BEUMER Group completes energy-efficient sortation system for PostNord AS, for its new parcel sortation centre near Oslo
Beckum, 13. August 2014

BEUMER Group – a leading global supplier of automated material handling systems for conveying, loading, palletising, packaging, sortation and distribution – has completed the handover of a sortation system to PostNord AS for its new parcel terminal near Oslo.

Formerly known as Tollpost Globe, now part of the Nordic communications and logistics solutions provider PostNord, the Norwegian company has experienced a boom in its parcel logistics business. The company established the new parcel terminal near Oslo to meet the need for increased capacity in the area around the capital. The location of the new terminal was chosen to make use of the optimised infrastructure in the area to further strengthen and offer a flexible network to customers.

PostNord is no stranger to Crisplant’s sortation systems. Back in 2009 the then-Tollpost was the first parcel distribution company to commission a system with the then-newly released energy-efficient, high-speed LS-4000E sorter. Since that sorting centre opened in 2010, the system has given top-quality service.

In addition to the LS-4000E sorter, the system will include a BEUMER Group software suite system.  The entire system is designed to be easily upgradable should there be the need for higher capacity in the future.

As with all PostNord AS' business, the new terminal is part of the company's wish to offer environmentally friendly service and logistics. The facility features a high level of operational efficiency, positive environmental impact and better transport solutions for PostNord's customers.

Property Manager Ronny Grøtvedt, PostNord AS, commented: “Total satisfaction with our original system made the LS-4000 sorter an ideal choice for our new sorting centre. It’s the best solution.”

High-Quality Swift and Stable Stacking
Beckum, 12. August 2014

BEUMER Group is single-source provider for filling, palletising and packaging technologies. The system supplier continues to pursue its ambitious goal of offering its customers solutions that are sustainable in every respect. To be able to stack bundles such as bags, cardboard boxes, crates, canisters or trays safely and economically, BEUMER Group offers the BEUMER robotpac, a space-saving, fully automatic articulated robot. This fully automatic articulated robot is able to solve even complex palletising and de-palletising challenges reliably and efficiently. BEUMER has developed fully automatic gripping systems that are easily exchangeable and suitable for each item to be packed.

Over the years, BEUMER has established extensive expertise in the design of grippers and control technology. Furthermore, the company offers solutions for filling, conveying, palletising and packaging from one source. This reduces the number of transitions in a project as a whole.

Different Grippers for Different Tasks

The fork gripper was designed for palletising bagged goods and cardboard boxes. It picks up the packaged item from a take-away roller conveyor and secures it using a holding-down device during transport. Once the target position on the pallet has been reached, the gripper opens with a horizontal movement and the push-off plate pushes the packaged item off the fork. The fork gripper features gentle product handling and precise placement of the packaged items. The double fork gripper was also designed for palletising bagged goods and cardboard boxes and picks up two bags simultaneously from a double take-away roller conveyor. Once the packaged item is placed on the pallet, the fork is raised and the tool approaches the target position for the second packaged item. The placement occurs consistently with the first fork's stacking process. Once both forks have placed the packaged items, the tool returns to the pick-up position.

The finger gripper has been developed for palletising bagged goods. It takes the bags from hoist equipment on the take-away roller conveyor and carries it to the target position. Here, the fingers open while the slide plates remain in a closed position. This ensures that the bag is guided along the sides during the stacking process. The double finger gripper is a high-performance tool designed for maximum palletising capacity.

Parallel and Suction Grippers, Combination and Special Tools

The parallel gripper is a special tool for palletising cardboard boxes and other dimensionally stable containers with parallel side walls. The essential components are a fixed plate that functions as a limit stop and a pneumatically activated clamping device that pushes the cardboard box horizontally against the fixed plate.

The suction gripper is fundamentally able to handle all goods with suctionable surfaces. Bagged goods belong to the most frequently palletised products. The suction gripper places its suction head above the product and then lowers the suction head tightly against the product surface. The vacuum pump starts and creates a vacuum in the suction head. Then, the bag is picked up and transported to the target position. Air is released into the suction head and the bag is placed. The suction gripper is used for low palletising capacities.

In addition to these gripping systems, there is a large number of specialty grippers and combination tools. Special tools enable simultaneous processing of secondary tasks, including sheet or empty pallet placement on the conveying systems or barcode reading. Should the needs of the user be so specific that none of the standard grippers is suitable, BEUMER can design a system specifically for such unique requirements. Virtually all products can be palletised with a robot.

High Availability and Gentle Handling

The BEUMER robotpac distinguishes itself through its remarkable precision and availability, as well as through its gentle product handling. An ultrasonic system provides accurate measures of the stacking height, making it possible to calculate the exact placing position of the packaged items and stack these precisely and carefully. This precision guarantees an optimal stack configuration. The latter not only serves as a mark of quality for your customer, it also ensures high stability during shipping and storage.

System and control from one source

That the BEUMER control systems do not require special robot-related expertise - due to their user-friendly design - is also a key advantage. To enable operators to operate the BEUMER robotpac easily and quickly, the intralogistics specialist has equipped it with the BEUMER Group Human Machine Interface (HMI), an operator panel with an optimised user interface and optimised navigation, which creates easily understandable and intuitive interaction, enabling the user to define efficient working sequences. The operator can control the machine safely, independently of prior skills, training and capabilities, this saving time and money which ensures high economic efficiency.

Regulated by complex control mechanisms, the BEUMER robotpac can stack packaged goods of variable dimensions on one pallet. Individual programmes cover all packing patterns, so that complicated and tedious adjustments become a thing of the past. The switch to another programme with the BEUMER robotpac requires a mere push of a button. Thereby, the BEUMER robotpac optimises the material flow quickly and easily adapting itself to products of different sizes and characteristics.

Robust and empirically tested machine components, together with state-of-the-art geared motors, guarantee smooth operation. Therefore, the BEUMER robotpac is not only easy to maintain, but also extremely quiet. The performance can be enhanced cost-effectively. Equipped with an additional drive axle and an integrated motor connected to the control system, the BEUMER robotpac is freely movable on a guide rail. Consequently, it can be used in distribution centres for order picking tasks. The BEUMER robotpac demonstrates its reliability even in dusty environments typical of packing plants and of the building material industry.

For optimal control of material flows
Beckum, 31. July 2014

The BEUMER Group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of conveying and loading equipment, filling, palletizing and packaging equipment, and systems for sorting and distribution. The product range of this full-line supplier includes the BG software suite, which allows customers to control their material flows from start to finish. The suite can be adapted to each company’s special needs. Third-party products can be integrated without difficulty.

BG, which stands for BEUMER Group, is the name for the company’s software suite for high-level computer systems. The suite’s modular structure allows users to adapt it to their machinery and equipment and add modules at any time in order to optimize their material flows. The Beckum-based intralogistics specialist also provides the BG Fusion interface, which displays process data, reports and machinery statistics for all parts of the program. Users can call up data on their monitor without having to switch between applications. BG Fusion is fully scalable, meaning it can run on desktop PCs as well as mobile devices like tablets.

Customized for each user

The left area of the interface displays important information in a compact form for all users. The main area is reserved for data relevant to the particular application. Three different desktops are available. Users can store their individual settings so that they can go right to work with the same data when they log in again. The user interface can also be switched between different languages. The web-based interface runs on all current Windows operating systems. Users can export all data displayed on the screen to PDF or CSV files. A screenshot function is also included.

Smooth communication

The BEUMER Group Warehouse Control System (BG WCS) module allows the BG software suite to link up with the customer’s warehouse management system or ERP system via a network connection. Thus communication is possible between different control levels.

As a full-line supplier, the BEUMER Group can draw on many years of experience in control and automation technology. It is able to plan and implement complex projects in intralogistics, including intelligent linking of machinery and systems and their integration into existing process control or merchandise information systems. Customers get everything they need from a single source, interfaces are avoided, and possible sources of error are eliminated.

White Powder and Black Rock
Beckum, 24. July 2014

At Powtech 2014, the trade fair for process engineering, analytics and handling of powder and bulk material (Sept. 30 – Oct. 2 in Nuremberg), the BEUMER Group, a full-line supplier for filling, palletizing and packaging technology, will be presenting its expertise. Visitors will learn about conveyor systems, the warehouse management system and BEUMER’s extensive customer support. Whether construction materials or chemical products are needed – the user can get everything from a single source.

Depending on the operating environment, method of handling and anticipated application, the behavior of powders and bulk materials can change completely in conjunction with certain materials. Behavior can depend on the particles’ size and form, bulk weight, compressibility, cohesive strength, moisture, oil content and type of reaction to atmospheric conditions. This affects the flow behavior, which in turn has a significant effect on the correct design of conveyor systems and filling, palletizing and packaging equipment. BEUMER plans, builds and installs systems which are matched to the user’s individual requirements down to the last detail.

With its belt conveyors, the BEUMER Group supplies economical and sustainable solutions for the conveying of bulk materials. The curved belt systems are produced in an open design as troughed conveyors or in an enclosed version as tubular belt conveyors. They can be optimally matched to the environment and overcome long distances and large height differences. This is ensured by their optimum line through the terrain and tight horizontal and vertical curves which can also be laid above one another in the route of the conveyor.

The strength of the BEUMER Group is its ability to combine individual machines and systems by means of intelligent automation for greater efficiency. The BEUMER Group delivers filling, palletizing and packaging equipment from a single source as a systems supplier.

The BEUMER fillpac bagging system can be incorporated flexibly into existing packaging lines. It is equipped with a calibratable scale. The electronic weighing unit ensures that the fillpac always achieves accurate filling quantities. Special software enables the weigher to communicate continuously with the filling spouts. This enables users to get the best out of their packaging lines, as it is not necessary to reject bags with incorrect weights from the process.

BEUMER has completely revamped the BEUMER paletpac high-performance layer palletizer in order to stack paper, PE and PP bags on different sized pallets flexibly, accurately and stably. BEUMER has completely overhauled this product so that it works even more efficiently. Users benefit from improved accessibility, shorter installation time, greater flexibility and therefore lower costs. The palletizer can be fitted with a double belt turning mechanism which allows bags filled with bulk materials with special flow behavior to be stacked on pallets gently, quickly and accurately. BEUMER’s Customer Support specialists can easily retrofit existing machines with this solution.

BEUMER also offers the robotpac, a space-saving, fully automatic articulated robot which is able to perform complex palletizing and depalletizing tasks reliably and efficiently. BEUMER has added a new machine to its stretch hood series for efficient packaging of palletized stacks. As part of this work, it redesigned its high-performance packaging system from the bottom up. During development, the company’s experts analyzed and optimized different components.

BEUMER has also developed a Warehouse Management System (WMS). This system fulfills all the main requirements of the bulk materials industry, such as the storage of sensitive substances, batch tracking and space-saving and cost-efficient warehouse management. The WMS has an interface to all common ERP systems. Warehouse management, the material flow system and process control of the individual machines are incorporated. The user therefore has a continuous overview of his production and storage facilities at all times and can match them to the prevailing requirements. Visitors to the trade fair can learn all about BEUMER’s comprehensive customer support.

BEUMER at Powtech, hall: 1, booth 135

Targeted Support for Growth
Beckum, 17. July 2014

At CeMAT Russia (September 23-26 in Moscow), the BEUMER Group, a full-line supplier of conveyor and loading equipment, palletizing and packing technology, and sorting and distribution systems, will be presenting its innovations. BEUMER is dedicated to pursuing its mission of delivering sustainable solutions for users' every need - and providing everything from a single source. In this way it is helping companies in the emerging Russian market to efficiently shape intralogistical processes.

In the field of conveying and loading equipment BEUMER provides information on belt conveyor systems with horizontal and vertical curves, belt bucket elevators, heavy-duty belt bucket elevators for particularly large delivery rates and heights, and steel cell conveyors for clinker. As well as supplying all the machines and control systems for the plants, BEUMER often takes charge of the whole process. This includes the planning and design of the complete system as well as the coordination and monitoring of installation and commissioning. The BEUMER Group also offers comprehensive customer support. This service ensures the high availability of all systems from the user's point of view.

The strength of the BEUMER Group is its ability to combine individual machines and systems by means of intelligent automation for greater efficiency. The BEUMER Group supplies filling, palletizing and packaging equipment from a single source. The BEUMER fillpac can be incorporated flexibly into existing packaging lines. The bagging machine is equipped with a calibratable weigher. The electronic weighing unit ensures that the fillpac always achieves accurate filling quantities. Special software enables the weigher to communicate continuously with the filling spouts. This enables users to get the best out of their packaging lines, as it is not necessary to reject bags with incorrect weights from the process.

BEUMER has completely revamped the BEUMER paletpac high-performance layer palletizer in order to stack paper, PE and PP bags on different sized pallets flexibly, accurately and stably. BEUMER has completely overhauled this product so that it works even more efficiently. Users benefit from improved accessibility, shorter installation time, greater flexibility and therefore lower costs. The palletizer can be fitted with a rotary clamp or double belt turning device which allows bags filled with bulk materials with special flow behavior to be stacked on pallets gently, quickly and accurately. BEUMER's Customer Support specialists can easily retrofit existing machines with this solution.

BEUMER also offers the robotpac, a space-saving, fully automatic articulated robot which is able to perform complex palletizing and depalletizing tasks reliably and efficiently. BEUMER has added a new machine to its stretch hood series for efficient packaging of palletized stacks. As part of this work, it redesigned its high-performance packaging system from the bottom up. BEUMER's experts analyzed different components and optimized them.

In Russia the demand for sorting and distribution systems is growing, particularly in the CEP market. Much of this demand comes from e-commerce. To meet this demand, BEUMER has machines in its portfolio that can be equipped with different modules and functions. The BEUMER Group has developed a new high-performance sorter: OptiDrive, a new, efficient force-fit drive system. Pressure is applied in both directions - while accelerating and while braking. In this way the pressing force of the drive wheel is automatically adjusted depending on the amount of power needed. This increases efficiency by up to 85 percent.

Visitors to the trade fair can learn all about BEUMER Customer Support. Highly capable experts located all over the world provide professional repair and maintenance, deliver spare parts and carry out customer training.

Saving costs across the board
Beckum, 14. July 2014

The intralogistics specialist from Beckum has developed a new, highly efficient friction drive system for high-performance sorters in the form of the OptiDrive and, as a result, now offers an extremely economical alternative to the asynchronous linear motor drives used previously. What makes the BEUMER OptiDrive so special? Thanks to new and innovative engineering, the contact pressure of the drive wheel is automatically set depending on the required drive force – both for driving and for braking. This boosts efficiency and enhances the service life of the drive wheels. This technology is already successfully deployed in many systems.

According to the Federal Environmental Agency, electrical drives in industrial and commercial applications consume almost two-fifths of all electricity in Germany. Optimised solutions offer users enormous potential for reducing operating costs and conserving resources. The BEUMER Group continually seeks to meet market requirements and to support their customers with sustainable, cost-efficient equipment and systems. Following BEUMER's successful introduction of the new OptiDrive technology back in 2010 for the smaller BS7 high-performance sorter, the intralogistics specialist has now also implemented this for the larger models from the BS25 to the BS60, with mechanically or electrically operated load-bearing elements. "So far we've used double comb asynchronous linear motor drives in these systems," explains Heino Heitplatz, Team Leader Research & Development and Deputy Head of Development at BEUMER. "We wanted to increase the efficiency while at the same time reducing procurement costs. In addition, our goal was to ensure high availability with minimum maintenance and repair costs." BEUMER high-performance sorters are used for sorting and picking a variety of items such as mail, textiles, mail order products, foods or baggage.

For the BEUMER OptiDrive, the contact pressure with which the drive wheel is pressed against the movable friction blade of the circulating carriage assembly is automatically adjusted proportionally to the required driving power. Thus, the drive always automatically operates at the optimal operating point. On one hand, this allows for safe and slip-free starting up of the sorter from a standstill. On the other hand, the efficiency is improved in the predominant partial load range, while at the same time prolonging the service life of the drive wheels. "Without this innovative proportional contact pressure, we would have had to design the contact pressure of the friction wheel for the worst case, that is, for starting up a stationary, cold machine," says Heitplatz."We call this the Monday morning effect." However, the contact pressure for normal operating conditions would then be much higher than actually required and this would clearly impact efficiency and the service life of the drive wheels. The energy consumption has been reduced by up to 80 percent compared to the previously used asynchronous linear motor drive. "With the new OptiDrive BS25/55, we can achieve effective efficiencies of up to 85 percent," Heitplatz reports.

More efficiency, less wear

What is genuinely innovative about the new drive system is its double-acting proportional contact pressure. This works in both directions of action – when accelerating and braking. This means that the new OptiDrive can act as a holding brake. Compared with single sided linear motor drives, this solution does not cause attraction forces between the drive and the carriage, which reduces the load on the carriage and reduces wear. The drive also lines itself up with the carriage. This means that the user does not need to adjust the system.

With this drive method, each carriage has a blade on the underside that acts as a friction blade. The blade is clamped between the friction wheel and an opposite pressure roller and pushed forward. The drive power transitions to the carriage system via this blade. The drive unit is connected to the sorter frame by means of a centre of rotation. This "floating" bearing prevents transverse forces from the drive unit transferring to the carriage at all times.

Patented functional principle

The patented functional principle of the OptiDrive can be explained as follows: the drive motor with directly attached drive wheel is pushed against the blade by a slight spring force. The traction and the applied driving power generate a reaction torque in the motor bracket, which is pivotally borne, and to which the two contract press rolls are attached. These two press rolls, in turn, act on a pivotally borne press arm, on which the pressure roller is mounted. Thus, a contact force is built up on the blade between the drive wheel and the press roll. The force automatically adjusts proportionally to the driving power. The arrangement with two press rolls ensures this function in both directions of action, that is, for driving and braking.

The OptiDrive is equipped with an automatic tolerance compensation system. It compensates for things such as wear and tear on the drive wheel, or component tolerances. To this end, a spring-loaded wedge is integrated between the press arm and the press rolls. Assembly tolerances are compensated for by the pivotal connection of the drive unit. "The drive permanently lines up with the blades and not vice versa," Heitplatz explains. "This means we can allow larger tolerances in assembly and in the components without functional restrictions or transverse forces acting on the carriage system.

Specially adapted for optimal operation

The blades on the BEUMER OptiDrive act like friction blades. To keep the gaps between the carriages as small as possible, thus enabling smooth and silent transitions between each carriage, the blades feature a special contour and arc-shaped ends. BEUMER has been able to reduce gap between the blades to a minimum — and without impairing the mobility of the carriage system in horizontal or vertical curves.

The friction blades are made of extremely light aluminium profiles. This helps to keep the moving mass of the carriages and the motion resistance as low as possible. "In comparison with other systems that need secondary parts on the carriage, for example, for synchronous linear motor drives, where the carriages are additionally weighed down by the permanent magnets, you definitely can reduce the energy consumption. The fact that the moving mass is lower, is independent of the actual drive efficiency," Heitplatz explains.

The OptiDrive is powered by a modern, highly-efficient gearless synchronous servomotor. The drive wheel is mounted directly on the motor shaft. "Because we consistently do without transmission parts such as gears or belt drives, we leverage the maximum efficiency of the drive. In addition, noise sources and potential maintenance points are consistently avoided," says Heino Heitplatz. The direct drive also allows for a very compact design. "Unlike the central converters of the asynchronous linear motor drives, the OptiDrive concept means that each drive has its own controller which is installed locally in the field," says Heitplatz. The controllers are in close proximity to the drive. The individual drive controllers use Profinet to communicate with the sorter controller. The Profinet installation is daisy-chained, as is the power supply to the drives. This reduces the required cable length and the installation overhead. A special control algorithm ensures that all the drives apply the same propulsion power to the carriage system at any given time. This has the advantage that all drives are equally loaded and the force profile is optimised in the carriage system.

The BEUMER OptiDrive BS25/55 is designed for a permanent propulsion power of 600 Newton, and a short-term propulsion power of 1,000 Newton (for acceleration and braking processes) as well as for sorter speeds of up to 3.2 metres per second. The system is monitored by numerous diagnostics systems. Any malfunctions are indicated to the operator in good time. The user can also maintain the drive system remotely. "Thanks to remote access, our experts in Beckum have the ability to remotely access every single drive worldwide, and thus give the customer the best possible support on site", Heitplatz explains.

Placing great emphasis on sustainability

Like in all of our developments, BEUMER's engineers have again placed great emphasis on sustainability for this drive. The BEUMER Sustainability Index (BSI) shows how sustainable a system really is. This is a validation system which the intralogistics specialist can use to systematically and continuously measure sustainability in terms of economy, ecology and social responsibility, both on new machines and existing solutions. The Group has committed to evaluating its products comprehensively on three levels: economy, ecology and social responsibility. The BSI is a points system that rates products on these three levels. Economic performance, market presence, financial opportunities and risks are well-known parameters. Products only become economically sustainable when they, and their corresponding production processes, are tailored to long-term customer use. "For example, we compared the OptiDrive BS25/55 with predecessor and third-party products," as Heitplatz explains.

Economical, ecological and social

This development has allowed BEUMER to significantly reduce the production costs compared to other drives. This also has a positive effect on the customer's investment costs. The lower energy consumption and the more wear-resistant working method also significantly reduces operating costs. The improved degree efficiency means superior results in terms of both economic and ecological sustainability. Large amounts of copper were saved in the production of the motors and supply cables. Furthermore, the double-acting proportional contact pressure means significantly shorter braking distances of the carriage in an emergency stop, which improves employee safety. Since this drive system does not need fans, the operating noise has also been reduced. This makes for a more pleasant working atmosphere.

Successfully deployed

A company that distributes agricultural machinery, commercial vehicles, spare parts and accessories has opted for the new drive system in a BS 25 Belt Tray Sorter. The sorter has a length of 198.4 meters and is equipped with 248 carriages. The pitch of the carriages is 800 mm and the operating speed two metres per second. The BEUMER specialists installed a total of four OptiDrive units. The system is designed so that the system remains fully functional, even if one of the drives fails. The integrated freewheel function allows individual drives to be enabled or disabled during operation. After about six months, technicians inspected the drives for the first time and evaluated the wear on the friction wheels. "If we extrapolate the wear we measured, we arrive at an expected service life for the drive wheels of about eleven years," Heitplatz concludes. "The actual wear, of course, depends on the operating conditions. The significant variables include the mean driving power, that is, the degree of capacity utilisation, the sorter speed, the ambient temperature and the daily operating hours of the system."

Cost comparison linear motor drive

The potential savings for the user with the new drive system can be illustrated by the following case study. In the project, the intent was to deploy three type BS25 ET Tilt Tray Sorters with a sorter length of about 1,000 metres each and a sorter speed of 2.35 meters per second. Using the OptiDrive technology can help reduce consumption by about 570,000 kilowatt hours per year. At an energy price of twelve cents per kilowatt-hour, this equates to savings of about 69,000 euros per year. "In addition, the emission of approximately 86 tons of carbon dioxide is avoided in power generation," says Heino Heitplatz, explaining the environmental benefits.

Proper and sales-promoting stack configuration
Beckum, 26. June 2014

The reasons which brought Schwenk Putztechnik to opt for the BEUMER Group palletising technology were longer maintenance intervals, more efficient production and an optimised stack configuration with regard to storage and sales. The single-source provider from Beckum supplied three high-capacity layer palletisers type BEUMER paletpac. Two others were commissioned recently. All of them are equipped with the newly developed BEUMER twin-belt turning device, which enables bags filled with building material to be turned gently and stacks them in the correct position on pallets ensuring their dimensional stability. The twin-belt turning device can be rapidly adapted to various bag sizes.

Dry mortar are prefabricated mixtures composed of mineral binding agents as cement, limestone, gypsum as well as sand, rock dust and further additives. On the building site the craftsmen have to mix them merely with water and they are ready for use. Owing to the avoidance of possible mixing errors, the producer can ensure a constant high product quality of this building material. Schwenk Putztechnik GmbH & Co. KG headquartered in Ulm is one of the leading manufacturers of sustainable and ecological dry mortar. The company has produced its materials for more than 160 years in seven ultra-modern plants. "We place great importance on presenting our products optimally in the building material trade," says Martin Markus. At Schwenk Putztechnik he manages the plants in Eigeltingen and Allmendingen in Baden-Württemberg. As regards the manufacturing process, the company focuses on trouble-free transport, palletising process and packaging.

Safe handling of bags

"Our previous palletising solution caused considerable problems during the turning of bags," remembers Peter Richter, deputy factory manager in Allmendingen. "Due to jerky movements the bags were deformed and sometimes even torn," he says. The building material manufacturer was not able to ensure a proper and constant appearance of the palletised bags. Schwenk Putztechnik not only wanted to achieve an improved and steady stacking result, but also wanted to increase the production capacity, reduce the dust emissions and prolong the maintenance intervals.

During their researches for a suitable supplier, the building material manufacturer found BEUMER Group. The single-source provider from Beckum supplies sustainable systems for filling, palletising and packaging technology from one source. The leading internationally active company can look back on years of experience in the building material industry. "In cooperation with Schwenk Putztechnik we developed a solution which covers the requirements of both production plants," Peter Schmidt reports. As sales manager he was responsible for the project and has managed since January 2014 the Palletising and Packaging Technology business segment at BEUMER Group.

Gentle palletising is ensured

BEUMER Group presented the high-capacity layer palletiser BEUMER paletpac to the building material manufacturer. This construction series enables to stack bags filled with bulk material on pallets exactly layer by layer. Due to the geometric precision during layer and stack formation, stable bag stacks are formed. BEUMER supplied a system able to palletise 1,800 bags per hour as well as a system with a capacity of 2,500 bags per hour. In both plants the employees can adapt the palletiser quickly and easily to different bag sizes without the use of tools. With a pack height of up to 2,400 millimetres, the BEUMER paletpac stacks bags on any commonly used pallet size and in all technically possible packing patterns. A multi-program interface enables the user to set parameters easily and quickly. The new BEUMER Group Human Machine Interface (HMI) ensures a user-friendly operation of the system. This control terminal provides the employee with an easily understandable and intuitive interaction, enabling the user to learn the system very rapidly and to define efficient working sequences after just a short training and introduction period.

Stable stack formation

"In order to turn the bags rapidly and gently to the required position ensuring their dimensional stability, the systems are provided with our newly developed twin-belt turning device. In regards to the stackability, this device offers an immense advantage when compared with conventional turning processes,” Peter Schmidt explains. The system component moves the bags without stressing them from a mechanical viewpoint. Instead, two parallelly driven belt conveyors are used, which during the turning process are driven with different speeds bringing the bags gently into the desired position. The intelligent control of the twin-belt turning device involves the physical properties of the items to be packed in order to achieve an exact positioning preset by the respective packing pattern. In case of changes in bag sizes, all relevant parameters are registered and controlled just via software. For this, the system reverts to an active control loop. The regulation of the drives is carried out by frequency converters, thus developing a gentle, regular rotation and ensuring that the bagged products are not deformed. This results in constant stack results for the whole service life of the system. Ready packed pallets can be stacked on top of each other in space-saving and safe way.

A further advantage is that time-consuming modifications in case of changed bag sizes are no longer required. "The operator only has to enter the bag length and the bag width. Then the system brings the bag into the corresponding position,” explains Bernhard Temming, service manager at BEUMER. Thanks to the modular structure, the twin-belt turning device can be retrofitted even in already existing palletising systems in quick and trouble-free way.

Quiet and efficient

A further reason for Schwenk Putztechnik to opt for the BEUMER systems was their efficient operation. In addition to capital costs, operational costs, spare parts costs and also maintenance costs play an important role. "These are better reduced with the twin-belt turning device than with other turning devices," recognises service manager Bernhard Temming. "The mere automated product change avoids idle times," and as the system component abstains from cost-intensive mechanical components, this optimises the maintenance and repair costs in the long term and reduces the life-cycle costs. "Comparable solutions of competitors for the layer preparation rely on pneumatic elements with correspondingly high operational costs. In our twin-belt turning devices work is done by energy efficient synchronous servomotors," explains Temming. The relinquishment of mechanical parts additionally lowers noises during operation. Peter Schmidt is convinced that this is a strength that happens especially in the day-to-day operations, providing for an improved working atmosphere and inuring to the benefit of the skilled personnel of the building material manufacturer in the daily working sequence.

For this project BEUMER took over the whole handling - from projection up to installation. The experts of the BEUMER Customer Support take care of the optimisation and maintenance of the systems, therefore, they are always available. In case of acute problems, the building material manufacturer can contact the BEUMER Hotline around the clock. An online connection with the machine permits to carry out a rapid fault analyses. "We are very satisfied with the service. This was a further important aspect which led us to opt for BEUMER," says Martin Markus.

BEUMER Group to supply fully automated parcel sortation system to Itella
Aarhus, 24. June 2014

BEUMER Group - a leading global supplier of automated material handling systems for conveying, loading, palletising, packaging, sortation and distribution - has won a contract to supply a fully automatic parcel sortation system to Itella Posti OY for expanded operations at its sortation centre in Lieto, Finland.

The sortation centre will become a medium-sized hub with increased sorting capacity, enabling it to achieve faster delivery times for e-commerce shipments, strengthen its distribution network and improve the customer service and delivery quality.

Through discussions with Itella, BEUMER Group developed an in-depth understanding of Itella's needs for automation capacity and flexible production, and designed a future-proof design with a 'made different' approach that went beyond Itella's initial expectations.

The complete parcel handling system has a capacity of 9,000 parcels per hour including weighing and volume measuring, with boom conveyors, tippers, feeding conveyors and a mix of direct and manual chutes. The upper-level controls feature a user interface linked direct to Itella's existing host interface and revenue protection system, as well as camera scanning and an interface to the existing OCR system. The entire system is designed to be ready for future upgrades should there be a need for further capacity.

The use of Crisplant's energy efficient LS-4000 tilt-tray sorter will help Itella in its environmental program to cut carbon dioxide emissions. The sortation solution features three inductions, one of which integrates a BEUMER Group Automatic Parcel Singulator. The Automatic Parcel Singulator provides faster sort speeds and lower cost per item, as it transforms a bulk feed of items into a single, centred stream prior to automatic induction into a loop sorter.

Itella and BEUMER Group company, Crisplant, have a long history of partnerships in developing Itella's sortation systems. In the 1970s Crisplant designed and installed Itella's systems in Tampere, Seinäjoki and Vantaa which also, at that time, were delivered as future-proof system designs. With a lifetime of customer support, the built-for-purpose-systems today continue to run at full speed.

Smooth operation with the right function
Beckum, 17. June 2014

The BEUMER Group recently presented a type BS 7 BT belt tray sorter, around 40 m in length, in action at CeMAT, the world's leading intralogistics fair. The system was equipped with various modules and functions - such as the manual loading station, semi-automatic induction with camera system and a demo module of the BEUMER Warehouse Control System. With this, the intralogistics specialist demonstrated how it can provide efficient sorting systems to meet the demanding requirements of its customers.

In Hanover, the Beckum-based company presented the BEUMER Sorter BS 7 BT with a smallest possible separation of 400 mm. For special use at CeMAT, BEUMER had defined a speed of 1.75 metres per second. This means that the system reaches a sorting output of 15,750 items per hour. At the maximum speed of 2.5 metres per second, the machine capacity increases to 22,500 items per hour.

For around 15 years now, BEUMER has been using contactless power transmission instead of the normal conductor lines for its sorters. As a result, users can reduce the need for machine maintenance and replacement parts to a minimum, and also avoid the dust that occurs with conductor lines. At the exhibition, the sorter was fitted with the innovative OptiDrive friction wheel drive which BEUMER has developed and patented. With an efficiency of up to 80 percent, this innovative drive system is particularly energy-efficient and durable.

From the manual loading station to the camera system

To show visitors how BEUMER can meet the individual requirements of users in the best possible way, the specialists equipped the sorter with various modules and functions. These included a manual loading station, which offers a cheaper option for inducting goods onto the sorter. Because the operator places the goods manually onto a sorter tray, he can assess the product again before the automatic sorting process. If he sees that the product is damaged, he can remove it from the sorting process in good time. Because manual loaders can be set very flexibly and users can react quickly to performance peaks, these solutions are particularly popular in industries with high peak phases. At the trade fair, the specialists showed that the manual loaders can also be installed in curves, which means that these sorter sections, where there are normally no functions, can also be used effectively. This considerably improves the system's commercial viability.

Another option for taking the goods to be sorted as bulk products to the sorter is semi-automatic induction. This works on a similar basis to the manual loading station. While the employee places the items onto the conveyor one by one, he can also check the condition of the goods before they are taken to the automatic sorting process. The advantage over manual loading is that the operator can work independently of the sorting speed, because the products reach the sorter via the induction unit. With this dynamic process, the system measures the items and determines their position. The information is forwarded directly to the control process so that the products are placed optimally on the belt tray element. This increases precision when the items are discharged and helps to avoid errors on the part of operators. The system, for example, detects items that are overlapping. The induction stops and the operator can correct his mistake.

Another module is the camera system which reads barcodes on the products as they are being inducted. If the system does not recognize the barcode, the product is not forwarded. Time-consuming no-read handling can thus be reduced or completely eliminated.

BEUMER also presented a tool for the BS 7 BT that corrects mistakes in the sorting process and further improves precision. After all, staff placing goods on the sorter eight hours a day will make mistakes - this is only human. In order to ensure smooth sorting, the products must be placed onto the belt tray element in the middle, measured by the front edge. With positioning speeds of up to 2,500 items per hour, however, an operator cannot always guarantee this. This is why BEUMER installs a correction frame after the manual loading stations. This captures the position of the product on the belt tray element. If the item is too far to the left or right on the belt, the system moves it back to the middle. Imprecise positionings in the direction of conveyance of the sorter are corrected when the product is ejected by a time displacement of the electronic ejection signal.

To identify the products on the sorter, BEUMER presented a camera system with integrated volume measurement. This forwards the barcode and volume information via the machine controls to the higher level BG-Fusion computer system and displays it. In a real application, the BG-Fusion is connected via a TCP-IP connection with the customer's warehouse management system and ensures that the various controls are communicating with each other. The barcode information is used to clearly identify the product and assign it to an end point for discharge.

The BEUMER Group continues to grow
Beckum, 12. June 2014

With an order intake of approximately 770 million euros in 2013, the BEUMER Group is once again looking back on a successful year. This continuous growth is possible as BEUMER concentrates on its entrepreneurial core expertise, innovates, and strategically and consistently promotes its internationalization. However, the common values of the family-run company also play a significant part. On the basis of such values, the system provider succeeds in integrating staff with different mentalities and cultures - including those who have become part of the group as a result of acquisitions.

In recent years, the BEUMER Group has increasingly developed from a product supplier into a solutions provider for conveyor and loading equipment, palletizing and packing technology, and automatic sorting and distribution systems and, in doing so, has stuck to its traditional fields of activity - true to the saying "a three legged stool does not wobble". This is based on innovations, consistent expansion of the product portfolio, its linking to efficient turnkey systems and the accompanying services. These extend from system design and various service levels to individual user models. With this overall package, BEUMER is following the high aspiration of providing its customers with sustainable solutions and therefore a major benefit in all areas.

An example of a major customer benefit is the new BEUMER fillpac. Here, together with the filling, palletizing and packaging equipment, the provider supplies the whole process chain from a single source. This system is equipped with a calibratable scale to enable it to achieve accurate filling quantities at all times. This avoids incorrect filling and rejects. Another example of innovative development is the new machine from the BEUMER stretch hood product range. The Beckum-based company has redesigned this high-performance packaging system from the bottom up and further improved its operation, effectiveness and ergonomics.

In order to achieve a presence in the global market, the BEUMER Group has consistently promoted its internationalization and established or expanded subsidiaries worldwide. To this end, it has expanded and opened factories in China and Thailand, making it possible to produce in those regions for the regions. As a result, the company has grown organically and very stably in recent years. Added to this is the specific acquisition of international companies. For example, the group includes the Danish sorting equipment specialists, Crisplant, and the Indian company Enexco Teknologies, manufacturers of grinding mills and packaging machines for the cement industry. As a result, BEUMER has strengthened its presence in important markets and, at the same time, systematically expanded its portfolio without quitting the traditional segments.

All of the new companies have quickly become an established part of the BEUMER Group - both with regard to their infrastructural incorporation, products and solutions as well as the different company mentalities and regional cultures of the staff. "We see the different cultures in our global company group as an opportunity to learn from one another, and want to create a working environment which promotes creativity and in which everyone respects the individuality of others", stresses Dr. Christoph Beumer, Managing Partner and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the BEUMER Group.

The basis for successful integration and healthy growth is the particular cooperation of staff and management. From the very beginning, the company has stood for values such as integrity and ethics, customer focus, quality and innovation, teamwork and sustainability. The BEUMER Group lives and breathes these values and has also recently put them in writing in the form of guidelines. "The way in which a company behaves towards its staff and customers shows the importance it attaches to its values and how consciously it applies them", says Dr. Beumer.

BEUMER Group Russia announces order for line sortation system for DPD’s St. Petersburg depot
Moscow, 10. June 2014

BEUMER Group Russia – part of BEUMER Group, a leading global supplier of automated post and parcel sorting systems – has been awarded a contract to supply a sortation system to DPD, a major provider of parcel delivery services worldwide.

The order is for a line sortation system, which will be installed in DPD’s depot in St. Petersburg, Russia. This installation will be the first use of automation equipment in this particular depot and the investment forms an essential ingredient in DPD’s expansion plans for Russia, whereby the company wishes to introduce automation throughout its regional depots.

DPD is handling an increasing volume of e-commerce products, and the majority of these items are shipped in poly-bags. This makes the line sorter an ideal sorting solution for DPD’s regional automation, as its low-friction operation means that it can handle these items delicately and without damage.

The system to be installed features one induction line, 10 destination chutes, and barcode scanning and volume measurements on the fly. The total capacity will be 3,500 items/hour. The control system has a SCADA overview as well as an interface between DPD’s host system and the BEUMER BeSS Software Suite.

Andrey Mayorov, CEO of DPD in Russia, commented: “We needed very specific features and capabilities in the sortation system and BEUMER Group was able to fulfil our specification completely.”

Martin Mossinkoff, BEUMER’s Managing Director, Logistic Systems, said: “We are proud to be part of DPD’s growth and expansion into the huge Russian market. It is a relationship we hope will flourish.”

The order follows a 2009 win for BEUMER Russia, in which it supplied a tilt-tray sorter to DPD’s Moscow hub. BEUMER Group has a long history of supplying solutions to DPD in Europe.

Smaller, faster, more practical
Beckum, 02. June 2014

As a single-source provider for filling, palletising and packaging technologies, BEUMER Group supports its customers in all respects supplying sustainable solutions from a single source. The BEUMER stretch hood A sees the intralogistics specialist from Beckum redesign its tried-and-trusted packaging system from scratch. During the development, our specialists analysed various components and optimised them in terms of function, arrangement and ergonomics. This includes an intuitive menu system on the machine control via a soft-touch panel, an optimised, ergonomically designed workplace for the operator and material-friendly transporting of the film in the machine thanks to an innovative film transport system. The new system also features improved system performance and needs far less floor space.

For companies in the construction material, chemical or food and beverage industries, the topic of safety when transporting and storing palletised products has been becoming more important. This is what prompted BEUMER to develop a new machine in its proven BEUMER stretch hood model range that offers even more practical and safer handling for the user, compared with other machines in this model range. To facilitate work for maintenance staff, and thus ensure higher machine availability, the new BEUMER stretch hood A is accessable without a platform and steps. Maintenance work, such as changing the blades, or the sealing bars, are now handled at floor level. The operator opens a drawer for these activities, providing free access to blades and sealing bars. The machine is automatically brought to a standstill to protect the operator. This removes the need to move subassemblies to maintenance position. Due to this rapid access capability, maintenance work is accelerated, and the risk of accidents and malfunctions minimised.

The machine's ergonomics have also been consistently advanced. With just a few actions, and completely without tools, the operator can feed in the film. This means substantial reductions to tooling and conversion times.

Additional benefits include the compact design of the BEUMER stretch hood and the resulting low height and small footprint.

An innovative, material friendly film transport system feeds the previously created film hood into the system. On its way to the crimping and stretching unit, the sealing seam on the film hood cools down so that it can be crimped without loosing time. This removes the need for an energy-intensive cooling unit and time-consuming cooling. The pallets can be packed in a shorter cycle time thus reducing idle times, while at the same time ensuring improved packaging performance and less energy consumption.

The developers have also improved the human-machine interface to offer an even more ergonomic workflow to the user. For this, the intralogistics specialist has introduced the BEUMER Group Human Machine Interface (HMI), a newly-developed operator panel with an optimised user interface and graphical navigation. This easily understandable and intuitive interaction concept helps to define efficient working sequences. The operator can control the machine safely with only a little training saving time and money, which ensures high economic efficiency. The soft-touch panel uses pictograms to guide the user through the machine control menus. The panel also gives the operator access to all required training programs. The system is controlled by a Siemens SIMATIC S7-300.

Energy-saving motors and low compressed air requirements ensure a favourable energy balance. The compressed air requirements have been significantly reduced compared with the previous model.

With its U-shaped frame design, the BEUMER stretch hood can be easily connected to existing conveying systems. Removing the need to interrupt the conveying system also guarantees smooth conveying performance for the pallets and stability of the palletised goods.

The BEUMER stretch hood can be equipped with the BEUMER OptiStretch system. The crimping bow, made of high-quality steel, swivels in even closer to the package, thus substantially improving the controlled application of film to the package. This improves system availability and enhances the visual appearance. The palletised goods are clearly visible through the smooth surface of the transparent, highly flexible film. Film packaging protects the goods against atmospheric influences, water, dust and insects and transport safety is substantially improved.

To be able to process various films, and implement a variety of packaging processes, such as understretch or high-rack stretch, the new system can be equipped with the BEUMER multistretch system.

In addition, the operator receives an eLearning program via USB stick for this system. This way the employees can train themselves immediately in operating the new BEUMER stretch hood A. This ensures a flexible and rapid familiarisation with the system.

The key to more efficiency
Beckum, 15. May 2014

The trend towards automation is also making great strides in intralogistics. Users want their machines and systems to work more efficiently and safely while at the same time relieving employees of tiring, monotonous and physically heavy work. The BEUMER Group develops customized system solutions for conveying and loading, palletising and packaging, and sortation and distribution systems. The company equips them with efficient automation solutions depending on the customers’ requirements.

Efficient automation equipment which reduces cycle times as well as costs continues to be the focus for many users and is seen as an important factor for success. Companies from different sectors are therefore more and more frequently relying on automated system solutions that are specially tailored to meet their individual requirements. “The challenge for the future lies in the integration of these systems,” explains Franz-Joseph Kleigrewe. The Automation Manager has been with the BEUMER Group since 1977 and knows what he is talking about. He is convinced that the dovetailing of processes will continue to increase. “Intralogistics is in a state of change. This is due to the demographic development as well as the increasing complexity of processes. Automation engineering in particular is therefore continuously encouraged,” he says. In this way, manual operations can be optimized and expedient synergies formed between man and machine. Automation engineering is the key to technical development and further progress.

Coordinated systems

“Users no longer want just one system; they want a combination of several systems which are optimally matched to one another,” says Kleigrewe, recognizing the market requirements. These include the innovative filling, palletising and packaging solutions which are deployed for example in the beverage and foodstuffs industry, in the building materials, electronics and pharmaceutical industry, and for the final packaging of animal feedstuffs and fertilizers. As an example, the specialist’s range includes the BEUMER fillpac for filling bags with cement or granulates. Bags are transported to the bag press by means of conveyors in order to exclude the air. They are then stacked flexibly, accurately and stably on pallets of all common sizes by the BEUMER paletpac high-performance layer palletizer. The user can quickly and easily set the required parameters. The BEUMER paletpac is equipped with a bar, clamp or double-belt turning device depending on the product requirements. These bring the filled bags quickly and gently into the required position while retaining their shape. BEUMER also offers the robotpac, a space-saving, fully automatic articulated robot which is able to perform complex palletising and depalletising tasks reliably and efficiently. Containers such as bags, cartons, boxes, canisters and trays can be stacked safely and economically. BEUMER has developed appropriate, flexibly exchangeable gripper systems for every packaged product. The pallets are then transported to the BEUMER stretch hood high-performance packaging machine. This packages the palletized stacks quickly and reliably. “In most cases, other systems are also incorporated into these packaging lines,” remarks Kleigrewe. For example, when using granulates for the plastics industry, metal detectors are often incorporated in order to detect contamination. The bags can also be automatically conveyed to a weighing device in order to check the filling level by means of the weight. The bags are then usually transported to the label station where they are printed with a barcode. “We buy systems and machines which we do not have in our range from selected suppliers and incorporate them into our solutions,” says Kleigrewe.

Experience counts

To enable the BEUMER Group to provide optimum user support, the intralogistics specialist has formed teams in the individual group companies and at the Beckum site which specialize in automation solutions. In the meantime, more than 200 employees work for the BEUMER Group in this area. “Our objective is to accelerate development cycles and to continuously raise the high standard which we have evolved as a result of our know-how,” says Kleigrewe. “This is the only way we can provide the right solution for our customers and look after them in an optimum manner.” The staff provide project support from the enquiry to the point of handover to the customer. First of all, the specialists produce a system draft. If this is suitable, it is passed on for implementation. The staff carry out the electrical installation and integrate the machine and system controls, as well as writing the software for the PLC and for the robot equipment. A graphical representation of the processes on a user interface is also part of the system. BEUMER also ensures that information is meaningfully transmitted between the different operating levels – for example by means of ERP and MES systems.

The system is set up in BEUMER’s in-house Technical Center. The staff carry out several tests to enable them to fulfill the user’s requirements. “We are helped in this by valuable experience which we have gathered from numerous projects throughout the world,” says Kleigrewe with conviction. This is because the packaging machine film and granulates which are to be filled, palletized and packaged, behave differently in the cool climate of Germany than in Asiatic or African countries, for example. The prevailing temperatures there are different and the humidity can be considerably higher. When all the requirements have been fulfilled, the staff carry out the installation and commissioning on site. “The BEUMER specialists know exactly what to do to get the systems running as quickly as possible,” says Kleigrewe.

Optimally matched at all times

When it comes to system development, three factors affect one another: customer orientation, innovation and standardization. In the case of projects which are matched to the customer’s individual requirements, the solutions can only be applied indirectly to other projects. Innovation projects provide major opportunities, such as significant competitive advantages for new projects. On the other hand, they require very stringent project management in order to adhere to costs and schedules. As there is no progress without these innovative projects, BEUMER regularly undertakes them while carefully weighing up the opportunities and risks. With the proven standard solutions, the customer is provided with a cost-effective and reliably operating system which he can put into operation in a very short time. “The processes usually differ with different users,” remarks Kleigrewe. “This is why our solutions are always specially adapted – sometimes more, sometimes less.” The ability to accommodate individual requirements is one of BEUMER’s strengths.

Common standards make for short project durations

“We often start from the situation where the larger the machine and the more systems are incorporated, the more control systems are used, and these have to be matched to one another,” explains Kleigrewe. For example, four control systems have been developed at BEUMER over the years. “In order to be more flexible in design and also to enable commissioning to be carried out more quickly, our objective with all developments is to use a common drive concept as well as common machine and system controls,” says Kleigrewe. “We provide conveyor elements and interface definitions for horizontal and vertical communication straight out of the box.” For rapid development phases, the BEUMER Group has created a common software platform for all company employees. Product management and project management are all carried out using this platform. All staff involved in the project are provided with a common working environment. The common basis makes for more efficient working and reduces project durations.

When the systems have been commissioned, BEUMER Customer Support staff train the machine operators and the maintenance personnel. This is the only way to ensure that the customer gets the most out of the machine. Training brings machine operators up to date on technological advances and introduces new employees to the systems. “Automated solutions are particularly suited to continuous processes when systems run around the clock seven days a week,” advises Kleigrewe. “This enables companies to save staff and for them to be deployed in other areas. Automated solutions are therefore amortized very quickly.”

BEUMER Group Middle East demonstrates in-tote baggage handling and Automated Container Handling at Dubai Airport Show 2014
Aarhus, 06. May 2014

BEUMER Group Middle East – a leading global supplier of automated baggage handling systems – will demonstrate the CrisBag® end-to-end in-tote baggage handling and screening system at the Dubai Airport Show 2014, from 11th-13th May.

The on-stand demonstration will feature a section of the CrisBag® system, which was developed by BEUMER Group company, Crisplant. The system uses the ‘one bag per tote’ concept to enable each item of baggage to remain in the same tote from check-in, through the sorting and screening processes. CrisBag’s modularity and easy integration into new and legacy systems is combined with adaptive static and dynamic tote-tilting at baggage discharge to provide high levels of operational and energy efficiency. The CrisBag® system, which has already been installed in international airports such as Munich, Helsinki, Singapore and Calgary, was recently chosen for Abu Dhabi International Airport's new Midfield Terminal project.

BEUMER Group Middle East’s experts in baggage handling will also be on-stand to introduce their new Automated Container Handling System designed to transport loaded ULDs between destinations in the airport and divert empty ULDs for parking or maintenance. The system is controlled by management software that communicates wirelessly, in real-time, with each ULD carrier, constantly monitoring its destination, position and progress to provide 100% traceability.

The innovations to be showcased by BEUMER Group make it possible for airports to plan the loading process efficiently using a batch building and speed loading system. This allows baggage handlers to open up a position, load bags, close it again and continue with other tasks. Batch building switches baggage handling from a push to a pull system, a concept that is receiving much attention in the baggage handling industry.

BEUMER Group is a global company, working with airports around the world through a network of local offices. These are essential for providing close partnership and effective communication with customers worldwide. BEUMER Group Middle East recently opened a new regional office in Qatar to complement the Dubai and Abu Dhabi offices in UAE.

BEUMER Group will be at the German Pavilion, stand 7105, at the Dubai Airport Show 2014, to be held from 11th to 13th May 2014, at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

BEUMER de México awarded contract for BHS upgrade at Mexico City International Airport Terminal 2
Aarhus, 24. April 2014

BEUMER de México – part of BEUMER Group and a leading global supplier of automated baggage handling systems – is to supply equipment for a baggage handling system upgrade at Mexico City International Airport's Terminal 2.

Passenger numbers have been growing at Mexico City International Airport, and the effects are particularly noticeable in Terminal 2, where the capacity of the existing baggage handling and screening system is being stretched, causing frequent die-back on the conveyor lines between the screening machines.

A solution to the problem was identified by BEUMER de México, which specified a new buffer system, with a capacity for holding more bags between the screening machines to allow baggage recirculation and extra system flexibility for baggage sortation. The airport needs baggage recirculation at Terminal 2 because the current baggage system employs only one main line to dispatch bags to nine screening machines. Without the ability to recirculate bags there is a high risk of bottlenecks in the system.

The upgrade will require a belt conveyor system – based on Crisplant's CrisBelt® – to be integrated into the existing baggage handling system to allow baggage recirculation and deliver the necessary extra system flexibility for baggage sortation. The upgrade also comprises a high- and low-level control system and SCADA.

Once the improvements have been completed, the baggage handling system capacity will double from the current 1,800 bags/hour to 3,600 bags/hour.

This is BEUMER Group's second order for an airport baggage handling system in Mexico, following Crisplant's order from Cancún International Airport.

Sometimes they do come back
Beckum, 22. April 2014

With online business on the rise, the number of returns is bound to increase. This includes not just clothes and shoes, but also - for example - electronics goods. For many online retailers, returns are a necessary evil that comes at a considerable price and this makes professional handling of the returned goods correspondingly important. With easily-integrated, cross-belt sorters for versatile deployment, BEUMER Group ensures that mail order retailers or service providers can rely on efficient, end-to-end returns handling and rational goods processing.

The customer's purchasing behaviour has changed. Printed catalogues may still be popular, but most customers only browse them for information before purchasing online. Technologies such as smartphones and tablets are pushing this trend even further. But, according to forecasts by market researchers, up to 30 % of all articles ordered are returned to the retailer. For example, customers ordered TV sets before the World Cup, and then sent them back immediately afterwards. Clothing is often ordered in three to four sizes and colours. Germany's customer-friendly remote retailing legislation supports this behaviour by allowing free returns without stating a reason within 14 days. Trying out is permitted; articles can be checked in line with their "intended use", TV sets can be connected, clothes tried on and electronics articles tested.

However, this costs retailers a huge amount of money as they are not only forced to bear the costs of returns, and in case of a full return also the shipping costs. They also need to unpack the goods in question, check whether they are soiled or damaged, and then possibly re-pack the goods and put them back onto the right shelves. Targeted returns management can be a major factor in ensuring your business's success.

Keeping pace with volume growth

To ensure fast re-stocking and availability, a major mail order company optimised its returns handling and relies now on sorters designed by BEUMER, the intralogistics specialist. Prior to this, returns were handled in line with strict tayloristic principles – the work was divided among the staff in very small units. However, this prevented the kind of productivity gains that would have been necessary for handling future volumes and the retailer in particular wanted to be able to react to seasonal fluctuation. On top of this, the work was extremely monotonous for the staff. The requirement was thus to find efficient and flexible systems with low maintenance requirements and a fast return on investment.

As a system integrator, BEUMER Group sees its strength in technology and supports its customers from planning to commissioning. Through its Logistics Systems Division, BEUMER Group bundles the competencies of BEUMER and Crisplant with the aim of leveraging and developing the best solutions from both companies in terms of technology and processes. The product base includes modular high-speed sortation systems that enable fast, safe and accurate sorting, distribution and control of high volumes of very different goods such as parcels, bags and bulky goods.

Up to 90,000 items of merchandise per day

The returns process, of which BEUMER planned, installed and commissioned the key components, covers more than 28,200 square metres distributed over three floors. On a workday, around 90,000 items of merchandise can be inspected, processed and returned to shipping. The products are low-volume products such as mobile phones and digital cameras, textiles, shoes or jewellery.

In the goods receipt department, laterally movable telescopic belt conveyors provide a discharge capacity of 1,500 packages per hour for bulk unloading of returns. The staff place all the packages, bags and packages with the returned goods on the flat belt conveyor. This comprehensive belt conveying system, measuring some 2,000 metres, allows smooth transportation of goods within the building to the goods preparation department. The returned items are then automatically distributed via the chutes on the modular sorters to the unpacking workplaces. The four modular sorters form the core of the returns system and have a dual function. They are fully electronic and transport the returned items through chutes to the individual workplaces. The staff unpack the returns and check whether the packages contain customer messages. At the same time they dispose of the packaging material and send the articles via the modular sorter to the goods assessment workplaces. Running at a speed of 0.8 metres per second, the system has an hourly capacity of 2,800 items. Each sorter is divided in two work modules, each with 34 workplaces - including ten places where the goods are unpacked and 24 places where the goods are assessed. The goods assessment workplaces can be targeted individually by goods groups.

Different goods, different criteria

Specific assessment criteria apply for each goods group. Is the returned pair of shoes the same model? Is the size of the left and right shoe identical? Are there scratches on the leather or on the sole? Umbrellas are tested for function and fashion accessories, such as handbags and belts, for any signs of wear. The customer credit note is issued immediately if the returned product is correct and thus meets all the quality standards.

Textiles make up the majority of returns. At the computer-based workstations, the articles are first identified by their barcode label. To do this, employees scan the article and check whether the goods tally with data specified on the display. The staff examine the articles in particular for as-new condition and non-returnable returns are forwarded for reworking. This is where, for example, fluff or small stains are removed; if necessary, the product is cleaned or ironed. Textile goods are usually processed as hanging garments. In this regard, the workplaces are equipped with an automatic overhead conveyor system, a tunnel finisher, which removes the wrinkles from the clothing, and two foil wrapping machines that can wrap more than 1,000 hanging garments each per hour.

For jewellery it is important to check, based on the article data, whether the existing article matches the scanned data. The employees check whether the goods match the image in the catalogue as well as the length of the chains, the gold content, or the ring sizes. Valuable jewellery is delivered in sealed packages and resealed after article assessment. Jewellery, watches and cutlery are checked for scratches or signs of wearing, polished and relabeled. Following, they are carefully packed in small bags, or jewel cases. Watches are often packed in special cartons, and valuable cutlery in special cases.

Technical products such as digital cameras are logged and conveyed via the sorter in return trays to the workplaces. The workplaces are equipped with measuring devices which are used by the staff to check whether the item matches the data on the screen. They then check that all the parts such as cables, accessories and instructions for use exist and whether there are any photos stored in the camera. For data protection reasons, they reset the item to the factory settings. The aim is to restore the goods to their original state so they can be put back into storage. Repair requests are forwarded to technical support. The returned merchandise thus either goes back on sale or is reworked. Depending on the state, the retailer can decide whether to return the article to the manufacturer, resell at a discount, or scrap.

If the articles are assessed to be as new, they are automatically packed. For this purpose, the articles are sealed in foil and barcode labels are attached. Shoe boxes or cloth bags are available for shoes. Hanging goods are packed manually.

The processed goods are sorted by warehouse aisle on the goods issue sorter into 480 chutes and then repackaged from the chutes into transport containers, which in turn are stored in the picking area. The employees at the goods assessment workplaces place both the newly packaged goods and the goods that require reworking on the modular sorter. A camera scans the label and assigns the goods to the corresponding outputs. Newly packaged goods that are intended for resale are discharged by the modular sorter onto flat belt conveyors, which connect with the outgoing goods sorter.

Fast, safe and targeted

Flexible sortation and distribution technology by BEUMER is precisely aligned to the user's individual needs. For example, induction units and destinations are adapted to match the various goods. The sorter consists of a series of moving flat belt conveyors. They are arranged orthogonally to the direction of running of the sorter. This allows the transported items to be fed or discharged either to the right or to the left of the direction of running. The products are fed onto the belt tray at a speed adjusted to the sorter speed and the angle of induction. For the discharging process, the belt moves towards the discharge and the item is guided gently into the destination.

Placing great emphasis on sustainability

To be able to work economically, sustainability aspects such as energy efficiency or ergonomic working conditions at the plant play an increasingly important role for the owner. This is why BEUMER places great emphasis on these aspects in product and system development. In order to achieve low energy consumption, the intralogistics specialist relies on matching drive systems. Their properties decisively determine the effectiveness of the entire system. For example, the BEUMER Group equips its loop sorters with linear synchronous motors, or the newly developed OptiDrive drive system which uses the friction wheel drive system principle. The friction wheel thus permanently works at an optimal operating point. The design dramatically increases efficiency and minimises wear. With this highly efficient drive system, the energy consumption can be reduced by about 75 % compared to conventional sorting drives.

To systematically and continuously measure sustainability in terms of economy, ecology and social responsibility, both on new machines and existing solutions, BEUMER Group has developed the BEUMER Sustainability Index (BSI), a validation system. Each of the three levels is divided into five categories for this evaluation. This includes "Efficiency and Effectiveness", "Service Life," "Production-Related Resource Consumption" or "Training and Education Standards".

Crisplant awarded contract for baggage handling system at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 4
Aarhus, 15. April 2014

Crisplant - part of BEUMER Group and a leading global supplier of automated baggage handling systems - has been awarded a contract to supply a baggage handling system for Singapore Changi Airport, Terminal 4.

The check-in area features automated self-service bag-drop and check-in kiosks as well as conventional check-in aisles. Highly redundant CrisBelt® transport lines, together with a hold baggage screening system, will ensure safe and efficient operation. All subsequent sortation is made using the latest-generation CrisBag® system to ensure the highest level of availability, the shortest transport times and 100% track and trace capability. The CrisBag system includes an early baggage store so that passengers who arrive early in the terminal may immediately check in their bags and proceed through to the terminal's airside areas.

The contract reinforces the long and successful partnership between airport operator Changi Airport Group and Crisplant, which has supported baggage handling at Changi since the handover of Terminal 2's tilt-tray sorter-based baggage handling system in 2002. This was followed by a contract for Terminal 3, where Crisplant's CrisBag serves a dual role as a baggage sorting system and as an extensive inter-terminal transfer baggage system connecting Terminals 1, 2 and 3. This system also features a fully integrated early bag store with a capacity of up to 4,000 items of luggage while optimum system availability and performance is assured by on-site Crisplant personnel, who run the baggage control room for Terminals 2 and 3 in a 24/7 operation and maintenance program.

Singapore Changi Airport broke ground on Terminal 4 in November 2013. The new terminal will feature many design and process innovations to improve passengers' travel experience as well as increase operational efficiency and manpower productivity for airlines and airport agencies. T4 expects to welcome its first passengers in 2017.

Conveyors for low-cost transport
Beckum, 07. April 2014

The BEUMER Group will be presenting its sustainable and energy-saving system solutions at POWER-GEN 2014 (June 3 to 5, Cologne). In particular, the intralogistics specialist will be demonstrating the function of its economical belt conveyors with the help of a model. These systems transport materials over impassable terrain in an environmentally friendly manner. Visitors will also learn about BEUMER Customer Support, which ensures that all of the user’s systems have a high level of availability.

The curved conveyor systems are designed as open trough belt conveyors or closed pipe conveyors. In power stations they move large quantities of coal from storage or receiving points to the boiler and convey waste products such as ash, slag or FGD gypsum to landfills or other disposal sites. BEUMER conveyor systems are also the perfect solution for conveying substitute fuels, which are coming into increasing use. Trucks have considerable disadvantages in this regard. Road building is expensive, and the more raw materials have to be transported from the excavation point to the factory, the more journeys have to be made.

Belt conveyors are equipped with environmentally friendly electrical drives and low-energy belts. As they are usually designed with closed-loop controls, the load can be optimally distributed on the drive unit for different operating conditions. When the belt conveyor is running downhill, the system works in generating mode. The recovered electrical energy is fed back to the public electricity supply via a feedback unit.

Visitors to the trade fair will also learn about BEUMER Customer Support, which ensures that all of the user’s systems have a high level of availability. The support team also optimizes existing machinery. Highly capable experts located all over the world provide professional repair and maintenance, deliver spare parts and carry out customer training.

BEUMER at POWER-GEN Europe 2014: hall 6, booth N44

The right solution for every problem in intralogistics
Beckum, 28. March 2014

At CeMAT, which will be held in Hanover from May 19 to 23, the BEUMER Group will be presenting a number of new solutions, including a belt tray sorter equipped with new modules and functions, a more efficient drive system with significantly increased efficiency and a completely redesigned machine in the BEUMER stretch hood series. These tailor-made solutions by the intralogistics specialists are a response to changing consumption patterns and to e-commerce, a major driver of growth.

Visitors to the trade show will be able to see the 40-meter-long BS 7 BT belt tray sorter in action. BEUMER has equipped the machine with a variety of modules and functions, thus demonstrating how it can accommodate users’ individual requirements. An example is the manual input station, which provides a low-cost means of loading items onto the sorter. Another module consists of a camera system that reads barcodes on products right when they are loaded. If the system cannot recognize the barcode, it does not feed the product. There is also a tool which corrects errors in the sorting process, in this way improving accuracy. A correcting frame detects the position of the product on the belt tray element. If the item is too far to the left or right on the belt, the system pushes it back to the middle, ensuring a secure and reliable sorting process at all times.

BEUMER and the Danish company Crisplant a/s, another member of the BEUMER Group, are among the world's leading suppliers of sorting and distribution equipment. At its trade fair booth BEUMER will be showcasing its comprehensive expertise, including fully automatic sortation systems such as the Double-Density Tilt-Tray Sorter and the Crisplant LS-4000 High-Speed Loop Sorter. These are used throughout the world in postal and distribution centers and enable goods to be sorted quickly and gently. The cross-belt and tilt-tray sorters provide a high level of benefit for the user.

In the area of high-performance sorters the BEUMER Group has developed the new OptiDrive, an efficient force-fit drive system which offers an extremely economical alternative to conventional asynchronous linear motors. Its special feature is what is called double-acting proportional contact pressure. Pressure is applied in both directions – in accelerating as well as in braking. In this way the pressing force of the drive wheel is automatically adjusted depending on the amount of power needed. This increases efficiency by as much as 85 percent and extends the service life of the drive wheels. The system is already in successful operation.

From filling to packaging

The strength of the BEUMER Group is its ability to combine individual machines and systems by means of intelligent automation for greater efficiency.

The BEUMER Group supplies filling, palletizing and packaging equipment from a single source. The BEUMER fillpac, for example, can be incorporated flexibly into existing packaging lines. The bagging machine is equipped with a calibratable weigher. The electronic weighing unit ensures that the fillpac always achieves accurate filling quantities. Special software enables the weigher to communicate continuously with the filling spouts. This enables users to get the best out of their packaging lines, as it is not necessary to reject bags with incorrect weights from the process.

BEUMER has completely revamped the BEUMER paletpac high-performance layer palletizer in order to stack paper, PE and PP bags on different sized pallets flexibly, accurately and stably, and now even more efficiently. Users benefit from improved accessibility, shorter installation time, greater flexibility and therefore lower costs. The palletizer can be fitted with a rotary clamp or double belt turning device which allows bags filled with bulk materials with special flow behavior to be stacked on pallets gently, quickly and accurately. BEUMER’s Customer Support specialists can easily retrofit existing palletizers with this solution. BEUMER also offers the robotpac, a space-saving, fully automatic articulated robot which is able to perform complex palletizing and depalletizing tasks reliably and efficiently. Containers such as bags, cartons, boxes, canisters and trays can be stacked safely and economically. BEUMER has developed appropriate, flexibly exchangeable gripper systems for every packaged product.

BEUMER has added a new machine to its stretch hood series for efficient packaging of palletized stacks. As part of this work, it redesigned its high-performance packaging system from the bottom up. BEUMER’s experts analyzed different components and optimized them. For example, they improved the menu guidance for the control of the machine via a soft touch panel, redesigned the workstations according to ergonomic principles and equipped the machine with an innovative system which transports the film with the utmost care.

In the field of conveying and loading equipment BEUMER provides information on belt conveyor systems with horizontal and vertical curves, belt bucket elevators, heavy-duty belt bucket elevators for particularly large delivery rates and heights, and steel cell conveyors fitted with chains or belts for clinker. As well as supplying all the machines and electrical equipment, BEUMER usually takes charge of the whole process. This includes the process design for the complete system as well as the coordination and monitoring of installation and commissioning.

Visitors to the trade fair will also learn about BEUMER Customer Support, which ensures that all of the user’s systems have a high level of availability and optimizes existing machinery with the latest software updates. The support experts, who are located all over the world, provide professional repair and maintenance, deliver spare parts and carry out customer training.

BEUMER at CeMAT 2014, hall 27, booth H32

From the quarry to the packaged stack
Beckum, 27. March 2014

At the bulk material fair Schüttgut 2014 (May 21 to 22, Dortmund), the BEUMER Group will be presenting its extensive expertise in conveying, loading, filling, palletizing and packaging equipment. A new addition to the range is the BEUMER fillpac R bagging machine.

BEUMER will be attending the Schüttgut exhibition as a supplier of machinery and systems for the bulk materials industry. Visitors will learn all about the intralogistics specialist’s curved belt conveyors. These are capable of transporting large quantities of bulk material from the quarry or mine to the factory or port cost-effectively and quickly. They overcome long distances, steep gradients and tight curves, and can be individually matched to the particular task and topography. Depending on the requirement, BEUMER offers open troughed belt conveyors for higher throughputs and larger mass flows as well as larger curve radii, and enclosed pipe conveyors for products which need to be protected against the effects of the environment and for tighter routing.

BEUMER also provides loading heads for fast and dust-free loading of bulk materials into silo vehicles. Their double-walled design separates the dust-removal system from the material inlet. The heads can be moved laterally to compensate for minor errors in the position of the vehicle. Various telescopic systems for loading open vehicles without generating dust are also available.

The BEUMER Group offers efficient and optimized filling technology in the form of the BEUMER fillpac. The rotary packer is designed for capacities from 300 to 6,000 bags per hour. The system is capable of processing all types of bag. When fitted with a special bag placer, the fillpac R also fills HDPE bags. The size of the filling impeller has also been increased. In the field of palletizing technology, BEUMER will be providing information on its paletpac range. These layer palletizers handle bags filled with bulk materials. The geometrical accuracy and stability of the palletized stacks enable them to be stored temporarily without any problems or to be safely conveyed to the downstream packaging system. In addition, BEUMER has redesigned the versatile BEUMER stretch hood high-performance packaging machine from the bottom up. This machine packages palletized goods with minimal use of film, and secures loads on pallets with a perfectly fitting film hood.

BEUMER at Schüttgut 2014, Dortmund: hall 5, booth J09

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