11 months ago



02 Highly dynamic

02 Highly dynamic receiving and repacking process: A 40 feet container can be processed within three hours only. In a manual warehouse, this process takes up to two days LOGISTICS these are large, medium, or small orders and which individual circumstances have to be considered for every order. As of today, the GDC stores more than 97,000 SKUs. The filling degree is at an average of 80 percent. One third consists of finished goods, the rest are raw and semi-finished products. Interactions between Mannheim and Singapore “Currently, the main challenge when distributing products for plant and process automation is the increasing number of customerspecific demands and country-specific import regulations”, explains Hatiboglu. “These include customer-specific barcode labels as well Multi-functional pick and pack workstations allow maximum flexibility and picking accuracy. Jürgen Hüttemann, Project Manager at Witron as the online data transfer of shipments in the respective country’s language.” In order to map these issues accordingly, Pepperl+Fuchs has set up a specific line for special processing in its GDC. A great benefit is the functional mapping of all requirements within the Witron warehouse management system. The decision to award Witron the order for implementing the project was made very quickly due to the existing successful partnership in Mannheim Germany. Now, the manufacturer of sensors intends to accelerate the additional expansion on the Asian market by implementing the competitive advantages achieved through the state-of-the-art logistics center in Europe. “It goes without saying that we have referred to the positive experiences gained during the automation of our “European Distribution Center (EDC)” in Mannheim and want to make use of them”, explains Hong Han Thanh, Warehouse and Logistics Director at Pepperl+Fuchs and responsible for the South-Asian region. “Both warehouses have similar constellations. They supply the manufacturing area with raw materials and end customers with finished goods so that a “copy-and-paste” option with smaller adjustments to the local requirements was the logical consequence for us.” It was also easier for the Witron project team to understand the business processes of Pepperl+Fuchs Singapore and to implement the resulting demands. “Another benefit is that we communicate via the same IT interface”, says Hong. “This in turn had led to the fact that we were able to test and release new functions in the EDC upfront so that the GDC could immediately start with a fully functional version.” By training the employees from Singapore in Mannheim and through the commissioning support by employees from Mannheim on site in Singapore, the ramp-up was handled in next to no time without complications and delivery interruptions. In the meantime, the GDC stores everything such as raw, semifinished, and finished goods, as well as auxiliary and operating materials. The GDC consists of three warehouse areas: the automated small parts warehouse (AS/RS) with 60,000 trays, a long goods warehouse with 400 locations, and a narrow aisle pallet warehouse with 1,800 storage locations. Consistent integration of production and logistics processes in terms of Smart Logistics 4.0 Just like the warehouse in Mannheim, the site in Singapore is also using the Order Picking System (OPS), which has proven itself in the parts distribution and in E-Commerce applications across the globe through the cost-efficient handling of broad product ranges. The OPS enables storage and order picking in one system. The modularly designed solution is an integration of automated small parts warehouse (AS/RS) and upstream picking workstations, which are largely decoupled from the speed of the stacker cranes through sequence buffers – or just as recently realized for Pepperl+Fuchs – through a transfer car solution. This allows maximum individuality in all work processes. The products are provided in the OPS at pick and pack workstations according to the goods-to-person principle and in an order-related manner. Due to the flexibility of the system it is possible to use trays, totes, cartons, and small load carriers with different sizes, heights, and compartments as load carriers. The picking workstations are occupied depending on the workload. In order to store the very high number of different products efficiently and in a space-saving manner, the load carriers (cartons) used at Pepperl+Fuchs are divided up to sixteen times. The cartons are transported on trays. 34 WORLD OF INDUSTRIES 3/2018

The occupation of the trays is automatically scanned in the receiving area. Picking is done directly into shipping boxes or into order boxes for production supply. Every picking workstation is able to process up to eight customer orders at the same time. A multi-check system consisting of pick-by-light system, place-to-light, and surface scanning ensures maximum picking accuracy. Products from Pepperl+Fuchs are used for plausibility checks. Another special feature of the GDC is the consistent intra-logistical connection of the production area to the logistics operation. An automated guided vehicle system (AGV) transfers the order from the logistics to the production area and vice versa. Once the production area has returned a box with finished goods and stores it into a pre-defined shelf an AGV will automatically be requested via Wi-Fi. It picks up the box from the production line in an autonomous manner and transports it to an unloading station. This is where the idea of Smart Logistics 4.0 goes into effect: The box is scanned, the registration takes place in parallel in the background, and the goods are immediately available. If the system has open orders for this product the box will be assigned immediately and transported to the pick/pack location instead of it being stored. This is called “one touch handling” at Pepperl+Fuchs. The registration of incoming goods is done in real-time as a background process and the goods are immediately available. Innovation: AS/RS erected on top of the pallet warehouse As it is usual in Singapore due to the local soil conditions, Pepperl+Fuchs has erected the logistics center on stilts. For this purpose, 200 bearing pillars with a length of up to 40 meters / 131 feet have been put into the ground. The construction of a 32 meter / 105 feet high fire protection wall between the logistics center and the production and administration facility was a huge challenge. In addition, land property is very expensive in Singapore. “Due to this, the optimal use of the existing property was of utmost importance for the project team”, says Hong. “This has led to the implementation of a silo solution.” For a high bay warehouse in silo design, the rack serves as a load-bearing component for roof and wall elements. Moreover, Witron installed the fully automated tray warehouse directly on top of the pallet warehouse. Thanks to this construction method, the facility costs could be reduced to a minimum. “Based on these special conditions and the missing spaces in Singapore, the material flow is arranged over several floors. The focus on maximum usability of the height and efficient connection of all areas, has been a new challenge for Witron as well”, says Witron Project Leader, Huettemann. “Of course, it was a huge benefit that both companies knew each other from previous projects and that the IT interfaces were known to all parties.” Nevertheless, all processes were questioned regarding their interactions between Mannheim and Singapore. “The major approach was: How do decisions impact Singapore and Mannheim and vice versa”, says Huettemann. “In Singapore, for example, we have adapted the order consolidation process on various floors and integrated the logistics processes for a production order to the assembly lines.” Smart processes – high efficiency Pepperl+Fuchs is very satisfied with what has been achieved so far. “The availability of the system is definitely above standard”, says Project Leader Hong Han Thanh. “In addition, the pick performance increased significantly. Today, it is three times higher in the automated logistics center than in the previous manual warehouse, with a rising trend.” Moreover, the “smart” receiving registration process has made it possible to completely register a 40-feet container within three hours. In the old warehouse it took almost two days for the last case to be registered and stored. There are additional benefits coming from the automation technology. The operators at the workstations are guided by the specifications given by the system. “Thus, it is possible to apply “Poka-Yoke” concepts to these workstations resulting in a high work quality”, says Hong. “We can also create synergies within the Pepperl+Fuchs Group.” In the future, the manufacturing area will pack its products into load carriers, which are provided with a clear identification number. Thus, the receiving process can be even more accelerated. Hong: “The GDC and its smart logistics processes combined with a seamless integration of the Asian manufacturing plants have laid the foundation for the expansion in the Asia-Pacific region.” Photographs: Firefly Photography, Witron 03 Pepperl+Fuchs has integrated universal workstations that can be converted from a pick to a pack location - and vice versa - at any time − It is also used for value added services WORLD OF INDUSTRIES 3/2018 35


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