The world’s first AutoStore-warehouse – still going strong

Elotec develops technology to keep lives and valuables safe. In 2005 the alarm and surveillance company became the first in the world to automate its warehouse with AutoStore – designed and delivered by Element Logic.

“We value adaptability and innovation, which benefit our customers daily”, Jan Kleven says, Managing Director at Elotec. He continues:

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

To eliminate human errors, and increase efficiency and quality, Elotec became the first to invest in an AutoStore solution– marking the birth of a new era for warehouses worldwide.

Roger Furnes and Jan Klevin standing inside the Elotec warehouse.
INNOVATIVE: Elotec delivers security to authorised dealers in Norway and internationally. Since its start in 1992, Elotec has focused on innovation and adapting to the current market. Roger Furnes (left) and Jan Kleven. Photo: Martin Innerdal Dalen.

Had two years to make it work

As the first warehouse in the world with AutoStore, it was challenging to find the most efficient use. Especially the operators were sceptical at first.

“We gave ourselves a two-year limit to make it work. I promised the employees that I would run a bulldozer straight into the AutoStore-system if we still missed the manual operations after this time-frame”, Kleven says.

Luckily, Kleven didn’t need to borrow a bulldozer, and Elotec has been in continuous growth since 2005.

“The best part of AutoStore is that we know the job gets done properly. We constantly have an updated inventory list, and both our customers and we save time”.
– Jan Kleven

Jan Kleven and Roger Furnes look out at the AutoStore-robots on the grid.
PROUD: Elotec’s AutoStore solution is protected by Elotec Aspect – an aspirating smoke detector developed for early smoke detection in warehouses and large areas. Photo: Martin Innerdal Dalen.

Expanding business and warehouse-upgrade

In the early 90s, Elotec became the market leader within fire alarms for the harsh conditions in agriculture. In the following decades, Elotec further developed this technology to keep new industries safe, such as the healthcare and prison industries.

A worker is handling the orders from AutoStore.
UPGRADE: The new operator ports from 2019 replaced the original port from 2005 and can now handle more orders. Photo: Martin Innerdal Dalen.

Even after sixteen years in use, the AutoStore-system still works great. To handle an increase in customers and inventory, Element Logic upgraded Elotec’s AutoStore to the newest hardware and software solutions in 2019. The upgrade included new operator ports, new software and upgrading the robots. However, the AutoStore grid and bins are the same as installed in 2005.

“As we have the first AutoStore-warehouse in the world, the solution was not optimal after a while. Luckily, Element Logic have been helpful and guided us through our big upgrade in 2019”, Roger Furnes says, Logistics Manager at Elotec.

Few problems and high customer satisfaction

As Elotec is familiar and secure with its AutoStore solution, it can go years in-between the need to contact the Element Logic support arises.

“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”, Furnes says.

A portrait photo of logistics manager Roger Furnes in a red box with the quote "we experience very few problems with our AutoStore-system, and have barely had any downtime since first powering the robots on in 2005"

Still, Element Logic keeps a dialogue with Elotec to ensure smooth operations and find areas that could be approved.

“We follow up with performance-reports once a month, and service the system at least twice a year – depending on the running time”, Arnold H Nielsen, Key Account Manager at Element Logic Norway says and continues:

“We want to keep the solution optimised for the customer.  The main goal is that our solution always provides value”.

A close-up picture of Arnold Nielsen in a red box with the quote "we want to keep the solution optimised for the customer- The main goal is that our solution always provides value"

Elotec’s many customers are delighted with the service they experience.

“In our yearly survey, we always score high on delivery. We deliver faster and with more precision to our customers than our competitors do”, Furnes explains.

Also, by having a reputation of delivering high quality fast, the installation team at Elotec feels more confident – giving Elotec another competitive edge.

Jan Kleven is working on one of the AutoStore-robots.
TAILORED: Element Logic’s assembly team customised the latest version of the service mezzanine to the original 2005 AutoStore grid. Photo: Martin Innerdal Dalen.

Fact and figures

  • 164 m2 storage space
  • 5 AutoStore-robots
  • 5 966 storage bins
  • 3 Conveyor ports

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