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Mixed Fleet is the first co-funded project in the Konecranes-led €70 million Zero4 program

Konecranes is on a mission to increase industrial productivity through sustainable improvement of material flows. Konecranes’ leading company program Zero4 is set to tackle two major challenges: climate change contributions of material flows and declining productivity in developed countries. To achieve this, the program aims to minimize the four main deficiencies of industrial systems – information barriers, GHG emissions, energy, and safety incidents.

The optimization of material movement decreases unnecessary energy consumption and limits the generation of GHG emissions. Unlike the old approach of automating all processes, the focus of Zero4 is not in replacing humans by automation. Instead, it focuses on modifying the automatic and autonomous environment and its information flows so they support humans and guide the material flow optimization process.

Mixed Fleet is the first co-funded project in the €70-million, five-year Zero4 program. Its research topics are aligned with Zero4 as the project enhances collaboration between machines and humans, accelerating automation and ensuring the safety of the entity.

Working safely together

Safety is one of Konecranes’ core values and it is also one of the main research topics in the Mixed Fleet project. Digitalization and automation create a powerful connection between machines, operators and safety engineers; they capture the raw data of a machine and operating conditions, providing critical information that can help prevent accidents in the working area.

Digitalization and automation have a profound impact on the transformation of the manufacturing industry and material handling operations, allowing Konecranes to offer its customers real-time information and smart features that increase safety and improve productivity. But just as importantly, they lead to greater transparency and accountability between different machines and humans and therefore safer operations.

Furthermore, mixed fleet technologies enhance productivity of various material handling operations by enabling humans and cranes to work together safely and effectively in a complex environment. Greater collaboration between machines and humans also results in cost savings as it minimizes the number of required machines in the working environment. Thus, in addition to making working environments safer for humans, the Mixed Fleet project aims to find ways to foster collaboration between different machines to be more efficient, organized and effortless while ensuring safety.

The future of Mixed Fleet at Konecranes

As emerging technologies like industrial robots and artificial intelligence advance rapidly, they offer new solutions to existing problems as well as new possibilities and risks. With the co-funded Mixed Fleet project and emerging technologies, the objective is to conduct research with project partners to enable their practical application in safe manner and to increase productivity across all aspects of material flow in the future.


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