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21. 07. 2021

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The OPTIKON solution helps to fill containers even more efficiently in ŠKODA AUTO, 160 tons of CO2 did not get released into the air.

Thanks to the OPTIKON system developed together with Blindspot, the ŠKODA AUTO Logistics Center can even more efficiently fill transporting containers, thus saving costs and the environment. The investments in the solutions that use artificial intelligence have returned to the carmaker in half a year of use.  

ŠKODA AUTO has a logistics center that, among other things, sends parts for their assembly in foreign plants. Before using the OPTIKON system, the containers were filled using instructions and the loading staff assembled pallet combinations based on their experience.  

However, this system had several limitations: the workers first loaded the pallets that were the most suitable for loading, so they quickly filled a container that was perfectly loaded. In the end, however, the least combinable pallets remained, and they ended up in a less loaded container. ŠKODA AUTO was realizing that the possibilities of such a process were exhausted and were looking for a way to a get closer to optimal/maximal container occupancy.  

That's why in 2018 ŠKODA AUTO approached Blindspot, part of the Adastra Group, which delivers solutions based on artificial intelligence. At the beginning of 2019, they carried out together the Proof of Concept, and after intensive testing, ŠKODA AUTO decided to use the solution. In cooperation with Blindspot, ŠKODA AUTO's internal IT department managed to put the entire solution into production in the same year. How does the OPTIKON system, which solved the problem of container loading with the help of artificial intelligence, work?  

The OPTIKON solution fills the container efficiently and economically

Imagine you have a shopping list. Before you start putting everything in the basket, you need to think about where to find the items and how to put them in the basket. Heavy objects go to the bottom, you place fragile eggs at the very top. The OPTIKON system is conducting the same calculation but must evaluate 10^40 combinations of a total of two thousand types of pallets. The system takes into account the dimensions and weight of the pallets, the material transported on the pallets, when the pallet is to be loaded and whether the weight in the container is correctly distributed. And the system does this calculation in 30 seconds.  

OPTIKON uses the Microsoft Azure cloud ecosystem and the actual solution to the combinatorial task is performed by a platform developed by Blindspot, as a strategic partner of ŠKODA AUTO. The training of a new employee is thus much more effective, and the application also detects system errors during the process.

In addition to increasing the capacity of containers, OPTIKON platform also brought financial savings of 840 thousand euros. The investment has returned after half a year of use. 

In the first year of deploying the OPTIKON system, it saved a total of 300 containers, which we did not have to ship. This represents 7 fully loaded trainsets and 160 tons of CO2 that did not get released into the air.

Jakub Novák, Logistics system support specialist, ŠKODA AUTO

What are the next plans? The application, which now plans in real-time, will also include a component that allows you to plan a week's view ahead and determine the workload. ŠKODA AUTO will offer the application to other brands of the concern so that they too can take advantage of artificial intelligence.

Want to know more? Please, contact us.

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Jiří Kurejko

Consultant

Jiří Kurejko

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