Konecranes R&D’s annual Open to Ideas (O2I) competition for summer trainees is a valuable opportunity to uncover new perspectives into various real-world challenges in material handling. It also introduces trainees and interns to Konecranes’ way of working.
Every year, Konecranes recruits young and talented students from different schools and universities to work as summer trainees. During the summer months, these trainees are invited to focus on solving real business challenges by participating in the O2I competition.
Designed to capture new, winning ideas and concepts that ultimately benefit Konecranes customers, the O2I project offers students the opportunity to work with peers on a given product design challenge. Now in its tenth year, the project has brought valuable insights into the company’s innovation process and R&D work.
A simple yet effective solution
This year’s O2I project teams presented their results at a Day of Innovations at Konecranes headquarters in Hyvinkää, Finland, on August 28, 2018. They introduced a number of concepts and prototypes, and an audience of Konecranes employees, including a jury of experts from within the company, were given the opportunity to vote for the idea with the greatest potential.
This year’s winning concept was a new grabber for empty container handlers. Currently, empty container handlers are only able to grab one container at a time. This means that they can lift two containers only when containers are stacked, by lifting the lowermost container. The winning group (Axel Sandås, Martti Vuori, Henri Tulus, Joni Mönkkönen and Ari Partti) came up with a simple solution that can increase efficiency in container handling operations.
“The teams were able to come up with concrete deliverables in a really short time period,” says Matti Kemppainen, Director, Research & Innovation at Konecranes. “In the process, the summer trainees also gained project management skills and learned agile ways of working.”
Text: Patricia Ongpin Steffa