Case Study

Elotec

Elotec first to install AutoStore

Country
Norway
Industry
Industrials
Partner
Element Logic

In 2005, Elotec, a Norwegian manufacturer and distributor of security equipment, became the first company in the world to install the AutoStore system. Sixteen years later, they’re still using it.

164
sqm (1,765 sqf)
Covered by grid
5,699
Bins
16
Years in use

Norwegian company Elotec manufactures and supplies various security equipment for commercial, industrial, and agricultural buildings. It also serves the residential market and counts many homeowners in both apartments and private houses among its satisfied customers.

Founded in 1992 and headquartered in Oppdal, north of Oslo, Elotec is the fastest-growing security company in Europe. The company delivers products to an extensive network of authorized resellers in Germany and Scandinavia. 

We experience very few problems with our AutoStore system and have barely had any downtime at all since first powering the Robots on in 2005.

Roger Furnes
Logistics Manager, Elotec

The Elotec team provides customers with a full range of fire and burglar alarms, emergency lighting, camera surveillance equipment, as well as electronic fire extinguishing equipment. They also specialize in providing fire protection to churches and older wooden homes built in clusters.

Elocare, an innovative product using sensor technology to measure and interpret movements in a room, is also produced by Elotec. This product alerts users if certain activities such as breathing cease or fall below certain thresholds. Elocare is frequently used in healthcare settings as well as prisons.

AutoStore a natural choice

Elotec is known for being innovative, both in product development and the use of technology on all fronts. 

It therefore comes as no surprise that it was the first company in the world to install the AutoStore system, empowered by Element Logic, in 2005 to automate its warehouse. This installation, in essence, pointed the way to the future for warehouses around the world.

“We value adaptability and innovation, and [this system] benefits our customers daily,” says Jan Kleven, Managing Director at Elotec. 

Picking accuracy is key

As a security company, picking accuracy is essential, which is one of the primary reasons why Elotec chose AutoStore.

“Elotec delivers technology that saves lives and valuables, and it’s therefore important to be reliable and efficient with our deliveries,” Kleven continues. “Our smoke detectors often look the same on the outside but have different qualities, and it’s easy to pick the wrong one by mistake manually. A picking error could potentially have fatal consequences.”

He mentions that some employees were initially skeptical about the new system. He promised them that, if they still felt that way by 2007, he would run a bulldozer through the AutoStore grid. Luckily, that wasn’t necessary, and the system underwent an upgrade in 2019 to cope with the company’s ongoing growth.

The AutoStore system at Elotec

The AutoStore grid in the Elotec warehouse covers 164 sqm (1,765 sf), and there are five Robots, 5,966 Bins, and three ConveyorPorts.

In 2019, when the upgrade took place, Element Logic customized the latest version of the service mezzanine onto the original AutoStore grid. By that stage, the system was already 14 years old. 

The team upgraded the Operator Ports and Robots and installed new software. However, the original grid and Bins, which were installed in 2005, remained in place.

Whether a company’s AutoStore system is small or large, the operating principles remain the same:

  • The Robots move over an aluminum grid and use long grippers to pull up the requested Bins from below. 
  • The system places Bins not required for a particular order in any surrounding space available at that time. 
  • Once the Robot has retrieved the right Bin, another Robot moves the displaced Bins back to their original location in the grid. 
  • Lastly, the required merchandise for a particular order is sent through to the Picking Port, from where it’s labeled and shipped.

The benefits of AutoStore to Elotec

The company counts the lack of downtime, picking accuracy, customer satisfaction, and fast delivery times among the many benefits of installing AutoStore.

“We experience very few problems with the system and have barely had any downtime at all since installing the first Robots in 2005,” says Roger Furnes, Logistics Manager at Elotec. 

“We deliver to our customers faster and more precisely than our competitors,” he continues. “We’re proud of that.”


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