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Blastman Robotics implemented ERP to prepare for increasing demand

The demand for robotics and automated systems is growing rapidly, so the number one requirement for a project management system is increased efficiency.

“As our business grew, it became apparent we needed a uniform project management platform. We also needed a more robust information system to improve client information management and to offer additional services to our existing clients".

The story of Blastman Robotics began in the 1980s at the Finnish steelmaker Rautaruukki. The executive management of Blastman Robotics separated the company from Rautaruuki in Oulu in 1997. The company manufactures and supplies automated abrasive blasting lines mainly for large steel structure manufacturers based all over the world.

“Abrasive blasting is a method used for treating surfaces for painting by forcibly propelling a stream of abrasive material against a surface under high pressure to remove surface contaminants and roughen a smooth surface. If done manually, abrasive blasting is a very unpleasant, heavy and even dangerous job to do. The reason why blasting robots are needed is as clear as day but for some reason we only have a few competitors,” says Perttu Junnila, the CEO of Blastman Robotics.

The most significant client group of Blastman Robotics consists of companies manufacturing and maintaining rail equipment as their factories use automated abrasive blasting for several purposes. The blasting robots built by Blastman are also suitable for cleaning other steel structures and metal castings.

A total of 95% of Blastman Robotics’ clients are foreign businesses and only a fraction are Finnish companies.

Increased demand for robotics; need for up-to-date data systems

Last few years have seen a significant increase in the growth of Blastman Robotics thanks to the increased client awareness brought about by the emerging robotics and automation trend. In addition,   the investments in railway equipment and other steel manufacturing projects especially in China have increased the size of the potential markets.

As the business of Blastman Robotics grew, it became apparent the company needed a uniform project management platform. The company also needed a more robust information system to improve client information management and to offer additional services to its existing clients.

The company enlisted an outside consultant to help recognise its needs, define the system and find the suitable tool, and in the end, EVRY was chosen as the system supplier.

“I must say to the benefit of EVRY that they did not try to sugar-coat what the process would be like; they told us very frankly what we were getting into,” says Junnila.

“We didn’t have a proper ERP or CRM system in use before this so it was a major undertaking to create items, transfer data and to define the procedures in general. Prioritisation was difficult at times but the experienced and skilled consultants of EVRY helped us pull through, especially when it came to financial administration.”

The ERP system Blastman Robotics chose is Microsoft Dynamics NAV which they use for quotations, project deliveries and after-sales services. The ERP system is used for the administration and management of accounts, subcontractors and project logistics.  

“We’re still learning and developing our operations to get the most out of the modern enterprise resource planning system. The feedback I’ve heard has been overwhelmingly positive as everyone at Blastman Robotics understands that a comprehensive system like this is what we need to boost our business,” says Junnila.

EVRY continues to work with Blastman Robotics in system administration and customer service. There are plans to implement the system in new areas and to provide further end-user training depending on how the system is developed and improved in the future.