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"We have all the opportunities in the world"
Beckum, 22. November 2018

Interview with Johannes Stemmer, Director Digital Transformation at BEUMER Group

Digital transformation is inevitable. Industry, economy and society are already there. How can a medium-sized mechanical engineering company and leading global systems supplier of intralogistics solutions face these changes and get the most value out of it? Johannes Stemmer, Director Digital Transformation at BEUMER Group, is here to give us answers.

Mr Stemmer, how do you understand digital transformation within the context of your company?

Stemmer: It basically comes down to the safeguarding of our future sustainability. We are combining 80 years of experience, which made us one of the leading global systems suppliers in the intralogistics industry, with innovation that is driven by today's challenges from digitization.

What is important for a successful digital transformation?

Stemmer: We are already experiencing digital transformation, not only in our business, but also in our private lives. Almost everybody owns a smartphone, streaming services are taking over and digital platforms are continuously growing. Many of the companies that are active in this field have no relation to standard business models which have existed previously. In August this year, Apple became the first company in the world to have a net worth of more than one trillion US dollars. That is more than the 15 largest DAX-listed companies combined. This switch to mobile end devices also affects the buying behaviour in our society. E-commerce is picking up speed, and we are expecting double-digit growth per year in this area. It is an important business field for BEUMER Group. We have to be fast and flexible in adapting new technologies.

Property rights are an important topic that we will need to examine thoroughly. A traditional technical innovation can be patented, but when it comes to software, things get a littler more difficult, and for business models it becomes almost impossible. For any digital innovation, data plays an increasingly important role. Their value tends to be underestimated in the industrial context. Data, and the resulting efficiency gains, are beneficial for customers and companies and the use of this data can be transferred into new business models. In this regard, other countries are way ahead of us, which has to make us rethink our strategy.

Where is Germany in this process at the moment?

Stemmer: I think that German companies are generally in a better position than it is often portrayed in the media. We have many hidden champions who are global leaders with their products and systems. That is a very good starting position to acquire the necessary digital literacy needed to ensure future sustainability. In my opinion it is easier for a company to adapt the digitization technologies instead of trying to catch up on the know-how lead in the manufacturing sector from a software perspective.

The goal is to complement the capacity of the machines and systems, including the required software and controls, with digital innovation. Especially the B2B environment offers us every chance to play a leading role.

The name "digital transformation" already implies that there is an important change involved. What does this mean for the business world and for the individual, what will be the challenges?

Stemmer: First of all we have to include the people in this, at an acceptable pace. We at BEUMER Group have a large group of different experts. Some of the colleagues work on innovation and software every day, other areas are less affected by this. It is important to make all employees more aware of this topic. Digital transformation is inevitable and it will change our entire business environment. So we should avoid alarmism and find quick and consistent answers instead.

How can you make people more aware of this topic?

Stemmer: One good example are streaming services. Everybody knows Spotify, Apple Music or Netflix. What is new is that we have to look at them as our competitors. Not because they offer the traditional products in the intralogistics field like we do, but because streaming services have changed the entire market mechanisms. Our sortation systems were used for sorting and distributing CDs for the music industry, for example. Within only a few months this entire market was cancelled out, almost no one went to a record store anymore because now there were streaming services. With these business models, the services contributed, within a very short period of time, to the disruption of a market segment that we are active in. This can happen in other segments too.

What are the reactions among the employees?

Stemmer: They can see that there is a lot happening right now. They also see the opportunities, if we respond quickly and efficiently. We can't just ignore the changes. BEUMER Group's core lies in plant engineering. In the past, we focused primarily on physical products and their automation, like a packaging system, a sorter or a belt conveyor. That is our expertise. But over the course of the last few years, software became increasingly important, so that we are now employing more than 200 software engineers in our group. This trend will only continue.

How can this transformation process play out? Are there different steps?

Stemmer: It would be naive to think that we could make this change happen at the push of a button. It is a process that will take several years: we need to prepare our company for the digital age and bring our employees on board. For this we are launching several pilot projects that are aimed towards solving concrete customer problems, improving our processes and targeting new business models with the help of digitization. Depending on the success of the pilot phase, the lessons learned will be integrated and developed further in our processes, products and services.

BEUMER Group wants to be a driver of the digital change and launched two spin-off companies. Can you tell us a little bit about these teams and their fields of activity?

Stemmer: We started BG.evolution at the university location of Dortmund, with the intention to bring digital innovation from outside into the company. The means that the colleagues are working on a customer problem and develop so-called minimum viable products, prototypes that feature minimum equipment, and check, if applicable, their market potential up to marketability. This makes it easier for us to decide quickly whether a new technology will work for the concrete customer problem. Let's take for example the use of smart glasses: if our colleagues on site need the support from other departments at the head offices, for example for a concrete error pattern or maintenance. Here the new technologies can help us to support our service technicians or the customer directly. This is what we are testing the video glasses for. The advantages: with the glasses, the colleagues on site can continue to work hands-free and communicate with everybody involved. The goal of BG.evlution is to validate new technologies for concrete applications in cooperation with the customer.

The second spin-off is Beam GmbH in Berlin. With this autonomous company builder we want to solve problems 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. The goal is to open up new business fields in logistics. One example is that the BEUMER logistics chain at airports ends at the baggage reclaim area. One idea could be to have the bags of frequent flyers or business travellers directly delivered to their hotel. This is not part of the BEUMER core competencies, but a very promising business segment. A young company could accept that challenge and work autonomously on a solution. Our goal is to then successfully establish it on the market. Unlike in Dortmund, the aim in Berlin is to pitch the problem to entrepreneurs and get them interested in working on a solution. What we offer is start-up financing and access to our experts and customers. They get the chance to start their own company.

How do you meet the entrepreneurs?

Stemmer: We launched this process about a year ago at Factory Berlin, the biggest start-up campus in Germany. There is a lot of talent among the 1,500 to 2,000 entrepreneurs. Our Managing Director there is Robert Bach, himself an experienced entrepreneur. In Berlin we are right in the heart of the start-up scene, can benefit from events, give presentations ourselves and arrange offline events to get people's attention. Of course we can also use that framework to advertise for BEUMER Group: Who are we? What is our goal? Who are we looking for and what can we offer young entrepreneurs? It is the perfect platform for us for networking and elevating visibility.

Who are the BEUMER employees in Dortmund and Berlin?

Stemmer: The team in Dortmund is led by Christopher Kirsch. He is an experienced IT specialist and used to work for research institutions and industry projects for many years. Our goal in Dortmund is to bring more software and sensor technology expertise into our company. So we are always looking for new talent in areas like Internet of Things (IoT), sensor technology, full stack development and UX design. All of which are relatively new job descriptions in the plant engineering sector. Let me come back to the smart glasses: we don't only need the hardware in the form of the actual glasses, but they must also be connected and integrated into our existing BEUMER tool landscape. We also need experts that are familiar with the exact conditions on site and can recognise typical error patterns, so that, by using the smart glasses, they can provide better service. This is why Dortmund is working in close cooperation with the colleagues and customers at the head offices, while Berlin has a more autonomous character.

What are your responsibilities?

Stemmer: My task is to build a bridge between BG.evolution in Dortmund, Beam in Berlin and BEUMER Group. I am responsible for BEUMER internal digitization projects as well as the management of BG.evolution. I'm basically the interface between the colleagues in Dortmund, Berlin and the BEUMER Group companies and I support and foster the mutual exchange. I want to make our colleagues more aware of this topic, which is a big part of my job. Communication is probably the most important element when it comes to digital Transformation.

How does the cooperation with Beckum work?

Stemmer: It works very well in general, and we also learn new things every day and try out new formats of cooperating. Several times a year, we organise "Pitch Days" at our locations in Denmark, Beckum and the US, for example. We encourage our colleagues to bring in their own ideas and challenges from their everyday working life. This takes place in a very relaxed atmosphere in the cafeteria. Our goal is to generate new input that we address internally in Dortmund and Berlin, if possible, and include the colleagues and idea providers in the validation process.

BEUMER Group works in different business segments, such as the Center of Competence (CoC) for Logistics and the CoC Airport. Here we participate in central meetings and present our topics, learn about new problems and challenges and ensure a continuous dialogue. We want to keep our colleagues up-to-date and communicate transparently through various in-house events. They are a crucial key element for us. Because there is a legitimate interest in what we are doing and why. We continue to learn every day what format works and what doesn't. For some projects, our colleagues from Beckum can also come to Berlin or Dortmund themselves.

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BEUMER Group automated parcel sorter goes live at Whistl’s super depot in Bolton, UK
Aarhus, 13. November 2018

BEUMER Group, a leading global supplier of automated parcel and post distribution systems, announces the live operation of an automated sortation system installed in Whistl's new super depot in Bolton, UK.

The automated cross-belt loop sorter will ensure faster sortation with greater capacity for e-commerce packets and parcels (cardboard boxes, jiffy bags, poly-wraps) up to the medium size. Cost-effective sortation combined with reduced levels of energy consumption enhance Whistl's commitment to considering the environment, in addition to the competitive and economic factors of each procurement decision.

As the UK’s second largest postal operator, Whistl contracted BEUMER to install the automated sorter in the new super depot. The depot operates as the designated hub for Whistl's sortation operations in the North West of the UK, which is one of the UK’s leading logistics and distribution areas.

Designed to enable Whistl to achieve further expansion to support the soaring e-commerce market, the ergonomic design of the sorter’s man/machine interface also supports Whistl’s drive to provide a clean, safe and secure work environment. In addition to the overall design of the sorter, BEUMER Group tested the interface to ensure that operators would experience minimal twisting and turning and no repetitive stress.

Whistl’s CEO, Nick Wells, CEO explains "The meticulous design of BEUMER Group's sortation system enables Whistl to achieve greater efficiency in the processing of packets and parcels. This is an essential part of Whistl’s growth strategy in responding to the continued growth in the e-commerce market.”

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Through wild nature and populated regions
Beckum, 12. November 2018

Asia Cement Group opts for 13.7 km long BEUMER Group troughed belt conveyor in Sichuan, China:

Sichuan Yadong Cement Co, Ltd. in Pengzhou, China, has been relying on a 12.5 km overland conveyor from BEUMER Group in order to convey limestone from their quarry to their silo. When constructed in 2009 it was the longest belt conveying system in BEUMER history (BEUMER installed a longer system in 2016). The troughed belt conveyor runs through hilly terrain and nature reserves, over streams and unstable ground. The second project includes two additional overland conveyors, with an overall length of 13.7 kilometres, transporting limestone to the cement plant. Unlike the first project, the task here was to build the conveyor across inhabited areas. Noise emission limitations set forth by the government also needed to be considered.

A traditional Chinese proverb says that the roads in Sichuan are hard, harder than climbing to heaven. Depending on the destination, there are rivers and valleys to be crossed and mountains to overcome. The southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan is the source of the majority of different ores in the country, such as titan, lithium and silver and plays a major role economically. The electronics, mechanical engineering, metallurgical, chemical, medical, food and building material industries are all pillars of the economy. One of the cement manufacturers in the region is Sichuan Yadong Cement Co, Ltd. located near Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan. The company is a member of the Asia Cement Group, headquartered in Taipeh, Taiwan.

In 2004, the company decided to build a new cement plant in Sichuan. During the development phase, Asia Cement Group received approval from the Chinese government to use an abandoned railway to transport the limestone. Halfway through finishing the plant however, the government decided to build a new dam. The area intended for the transport was to be flooded, which would have changed the project conditions considerably: roads would be flooded and the trucks would have to take significant detours. Asia Cement Group was also planning on building two additional kiln lines at this location. It was determined, as a time and cost efficient alternative, to install a troughed belt conveyor able to navigate horizontal and vertical curves. For this, the company turned to BEUMER Group. For many years now, Asia Cement has been relying on the system supplier's expertise and are currently operating several of its bucket elevators.

Knowing what the customer wants

BEUMER Group took over the mechanical and electrical engineering and supplied the core components for the overland conveyor and monitored and commissioned its installation. The advantage: The Chinese subsidiary BEUMER Machinery Shanghai can be reached easily and deployed quickly to site. "Our colleagues were able to work closely with the customer. They know the specific local customs, speak the language and are familiar with the particular market and customer requirements," reports Dr. Andreas Echelmeyer, Director of Conveying and Loading Systems at BEUMER Group.

In May 2006, Asia Cement Group awarded the contract for the 12.5 km long system. The overland conveyor can reach a mass flow of 1,500 tons per hour and a conveying speed of four meters per second. "Compared to other conveying solutions, the open troughed belt conveyors are suitable for higher throughputs. Horizontal as well as vertical curve radii are possible," explains Dr. Echelmeyer. They can be adapted to the specific task and topography. Using BEUMER calculation programs, we can precisely calculate the static and dynamic tractive forces of the belt during the development phase of the system. This is a prerequisite for the safe dimensioning of horizontal curves. The type of drive technology and conveyor belts needed are based on these calculations. This ensures longevity of the entire system.

Mountains, soft grounds and extreme heights

The terrain is hilly and covered with dense bamboo forest, parts of which are listed as nature reserve. For this reason, the government did not approve a service route nor deforestation. The ground also presented a major challenge for the BEUMER Group engineers: "The ground is unstable due to previous coal mining. In other areas, the ground consists mostly of granite that could only be partially removed," explains Dr. Echelmeyer. Another section of 1.5 kilometres had to be guided across a river. These framework conditions contributed to the fact that 90 percent of the system was installed manually on site. As it was impossible for trucks to transport the components, they were carried by mules, one part at a time, to the place of installation.

The route of the overland conveyor was coordinated between BEUMER Group and the cement manufacturer. The system supplier calculated the tractive forces of the belt considering the eight horizontal curves with radii of 1,000 to 5,000 metres. The routing was checked for its feasibility on site. The complete route was checked by employees on foot, passing through rough terrain, in order to reliably check the predefined positions for the 460 supports for their suitability directly on site. Whenever technically possible, the routing of the conveyor was adapted to the topography. Height differences of up to 100 metres had to be overcome within shortest distances, so several sections were equipped with bridges of up to 55 metres. One section was realised with a 130 metre long tunnel.

In close cooperation with the customer, BEUMER Group designed the overland conveyor and the bridges. The system supplier developed, built and supplied the core components for the drive and take-up station as well as the belt of an overall length of 25 kilometres, the idlers and the drive technology. Since February 2009, the overland conveyor has been transporting bulk material from the quarry to the bulk loading system. Since commissioning of the first section, the mass flow of the conveyor was increased in two steps. Today, the system conveys a mass flow  of 2,200 tons per hour at a conveying speed of 4.5 metres per second.

The longest belt conveyor in company history

In July 2013, Asia Cement contracted BEUMER Group again for an additional, efficient overland conveyor to replace the trucks transporting the limestone from the bulk loading system to the cement plant. A mass flow of 2,200 tons of limestone per hour was necessary to meet the plant's requirements. For this project, the first conveyor was to be customised to these requirements. "We were planning a second troughed belt conveyor with an overall length of 13.7 kilometres," says Dr. Echelmeyer. This is the longest system in the history of BEUMER.

Projects of that size are often unpredictable, so flexibility was needed from the engineers. During the planning phase, the cement manufacturer acquired another plant in Lanfeng, approximately ten kilometres away. "Now we had to design the system so that both plants could be supplied with limestone," explains Dr. Echelmeyer. The team had to divide the overland conveyor in two parts. After 5.4 kilometres, an additional conveyor can be added to be fed to Lanfeng in the future. In February 2015, the system supplier started with the installation of the conveyor frame.

Both overland conveyors have four horizontal curves with radii of 1,200, 1,500 and 1,800 metres. "We provided the engineering and the individual parts such as pulleys, motors, drive and control technology and the entire automation," describes Dr. Echelmeyer. The installation was monitored by a BEUMER Group supervisor and the wiring of the system was supported by a BEUMER electrical engineer. The system supplier was also in charge of the commissioning in May 2016. The troughed belt conveyor is now supplying three kiln lines, a fourth line is planned.

Reaching the destination - no longer through rough terrain, and quiet

The requirements were different for the two projects: the challenges for the first project were the hilly terrain, instable grounds and crossing through conservation areas and over waterways, for the second project the system had to be built crossing through populated areas. The Chinese government has set out exact regulations on the noise emission levels so that the residents would not be impacted. "We had to minimize the noise to an extremely low level," describes Dr. Echelmeyer. The system supplier took several constructive measures in order to reduce the noise emissions. "We used noise-reducing idlers and customised protective covers on the drive stations," explains Dr. Echelmeyer. In collaboration with the operator, BEUMER Group optimised the conveyor frame and the completely enclosed conveyor Bridge.

For the whole project, BEUMER Group was able to ensure that the limestone is transported safely and quietly, without disturbing the residents or disrupting the surrounding nature.

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BEUMER Group wins contract for overland conveyor at Knight Hawk Coal facility in Illinois
Beckum, 05. September 2018

Four-mile single-flight system to serve company’s Prairie Eagle Mine

BEUMER Groups’ U.S. subsidiary, the BEUMER Corporation, has been awarded a contract to design, supply and install a nearly four-mile overland conveyor at Knight Hawk Coal’s Prairie Eagle Mine in Illinois.

The Knight Hawk project is a strategic win for BEUMER, allowing the company to broaden its mining sector footprint, according to Brad Williams, Vice President of Sales and Business Development for BEUMER’s Conveying & Loading Division, based in the Kansas City area.

“We are very accustomed to handling coal and coal residuals in the Power industry, but we are excited about the opportunity to focus on a project directly in the coal mining sector,” Williams said.

The curved troughed belt conveyor will carry coal from Knight Hawk’s new underground mine portal to its main coal preparation plant at Prairie Eagle. The overland conveyor will allow Knight Hawk to seal a portion of its underground mine and bring coal to the surface near its current mining activities. Commissioning of the new conveying system is scheduled for April 2019.

“This project is right up BEUMER’s alley from a technology standpoint, as it will become our third overland curved troughed belt conveyor installed in North America in the last five years,” Williams said. “Our curved conveyor technology allows for a single-flight system that costs less to install and operate than a conventional conveying system, and will offer Knight Hawk long-term financial and environmental benefits when compared with trucking.”

The original request for proposal called for four straight conveyors requiring three transfer towers,” Williams explained. BEUMER’s winning proposal features a single-flight curved conveying system that eliminates the cost of tower steel, and greatly reduces the quantity of components and necessary spare parts. It reduces the dust, noise, maintenance and operating costs associated with the transfer points, and offers 98 percent reliability compared with roughly 92 percent reliability of four conveyors operating in series.

Prairie Eagle is the hub of Knight Hawk's coal mining operations, processing and shipping more than 80 percent of the company's five million tons of annual coal production. Opened in 2005 as a surface mine, the Illinois facility was expanded to include two underground mines, Knight Hawk's primary coal preparation plant, and multiple truck loading facilities. Prairie Eagle is widely recognized as one of the most efficient underground mines in the United States.

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We keep your systems running
Beckum, 29. August 2018

BEUMER Group's availability management makes sure that your machines run without interruption:

Companies continue to develop and implement new innovations, shortening the life cycles of individual products and product series. Market developments can also make it necessary to implement the newly developed components into the existing systems. As a result, manufacturers have to increasingly phase out components and technologies. For these cases, BEUMER Group provides their customers with several solution packages so their systems can run without interruption.

A typical example is the development of energy-efficient motors. After an initial market launch, a manufacturer generally phases out previous product generations, which means that they are no longer available for parts supply. New drives are often not compatible with the predecessor models, having for example a different start-up behaviour. In these cases, BEUMER Group customer support provides its customers with targeted engineering and service measures. They are easy to plan and help prevent system downtimes. This means that even older systems can remain operational for many years for BEUMER customers.

Enough supplies for a long operating time

One of these measures is the so-called "last-buy campaign": "Our customers stock up on the original components or comparable parts prior to the discontinuation notice so that they can continue to use the system," explains Guido Hesse, Director Customer Support in Beckum, Germany. "We ensure a consistently operational solution, following the slogan: we keep you running."

Another approach are comparable components that BEUMER provides its customers. The engineering and service departments work closely together: these experts identify and test individual parts and supply them quickly. This means that BEUMER Group can ensure the continued operation of the customer's systems, even after a discontinuation. With this trustworthy approach, BEUMER provides reliable solutions to maintain system availability.

With the launch of a new component generation comes the occasional need to adjust system control as well requiring new commissioning. BEUMER Group assists here as well.

Systems (almost) for eternity

An interesting application took place recently at a German airport: the baggage conveying system installed by BEUMER is over 20 years old. The programming language of the control technology is no longer state-of-the art. When the airport decided to continue to use the existing technology for another five years with the help from the BEUMER Group customer support, the challenge was to find an expert who is familiar with the dated programming language. A challenge that was quickly resolved. "We could find an already retired, but still motivated colleague who was able to do the reprogramming," remembers Guido Hesse. "Everybody was happy."

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BEUMER Group wins contract for overland conveyor at Knight Hawk Coal facility in Illinois
Beckum, 21. August 2018

Four-mile single-flight system to serve company’s Prairie Eagle Mine

BEUMER Groups’ U.S. subsidiary, the BEUMER Corporation, has been awarded a contract to design, supply and install a nearly four-mile overland conveyor at Knight Hawk Coal’s Prairie Eagle Mine in Illinois.

The Knight Hawk project is a strategic win for BEUMER, allowing the company to broaden its mining sector footprint, according to Brad Williams, Vice President of Sales and Business Development for BEUMER’s Conveying & Loading Division, based in the Kansas City area.

“We are very accustomed to handling coal and coal residuals in the Power industry, but we are excited about the opportunity to focus on a project directly in the coal mining sector,” Williams said.

The curved troughed belt conveyor will carry coal from Knight Hawk’s new underground mine portal to its main coal preparation plant at Prairie Eagle. The overland conveyor will allow Knight Hawk to seal a portion of its underground mine and bring coal to the surface near its current mining activities. Commissioning of the new conveying system is scheduled for April 2019.

“This project is right up BEUMER’s alley from a technology standpoint, as it will become our third overland curved troughed belt conveyor installed in North America in the last five years,” Williams said. “Our curved conveyor technology allows for a single-flight system that costs less to install and operate than a conventional conveying system, and will offer Knight Hawk long-term financial and environmental benefits when compared with trucking.”

The original request for proposal called for four straight conveyors requiring three transfer towers,” Williams explained. BEUMER’s winning proposal features a single-flight curved conveying system that eliminates the cost of tower steel, and greatly reduces the quantity of components and necessary spare parts. It reduces the dust, noise, maintenance and operating costs associated with the transfer points, and offers 98 percent reliability compared with roughly 92 percent reliability of four conveyors operating in series.

Prairie Eagle is the hub of Knight Hawk's coal mining operations, processing and shipping more than 80 percent of the company's five million tons of annual coal production. Opened in 2005 as a surface mine, the Illinois facility was expanded to include two underground mines, Knight Hawk's primary coal preparation plant, and multiple truck loading facilities. Prairie Eagle is widely recognized as one of the most efficient underground mines in the United States.

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BEUMER Group hands-over new baggage handling system at Paris - Charles de Gaulle Airport
Aarhus, 21. August 2018

BEUMER Group - a leading global supplier of automated baggage handling systems - announces that the new Baggage Handling System (BHS) at Paris - Charles de Gaulle Airport has been handed over to the airport operators, Groupe ADP.

The new CrisBag® tote-based BHS will provide 100% tracking of baggage as it is checked-in at the Airport's Terminal 2E and transported via a 500-meter tunnel to the Satellite 3 (S3) Terminal. The CrisBag system will also provide the speed and capacity to meet the demands of the large-capacity airliners, such as the Airbus A380, which are served by the S3 Satellite.

“BEUMER Group is a long-term partner of Groupe ADP, which is why we were entrusted with the update to the baggage handling system and the integration of the airport’s first ECAC Standard 3 screening system,” explains Klaus Schäfer, Managing Director, BEUMER Group A/S.

With its high redundancy, the CrisBag system will ensure high availability and enable the airport to offer passengers greater flexibility at check-in. The high-speed transportation of baggage from check-in to S3 will allow very short transport time, less than 20 minutes including ECAC Standard 3 screening.

Groupe ADP chose the CrisBag tote-based system for its high reliability which offers the optimum solution for this type of tunnel-based transport. The system consists of more than 2500 CrisBag modules and has a capacity of 3200 bags per hour.

“The technical performance of the system was demonstrated during 2 months of intensive tests involving carrying test luggage and ensuring integrity from a safety point of view, while working around the need to keep the terminal in operation”, explains Nadine Vennat, Groupe ADP Project Director.

She continues, “The BEUMER Group and Alstef teams provided Groupe ADP with operational support during the first 4 weeks of ramp-up operations to help Groupe ADP teams take control of the system. As a first step, ORAT tests were organised to validate the operational processes. Then the system was put into service progressively, check-in group by check-in group, with technical support from BEUMER Group to pilot the supervision station.

“This transitional phase was the key to a smooth start-up. The proximity of the BEUMER Group teams helped to quickly instill confidence and helped us make the decision to use the TDS3 BHS for full operation only 2 months after initial hand-over, at the beginning of summer 2018.”

The combination of high-level controls for the baggage handling system, with SAC and SCADA systems, and the low-level controls, will provide Paris - Charles de Gaulle Airport with comprehensive management of the entire baggage handling system process. The high-level controls also feature a web-based user interface to enable remote control of the baggage handling system from a tablet device. In addition, the integration of RFID scanning of bag tags in the new baggage handling system will ensure that Groupe ADP remains at the forefront of airport technology. RFID baggage labels have been shown to minimise the number of mishandled bags and have been trialed by Groupe ADP since 2013 with the installation of RFID scanners by Air France and KLM.

Continued availability of the new baggage handling system is crucial for Paris - Charles de Gaulle, which is one of the world’s 10 busiest airports by passenger traffic. To ensure on-going optimisation and efficiency, Groupe ADP has also awarded BEUMER Group with a contract for the 24/7 maintenance of the CrisBag system. Based on very high Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), the contract will ensure that the baggage handling operation maintains the agreed high levels of performance. This will enable Paris - Charles de Gaulle Airport to meet its responsibilities to its airlines and passengers.

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The perfect set-up for change
Beckum, 21. August 2018

BEUMER Group's single-source-solution for Röfix proves the highest degree of flexibility for bagging, palletising and packaging different building materials:

Röfix AG's portfolio comprises around 200 different building materials, e.g. masonry mortar, renderings, paints, coatings and unbonded screeds. To make sure that the correct quantity of these materials gets to the customer safely and on time, the manufacturer places a special emphasis on filling, palletising and packaging technology. BEUMER Group provided an entire system to the site in Sennwald, Switzerland and integrated it into an existing building. The system can be flexibly adapted to the different materials, no retrofitting required. The individual system components are easy to maintain and operate reliably. This ensures high levels of availability and prevents downtimes.

A mountain range, characterised by the summits of the Chrüzberg, Stauberen and Hoher Kasten, dominates the panorama of the extensive Rhine plains. Here in Sennwald in the canton of St. Gallen, nature enthusiasts, hikers and bikers enjoy the forests, meadows and winding paths. The Austrian building materials manufacturer Röfix, member of the Fixit Gruppe, has one of its five Swiss locations in this picturesque town with its approximately 5,000 inhabitants. "We are manufacturing our entire product range here," describes Josef Sennhauser, CEO of Röfix, Switzerland. "Among the some 200 different building materials are fine plaster, different types of concrete, masonry mortar, screed and adhesives," adds plant manager Gerhardt Welte. "Each of these products has very different flow properties."

This can be a challenge. In order to remain competitive, not only the quality of the building materials is important, but "Manufacturers must also be reliable in getting their products to the customer on time," Sennhauser emphasises. "One of the most decisive factors for customer satisfaction is staying on schedule." To achieve this, the Suisse subsidiary needed an adaptable packaging line that could quickly bag, palletise and then package the finished stack with a stretch hood. In the past it had repeatedly incurred downtime on individual machines and workers had to do extensive retrofitting on the line when products changed, which caused delays.

Decision for the right partner

Röfix' experience has already been positive with solutions of BEUMER Group at some of their other plants. This is why those responsible turned towards BEUMER Group as a one-stop shop for filling, palletising and packaging technologies. "Not only do our customers look for reliability, we expect the same from our suppliers," says Welte. The key requirements for the packaging line, besides adaptability, were mainly economical operation, easy maintenance and extensive customer support. Both companies quickly agreed on the scope and schedule and the project was ready to begin.

Filling process: not too much, not too little

Due to the wide range of manufactured building materials, BEUMER Group installed a BEUMER fillpac R filling machine that operates according to the air filling principle. The bags are weighed during the filling process. The BEUMER fillpac is equipped with an electronic calibration-capable weighing unit. It ensures that the bags are always filled with the same amount of material. A special software enables filling spouts and scale to constantly compare weights. By using ultrasound to seal the bags, a very clean and efficient technology, the system can ensure optimal results. It also avoids the accumulation of material around the valve.

Due to its modular design, the system can be easily integrated into existing lines. The added BEUMER bag placer and ream magazine make the filling system even more efficient. Servomotors automatically, precisely and energy-efficiently drive the application unit and the suction gripper. The gripping and placing system takes the bags from the stack and applies them safely on the filling spout. 1,200 bags per hour can be applied like this with high precision. 1,800 bags are possible by adding an extension. "The BEUMER bag placer can be easily adjusted to other bag formats by the user. This increases the system's flexibility," explains Denis Sielemann, Senior Sales Manager, Building Materials, at BEUMER Group.

Gentle palletising is ensured

For the subsequent fully automatic, reliable and most of all fast palletising, BEUMER Group installed a BEUMER paletpac layer palletiser. This system precisely stacks the bags layer by layer in a 6-bag pattern onto the pallets. Sielemann explains: "The system includes a twin-belt turning device, so the bags can be turned to the required position fast, gently and without affecting their dimensions. "Regarding the positioning accuracy, this device offers an immense advantage when compared with conventional turning processes." The system component moves the bags without deforming them from a mechanical viewpoint. Two parallel belt conveyors are used instead. They turn the bags by moving at different speed. The intelligent control of the twin-belt turning device also takes the dimension and weight of the bags into consideration. Exact positioning, specified by the preset packing pattern, is achieved. What makes it unique: The user no longer needs to adjust the system to changing parameters in case of a product change, saving time and money.

Packed fast and safely

The finished bag stacks are transported over roller conveyors to the BEUMER stretch hood packaging system. "It is particularly easy and safe to use," explains Sieleman. In order to facilitate the work for the maintenance personnel and to ensure high system availability, the new packaging system no longer needs a platform. Maintenance work, such as changing the blades or the sealing bars, is handled at floor level. 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. This allows for the elimination of energy-consuming cooling units and efficiency-reducing cooling times. "With the BEUMER stretch hood A, we can switch quickly between different film types, which increases the flexibility of the entire line," says Sielemann. "We can process 50 to 60 pallets per hour," adds Josef Sennhauser: "And this can be still increased if needed."

Everything under control

The system supplier has equipped this line with the BEUMER Human Machine Interface, which makes it easy and simple to operate. The operators are provided with an easily understandable and intuitive interaction concept, enabling them to define the same efficient working sequences for all machines. Displays help visualise how and where to make the settings. The user can for example call up video sequences that show the changing of the film roll and the film knife. For other set-up work like the bag correction on the BEUMER paletpac, the operator panel includes graphics and step-by-step instructions.

At the end of the line, an employee with a fork-lift truck picks up the readily packaged pallets and delivers them to the outgoing goods, where they await pick-up. The biggest challenge for this project: "The packaging line had to be integrated into already existing buildings, spread over three different levels," says Sielemann. Because of their experience, the BEUMER Group experts were able to master this challenge. The systems are based on solutions that the engineers can easily adapt to the constructional requirements.

No downtime, flexible product changes

The packaging line is in operation since the second half of 2016. There has been no downtime since and the employees can easily accommodate product changes, exactly what Röfix wanted. Should any issues occur, the people responsible can always be sure of BEUMER Group's support. If necessary, BEUMER Group service employees based at the headquarters in Beckum, Germany can quickly and easily access the systems for remote maintenance and provide support.

"We are very satisfied," Welte summarises. "BEUMER Group provided us with a turnkey solution that runs smoothly." Sennhauser adds: "Ever since this line has been in operation, we have  always been available for our customers. With the new packaging, we can also guarantee added value such as greater load stability and efficient display of the products for an optimal brand presentation."

 ...
"Our systems can map all customer processes"
Beckum, 09. August 2018

BEUMER Group: Interview with Gregor Baumeister, Head of Palletising and Packaging Systems Division, and Christian Freise, Senior Sales Manager Chemical Division

Mr Baumeister, as Head of the Palletising and Packaging Systems Division at BEUMER Group you manage and coordinate the global competence centre in this field. What are your goals?

Baumeister: With the management of the Palletising and Packaging Systems Division, I have taken on a highly exciting and varied task. Together with my team, I am responsible among other things for developing and expanding the comprehensive solutions portfolio. My goal is very simple: I want to continuously promote the worldwide growth of this business sector. To achieve this, we must establish ourselves in a regionally balanced manner that helps us support our customers throughout the world in the best possible way. We focus on industries with the potential for growth and sectors in which we are fully established as for example the chemical industry. We will continue to offer attractive intelligent solutions to our customers.

Mr Freise, you are part of the "Chemical team" within BEUMER Group. What are the tasks performed by you and your colleagues?

Freise: We take care of customers who are looking for packaging solutions in the chemical and petrochemical industry. With our team we combine specific industry knowledge with the knowledge of the available technologies. This may concern simple products or entire packaging lines. The requirements of the chemical sector, and especially in the petrochemical industry, are very specific. The design of our machines and systems can always be customised to meet the specific requirements of different industries - and especially of this sector. Of course we continue to develop our portfolio further. We also provide special solutions for particularly demanding tasks.

Could you explain in more detail the specific requirements related to the chemical industry? What is to be considered when handling this kind of product?

Freise: Chemical and petrochemical products are characterised by very different temperatures and special flow behaviour - completely different from cement, mortar or gypsum, which differ by their bulk density or grain size. The one thing they all have in common: they have to reach distributors and customers in perfect condition. They have to be filled, palletised and packaged carefully, yet quickly.

How do you meet these requirements? What do you do to provide your customers with the right systems?

Baumeister: We offer an extensive and modular range of products. Our group of companies has all of the necessary expertise to provide customised solutions even for highly complex material flow systems. Our systems are able to map all of our customers' processes for warehousing and moving raw, auxiliary and operating materials as well as semi-finished and finished products within a defined business division. This can be bulk material or piece goods filled in regular or big bags, cartons, barrels or buckets that are transported individually or on pallets. We deliver everything from one source enabling the customer to reduce vendor interactions and to have a single point of contact.

What can your customers expect? How can they for example fill the chemical products efficiently?

Freise: When BEUMER Group installs packaging lines for a customer in the chemical industry, the process may resemble this: bulk materials are transported from the silo to the form fill seal system BEUMER fillpac FFS. This filling machine forms a ready-made PE tubular film into a bag and fills it with the customer's engineered plastics like PE, PP, PA or PS granules. The BEUMER fillpac FSS is equipped with an electronic calibration-capable weighing unit which then weighs the bags before the filling process. It ensures that the bags are always filled with a constant quantity of material within specified tolerances. Afterwards the bags are sealed. This way it is possible to handle up to 2,600 25-kilogram bags per hour in the high-capacity range. Our product range also includes systems for lower throughputs.

Once the material has been filled into bags, they must be transported. What options are offered to your customers?

Freise: The filled bags, which may differ in size and weight, are stacked on pallets in a stable and precise way. For this, BEUMER Group offers the BEUMER paletpac. The high-level palletiser is modularly designed and can therefore be quickly assembled. It is easily accessible for maintenance, can be operated intuitively and adapts to different packing patterns. Often the companies belonging to this sector have to position the filled bags carefully, yet quickly and with precision. This is the reason why the BEUMER paletpac is equipped with a clamp-type or twin-belt turning device.

For items that are not filled into bags, but need to be packaged in cardboard boxes or canisters, we offer our customers the BEUMER robotpac. It is a space-saving articulated robot which solves complex palletising and de-palletising challenges reliably. We offer a suitable gripping system for each packaged product. Depending on the requirements, the palletised products may be required to stand securely on the loading space during transport, or be protected against dust, rain or other atmospheric influences for outdoor storage and during transshipment. This is why we have developed the high-capacity packaging system BEUMER stretch hood. It covers the products with a highly elastic stretch hood.

How do you achieve a simple and intuitive operation?

Baumeister: We provide all systems of the packaging line with the same Human Machine Interface (HMI). This operator panel provides users with an easily understandable and intuitive interaction concept, enabling them to define safe working sequences.

What happens at the end of these packaging lines?

Baumeister: With our system solutions, the full pallets or individual bags can be forwarded to a connected warehouse or directly to the loading space of a truck. The system components are mainly transport technologies such as conveyors or vehicle-based systems. We always use components from our modular system. This makes the solutions flexible and expandable and they can be adjusted to changing customer requirements, such as modifications or additions to the product and packaging portfolio.

How does BEUMER Group ensure continuous material and data tracing?

Freise: We make the filling, palletising and packaging systems as well as any additional system components compatible with each other. For this, BEUMER Group has developed the modular BG Software Suite as superordinate system. It can be adapted individually to particular tasks. Systems from other companies can be easily integrated. Customers can extend this solution at any time and improve their material flows. The cross-program user interface BG Fusion shows process data and reports. All available data can be accessed – without operators having to switch between different applications.

Do you also design entire concepts for material flows?

Baumeister: Of course. Depending on the complexity of the task, some applications can only be implemented on the PLC level. Others, in turn, require high-level material flow computers or warehouse control systems. BEUMER Group ensures communication between the different control levels for the user. This means we can create an intelligent connection between the individual systems, and integrate them into existing process and inventory control systems. And because we provide everything from one single source we can avoid potential errors that may come along with vendor interactions. Due to our vast experience in automation and control technology we are able to realize and install complex intralogistics tasks as one system provider.

What is your latest development in the field of packaging Systems?

Baumeister: We have developed the BEUMER Overall Operation Monitoring App, which enables both users and management to get an overview of data regarding the complete packaging line or of individual systems on their smartphones or tablets. The app shows the status of availability, performance and quality levels as well as the energy and compressed-air consumption. This ensures trouble-free operation of all systems. Customers can adapt the program to their specific requirements.

 ...
In perfect condition to the customer
Beckum, 26. July 2018

BEUMER Group at the Fachpack 2018:

Coming up again in autumn – approx. 1,500 exhibitors will show future-oriented solutions and developments relating to packaging at the Fachpack from 25th to 27th September 2018. As a turnkey solution provider BEUMER Group will showcase tailor-made solutions for consumer goods – from the filling of bags up to packaged product stacks ready for transport, including control and comprehensive customer support.

At booth 121 in hall 1 BEUMER Group will show its competence in the field of packaging technology. The full liner delivers everything from one single source: The customer has only one single point of contact and avoids vendor interactions. The system supplier dimensions the performance of the single machines and components as well as the high-level control in an optimum way. Thus the operator receives a complete line with optimum throughput.

The BEUMER fillpac R filling machine fills bulk materials such as cement or building materials and other industrial pulverised goods into bags in an efficient and gentle way. It can fill very fine to very coarse materials into different bag formats and types, such as valve bottom bags and flat valve bags. BEUMER Group has now complemented the rotary filling machine with a BEUMER bag placer and a ream magazine. Due to its modular design, the BEUMER fillpac R can be easily integrated and adjusted with existing packaging lines.

The highly efficient form fill seal system BEUMER fillpac FFS is used in the chemical and petrochemical industries. It forms bags from a prefabricated tubular PE film, fills them with the product of the customer and seals them. BEUMER Group introduces the BEUMER fillpac FFS form fill seal system both for the high-capacity range of up to 2,600 bags per hour and for low throughputs up to 1,800 or 2,500 bags per hour. Depending on the customers' requirements the suitable machine performance class can be selected from the extended product range. Both the BEUMER fillpac R and the BEUMER fillpac FFS are equipped with a specialised weighing unit which ensures the correct quantity of the filled material.

In the next phase, the bags are stacked on pallets. For this, BEUMER Group offers the BEUMER paletpac high-capacity palletiser. It stacks even sensitive and valuable products as well as products with special flow characteristics in a gentle and efficient manner. Depending on the product requirements, it can be equipped with a clamp-type turning device or a twin-belt turning device.

BEUMER Group offers the BEUMER robotpac, a space-saving articulated robot, for palletising cartons, boxes, canisters or trays. 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.

The BEUMER stretch hood high capacity packaging system is at the heart of the packaging lines. In logistic centres for example, it covers the mixed pallet of merchandise with a highly elastic film hood, but also filled and palletised bags, boxes of detergent, buckets of paint or storage jars stacked on pallets. During transshipment and outside storage, the merchandise is protected reliably against environmental influences such as sunlight, dirt and humidity. This is important for the operators who need their products to be transported reliably and in perfect condition to the customers.

The BEUMER bag-in-bag offered by the system provider packages one or several filled paper bags quickly and reliably in a weather-resistant plastic film. This ensures that the contents are perfectly protected against moisture, dust, insect infestation and other environmental factors when they are transported or stored. The system can be easily integrated in existing filling or packaging Systems.

BEUMER at the Fachpack 2018, hall 1, booth 121

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Transformation is inevitable
Beckum, 24. July 2018

BEUMER Group is shaping digital transformation in intralogistics:

Industry, economy and society are in the midst of digital transformation. It is a fact that it is inevitable since customers do not want to do without the plus in comfort they have become used to in many areas. But what are the consequences? Above all, many of the boundaries between industries so far known are losing importance, and that is precisely where the future challenges lie. The questions that arise are: Who is driving transformation, and will the suppliers of today be those of tomorrow? At any rate, BEUMER Group is getting in shape for the digital future.

Logistics is one of the industries where the influence of digital transformation is particularly strong since digital logistics renders substantial benefits in costs, transparency and speed. The smart integration of digital technologies can especially make intralogistics more efficient and environmentally safe. The ever-growing online commerce is driving this process. The degree of networking, automation and system integration increases along with the progressive development of goods flows in e-commerce and the topic of returns involved in it. Today's supply chains are consistently organised and interlinked – from the sources of raw material up to the delivery of products to the customer's front door and beyond, up to returns, disposal and recycling.

As a system supplier, BEUMER Group provides e-commerce companies and logistics centres with high-speed sortation systems. Their capacities can be adapted to the constantly increasing demands of users. "We must constantly improve our products to increase our competitiveness so that our customers can reduce their costs and optimise their processes," explains Dr Christoph Beumer, Chairman and CEO of BEUMER Group based in Beckum, Germany. For this reason, the system supplier has integrated innovation management into his strategy for many years now and applied for nearly 100 patents. For its consistent and multifaceted commitment in this field, BEUMER Group received the Axia Award 2017, which is awarded to medium-sized businesses for their successful and sustainable corporate management. In the age of digital transformation, however, it is not only the improvement of internal processes that counts, but also the development of new business models. It is not merely a matter of optimising existing concepts. "We have to create something new. Machinery and systems become more efficient and offer ever-increasing speeds," says Dr Beumer.

Setting new trends instead of missing them

The worst-case scenario of any industry is simply missing out on new trends. This may have disastrous consequences for market leaders. One example is analogue photography. Agfa, a German company, succeeded in gaining an excellent reputation in more than 100 years of company history. Agfa developed the first developer fluid for films and the first flash lamp, the first safety film and the first fully automatic camera – but not the first digital camera. This was developed by an engineer of Kodak. His employer, however, kept this innovation unused in a secret drawer for a long time. This soon turned out to be a fatal mistake: In the nineteen-nineties, competitors such as Apple, Casio and Canon introduced the first digital cameras for large-scale use onto the market and swept aside the two most successful photographic companies world-wide up to that date. Those who do not face up to digital transformation in time, will be the losers.

"The mechanical engineering and intralogistics industries may suffer the same fate as regards 3D print technology. If it becomes possible to produce a steel girder using this technology in the future, this will revolutionise the entire sector," predicts Dr Beumer. A completely new kind of warehousing might emerge. Instead of keeping a large stock of spare parts at any time, items would only be printed on demand. The time and number of items could be precisely controlled and expensive ordering processes would be eliminated. "We send the drawings of the spare part to our subsidiaries in Thailand or Brazil, our colleagues print the component via 3D printing and we do not need to transport it by ship across the ocean for weeks," says Dr Beumer.

Augmented reality saves travel time and costs

It will neither be necessary to send qualified service technicians overseas for weeks. The following scenario is quite conceivable: The responsible employees on site are equipped with 3D glasses. They focus on the object with their mobile device. Through auto-ID characteristics on the logistic element, e.g. a conveyor, and an app specially developed for this purpose, information on this element can be displayed, such as circuit diagrams, maintenance instructions or pin assignments. The required data is displayed on the live image of the camera of the device. The technicians look at the defective part and can immediately call up all related manuals or goods in stock. Every process step is displayed. In the event of very complex processes, they could, for example, call a colleague at the company location and solve the problem together with them via live stream.

BEUMER Group already uses tablets successfully at several airports that operate its baggage handling systems. This includes Singapore Changi Airport. As one of the main hubs for Southeast Asia, this airport is known to be very progressive and passenger-friendly. The baggage handling system was developed and integrated by BEUMER Group. The system supplier is exclusively responsible for ensuring trouble-free operation, optimum maintenance and therefore the long-term coordination of the baggage handling systems. The Customer Support employees provide 24/7 operation at the baggage control rooms and necessary preventive maintenance to ensure continuous system availability and best performance.

Actively shaping progress instead of trying to keep up with it

You cannot stop progress. The question is who is driving it. Similar to the automotive industry, which is challenged by electric mobility and deals with the issue of who is going to develop and manufacture the vehicles and, above all, the drives in future, the intralogistics companies will soon be challenged by competitors who are not only from their own sector. Today they are Apple, Google and Facebook, also in this sector – and, in the case of BEUMER Group, even Spotify. The system supplier's product range does not include music, but its sortation systems were used for sorting or distributing CDs for the music industry. With the streaming services becoming more popular and CD production and sales significantly decreasing, this industry no longer needs sortation systems. "This was only a small niche sector, but it may also happen with any other of our industries," fears Dr Beumer. "With our systems, we equip the baggage handling area of airports all over the world. However, there are service providers who pick up the baggage at the front door and take it directly to the destination. Passengers no longer have to take care themselves." The so-called 'Unicorn Club', i.e. start-ups whose assessed potential corresponds to billions, is steadily growing. Should suppliers like BEUMER Group wait until they are swept aside by these developments?

Developing disruptive models from within

Certainly not. As a family business, BEUMER Group has a responsibility for its employees and customers. This is why the system supplier responds to these major changes and opted for fostering disruptive ideas by founding its own start-ups: "We have two spin-off companies which we have started to complement our existing innovation department," explains Dr Beumer. "They develop so-called minimum viable products, that is, prototypes that feature minimum equipment, whose market potential is checked until they have reached market readiness."

The BEUMER start-up BG.evolution is located in Dortmund in the immediate vicinity of the innovation centre Digital.Hub Logistics. Here, companies and researchers work together to design the logistics for digital business models. Developments include, for example, an app enabling users to keep an eye on the current status of the machinery connected to their system via their smart phones or tablets.

Furthermore, BG.challenge was founded in Berlin. Here, the focus is on developing new business models which may disrupt existing business models from outside. BG.challenge offers start-up support for young entrepreneurs. "This helps us get ready for the future and puts us in a great position for the digital age," says Dr Beumer.

 ...
The material that holds the world together
Beckum, 19. July 2018

BEUMER Group supplies tailor-made solutions designed to make the production of cement more energy-efficient and eco-friendly:

Cement is the most commonly used building material worldwide and is continuously growing. Cement manufacturers are however faced with challenges: complying with ever stricter environmental regulations, in an industry with some of the highest carbon dioxide emissions. They are also faced with permanently increasing cost pressures due to excess capacities, especially from China. Many countries therefore import the material, instead of producing it. BEUMER Group supports cement manufacturers with systems and machines that are adapted to the market, increasing the efficiency of their systems and their competitiveness.

As the saying goes in the building industry: "Somewhere someone is always building something". Whether it is in North America, Asia or Africa: large infrastructure projects require more and more material for buildings, streets, airports, bridges or dams. Since 1990, global cement production has almost quadrupled. About 4.17 million tons were produced worldwide in 2016. This growth is mainly coming from the development of the Asian markets, especially China. Despite growing cement sales, cement manufacturers worldwide face production overcapacities that have been built up during recent years especially in China. This decreases global cement and clinker prices. Due to these overcapacities, some countries focused more on the export of cement and clinker, an intermediate product when producing cement. At the same time, an increasing number of countries decide to import cement or clinker, instead of producing it domestically. In 2016, more than 150 countries imported cement and clinker.

One of these countries is Australia. Brisbane for example, the metropolis on the Pacific coast, is one of the fastest growing cities on the continent. Its population of about 2 million inhabitants is expected to double by 2056. Construction sites all over the city centre are witness to this progress. Skyscrapers are springing like mushrooms. Due to their strict environmental regulations and price pressures, Australia imports an increasing part of their demand for cement and especially clinker. The clinker is imported and then ground down to cement in Australia. The imported materials are coming from multiple countries including Indonesia, China and Vietnam. The cement and clinker imports are increasingly replacing the local production. In 2016, the utilisation of the domestic cement production capacities was only at around 57 percent.

Reduce environmental impacts, increase energy efficiency

When producing cement large quantities of carbon dioxide is emitted worldwide. These emissions occur during various processes, but the majority comes from emitting the CO2 from the limestone used to produce cement clinker.

Depending on the processes used, the carbon dioxide emissions from producing cement are at 0.6 - 0.99 t of CO2 per ton of cement. The CO2 emissions from producing cement are estimated to account for seven to eight percent of the overall global carbon dioxide emissions. Manufacturers can reduce these large quantities for example by partially substituting the cement clinker with alternative materials such as fly ash, clay or granulated blast-furnace slag.

Another approach to sustainably reduce greenhouse gas emissions and production costs is to increase the use of alternative fuels for the cement production. The alternative fuels are used as sources of energy instead of fossil fuels like coal and gas. Besides liquid materials like waste oil or solvents, the majority of the solid alternative fuels are composed of municipal and industrial waste, such as plastic, paper, composite material or textile mixes. Whole or shredded waste tyres are also used and made up 6 % of the alternative fuels used in Germany for the production of cement in 2016. The calorific value of the rubber from waste tyres is comparable to that from hard coal, and the iron from the reinforcement can be incorporated mineralogically into the cement. This minimises the addition of ferrous corrective substances.

Systems adapted to the production

As a system supplier, BEUMER Group develops tailor-made solutions perfectly adapted to meet cement plant requirements: conveying systems such as troughed belt conveyors and pipe conveyors, different bucket elevator types and clinker transport systems, loading systems and complete packaging lines. BEUMER Group provides these solutions throughout the entire material flow chain from unloading the delivery vehicle to storing, taking samples, conveying and control feeding solid alternative fuels. BEUMER Group also provides fully automated systems that can control feed, singulate and convey large and heavy tyres to the inlet of the rotary kiln. BEUMER Group provides innovative intralogistic solutions to international cement companies who are looking for sustainable and cost-efficient ways to modernise their plants.

Aalborg Portland A/S relies on these solutions for example. BEUMER Group provided a complete solution so the cement manufacturer can recover energy from different types of waste at its plant in Denmark. Different types of alternative fuels are used in the calciner and in the main burner. These fuels are made of varying compositions and are efficiently stored, conveyed and fed. The customer received all equipment from one source, thus having only one contact.

The oven-ready alternative fuels are delivered in moving-floor trailers. They are unloaded and then temporarily stored at the receiving station. Both lines receive the transported material from the storehouse via the moving floors that have been modernised by BEUMER Group. To enable the transport of the pre-processed fuels from the storehouse to the calciner and to the main burner, BEUMER Group supplied and installed one Pipe Conveyor as the heart of this system. Using the Pipe Conveyor to transport the fuels is quiet and low-maintenance; and the enclosed system is also emission-free and energy-efficient. The enclosed construction prevents material from falling and dust and odours from escaping into the environment. With an ability to navigate curves, the Pipe Conveyor requires considerably less transfer points compared to other belt conveyors. This allows for substantial capital cost savings for the customer and BEUMER Group can customise the system to the individual routing.

Transport - low on energy and environmentally friendly

The BEUMER Group belt conveyors, Pipe Conveyors and open troughed belt conveyors, are particularly suited for transporting bulk material through rough terrain. The overland conveyors come with horizontal and vertical curves, depending on the topography, and can be over 10 kilometres long. Angles of inclination of up to 15 degrees are possible, depending on the characteristics of the material to be transported. The throughput capacity of BEUMER Group conveying systems can be up to 10,000 tons per hour.

Trucks are still frequently used for greater distances. Depending on the nature of the terrain, however, they can rapidly reach their limits as they require well-developed roads and fuel, for example. The costs arising for construction, maintenance and possible extension of these roads are not insignificant. In addition, all of this implies serious landscape changes. The emissions caused by truck traffic are high, both with regard to toxic substances and to noise and dust.

The BEUMER Group belt conveyors are provided with environmentally safe electric drives and low-energy belts. Therefore, especially in times of climate change and increasing greenhouse gas emissions they are considered a 'preferred option'. The motors - which, depending on the topography are run in motor-driven and regeneration mode - are mostly adjustable. This permits an optimum load distribution on the drive unit in different operating conditions. If the belt conveying system conveys downhill, the system works in generative operation. The generated electric energy is fed back into the public network by a regenerative feedback unit. This way the operating costs of the complete system can be further reduced.

Straight up

BEUMER Group provides different types of bucket elevators with low investment costs, a long service life and easy maintenance to ensure a cost-efficient production. The buckets are mounted either to a belt or a central chain, depending on the application. Thanks to consistent developments in the field of vertical conveying technology, BEUMER Group can provide each customer with the perfect solution, whether with belt or chain bucket elevators.

Until recently, the use of belt bucket elevators was generally limited to transporting fine bulk material, because there was a risk on the older models that coarse-grained bulk material could get stuck between the bucket and the belt and damage the belt. Through the consistent advancement of their belt bucket elevators, BEUMER Group developed the innovative high-capacity belt bucket elevator type HD (heavy duty), that makes it now possible to also efficiently transport coarse-grained material such as clinker. This bucket elevator designed to eliminate the space between the individual buckets and the belt. This prevents coarse material from getting stuck during the scooping and filling process and from damaging the belt. At the same time, it holds the same proven advantages of belt-based bucket elevators for the customer, such as the very high conveying capacity, prolonged service life of the belt and less noise generation. BEUMER is also well-positioned in the field of chain-based bucket elevators and its central chain bucket elevators offer highly-efficient technology for the vertical transport of coarse, hot or abrasive bulk material.

PACKAGING FOR SAFE TRANSPORT

Until the final completion of cement in the silo, the greatest part of the costs is associated with the transport. Cement is transported in bulk and in bags. The majority of cement worldwide is loaded in bulk via terminals on road and rail vehicles or on ships. Another not insignificant part of the material is transported bagged, palletised and packaged and then transported to the customer, often over large distances. For this BEUMER Group provides entire packaging lines. They consist of the BEUMER fillpac R which operates according to the impeller filling principle. The weighing electronics make it unique. The product is filled according to the gross weight principle, i.e. the bags are weighed during the filling process. The weighing electronics of the system ensure exact filling degrees of the bags. The system is complemented by the BEUMER bag placer and a state-of-the-art ream magazine. The fully automatic BEUMER paletpac layer palletisers then stack the bags reliably with a capacity of 5,500 bags per hour. The systems can be equipped with a twin-belt turning device, so the bags can be turned to the required position fast, gently and without affecting their dimensions. Its intelligent control involves the dimensions and weights of the bags in order to achieve an exact positioning preset by the respective packing pattern. The finished bag stacks are then transported over roller conveyors to the BEUMER stretch hood A packaging system.

Loading and palletising in one

To further reduce the costs, the trend goes towards higher degrees of automation in the fields of packaging and loading, also on emerging markets like India for example. The goal is to reduce personnel, especially in emerging countries, where the transhipment of bagged bulk goods is increasing and labour costs are climbing. In order to fully automatically load the bagged bulk material on trucks, BEUMER Group offers the loading and palletising system BEUMER autopac, that can load up to 3000 bags per hour without any problems. The machine simultaneously loads and stacks bagged goods directly on trucks, pallets are not necessary. This system makes the loading of bags on trucks particularly efficient and cost-effective.  Using the BEUMER autopac can help save labour during the otherwise labour-intensive loading of cement bags. BEUMER products are also suitable for loading waggons and ships. BEUMER Group machines and systems help cement manufacturers worldwide to produce efficiently despite increasing cost pressure and strict environmental regulations.

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Prepared for peak times
Beckum, 11. July 2018

Österreichische Post AG relies on new BEUMER Group high-capacity sorter:

Österreichische Post AG built its new distribution centre in Wernberg, in the southernmost Austrian state of Carinthia. Up to 30,000 packages are handled on a daily basis. The sortation system is at the heart of the logistics centre: it handles the sortation demands reliably and responds quickly during peak times. The BG Sorter is BEUMER Group's latest system development. It is powerful and energy-efficient yet runs so quietly that the working environment remains pleasant. The managers were also impressed by the trouble-free handling of the project.

Parcel shipping is growing worldwide, and Austria is no exception of course. One of the reasons for this growth is the enormous increase in online orders. Customers want their orders to arrive ideally on the same day, delivered right to their doorstep. Logistics and parcel services must be able to react accordingly to those demands, because the competition is fierce. The Austrian postal service has responded to this tough task and opened a new distribution centre in Wernberg, in the state of Carinthia. Put into operation in the summer of 2017, it distributes and delivers packages in Austria's southernmost state and East Tyrol. "The move to Wernberg was necessary, because the site in St. Magdalen no longer met our requirements," explains the new branch manager Kathrin Fischer. "The old distribution technology was no longer capable of handling the increasing volume and the hall was too small to install a new system." While the St. Magdalen site will remain operational for the distribution of letters, the most modern sortation and distribution system for packages, with a footprint of 5,000 square metres, is now operating for the Austrian postal service in a facility with 12,000 square metres of total space.

High technology, small footprint

The site is conveniently located between two big cities, Villach and Klagenfurt, easily accessible from the autobahn. On average, approximately 30,000 packages are handled per day, increasing to up to 50,000 during peak times such as leading up to Christmas. That means up to 6,000 packages per hour. "The various parcels must be handled with care and distributed quickly and accurately," said Fischer. The sortation system must meet these high demands. BEUMER Group provided the necessary technology, with its new high-capacity BG Sorter at its core, designed as a tilt tray sorter. "Our components have been installed, from goods receipt to goods issue," reports Frank Niemietz, Sales Manager Logistic Systems at BEUMER Group. Wernberg is a comparatively small site of the Austrian postal service. BEUMER Group had to install the entire system in the already existing hall with very little space.

BG Sorter: adjustable, quiet, reliable

When a truck docks at the hall for unloading, an employee places the packages on a horizontally and vertically adjustable telescopic belt conveyor. It transports the packages, which vary in shape and weight onto a BEUMER Parcel Belt Conveyor. The weight of each package is precisely calculated. The shipments are then dispatched onto the BG Sorter. The system can assign the parcels to the right destination because it is equipped with barcode recognition and with a laser system that continuously detects the parcel's volume and reports the result to the superordinate data processing system. If the packages cannot be read then they are sent to a special destination. An employee inspects and processes the parcels, then returns them to the BG Sorter.

"Our BG Sorter is based on tried-and-tested technologies," explains Frank Niemietz. "This includes the sorter frame made out of steel and the contactless energy supply instead of the typical contact lines, which are commonly used by the competition." The tilt tray sorter design is capable of conveying items of up to 60 kilograms. Wireless communication enables real-time data transmission, unlike infrared communication where data are transmitted only when an infrared sensor is passed. This reduces the communication time to milliseconds. "Different operating modes are also easily implemented. This allows us to respond better to sensitive products," explains Niemietz. "The items are discharged at different speeds and with high precision." Users can handle items of different sizes with more flexibility. "This machine allows us to handle a large mix of product with precision while being cost effective; and distribute to other logistics centres in Austria and our distribution units in Carinthia and East Tyrol," says Fischer.

Energy-efficient drive

The new BEUMER system is equipped with energy-efficient drives. The servo drive-based OptiDrive reduces power consumption and CO2 emissions. The contact pressure of the drive wheel is automatically set depending on the required driving power – even for braking, which makes this solution highly efficient and force-fitting. This boosts efficiency to up to 90 percent and enhances the service life of the drive wheels. The BG Sorter is equipped with carrying wheels that are larger than those used in comparable systems. They reduce the rotation frequency by 25 percent. This has a positive effect on the wear and tear and the noise. "One very important aspect for our 40 employees," says Fischer. "It stays very quiet in this hall, you can easily talk to each other, the operating volume remains very pleasant, which means it causes no additional stress for the employees."

The packages are transferred via chutes onto telescoping belt conveyors. The items are taken off the conveyors and transferred into swap bodies. They are then transferred onto trucks that carry them to one of the other six distribution centres in Austria.

Smooth project handling and reliable service

After the successful completion of the project, BEUMER Group continues servicing the customer. Österreichische Post has signed a hotline contract with BEUMER customer support. This allows the customer to contact a service engineer whenever necessary. If the machines come to a standstill, BEUMER Group can dial in directly to the machine via a VPN connection, examine the situation and solve the problem directly or come up with a solution together with the customer.

"This project was carried out extremely professionally and our communication with BEUMER was honest and direct the entire time," says Gert Haas, Technical Director at Österreichische Post AG, Region West. "We were able to stay on schedule and the entire system was commissioned on time. Quite extraordinary for a project of that size." Branch manager Kathrin Fischer is very satisfied. "The BG sorter operates very quietly, is highly reliable, and extremely precise and fast when it comes to sorting the products." And speed is a valuable asset in this industry, on top of the list for the customers. "We are the only parcel service in Austria that delivers six days a week, from Monday to Saturday," says Fischer.

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A powerful addition
Beckum, 05. July 2018

BEUMER Group expands the BEUMER fillpac FFS filling machine product family:

BEUMER Group introduces the BEUMER fillpac FFS form fill seal system both for the high-capacity range of up to 2,600 bags per hour and for low throughputs starting from 1,800 bags per hour. Depending on the customer requirements the suitable machine performance class can be selected from the extended product range.

BEUMER Group develops entire packaging lines from one single source for the (petro)chemical industry. This means that the customer can reduce the number of vendor interactions as only one point of contact is required. What is special is how the system supplier dimensions the performance of the single machines and components as well as the high-level control in an optimum way, providing the customer with maximum throughput. As a system supplier, BEUMER Group expanded the BEUMER fillpac FFS form fill seal system product family in order to offer even more tailored solutions for specific applications. Customers can now get the filling system for high-capacities of up to 2,600 bags per hour and for low throughputs starting from 1,800 per hour, used for example in the fertiliser industry. Depending on the requirements the suitable machine performance class can be selected from the extended product range.

Rapid product changes

"We offer an easy to clean solution for the low-capacity versions," says sales engineer Christian Freise from BEUMER Group. Special products in particular and other coloured granules are handled at lower capacities. Fine dust is often a by-product when filling granules into bags. Another disadvantage is that small granules can get stuck in the machine. When using the BEUMER fillpac FFS, the users can simply clean the machine with water, before a colour change. "The round scale we provide is designed so that residues can be removed more easily," describes Freise.

With its BEUMER fillpac FFS, the system supplier BEUMER Group presents itself as single-source provider for filling, palletising and packaging technologies. This machine forms a ready-made PE tubular film into a bag and fills it with engineering plastics like PE, PP, PA or PS granules. Reliable and gentle filling is also possible for salts or fertilisers. The pellets are then weighed before the filling process. For this, the BEUMER fillpac FSS is equipped with an electronic calibration-capable weighing unit. Then the system seals the bags with a weight of up to 25 kg.

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Modern times
Beckum, 19. June 2018

New BEUMER sales office supports customers with the retrofitting of systems from various suppliers:

BEUMER Group opened a new sales office in the Ruhr area of Germany to support its customers with an even more comprehensive range of services. From this sales office "West", BEUMER Customer Support will handle worldwide retrofitting and modernisation projects, for example on currently operating conveying systems like bucket elevators and clinker conveyors, including those from other suppliers. The goal is to cooperate closely with the headquarters in Beckum and provide everything from one source, from receiving a query, to technical dimensioning and on-site installation. With only one contact, the operator can be sure of high system availability.

The goals for many building materials companies include being able to compete with the leading cement manufacturers and to position themselves for profitable construction projects. This requires systems that run reliably and can be adapted to the increasing requirements of the market. "We ensure high availability during the entire running time," says Guido Hesse, Director Customer Support at BEUMER Group. "Our customers know that they can rely on us." More than 1,000 employees worldwide now work for this business segment. They take care of the customer, starting with the first project discussion, through the time when the system is in operation.

"We provide comprehensive solutions," explains Hesse. "They are matched individually to the respective needs of the customer, including service intervals and response times as agreed by contract." In the event of a system standstill, qualified Customer Support technicians arrive quickly on site to prevent long downtimes. Customer Support offers around-the-clock telephone support every day of the year worldwide, helping to further reduce downtime to a minimum. The technicians perform remote analyses, indicate corrective measures and offer quick and reliable solutions to correct malfunctions. BEUMER Customer Support also ensures that the machines are always up-to-date. "We make sure that the machines are comprehensively modernised," says Hesse. The advantages include higher performance and availability, minimised energy consumption, more ergonomic working conditions, new functions and a better overall system utilisation. For this, the BEUMER employees can update or upgrade the systems.

"As all systems used by the customer need to be complementary, we also take care of retrofitting the mechanical parts and control technology produced by third-party manufacturers, in addition to the continuous development of our own products ," describes Hesse. To further optimise these processes in the future, the corporate group opened the new sales office "West" in the German Ruhr area. The team of experts focuses on the implementation of projects where BEUMER technology is used to retrofit or update conveying systems for bulk material such as bucket elevators and clinker conveyors, including those from other suppliers.

One contact – faster decisions

"We work closely with our headquarters in Beckum. The customer receives everything from one single source, starting with the query to technical dimensioning and the installation on site," explains Hesse. Customers have one contact, which means they can benefit from reduced organisational and coordination expenses and they generally decide faster on modernisations. "The costs for these measures are mostly provided from the customer's maintenance budget or factory investments. Hesse: "From our new office "West", we can now react to each request immediately, worldwide, and provide support with extensive know-how." External consultants are no longer necessary, like for the coordination of new investments, which speeds up the decision making-process considerably.

Modernisation pays off

The BEUMER modification concept has already achieved high levels of customer satisfaction, keeping existing structures as they are as much as possible. Companies can reduce their costs because they need to spend money on only a few components, which means a more rapid return on investment. Shorter installation and transfer times are another advantage.

"As a market leader, we have been developing sophisticated technical retrofitting measures for conveying systems of bulk materials from any manufacturer," says Hesse. "This is why we can offer the optimal solution for different application scenarios. We know our competitors, their products and the differences between each." An African cement manufacturer suffered recurring production losses due to the malfunctioning belt of a 60 metre high bucket elevator from a different manufacturer used for feeding a silo. "This is a typical problem, according to Hesse. The system had to be stopped repeatedly for the workers to correct the error. In the long run, this needed to be corrected.

In this case, the modernisation of the plant was recommended. "We didn't just want to repair the error, but actively support the company to meet upcoming capacity and technology requirements", emphasises Hesse. The BEUMER experts replaced the belt and the buckets with heavy duty components developed by BEUMER Group. This solution offers buckets that are mounted firmly to the back of the belt by segments and bolts. Belts with wire-free zones are used for the HD bucket elevators just as with all BEUMER belt bucket elevators. The buckets can be fastened to the belt without damaging the steel wires or even cutting them. The traction forces of the bucket elevator belt are maintained throughout. The bucket shape also allows for smoother running and therefore less noise generation. The drive and return pulleys were also exchanged. The new conveyor belts are resistant to mechanical wear and tear and allow conveying of large grain sizes and taking up high tensile loads. This helps the cement manufacturer to increase the availability of the bucket elevator, reduce energy consumption and extend service life. This solution, instead of simply replacing the belt, makes the company more competitive in the long run.

Speaking the same language

BEUMER Group sets high standards for its Customer Support employees. When systems are installed and used in other countries, BEUMER believes that the customer should have access to a Customer Support technician that originates from the same cultural background and speaks the same language. "This is why we decide from our office "West" which of our colleagues for example will be on site for projects in Africa and who will be responsible for Southeast Asia," explains Hesse. Successful customer support requires successful communication. How is the customer positioned? What are their goals and how do they want to develop in the future? These questions require tactfulness and cultural know-how. BEUMER Group is a global company and capable of meeting this challenge.

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"We take responsibility"
Beckum, 07. June 2018

BEUMER Residential Service takes care of smooth material flows of customers – even on the customer's site:

For BEUMER Group, Customer Support is much more than just a service. Approximately 1,000 employees worldwide now work for this business segment. They take care of the customer, starting with the first project discussion, through the time when the system is in operation. The offered portfolio includes different services, in particular Residential Service. With this service, companies can hand over the complete responsibility for availability, performance and economic efficiency of their material flows to BEUMER specialists, who ensure trouble-free operation of the systems – and even stay permanently on the customer's site.

As an international manufacturing leader in intralogistics providing customised system solutions in the fields of conveying, loading, palletising, packaging, sortation and distribution technology, BEUMER Group knows the particular challenges posed by the customers. They have high demands on machine availability and, therefore, on customer support. This is why the system supplier has developed and extended its customer support and established it as a business segment in its own right. Due to its global positioning, the group has consistently optimised and extended this segment with specifically trained employees during the last few years. "We're not only providing service products, we really take care," emphasizes Guido Hesse, Director Customer Support at BEUMER. "This becomes more and more important to users from different industries." A continuously high level of availability has to be ensured to enable companies to stay competitive.

Enough time to focus on the core business

BEUMER Customer Support offers customised service agreements to customers. These include, for example, the supply of spare parts, preventive as well as routine maintenance, and the operation of the systems. They are matched individually to the respective needs of the customer, including service intervals and response times as agreed by contract. "More and more manufacturers, especially logistics service providers, wish to concentrate on their own core business and to delegate the responsibility for their systems and machines", says Hesse, identifying a pronounced trend. "Therefore, Residential Service plays an important role within our Customer Support portfolio." This service means that BEUMER employees take on the responsibility for operating times, performance and economic efficiency – if necessary, they stay permanently on the customer's site. The systems have to be always perfectly adapted to their tasks, and all processes have to run smoothly. "In a highly competitive environment, we convince our customers with reliability and a high level of system availability," explains Hesse. Successful customer support requires an understanding of the mentality of the customer: How is the customer positioned? What are his goals and how does he want to develop in the future? These questions require tactfulness and cultural know-how.

Reliable operation increases turnover

A sports manufacturer, for example, relies on this service at his new distribution centre. The newly leased 40,000-square-metre warehouse complex is in the immediate vicinity of the extant building. Both buildings are linked to each other by an approximately 370-metre-long conveying system. In the head office, the supplies for retailers and distributors home and abroad are processed, while the internet orders from all over Europe are exclusively handled in the additional warehouse complex. The company intends to significantly increase its turnover in the E-commerce sector. Up to 200,000 online orders per day are supposed to be processed at peak times.

This calls for efficient material flows and reliable technology. The new building houses fully automated rack systems with about 300,000 storage places, order picking solutions, packaging stations and more. The biggest part of the intralogistics system is an almost nine-kilometre-long conveying system. "The roller conveyors and belt conveyors link the individual areas with each other and transport the goods from A to B", explains Günther Rother, Maintenance Manager at BEUMER Group. He belongs to a team of 70 service technicians who are working in five shifts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure smooth processes on site.

Smooth operation throughout the service life

To ensure that the systems are always perfectly adapted to their tasks and all processes run smoothly throughout their service life, BEUMER employees also carry out preventive maintenance. Günther Rother explains: "This way, we can avoid uncontrolled machine breakdowns, which can be very expensive for our customers." The team carries out maintenance and inspection work on the systems at defined intervals. "We remove dirt, for example, since it may affect the operational reliability of machines and systems", says Rother. "Movable parts are lubricated and correctly adjusted if necessary." The team checks the safety devices of the machines and systems as well as their electrotechnical components and automation technology. Further work includes corrective maintenance like fault diagnostics and troubleshooting or repairs due to unscheduled failures of components. "We develop and implement concepts which enable a long-term and trouble-free operation of the buildings", adds the maintenance manager. The employees check the technical installations and maintain them regularly, at agreed intervals.

All spare parts available?

"We manage about 2,500 different spare parts in total", says Rother. "If required, we continue to adapt the scope and availability of the range." To support daily work and ensure a high degree of transparency for our customers, the BEUMER team has programmed a precisely matched computerised maintenance management system (CMMS). ´The software manages all information relevant to maintenance in a data base. It provides order information on spare parts as timely as possible, manages the spare and wear parts inventory and calculates the demand. Each procurement process can be precisely documented.

We have worked out a spare parts concept enabling us to take the required component to the corresponding place of repair within two minutes", explains Markus Petermeier, Operations and Maintenance Manager at BEUMER Group. "In addition, we have developed a training module permitting our technicians to train themselves on all system parts. This helps us to ensure availability as desired by the customer. And here we are talking about a level of more than 99 percent." To ensure successful functioning, Residential Service also includes emergency schedules and exercises on system recovery and troubleshooting to enable the shortest possible response times. This also applies to remote diagnostics provided by the BEUMER Hotline.

One contact person for all needs

The service technician Daniel Schweer also belongs to the team: "We also take care of system parts supplied by others." The customer only has one contact person who is available directly on his site for all questions, which makes communication much easier. "We also gain more knowledge this way", says Daniel Schweer. If the customer plans to expand the system, the versatile and highly qualified BEUMER team can develop a variety of individual Solutions.

BEUMER Group offers around-the-clock support every day of the year, tailored to the needs of its customers, in this case a sports manufacturer. "Our goal is to continue to improve trouble-free material flow in order to guarantee value-added processes for our customers", explains Hesse. "We assume the complete responsibility and ensure this way that they remain competitive in the long run."

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BEUMER Group receives Innovation Award
Aarhus, 17. May 2018

BEUMER Group beat off strong opposition to win the Innovation Award at this year's Airport Show in Dubai. The prize-winning CrisBag® Reclaim on Demand triumphed in recognition of its being a revolutionary and smart development in airport baggage handling.

Unlike the baggage check-in experience, the reclaim process has hitherto been conspicuously devoid of automation – but the CrisBag Reclaim on Demand system is set to redress the balance.

Integrated into a tote-based baggage handling system such as BEUMER's CrisBag, Reclaim on Demand extends tote-based baggage handling into the arrivals hall. As each item of hold baggage is unloaded from the aircraft/ULD it is placed in its own tote and transported to the arrivals hall, where it is held in an individual, secure kiosk.

Instead of having to wait by the carousel, passengers will have the freedom to relax in the arrivals retail area, where they will have spending opportunities, before being notified via a text message to their mobile phone that their bags are ready for collection. A QR code sent to the same phone is used to unlock the Reclaim on Demand kiosk.

Another major advantage of Reclaim on Demand is that it supports IATA Resolution 753 by extending 100% traceability into the reclaim area and eliminates the risk of bags being taken by the wrong passenger. It also reduces the possibility of bags going astray while being transferred from the plane to the carousel. Further, on the rare occasion when a bag is reported as lost, it will be easier to trace because each bag is in its own individual tote.

"The CrisBag Reclaim on Demand solution uses self-service pick-up kiosks to improve the passenger experience on arrival. We are very pleased to receive this award, which demonstrates BEUMER Group's expertise and ability to integrate emerging technologies," said Klaus Schäfer, Managing Director, BEUMER Group A/S.

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The chemistry is right
Beckum, 07. May 2018

Achema trade fair 2018: BEUMER Group presents itself as single-source provider for packaging lines that work perfectly together

At the Achema trade fair 2018, which takes places in Frankfurt/Main from 11 to 15 June, BEUMER Group presents itself as single-source provider for filling, palletising and packaging technologies. The full-liner is able to perfectly match all components of one line achieving maximum performance for the user. The BEUMER fillpac FFS filling machine will be presented as exhibit to the visitors. A 3D space measurement allows to suitably plan the installation of packaging lines in extant buildings. The Customer Support will present this technology at the Achema.

BEUMER Group develops complete packaging lines from one source for pharmaceutical and chemical companies. This means that the customer can omit or minimise interfaces and only needs one point of contact. What is special is that the system supplier dimensions the performance of the single machines and components as well as the high-level control in an optimum way. Thus the customer receives a complete line with optimum throughput.

The BEUMER fillpac FFS form fill seal system forms a ready-made tubular PE film into a bag and fills it with the customer's technical plastics like PE, PP, PA or PS pellets. Reliable and gentle filling is also possible for salts or fertilisers. The pellets are then weighed before the filling process. For this, the BEUMER fillpac FFS is equipped with an electronic calibration-capable weighing unit. Then the system seals the bags with a weight of up to 25 kg. BEUMER Group offers the BEUMER fillpac FFS both for the high-capacity area of up to 2,600 bags per hour and for low throughputs up to 1,800 or 2,500 bags per hour. Depending on the customer requirements the suitable machine performance class can be selected from the extended product range.

After filling, the bags are stacked on pallets in stable and precise way. The BEUMER paletpac of the system supplier is perfectly suited to this. It is easily accessible for maintenance, can be operated intuitively and flexibly adapted to different packing patterns.

For palletising cartons, boxes, canisters or trays, BEUMER Group offers the BEUMER robotpac. This space-saving, fully automatic articulated robot solves complex palletising and de-palletising challenges. The heart of the line is the high-capacity packaging system BEUMER stretch hood which covers the palletised goods with a high-stretchable stretch hood film. During transshipment and outside storage, the merchandise is protected reliably against environmental influences such as sunlight, dirt and humidity.

Safe planning with 3D space measurement

If for example packaging lines have to be installed in the extant buildings of the customer, BEUMER employees achieve greater planning reliability by 3D space measurement. This method is very precise: single elements as columns, gates, transitions or installations can be indicated as exactly as required. In addition also machines, systems and other structural conditions can be measured automatically. Thus, exact measurements and spatial conditions are recorded in a fast and precise way.

BEUMER at the Achema: hall 3.0, booth F50

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A fresh breeze in Asia
Beckum, 27. April 2018

BEUMER Group: Amir Reza Sinai is the new managing director of the subsidiary in Thailand.

On 1 January 2018, Amir Reza Sinai was appointed as the new managing director of the BEUMER Group (Thailand) Co., Ltd., based in Bangkok. The subsidiary, which has 59 employees, acts as the BEUMER Group’s regional headquarters in South East and East Asia, where it covers the divisions Conveying & Loading Systems and Palletizing & Packaging Systems. It also provides solutions for the cement industry.

Before coming to the BEUMER Group, Amir Reza Sinai was chief executive officer of the Indonesian subsidiary of a global plant engineering and construction company. He joined BEUMER’s Thai subsidiary on 1 January 2017, and for almost a year he headed the company’s office in Jakarta, Indonesia.

“Amir Reza Sinai is an expert with more than ten years’ experience in the cement industry of South East Asia and Oceania,” says Dr. Detlev Rose, Chief Sales Officer of the BEUMER Group. “Thanks to him, we will be able to provide even better support for our customers in this region.”

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Fast process from beginning to end
Beckum, 25. April 2018

BEUMER Group supplies adaptable packaging line to Mexican cement manufacturer Cruz Azul:

The Cooperativa La Cruz Azul S.C.L, third-largest cement manufacturer in Mexico, required an entire packaging line for the flexible and fully automated filling, palletising and packaging of different types of a new tile mortar. The BEUMER Group solution won out over the competition, providing everything from one single source. This included the BEUMER fillpac R filling system that was adapted for filling different materials. They also included the BEUMER bag placer to ensure a more efficient filling of the high-quality materials. With this new packaging line, Cruz Azul can achieve their projected production capacity.

Gigantic bridges, high-rises, tunnels for roads, subways and sewage systems: some of biggest construction projects in Latin America are currently being built in Mexico. This makes the country the second largest cement market on the continent, right after Brazil. In order to hold their own against national and international competition, Mexican manufacturers are developing more and more high-class materials. Cooperativa La Cruz Azul, headquartered in Mexico City, is one of them. The production of this leading company, founded in 1881, is aimed exclusively towards the domestic market. The manufacturer operates four plants with a yearly production of around eight million tons of Portland cement per year, which is only one of their end products. The main plant is in Jasso in the state of Hidalgo. The city is located in a region that is very rich in limestone. A football club founded by employees of this cement plant in 1927 is now playing in the top level of the Mexican football league, with national and international success.

Decisive factors: supplier reliability and quality

Success plays an important role for Cruz Azul as well. Its cement production represents 22 percent of the national market. With the goal to further increase this share, the cooperative developed high-quality tile mortar in eight different variations as one of their new products. "The quality of the building materials is decisive in order to remain competitive," explains Victor Luna, Managing Director at Cruz Azul in Hidalgo. Distributors and end customers also want the products to arrive by the required date and quantity. A small amount of the mortar is sold in big bags, the majority however is sold in 20- and 25-kilogram bags. This is why the manufacturer needed an entire packaging line that could meet very specific requirements: due to varying material densities, and as a consequence different flow properties of the different variants of the new product line, the filling system had to be adjustable to the different materials as well as to smaller bag sizes without extensive retrofitting of the machine through the employees. The line should then palletise precise and stable bags stacks and package them to protect the content against transport damage and atmospheric influences.

Decision for the right partner

March 2015: after an offer from another supplier had already gone in and the project was already at an advanced stage, employees from the cooperative Cruz Azul responsible for the project reached out to BEUMER Group to also hand in an offer. "We have been working closely together for the last 30 years," says Victor Luna. "We have a long-standing relationship and trust in the BEUMER brand."

This trustful relationship is not surprising. BEUMER Group was already able to convince in 2008. In an extensive major order for the plant in the state of Puebla, the system supplier provided and installed five bucket elevators and two palletising and packaging lines in only 26 months. They consist of BEUMER paletpac palletisers and the BEUMER stretch hood high-capacity packaging systems. As with the current project, one of the requirements for this line was to palletise and package various bagged materials, without extensive retrofitting of the machines. Victor Luna emphasises that BEUMER Group provided them with an adaptable technology with which his colleagues are working efficiently to this day.

Filling technology made in Germany

BEUMER Group presented the BEUMER fillpac R filling system to Cruz Azul. "Changing the required parameters is simple and quick and the different material is filled efficiently into two- to four-ply paper valve bags," explains Ralph Buchholz, Director General at BEUMER de México. Both companies quickly agreed on the scope and scheduling for the entire packaging line, and signed the contract already in April. "Cruz Azul attaches greatest value to the quality seal 'Made in Germany'," explains Buchholz. "Those responsible for the project even travelled to our headquarters in Beckum, Germany to accept the systems in person."

In October 2015, the BEUMER Group provided the systems. Three BEUMER eomployees from Germany and one from Mexico were in charge of installing the system. "We had to integrate the line into the existing building structure and bulk storage technology," reports Buchholz. "My colleagues mastered this challenge because our solutions can be easily adapted to technical and structural conditions." In this case, the engineers had to rework the suspension for the BEUMER fillpac.

Precise degrees of filling

The BEUMER fillpac R operates with with eight rotating filling spouts according to the impeller filling principle. This way it can safely handle even fine-grained tile mortar. The rotating filling impeller is characterised by its speed and maximum material throughput. "The bags are weighed during the filling process," explains Buchholz. The BEUMER fillpac is equipped with an electronic calibration-capable weighing unit. It ensures that the bags are always filled with the same amount of material. A special software enables filling spouts and scale to constantly compare the weight. If the determined weight is incorrect, the bags are automatically removed, discharged on a chute and opened. The collected material is fed back into the process via a spillage screw conveyor and a bucket elevator.

The system has a modular structure. "We equipped the system with the new BEUMER bag placer because the material is so fine and volatile," says Buchholz. A ream magazine for 700 bags was also added. This allows Cruz Azul to further increase the efficiency of the filling system. Servomotors drive the application unit and the suction gripper automatically, precisely and energy-efficiently. The gripping system and the application unit apply the bag from the stack safely onto the filling spout. The system can pack 1,800 25-kg bags or 2,250 20-kg bags per hour with the highest precision. "The operator can also adjust the BEUMER bag placer to other bag formats," explains Buchholz.

For the subsequent fully automatic, reliable and most of all fast palletising, BEUMER Group installed a BEUMER paletpac layer palletiser. Per hour, it gently and reliably stacks 2,200 bags per hour in 10-bag patterns or in 8-bag patterns on pallets of 1,220 x 1,020 x 245 millimetres in size. "A twin-belt turning device brings the bags in the required, dimensionally stable position," explains Buchholz. The position accuracy of this device offers a great advantage compared to conventional turning machines, because the system's components move the bags without mechanically deforming them: two parallel driven belt conveyors move at different speeds and turn the bags quickly into the desired position. The intelligent control of the twin-belt turning device also takes the dimension and weight of the filled bag into consideration. Exact positioning, specified by the preset packing pattern, is achieved. "No adjustement is necessary even with a product change," says Buchholz.

Packed fast and safely

The finished bag stacks are transported over roller conveyors to the BEUMER stretch hood packaging system. It packages 110 pallet stacks per hour with stretch film hoods with film thickness ranging from 40 to 100 micrometers. "It depends on the type of tile mortar," Buchholz explains. "The packaging protects the product against dust and humidity during storage and on long transport routes and ensures that the bags remain stable on the pallet without moving." In order to facilitate the work for the maintenance personnel and to ensure high system availability, the packaging system no longer needs a platform. Maintenance work, such as changing the blades or the sealing bars, is handled at floor level. Additional benefits include the compact design and the resulting low height and small footprint.

"The BEUMER stretch hood A is extremely energy efficient," emphasises Buchholz. A film transport system, which is particularly gentle on the material, introduces the previously cut and sealed film hood into the system. The sealing seam already cools down on the way to the crimping and stretching unit. Crimping can start without any delay. This allows for the elimination of energy-consuming cooling units and efficiency-reducing cooling times. This way the pallets can be packaged at a high bag sequencing.

In June 2016, Cruz Azul put the line into operation. "The new BEUMER packing line brought the project to success," mentiones Victor Luna. Which means that the cement manufacturer can reach its projected production capacity. In order to ensure a trouble-free operation, the system supplier's competent specialists stay in close touch with the customer and help out immediately in case of malfunctions or downtimes. BEUMER Group also provided the necessary spare parts. Ensuring high availability of the systems at all times.

Victor Luna is visibly very pleased with the new solution because this packaging line is tailor-made for their needs. He is particularly impressed by the flexible filling technology. It saves a lot of time and brings great peace of mind, the different types or mortar are getting to the customer a lot faster. With this project, BEUMER Group has installed the first BEUMER fillpac R on the American market. The cooperation with the system supplier will continue. Discussions are currently held regarding new projects in the fields of conveying and loading and palletising Technology.

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