Founded in 1906 as a forge and craft workshop, Krone grew into one of the leading manufacturers of agricultural machines in the course of time. Today, the Emsland family business Bernard Krone is managed by the fourth generation. The company reached a turnover of 1.8 billion euros in the fiscal year 2015/16 selling and producing agricultural machinery and commercial trailers. The subsidiary Maschinenfabrik Bernard Krone GmbH in Spelle, which is an independent entity since 1999, concentrates on high performance machinery for modern-day agriculture. One example is the world's most powerful forage harvester Big X 1100 equipped with an engine with over 1,000 hp output. The Krone products combine precision and performance as well as high efficiency and innovation. The agricultural machines and the commercial trailers produced in nearby Werlte are distributed worldwide by independent sales agencies.
Quotation of Björn Greven, HYDRA project manager at Krone
After the implementation of the incentive wage, productivity in the pilot system could be increased by 12.4% during a test phase. The necessary bonus indicators are automatically calculated in HYDRA. We are going to implement incentive wage company-wide.
Krone in Spelle has electronically recorded the employees' attendance times since 1993 and order data since 1996. In 2006, isolated solutions, which were technologically outdated at that time, should be replaced by an integrated MES system. Despite the already existing software tools, many manufacturing processes were still to be optimized. Shop floor scheduling and production controlling were handled via Excel lists. Capacity planning based on actual values was impossible. Quantities and interruptions were just recorded in conjunction with each shift. The interruptions were entered as overhead costs. A standardized and sustainable controlling was impossible.
Krone pursued the following targets with the introduction of HYDRA: Staff capacity and capacity utilization of machines should be optimized and controlling standardized. In many respects, these three targets interlock. The data recorded by the HYDRA modules shop floor data, machine data as well as time and attendance are aggregated to meaningful KPIs that help to optimize production and to calculate premium and incentive wages. HYDRA shop floor scheduling could successfully replace the out-of-date manual production planning. Once the planning was based on actual capacities, Krone made production processes more reliable and predictable. The personnel scheduling has helped to deploy employees according to their qualifications in an optimum way. Highlights like the graphic machinery prove that transparency is very important for Krone to achieve efficiency and reliability.
The production sites in Denmark and Turkey have implemented HYDRA time and attendance in the meantime. The employees plan and apply for their absences (e.g. leave) via browser-based Smart MES Applications (SMA) .
To implement numerous individual optimizations by themselves, Krone uses the MES Development Suite.
- Windows Server (virtual) with Microsoft SQL database
- Interface to SAP, G.I.B (production planning) and LUG (wages and salaries)
- 240 HYDRA shop floor clients (terminals)
- 100 access control readers
- 60 machines connected