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f+h Intralogistics 5/2015

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f+h Intralogistics 5/2015


TRENDS AND DEVELOPMENTS zero inventories global & long-term availability zero transport costs “Same day - same hour” delivery 02 The four main benefits of 3D printing Source: Miebach It becomes clear through the comparison (table on this page) that the complexity levels of both options are very different. The printing costs of this spare part are currently very high (ranging between 15 and 20 USD if it is made out of plastic and up to 100 USD if it is made out of metal). However, the costs for manufacturing, storage, handling, transport, and the risk of obsolescence and transport damages are, for the most part, not existent. These costs summed up for all spare parts around the world lead to a significant number of costs. Moreover, the high delivery rates should also to be taken into account. 3D technology will develop a lot in the future: printing will become faster, cheaper, more universal and of higher quality; the Conventional supply chain vs 3D supply chain Conventional supply chain Manufacturing in India Transport to central warehouse in Germany Picking and transport to Latin American warehouse in São Paulo – unpacking & put away Picking and packing to dealer´s order Shipping to dealer in Rio de Janeiro material will become more suitable for 3D printing and the print shops will be located inside the distribution centers or in large industrial cities (Image 02). The major challenge in the future in this area is the issue of quality guarantee: Who takes over the responsibility for any damages or the costs if, for example, the product is defect. Another aspect is the intellectual property, which borders are blurred more easily if 3D printing is widespread 3D supply chain Printing in Printing Service Center in Rio de Janeiro Packing and shipping to dealer in Rio de Janeiro and print designs of pieces are available on the internet (electronic format). On the other hand, new opportunities and new business models will arise, such as 3D Use of robots in warehouses will not only replace some jobs, but also create new ones printing centers, which arecertified by the manufacturers to print their pieces. Will robots take over the material handling in the warehouses? The non-humanoid robots are already an established part of our industrial environment. They build an inherent component in our automotive production where they weld together the different pieces of a vehicle body. Together with the artificial intelligence, new progress is created, for example computers win chess games against humans since many years. However, in distribution centers we still see a large number of machines handling goods, or complex transportation and storage systems for pallets and boxes that do not look like robots but are replacing the humans. The automatic and semiautomatic systems are used for picking boxes or units, but they are also very complex solutions that require a large financial investment. These high-end technologies to automate warehousing, handling and internal 14 f+h Intralogistics 5/2015

TRENDS AND DEVELOPMENTS Calculation example for the economic profitability of robots in warehouses Performance Human workforce Robot Picks per hour 500 700 Working hours per day 7,5 16 Working days per year 200 250 Total picks per year = 750,000 = 2,800,000 Cost calculation Investment – 210,000 US-Dollar Depreciation – 70,000 US-Dollar Labor cost / maintenance / energy 40,000 US-Dollar 20,000 US-Dollar Total cost per year 40,000 US-Dollar 90,000 US-Dollar Cost per pick ≈ 5.4 cents ≈ 3.2 cents Source: Miebach transport as well as order preparation will be partially replaced by robots very soon. According to various sources, more than 50 % of the staff of warehouses will be replaced by robots in the next 10 years. Instead of having a humanoid form, these robots will have a much more specialized design depending on its particular function. The key elements will be the grabbing and recognition systems (“hands and eyes”). The implementation of specialized robots in warehouses mainly depends on the economic profitability with working hours, labor costs and other necessary investment for the robots taken into account (table on this page). Therefore the robotics industry should reduce investment through standardization and mass production of robots. The use of robots in warehouses will cause the elimination of some jobs but will also generate other jobs related to manufacturing, commissioning and maintenance. Delivery by drones − limited to specific areas of use Military or civilian use of drones (surveillance, photography, toys) is already widespread in the world but its use in logistics is still very limited. A drone is a mixture of an aircraft and an unmanned helicopter, and we all know that transporting goods by air is the most expensive form of transportation today. However, companies like Amazon and Google are already experimenting with drones that perform customer deliveries, mainly of purchases made via eCommerce. There are other companies such as Deutsche Post DHL, Matternet or VertiKUL, which are also working on this kind of service, and who already established cases in which a fixed trade route for deliveries via drones, for instance the delivery of drugs to pharmacies in remote areas. A restricting factor in the operating method of these drones is that all of them have to be operated manually (with a joystick) from the warehouse and none of them is flying to their destination “alone”. There are other constraints that have to be considered in the future: economic, legislative and safety aspects. Furthermore, it is necessary to solve several logistical challenges before the implementation of delivery drones: Definition of flightways on highways, landing sites and returns. In the short term, the delivery through drones is developed to supply remote areas and also the production facilities (through internal transport). The short-term distribution by drones will be developed to supply remote areas and like an internal transport system inside the factories. In the long term, the drones will be used for the delivery of e- commerce orders (delivery in 30 minutes) and courier premium services. It is unlikely that drones will be used for mass transportation purposes or that it will replace other means of transport, but they could become a valuable alternative solution for delivering goods when it comes to speed. The use of drones may even lead to a reduction of urban traffic, if the air traffic by drones can be regulated through circularroutes and highways. Graphics: lead photo Fotolia/processing: VFV Grafik, 01 Miebach Consulting, 02 Fotolia/ processing: VFV Grafik About Miebach Consulting Miebach − The Supply Chain Engineers – deliver their services worldwide across 20 offices from Mexico to Shanghai. With 280 employees and a yearly turnover of € 30 million (2013) the company is one of the leading consultancies for logistics, production and supply chain design. Miebach’s worldwide network in key regions of Europe, North & South America and Asia provides effective international support for clients. f+h Intralogistics 5/2015 15


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