Munich, Germany—The LogiMat trade show’s best product awards for excellence go to companies whose innovative products contribute significantly towards rationalization, cost-savings and increasing productivity in intralogistics (DC operations).
In the category of procurement, handling ad storage the winner was Eisenmann Anlagenbau GmbH & Co. KG, for its double-runner system. This is a driverless transport system for handling pallets; it consists of two runners, similar to a forklift, but the runners are not connected mechanically to each other. These communicate electronically with each other and can drive independently with loads. With a weight of less than 100kg, they can handle loads of up to one tonne, via rotational movements of the four drive units.
Equipped with optical sensors and controlled from a central computer, these twin runners can move at a speed of up to one metre per second via an optical track-guidance system. The drive axles are freely movable in all directions, so that the system needs only a minimum of maneuvering space and narrow aisles. All the drive and control components and the energy supply are integrated compactly in both transport runners.
The double-runner system ushers in a paradigm shift in intralogistics, away from heavy, expensive and stationary machines towards more compact, flexible and efficient technology. This solution offers high flexibility and can be quickly adapted, via easy retrofitting or extension, to new requirements.
In the category of order picking, packaging and protection, the winner was Ehrhardt + Partner GmbH & Co. KG for its new development, Voice Integrates RFID (VIR). This combines all the advantages of pick-by-voice and RFID in one order-picking technology. The results: up to 80 percent shorter set-up times for multi-order picking, a reduced error rate and simpler container management.
The hardware needed for VIR consists of a conventional pick-by-voice talkman, supplemented with an RFID reader. Both are carried on the belt of the picker. When order-picking with VIR, the containers are given an RFID tag, which makes them uniquely identifiable. With the new VIR technology, voice-activated entry is replaced by automatic identification of the RFID container labels, via an RFID scanner.
The advantages of pick-by-voice are thus retained: the employee has both hands free and can concentrate on his core task. Also, the unique RFID identification ensures each container can be tracked, including in dispatches, and it guarantees traceability. The loss quota is thereby notably reduced.
In the category of software, communication and IT, the winner was Heidler Strichcode GmbH, for its product PalletCube. This innovation, featuring special infrared cameras, is used for measuring pallets of any shape. With its space-saving fitting to walls or ceilings, the PalletCube does not get in the way of work processes. As soon as an object is deposited or arrives in the measurement area, PalletCube automatically identifies the perimeters of the object and, depending on its size, it calculates the dimensions and the loading meters in about 500 milliseconds. In logistics, because of limited loading space and loading capacity in aircraft, vehicles and ships, it is ever more important to calculate forwarding tariffs not only according to weight, but according to volume. In order to guarantee that the ideal places will be found in the warehouse and to maximize space utilization, it is essential to identify volumes.
LogiMAT 2014 runs from February 25 to 27 and occupies 74,000sqm of space in six exhibition halls in Stuttgart.