Implementing new solutions and new processes takes time and effort. Effective communication within project teams is key. Determining clear goals, coming up with a plan, and honoring the commitments made are the ingredients to success. The project team for the implementation of 2 of our software solutions at VBI Huissen is the textbook example of great teamwork that concluded in great results and a lasting partnership.
VBI is part of the Consolis group and has 7 locations in the Netherlands. Command Alkon has had the pleasure of working with nearly every one of these locations since 2012. VBI is currently in the process of updating their systems to benefit from the latest developments.
The Huissen location, where they make hollow core slabs, consists of 4 huge production halls. After a successful implementation of Conactive Process Control (CP) and Conactive Quality Control (CL) at Hall 1 and 2, it was time to move on to the third and fourth hall (the vlog will be recorded at halls 3/4).
VBI values their ability to deliver high quality products as quickly as possible. Because of this, they continuously assess their operations to determine how to boost efficiencies. They used to have various processes control systems in place at each location, but usually only 1 or 2 people on site knew how to work them. The lack of support from the provider was a big factor in VBI determining that they needed a new solution. They also wanted to integrate their ERP with their quality control system, which was not possible with the solutions they were using. They needed one system that could meet their needs, support them in their way of working, and provides a 24/7/365 Support Desk.
They implemented systems from Command Alkon throughout their entire weighing and dosing systems and the cement bin filling system and quality control. Everything is automated – from the intake of all raw materials to the delivery of fresh concrete to the hollow core extruders.
The integration piece is what is most important. CL runs on a central location and is linked to all the CPs that run at each plant. They are also integrated with SAP and exchange information with it.
The ability to monitor changes in real time is extremely valuable for VBI. They can see exactly how far they are with producing the hollow core slabs at any time, which differentiates them from their competitors.
Efficient and optimal use of their lanes not only increases the speed of their operations, but also increases the amount of money their business can make. CP unlocks new insights into their operations that enable them to plan ahead and ensure errors that have occurred in the past do not occur again.
Command Alkon provides a solution for the future with continuous development and new technologies – like remote solutions, such as tablets on the machines and bunker heating/raw material heating. This function heats admixture materials so that the concrete has a certain temperature before it is processed.
“During implementation, we really functioned as one team: VBI, Command Alkon, and the electro partner Timmers Projecten & Service. During the first week, we already produced at 90% of our capacity, which was well above expectations.”
- Bjorn Aaldering, project engineer at VBI Huissen
Command Alkon and VBI make a great team. Michiel Vanderperre, Project and Software Engineer from Command Alkon visited before the systems were installed to conduct an operational assessment and comprise a plan for implementation. They made a plan of action and a schedule to complete everything. They communicated daily about the progress of the project so that they could work proactively on a solution if bottlenecks threatened their completion deadline.
The dedication and collaboration between Command Alkon and VBI showed great results. They joined forces and worked together on a unique situation, managing to convert an entire factory in 1 to 1.5 weeks. By the end of the project, both halls were up and running and were able to start production simultaneously.
Loss of production capacity was minimal due to the short conversion time. From day 1 of Go-Live, VBI was already at 80%-90% of their usual production capacity. In week 2, they were already at 100% with both halls. Normally, it takes a few days for a project of this size before reaching this level of production capacity.
Together we Build Amazing!
This implementation shows that if all parties involved work well together and comply with the strategy and schedule, a very fast and effective implementation is possible. Command Alkon and VBI have worked together for years. This collaboration is more than just the implementation of Command Alkon solutions. Together, we work on further product development for the entire industry.
Check out the Vlog that we recorded before the COVID-19 pandemic at VBI Huissen.