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f+h Intralogistics 3/2015

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f+h Intralogistics 3/2015


AFTER-SALES SERVICE Beumer Customer Support is more than just a service Machine malfunctions and breakdowns can cause long downtimes, especially in the intralogistics sector. Beumer Group Customer Support has experts around the world, who will ensure a high level of system availability, for example at the airport of Bogotá in Colombia. The high-performance sorting and distribution systems of the Beumer Group are used for a variety of products such as postal items, and textiles, right through to shipped goods, pharmaceutical products, as well as being used to sort luggage at airports. Beumer develops customized system solutions to suit the various requirements of the operators. “However, if the systems are installed and commissioned at the user’s site, the work for the group of companies is long from finished,” explains Kornelius Thimm (Fig. 01), Head of Customer Support at Beumer. This is when the work for him and his colleagues really starts. This is because the requirements for modern sorting and distribution systems are continuously increasing regardless of whether they are im- plemented in the service or industrial sector. Material handling technology is becoming more complex, the systems must be able to process more complicated tasks, and must be able to be adjusted to different local conditions. Comprehensive service Clients, who are using the company’s constructions or systems, can conclude customized service agreements as part of Beumer Customer Support. “In principle, these agreements are specially designed to meet the individual requirements of our customers,” explains Thimm. “The service schedules, as well as the reaction times are set out in the contract.” The agreements can range from only maintenance and inspection to the long-term placement of service personnel on-site. Residential service, for example, comprises technical support, preventive maintenance and inspection, emergency plans, system and process analyses and optimization, as well as spare parts and facility management. This agreement can also specify that Customer Support employees will upgrade the systems as soon as new sorter technologies and software controls are introduced. Thimm: “Our aim is to ensure that processes are designed even more smoothly and thus guarantee a value added material flow. We don’t just want to resolve faults, but want to support the companies to meet future service and technology requirements.” As the mechanics of sorting systems wear over the years, staff must react to the first signs immediately to prevent any subsequent damage (Fig. 02). For the Beumer Group, Customer Support is more than just a service. Customer Support is a separate department that operates independently of the conveying and 30 f+h Intralogistics 3/2015

AFTER-SALES SERVICE About Beumer The Beumer Group is an international leader in the manufacture of intralogistics systems for conveying, loading, palletizing, packaging, sortation and distribution technology. Together with Crisplant a/s and Enexco Teknologies India Limited, the Beumer Group employs about 3,200 people and achieves an annual turnover of about €500 million. With its subsidiaries and sales agencies, the Beumer Group is present in many industries the world over. loading technology, palletizing and packaging technology, and sorting and distribution systems. It is like a company within the company and has its own sales department. The aim is to support customers and help them to achieve even better results. The Head of Customer Support, Thimm, identifies a pronounced trend: “Some customers still invest in their own skilled maintenance personnel, however, more and more companies want to delegate this responsibility. Our company offers an all-inclusive service – customers receive everything from one source.” Beumer Group employees are responsible for the operating times, performance, and economic efficiency of the systems and receive regular training to ensure they are up-to-date with the latest technology, thus enabling customers to concentrate on their core business. Customer Support will appoint a team of specialists on site to ensure machine availability, as required. If customers decide to use their own maintenance personnel, Customer Support can provide training to ensure machine operators are up-to-date as well as introducing new employees to the systems. This method ensures maximum operating time for the systems. Training is provided for the initial installation, as well as a follow-up session several months after the system has been running. At this time, customers have the opportunity to ask questions relating to their specific needs. The training programs are tailored to the customers and their systems. In the event of system downtime that the customer is unable to correct on his own, qualified Customer Support technicians offer around-the-clock telephone support every day of the year worldwide, thus reducing downtime to a minimum. The technicians can perform remote analyses, indicate corrective measures, and offer quick and reliable solutions to correct the malfunctions, ensuring systems are back in service quickly. Additionally, the Beumer Group employees will also determine the cause of the malfunction to prevent it from happening again. Successful project implementation In 2009, Crisplant, a leading supplier of automated sorting technology became a member of the Beumer Group. Efficient and reliable sorting systems, as well as luggage and material flow systems, are now available thanks to the experiences and competencies of Crisplant und Beumer. These solutions are in use around the world, including El Dorado International airport in Bogotá, Colombia. The second largest airport in South America, where a new terminal building for international flights has been built. While the construction work was being completed, Crisplant assembled a highspeed baggage handling system within 22 months. The system includes two fully automated type LS-4000E sorters that are particularly energy efficient. Crisplant also installed the Crisbelt baggage conveying system. This not only requires less space but also stands out for its low level of noise emissions during operation, while the reduced requirement for spare parts also minimizes operating costs. Crisplant also installed a baggage handling system in the new domestic terminal at the airport. The expansion and modernization of the airport will enable the operator, Opain S. A., to process 22 million passengers per year. Around thirty Crisplant service personnel will be available on site at all times for the next four years to ensure the system is maintained. Speaking the same language Beumer sets high standards for its Customer Support employees. When systems are installed and used in other countries, Beumer emphasizes that the customer should have access to a Customer Support technician who has the same cultural background and who speaks the same language. “For this reason we cannot just send colleagues from Beckum to Africa or South America,” says Thimm. Successful customer support requires successful communication. The following questions must be answered: How is the customer positioned? What are their goals and how do they want to develop in the future? This requires a lot of intuition. As a globally operating company, Beumer is in a position to address this challenge. If necessary, Customer Support can also provide employees to be permanently available at the user’s site, just like at the airport in Bogotá. This approach ensures that the manufacturer realizes that Beumer does not just visit for two days to complete the maintenance work. The aim is to provide long-term support. 01 Thimm: “Our customer support ensures reliable intralogistic processes worldwide” 02 If necessary, the technicians arrive as soon as possible on site, thus avoiding long downtimes All of the systems that are in operation at the user’s site must be aligned with each other. The residential service therefore does not just apply to Beumer systems but all third party systems as well. This includes simple conveyor belts, other sorters, and automatic high-bay warehouses. “Of course, we know our competitors and the differences,” emphasizes Thimm. If there are products that are not included in the portfolio of the system provider, Customer Support will take on the role of a servicing department. “If there are any faults, we will fix them and will complete any necessary maintenance work specified by the supplier.” Photos: Beumer Group MULTIMEDIA CONTENT Internal video: Learn more about the achievement spectrum of the enterprise. f+h Intralogistics 3/2015 31


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