TRENDS AND DEVELOPMENTS Science fiction or oncoming reality? Joachim Miebach Inventions like the steam engine or internet were revolutionary and have changed the world. Today, experts talk about the beginning of a further revolution Industry 4.0. This goes along with concepts and catchwords such as internet of things or “big data”. The impact of this progress, especially on the applicable principles of the value chain, are difficult to predict. Dr.-Ing. Joachim Miebach is Chairman of Advisory Board der Miebach Consulting GmbH Of all technological trends, which will undoubtedly revolutionize the world we live in, there are three (besides IT) that have a major impact on supply chains: 3D printing, robots and drones. 3D printers with high quality standards that work with different materials are already in use and can replace inventories in the future. Robots are increasingly being integrated into the supply chain processes and can support the order picking in warehouses. Furthermore, companies like Amazon, Google or DHL are already testing the use of drones (driven by remote control) for package deliveries, which could take charge of the “last mile” transport in the future. 12 f+h Intralogistics 5/2015
TRENDS AND DEVELOPMENTS 3D printing process − more than prototyping 3D printing or additive manufacturing is an increasingly relevant technology (for the production), although it has to evolve a lot further to use its full potential. Currently it is already possible to create products of different sizes and materials (plastic, metal, paper, ceramics, etc.) with simple or complex structures through various methods of “printing” (FDM Fused Deposition Modelling and SLS Selective Laser Sintering). The price of printers is very variable, the scope of application ranges from personal to industrial use. Another cost factor is the time of manufacturing of the 3D products, which basically depends on the size of the piece. Today, many industries, including the automotive and aviations industry, are experimenting with 3D printers in the production, using the printers for those parts which are easy to print and assemble due to their low complexity and simple shape. 01 Inventories, storage space and revenue of spare parts Large multinational companies such as HP are already investing in the 3D printing technology. In the logistics field of automotive companies, 20 % of the low rotation spare-parts of a car are already 3D printable. In this sector, a large number of spare parts (approx. 60 %) occupies significant space in the warehouse (approx. 40 %) and represents a significant percentage of the inventory level (approx. 30 %) but generate only 5 % of the sales (Image 01). As an example, we compare a conventional supply chain in which a supplier of spare parts orders plastic cogwheels (used for car windows) and a supply chain in which the product is ordered as 3D-print by the same supplier. Always operational. Always reliable. In the oil and gas industries, especially in natural gas liquefaction plants, stringent requirements as to safety and technical performance demand intelligent solutions and state of the art safety mechanisms. STAHL CraneSystems as a leading international manufacturer of explosion-protected hoist and crane technology offers the broadest complete portfolio for these sectors. All around the world over 140 certified Partners of STAHL CraneSystems and crane and systems builders work to solve customers’ problems individually on site.