we were too small for it to make financial sense to invest in robots. However, Mette Klausen and Mikkel Viager from Gain & Co changed this view. They pointed out a potential within our production, which we had not seen ourselves.”
In one step of the production of standard components, Skanroll cuts up a large number of parts. The individual components proceed through the process, and only in the end is it determined if these can be used further along the production chain. In their report, Gain & Co recommended allowing a robot to check these parts along the way instead of at the end, thereby making the entire process more effective. Such a robot would then be able to rapidly pay for itself.
This was just one recommendation from the independent consulting company. The experts also pointed out a general preparation in production, so future robots can be integrated correctly with minimal interference to the running production. And even if large gains can primarily be found within standard production, a welding robot could also be purchased for the production of specialty components, where Skanroll has great success among others with automated luggage handling wagons for airports.