新闻稿

"We support our customers in growing"
Beckum, 19. June 2019

Interview with Thomas Wiesmann, Director Sales Logistic Systems at BEUMER Group

At LogiMAT in Stuttgart, BEUMER Group presented its newly developed BG Sorter from the sortation and distribution technology segment. The high-capacity system enables precise and controlled processing of a wide variety of packages. The system integrator also has an efficient warehouse control system in its range for optimum flow of goods. In an interview, Thomas Wiesmann explains how users can benefit from this comprehensive competence and what trends they can expect. He is Director Sales Logistic Systems at BEUMER Group.

Mr. Wiesmann, at LogiMAT you showed the newly developed BG Sorter, which BEUMER Group first presented in 2018. How was the high-speed sortation system received in the market?

Wiesmann: Very well. We have already been able to implement some exciting projects since the market launch. This includes, for example, the new distribution centre of Austrian Post in Wernberg in Carinthia. Up to 30,000 parcels are handled on a daily basis. Our BG Sorter is at the heart of the centre. Availability, reliability and, above all, speed are valuable assets in this industry and are of paramount importance to our customers. With our system, Austrian Post will be the only parcel service provider in Austria to deliver parcels six days a week, from Monday to Saturday. The BG Sorter is powerful, energy-efficient and extremely quiet – much to the benefit of the employees.

What makes this high-capacity sorter so special and how do users benefit from it?

Wiesmann: With our BG sorter, operators benefit from very precise and controlled sorting with maximum flexibility. This means that both tilt tray and cross-belt sorters can be used in customer systems. The new sorter family provides the ideal variant for any type of items. The BG Sorter CB ("cross belt") is a reliable solution for sorting a wide variety of articles such as parcels and bags. The so-called "full cross belt design" means that the maximum belt width is ensured. The actual benefit for the customer: More usable belt area is available with the same sorter size. The risk that products remain lying between the belts is reduced. The tilt tray design also offers some advantages. We have designed the tilt trays so as to prevent items from getting stuck between the trays. The so-called "closed deck" closes the gap between them. This function reduces downtimes and avoids possible damage to the sorter or the goods. Users can handle items of different sizes with more flexibility. The tilt tray version can transport items weighing up to 60 kilograms. Furthermore, the construction series is available either with the proven OptiDrive, which is based on servo drives, or the contactless linear synchronous motor as the drive system. Both reduce energy demand and CO2 emissions compared to products offered by our competitors.

With this development, you have combined the best of Crisplant technology with the best of BEUMER technology. Can you give us more information?

Wiesmann: Both Crisplant, which today operates under the name of BEUMER Group A/S, and we have acquired extensive know-how in the development of high-quality sortation systems over decades. Since the acquisition in 2009, we have been able to expand our portfolio, exploit synergies and further expand our strengths in technology. The BG Sorter combines future-oriented features, which set new standards in sorting as large a product range as possible. Providing our customers with this scalable system, we facilitate their future growth and enable them to respond to changes in the market.

What demands do online retailers make on sortation technology today and how have they changed over the years?

Wiesmann: The competitive pressure on postal and CEP companies continues to increase. They must not only save costs, but also adopt a more environmentally conscious approach and follow market trends. Basically, material distribution technology is becoming more complex, and the systems must be able to perform increasingly specific tasks or adapt to changing conditions. Highly efficient processes are necessary to ensure quick delivery of parcels to the customer. Mail order companies are offering more and more products whose dimensions previously made it difficult to transport them automatically. In order to meet the increased performance requirements, more automation is required. In addition, the number of the required sortation and distribution systems is increasing, as more small-scale distribution centres are being built close to customers in order to be able to supply them even faster.

As a system integrator, you offer a flexible and modular warehouse control system (WCS) to control complete material flows in distribution centres from goods receipt to goods issue in real time. What are the features of this solution?

Wiesmann: Our WCS centrally connects and controls material flows from quality assurance, picking of goods and order picking to goods issue, always in accordance with the actual occupancy rate. How effective this system is can be seen, for example, in the new European logistics centre of the Polish automotive spare parts supplier Inter Cars near Warsaw. There it controls the packing and goods issue sorter as well as the put-to-light system in the goods receipt department, coordinates the automatic provision and application of the labels required for shipping the goods, and handles the routing of the individual items on the conveyor lines. This route planning optimises the performance of the system and controls the distribution of the various spare part types.

As an additional module we also offer our BG Fusion system to operators. This visual display system provides the operator with a web-enabled user interface for configuration, monitoring and reporting. It displays system data as alarms in a uniform and centralised way and shows status messages, fault messages and all relevant data. The entire system status can be monitored via the interface to the machine control. BG Fusion combines machine and order data so that the responsible employee can track the current order status in real time.

Why are such software systems becoming more and more important, and what are the concrete benefits for the user?

Wiesmann: The software systems serve as link between the customer's enterprise resource planning (ERP) or warehouse management system (WMS) and the entire material flow equipment. They ensure that the products reach the right place in the desired time within the distribution centre. Operators can perfectly coordinate their processes, increase throughput and reduce costs. With our know-how in sortation technology, we know exactly how to use these systems so that the user gets the most value out of it.

When developing the WCS software, what did you focus on?

Wiesmann: Unlike many competitors, our focus is not on adapting the customer's processes to the WCS. We rather adapt the system with its modular design to the respective needs of the customer on a project-by-project basis.

Outlook for the future: What challenges do you see for the logistics industry, and how must providers develop their IT skills?

Wiesmann: E-commerce is picking up speed and we are expecting double-digit growth per year in this area. In order to hold their own against competitors, the future success of mail order companies and logistics service providers will depend even more on the performance of their distribution centres. To increase performance, digitisation is inevitable.

What does that mean in concrete terms for us as suppliers? To position us for the future, we must complement our expertise in machines and systems, including the necessary software and controls, with digital innovation. We have competence in mechanical engineering. Here in Germany, there are many hidden champions who are global leaders with their products and systems. In my opinion, it is more convenient to adapt digital technologies for the required digital competence. For this purpose, we founded the BEAM GmbH in Berlin. With this autonomous company builder, we want to solve B2B challenges that are unique to the logistics industry in cooperation with start-up teams. For this we are planning on founding three start-ups per year and transfer them, consolidated under BEAM, into a separate company. Our goal is to open up new, but also disruptive business areas in logistics.

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A healthy batch of safety
Beckum, 17. June 2019

Davert opts for BEUMER stretch hood® A for packaging its palletised organic products:

Davert GmbH specialises in organic foods and stands for the continuous further development of processing methods and careful monitoring of these products, from cultivation to packaging. And this is where BEUMER Group comes in. The finished, high quality organic products like rice, legumes and cereal products like sugar, dried fruit, nuts, oilseeds and sprouting seeds must be protected from dust and pests during storage and then transported without damage to drug and health food stores. The system supplier provided the BEUMER stretch hood A for this task. It covers the mixed pallets of bags, cartons and buckets with a highly elastic stretch film, protecting them against external influences, keeping the merchandise secured during transport, even through sudden braking.

Healthy and sustainable nutrition plays an increasingly important role to consumers. Not only because it tastes better and is good for you, but also because consumers are taking a more critical look and want transparency when it comes to the production and processing of their food. Organic supermarkets and health food stores respond to these demands. Davert GmbH is a trading and manufacturing company for high-quality organic products. The company with its 150 employees is based in Ascheberg, in the southern Münster region, right next to the eponymous nature reserve Davert. "With our guarantee of origin, we are committed to fair trade and long-term business relationships world-wide," says Erwin Tenbrink, Technical Director at Davert. The company acts as a consultant for its partners when it comes to product selection and cultivation and coordinates infrastructure projects. For its customers, Davert follows a multi-channel strategy: the merchandise is sold via their own online shop and in in selected drugstores and health food retailers.

Cleanliness has the highest priority

"We are ensuring the highest degree of cleanliness to meet our strict quality standards," explains Tenbrink. Before being shipped out, the legumes, rice etc. have undergone special quality controls. The employees examine the incoming raw products and set up the required cleaning steps. In one mill for example, air flow from the aspiration channel removes stalk remnants, husks and dust from the cereal. Different sized grains are seperated using screens. Weed seeds and light particles like defective grains are also weeded out by the system, an optoelectronic sorter removes the foreign particles. "Another preventive measure is the pressure treatment that we use to prevent any pest infestation from the start," reports Tenbrink. "The sudden pressure release kills off any pests like bugs, moths or mites and their larvae and eggs, without compromising the quality of the product in any way."

In compliance with the quality assurance process, employees pack the merchandise in a variety of ways, depending on the product: rice, flour, linseed and grains are packed into bags, larger storage quantities into big bags. Packaged legumes, nuts, dried fruit and muesli is filled into boxes, honey into buckets. Depending on the store order, the team stacks the various unit loads onto mixed pallets. "Up to this point in the process, we assign the highest priority to cleanliness," explains Tenbrink: "And now it is just as important to keep this level of cleanliness and protect the products from dust and pests during storage in our high-rack warehouse." The units also have to be loaded safely onto the back of the trucks and reach the distributor without any damage. This is where the packaging comes into play.

Reliable and powerful packaging system

The managers were looking for a solution that could meet all these requirements, ensuring fast and reliable operation, high levels of availability, easy maintenance, and a small footprint. They found BEUMER Group. The single-source provider for filling, palletising and packaging technology delivered the BEUMER stretch hood A high-capacity packaging system. "The machine is very easy and safe to operate," describes Volker Feldmeyer, sales engineer at BEUMER Group and responsible for the project at Davert. "In order to make work easier for the maintenance personnel, which also means higher levels of availability, the machine does not require any platform." Maintenance work, such as changing the blades or the sealing bars, is handled at floor level. The operator simply opens a drawer, providing free access. Additional benefits include the compact design and the resulting low height and small footprint.

A film transport system, which is particularly gentle on the material, introduces the previously cut and sealed 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 losing time. Energy-consuming cooling units and delayed cooling times become obsolete. This means that the pallets can be packed in a shorter cycle time. Economical engines and a lower demand in compressed air optimise the energy balance. Environmental considerations are also important to Davert. In order to save resources and produce minimum waste, the company opted for this type of film wrapping. The palletised goods are also clearly visible through the smooth surface of the transparent, highly flexible film. The wrapping protects the merchandise against atmospheric influences and humidity, and ensures an aesthetic appearance on the shop floors. "The elastic film also increases the safety during transport considerably," describes Feldmeyer. At Davert, the BEUMER stretch hood A packages the pallets for high-bay storage systems: the pallet base remains unwrapped, so that the forks of the fork-lift truck won't damage the film. This prevents any remaining film from interfering during the contour check before the pallet is stored in the high-rack system.

Easily operated

The system supplier has introduced the BEUMER Group Human Machine Interface (HMI). This newly-developed operator panel with an optimised user interface and graphical navigation for operating the system offers an even more ergonomic workflow to the user. This easily understandable and intuitive interaction concept helps to define efficient working sequences. "The soft-touch panel uses pictograms to guide the user through the menu of the Siemens SIMATIC S7 machine control," explains Feldmeyer. ""The panel also gives the operator access to all required training programs and content."

"We implemented this project in close cooperation with BEUMER Group," Erwin Tenbrink is happy to report. He is entirely convinced of the great technical cooperation during the planning and installation of the system. One important aspect for him is reliable customer support, as even this high-quality machine needs maintenance and service. "If necessary, we send our service personnel to the plant to check the system and perform any required adjustments," Feldmeyer promises. "This way we can ensure high-levels of availability at any time."

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