Unibéton had the challenge to update the batching software of almost 200 ready-mix concrete plants around France. "Our batching software was aging. It had been developed especially for us twenty years ago, explains Jean-Luc Degrange, project manager at Unibéton. From a technical point of view, it’s out of date and is very limited in functionality. In addition, we don’t have access to a support department who can help us when we have issues or can make changes when we need to. So it was actually quite a high risk for us to keep using it.
Proven Software Solution
In 2018, Unibéton had setup a project team to find a new solution for the automation of all their concrete plants. Many suppliers were considered, but only 1 could do the job: Command Alkon. “For us, the main challenge was to meet the exact needs of Unibeton and implement in a very short timeframe” tells Gaël L’Hôpital, operations manager at Command Alkon. We therefore adapted our Command Alkon CP software to the French market. CP itself is already in use for 30+ years and had already been used for an operation in Belgium, at Heidelberg Cement, Unibéton’s parent company. "For the producer of ready-mixed concrete, this solution has a major advantage, as Jean-Luc Degrange points out:" We are starting with a proven solution, already used in many countries, which can evolve and which will remain to be developed and supported by Command Alkon. "
Four plants per week
Once the software requirements were defined, the planning for implementation on a national level was next. A complex operation since it is accompanied by changes in the group's IT equipment. We chose to start with 3 test plants, all different in technique and configuration, representing of all of Unibéton's French production units. This method allowed us to refine our method of implementation. Once the method has been validated, the general deployment began at the rate of four plants per week, making it possible to reach the objective of a complete deployment in the first half of 2020. “Not only does this operation allow us to modernize our software, but this allows us to work on the digitization of our entire operation and continue developing and improving our plant management, maintenance and productivity, ”concludes Jean-Luc Degrange.