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f+h Intralogistics 4/2016

f+h Intralogistics 4/2016

“LOGISTICS ON

“LOGISTICS ON DEMAND” requires continuous digitization of the value added supply chain The distribution logistics is currently undergoing a paradigm shift. The good old supply chain has long developed to a consumer-controlled demand chain. Technical developments such as Big Data, Predictive Analytics, or Smart Logistics (4.0) create the conditions to practically realize concrete solutions for partially new business models. H orizontal and vertical data transparency is the foundation for the right decisions in the demand chain. It is decisive to react quickly to changed requirements or to anticipate potential developments in due time. The prerequisites for an integrated data transparency and the digitization of the entire value added supply chain in logistics have long been established. As general contractor, Witron is fully responsible for the design, IT, control, mechanics, maintenance, and the system operation of its projects. With almost 45 years of market experience and more than 2,000 realized projects, the company knows the horizontal supply chain of many industry sectors in detail. Since Witron has its origin in the development and integration of warehouse management and control software, the company also has extensive knowledge of the vertical supply chain: From the ERP system, over the WMS, the WCS, the PLC, mechanics, drives, and through to sensors and actuators. The structuring of gathered information will create a “transparent logistics center” with a great amount of relevant data that is used as extensive knowledge database to benefit Witron’s customers. But the fast and correct interpretation of all available data has another effect as well: A way will be paved towards an autonomously controlled system. The consequence: A logistics process with consistently high optimization on all levels and in all areas. The modern logistics center will be steered with and from a leading-edge control center. A master control software developed by Witron and created based on many information from the ware- RUBRIK MATERIAL FLOW

house management system automatically provides action and operating recommendations for the operator by means of numerous interfaces to internal and external systems. This allows data transparency over all distribution channels, an intelligent purchase and inventory optimization, as well as a global inventory management over all internal and external warehouse locations through to items stored at the supplier’s site. It also allows an integral forecast for processes of all warehouse areas − from receiving, over order picking, and through to dispatch − with corresponding optimization measures related to manpower requirement and shift occupations. In the future, Witron will be able to provide its customers even more detailed forecast and basis for decision-making processes. The consequence: The view of the warehouse management system will not only be focused on pure intralogistics, but on the entire business process of the customer, for example, with an intelligent and dynamic integration of the route scheduling. Moreover, the WMS receives insight into the purchase/sale systems and identifies evaluations of current or historic store data. It also has access to information about marketing campaigns and the handling of returns with the goal to evaluate all possible impacts on logistics. Direct and integrated communication between products, machines and systems If a highly dynamic Witron distribution center connects all products, areas, and elements − from receiving to dispatch − in a logical and IT-supported manner, it allows a real-time optimized order processing that runs largely without staff intervention. The result is a “flowing” logistics process: If master data, departure times, store layouts, machine, or frame conditions change, also order processing or prioritization will change in a flexible and automatic manner, and in real-time. The core of the idea is that all units and/or parties involved in the entire system (as for example machines, SKUs, stores, tours) are directly linked with each other, communicate with each other, and that dynamic changes flow into the process in a decentral manner and in real-time. The following is a typical example for the “independent control and integrated communication” within logistics based on the handling of PET bottles: The incoming goods pallet will not only be checked for completeness and quality by the system before it is automatically stored, at this point the logistics system already knows, if it is a toteable product, a bulky product, if the item can be picked fully automatically, or if it has to be picked manually. Based on the existing customer orders, the system already knows in the receiving area if the product is currently a fast mover or a slow mover. Storage in the high bay warehouse is done accordingly. If ABC curves change, new optimizations will have immediate effect. Subsequently, the items are provided to the OPM area on demand. Permanent control 01 Store pallets: Consolidated fully automatically based on the respective store layout With regards to Witron’s solutions, even the individual SKUs are directly communicating with the logistics system and the corresponding mechanical elements. In the course of the depalletizing and separation process, the product “signalizes” according to what parameters it needs to be “handled”. The depalletizer knows for example the maximum intensity of the contact pressure and the mechanics systems knows for example that an item needs to be placed and not laid onto a tray, and much more. When transporting the item to the tray AS/RS, the conveyor system automatically adapts its speed to the individual product − bottles will therefore not tilt for example. The warehouse-management-system generally knows where the individual case is physically located in the warehouse. This is also visually verified by a product image for every single case. For a storefriendly order picking, the packaging unit will be transported in the right sequence from the AS/RS to the COM machine. If necessary, it will be re-adjusted automatically before it receives its assigned location on the order pallet or roll container − depending on the individual shop layout of the store (Image 01). Since bottle necks are not stable storing positions for additional products, the OPM system knows via master data and stacking algorithm, that a slip sheet needs to be placed onto the bottles first (Image 02). Then, additional products will be picked without any error. Error-free, because the entire system is monitored via sensor technology and because the physical position and quality of the individual products is permanently compared with the theoretical stacking design. The process-controlled product handling continues in the dispatch area. Automatic dispatch buffers provide the truck driver the order pallets and order roll containers via gravity conveyors just in time and in the right sequence for loading: optimally adapted to the loading volume and the allowed load capacity of the trailer through a shipping space calculation. “Empties” such as totes, pallets, and f+h Intralogistics 4/2016