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Cimcorp, the international group that specializes in robotic material handling, will present its innovative order-picking solution at CeMAT that is the embodiment of the exhibition’s theme this year of Smart Supply Chain Solutions. Based on Cimcorp’s proven, gantry-based robotic technology, the unique system is ideal for order fulfilment and storage in the food & beverage, retail, e-commerce and distribution sectors. Through extremely rapid order picking, the solution shortens lead times to enable more sales – potentially twice as many – and enhance customer service. With Cimcorp’s automation being based on a simple, scalable and movable robotic concept that is easy to install and maintain, the result is a rapid return on investment (ROI). The technology can also be used as an ‘island’ of automation that is integrated with surrounding manual operations.

Cimcorp’s solutions will be demonstrated to CeMAT visitors on Stand H26 in Hall 27 of the show, which takes place in Hannover from 31 May to 3 June.

Fast fulfilment
By shortening the order-processing window, robotic handling enables improved customer service and more sales through later order cut-off times, greater geographical reach via earlier dispatch, same-day deliveries and longer shelf life for fresh products. Faster order processing can also cut the cost of delivery – especially via third-party couriers – while more frequent fulfilment also reduces inventory levels and thereby the amount of capital tied up in stock.

Rapid ROI

“Our robotic systems are designed for fast manufacture, installation and start-up,” explains Kai Tuomisaari, Cimcorp’s Vice President of Sales and Projects. “Being modular, they are scalable to provide flexibility for the future, so can be expanded – or even moved – quite easily. Importantly in the food sector, they are also easy to clean, with the system able to clear the entire storage floor. Short timescales for projects – from initial enquiry to final handover – combine with highly efficient operation to deliver a rapid return on investment for clients.”

Cimcorp’s robotic order fulfilment solution in use at The Kroger Co., a dairy business in Denver, USA

More out of less
With stock accessed via linear robots on overhead gantries, Cimcorp’s solution requires no racking or sprinkler systems, providing further cost savings. As there is no need for conventional warehouse aisles, storage density is maximized. Rapid retrieval and accurate order picking are taken care of by one simple and energy-efficient technology.

Proven performance
Cimcorp’s order fulfilment solution has secured tangible benefits for a number of clients in the retail, e-commerce and food distribution sectors. The leading Spanish supermarket group, Mercadona, has invested in a robotic system from Cimcorp for the picking of full crates of fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as meat products, at its distribution centre in Guadix. This is an ‘island’ of automation that is integrated with Mercadona’s manual operations at the facility. The Finnish company, Tuko Logistics, uses Cimcorp automation to distribute groceries to its clients. The automatic goods-to-person storage and retrieval system at the company’s warehouse in Kerava is used to pick some 70% of orders. Another customer reaping the benefits of Cimcorp automation is The Kroger Co., a dairy business in Denver, USA. The automated system is used by Kroger to store up to 36,000 crates of plastic milk containers and to process over 30,000 crates per day.

ACE Exports Ltd, a UK company that has been supplying a range of personal care, grocery and household products to retailers throughout the Caribbean Islands for over 25 years, has outsourced its supply chain process to Midlands-based DK Fufilment Ltd (DKF).

Under the terms of the two year agreement, DKF will be responsible for receiving palletised loads of goods from ACE Exports’ global suppliers and storing the stock at its 165,000 sq ft shared user facility in Coventry.

Orders will be picked and assembled in to containers for onward delivery to the Caribbean on a weekly basis and, at peak times, five container loads a week will be dispatched.

Prior to outsourcing to DKF, ACE Exports had operated three warehouse units in the Black Country region but, by appointing DKF as its logistics partner, ACE has been able to remove this costly fixed overhead from its business model.

“One of the attractions of outsourcing to a third party supply chain solutions specialist like DKF is the flexibility it brings to our business,”
says ACE Export’s Consultant, Steve Tandy.

He adds: “Our Black Country warehouses had to be staffed to a level appropriate to cope with our busiest periods and this meant that when things were less hectic we were paying for personnel that were under utilised. It was a fixed cost that we wanted to lose and outsourcing has allowed us to do so.”

DKF opened its Coventry facility in December 2015.
The site offers three storage chambers and features a combination of wide and narrow aisle pallet racking as well as small parts storage bays and a dedicated pick, pack and re-work area as well as modern office accommodation.

The building is served by a new fleet of Toyota materials handling equipment, including counterbalanced and reach trucks, very narrow aisle trucks and man-aloft high level order pickers.

DKF Fulfilment Ltd’s managing director, Mark Elward, commented: “We are delighted ACE Exports chose to award this business to DKF. DKF will bring industry leading standards and operational excellence to the contract and we look forward to a successful partnership.”

International logistics service provider Militzer & Münch has extended its Iran service range with a tracking and tracing service from the point of departure all the way to the consignee in Iran. Militzer & Münch started its activities in Iran over fifty years ago with transports to Iran by truck – today, the Militzer & Münch product portfolio comprises services covering the entire supply chain.

Shipments are tracked using a tool that transmits its location via the GSM cellular network. As the tool is not permanently installed, it can be used by different carriers. At this time, Militzer & Münch can monitor up to 250 trucks. Via an online tracking platform, customers can call up the status of their shipment at any time. “With the new end-to-end tracking and tracing system our logistics services have become even more transparent, and safer”, says Dr. Lothar Thoma, CEO M&M Militzer & Münch International Holding AG. “It is part of our quality standards. We accompany our customers every step of the entire supply chain – from the transport and customs clearance to warehousing and last mile distribution in Iran. This also includes the transport and storage of temperature-sensitive goods.”

In the past, Militzer & Münch transported almost 75 percent of the goods via truck, 20 percent were shipped via sea, and five percent were air freight. Militzer & Münch reckons sea freight volumes as well as road transports are going to increase. In preparation for the official lifting of the sanctions, Militzer & Münch negotiated partnerships, for instance in order to secure truck capacities for the time after the sanctions. At the moment, possibilities for rail transports from and to Iran are being examined as an additional option for customers.

“Especially the mechanical engineering sector will profit”, explains Dr. Lothar Thoma, “but we also see good chances for the automotive and the medical engineering industries. Moreover, the field of project logistics opens up new opportunities as there is pent-up demand in many sectors in Iran, such as the oil industry. Spare parts logistics in the aviation sector will also benefit from the lifting of the sanctions.”

Militzer & Münch is one of the few logistics companies that have comprehensive infrastructure in Iran. Through the PTB Group, a sister company, a staff of over 600 at 15 locations in Iran is available to Militzer & Münch. The PTB Group offers about 130,000 square meters of warehousing space, 30,000 of which are roofed. Customers store goods such as spare parts to be able to serve the Iranian market in a timely manner.

In Bandar Abbas, a port city in Southern Iran, the PTB Group uses areas in a designated free trade zone and operates a container terminal. Customers can store their goods duty free, until they are sold or on-forwarded within the country. This offer is especially interesting for the manufacturers of farm machinery or entire plants, as such voluminous goods can in future also be delivered to Bandar Abbas by RORO vessel.

Jungheinrich has launched its new EKS 110 vertical order picker. With a one tonne load capacity this completely redesigned truck has a distinctive new look and low-energy LED headlights and reflectors. Having a maximum platform height of 3 metres, the truck supports picking heights of up to 4.6 metres, making it ideal for order picking at up to three levels of racking.

Maximum pick rates – lowest power consumption
The new 3.2 kW drive delivers higher speeds and around five percent greater acceleration. With the optional Drive+ package drivers can even move up a gear, and enjoy dynamic acceleration and speeds of up to 13 km per hour – getting them to the next picking location even faster, thanks to Jungheinrich’s Curve Control assist system that ensures safe cornering.

At the same time energy consumption has been cut. Energy efficient three-phase AC technology and high battery capacity offer long operating times, and for multi-shift operation the EKS 110 now also runs on lithium-ion batteries rated at 240 and 360 ampere hours. The fast charging time achieved with this battery technology means it takes only 30 minutes to reach a 50% charge, and 80 minutes for a 100% charge. For light and medium-duty operations over one or two shifts, Jungheinrich recommends 375, 465 and 620 ampere hour lead-acid batteries and even gives a warranty for two-shift operation without battery replacement – if a battery does not last for two full shifts, Jungheinrich will add a second battery for free.

Perfect communications with WMS
With the optional picking optimisation package using Jungheinrich’s Logistics Interface, the EKS 110 can easily communicate with custom warehouse management systems (WMS), making it easy to send orders to the truck control system. The package includes such features as: drive programme selection for setting travel speed, acceleration and braking behaviour for specific products; truck data query; an additional display in the load direction for displaying WMS information; and a pushbutton on the side to confirm orders quickly and easily.

Ergonomic layout makes for comfortable working
The cabin on the EKS 110 has an ergonomic layout, aiding productivity by making getting in and out, as well as driving and picking, fatigue-free. The optional picking platform does away with the forks while extending the driver platform to facilitate the picking of individual or bulky items. The optimised lowering of the walk-on load section (optional) ensures that the platform, including loading equipment, is lowered to the optimal lowest level – ensuring the lowest possible walk-on access without the pallet ever touching the ground.

Instead of the standard forklift steering, an option is to fit the Jungheinrich JetPilot which offers intuitive and comfortable driving, just like a car. The new LED headlights and general lights further improve visibility. Optional extras include the integrated DayLED daytime running lights for improved visibility in poorly lit halls as well as the Floor Spot system, which significantly reduces the risk of collisions at blind spots by projecting a red dot on the ground around three metres ahead of the truck.

British firm TyrePal is launching a new tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) to help OEM trailer builders and trailer fleet operators tackle the problem of tyre blowouts on HGV freight trailers.

The TyrePal trailer TPMS indicator consists of TyrePal sensors on each tyre and a robust indicator that can be mounted inside or outside the trailer. The indicator can operate independently of the truck to provide an immediate visual and audible alert when the sensors report rapid pressure loss, tyre overheating, under-inflation or over-inflation.

“Due to the weight distribution and design of HGV trailers, especially double-decker trailers, if tyres pick up slow punctures, they often go unnoticed until it is too late,” explains Peter Tilliotson, business development manager of TyrePal. “When the improperly inflated tyre is forced to work, it heats up and can cause blowouts. This leads to downtime and risks hazard to the driver and other road users. Apart from being very unsafe it will also increase fuel usage significantly.”

The device operates on an internal battery – automatically recharged when power is available, either from the trailer supply or by connection to the trailer lights.

When the trailer is not in use, the indicator goes into a sleep mode and automatically turns back on when there is any vibration, for example the opening of trailer doors. This means that it can remain on standby for up to ten weeks on a single charge.

The system can communicate with a TyrePal TeleTPMS module to provide complete on-line monitoring of the trailer from the fleet office, including full GPS tracking. This allows fleet managers to track their vehicles and monitor tyre pressure remotely.

Find TyrePal at stand 4K50 at the Commercial Vehicle Show to get a first look at the TyrePal trailer TPMS indicator.