Intralogistics in the Wood Industry – New Dimensions in the Industry 4.0 Age
In times of ever-faster advancements in digitalization and increasingly frag-mented companies as well as the constantly rising pace of business, INSERCO is looking for the solutions that provide answers to these challenges and pre-pare our clients for today’s market.
With the RELAG-System®, the SEP Logistik AG has created a universal solu-tion, specially tailored to the logistics needs of the wood industry. The goal is to network the complex logistical processes from incoming materials through production to the pinpoint loading of goods, thereby realizing potential savings and synergies at a level that was unimaginable until today. Here, the age of Industry 4.0 has already begun.
With the RELAG-System® – SLS solution, the SEP Logistik AG has also devel-oped a comprehensive offering for the management of forklift fleets. Logistics operations are monitored across the entire site by means of smarter sensors, guided intelligently and integrated perfectly into the company’s intralogistics.
The RELAG-System® – SLS (forklift guide system) has four key elements:
1. Locating the forklift at inner and outer areas
In the outside areas of an operation, for example, in loading bays or outside storage areas, the system locates the forklift via satellite (like GPS in a car). In the inside areas, like in warehouses or in a covered receiving area, cameras, lasers or radio waves take over this task. They actualize the current location of the vehicle up to 25 times a second and are ac-curate to within a few inches. Relevant data packets are recorded in real time and constantly compared with one another. If two forklifts come too close to each other, the drivers are warned so that they can adjust their speed or stop as necessary. If a vehicle drives toward a door, the door opens automatically. This reduces the heating and cooling costs of the building, because the door closes again immediately after the forklift has passed.
2. Intelligent forklift control
The RELAG-System®‘s warehouse management system recognizes every transportation unit. Pending customer orders as well as resupply orders are also acknowledged via inter-faces with IT systems and also by production machines. Via intelligent warehousing strate-gies, every forklift is assigned its transport order with the goal of maximizing efficiency. The order control is optimized to 100%. In this way, the driver can concentrate completely on steering and driving, aided by 3D graphics.
3. Data analysis for more efficient logistics
The forklift’s operational data is constantly recorded. From the data collected on position, relative environment and loads, the vehicles provide the information that allows overall transport to be improved. Fragile goods are transported especially carefully; empty runs are avoided. Various indicators are generated easily and aid management in making the right decisions.
4. Tracking and finding goods without a scanner
Every day in a business, many goods are coming in and being shipped out or are simply transported within a warehouse itself. For a comprehensive overview of the inventory, the goods transported normally have to be scanned with every change of location. With the RELAG-System® – SLS solution, the transportation of goods is tracked simply through the localization of the vehicle. The time-consuming scanning of transport units is no longer nec-essary. Every position in the warehouse is also automatically recognized upon the arrival of the forklift. The transport unit can be automatically tracked from its pick-up by the driver to its drop-off at its destination. The forklift driver can find goods in the warehouse at any time on the forklift’s terminal. Another advantage of the system: The warehouse stock is always visible and thanks to constant inventory updating, hardly anything can go missing. Further possibilities for optimization can be integrated, for example, speed assistance, shock sensors for vehicles and transport goods, among other assistance systems.
Forklift in the wood industry – thanks to intelligent technology, every packet is automatically registered.
It’s already more than two decades since SEP Logistik AG’s innovative logistics solutions won over their first industrial wood processing company in Germany.
“The first clients started out with straightforward control systems for automatic high-bay warehouses. After everyone was convinced by its trouble-free implementation and its per-formance advantages for logistics, the RELAG-System® was rolled out across the whole company and later, across all corporate structures.” – Torsten Seher, Sales Manager, SEP Logistik AG.
Since then, the SEP Logistik AG has grown to become the European wood industry’s lead-ing IT partner for intralogistics. Contributing to this success is sustainable and modular software, but also continuous, advanced training and further education by the project man-agement. Today, the SEP Logistik AG is represented at more than 60 production facilities in the wood industry. In some manufactories, the intralogistics is almost completely automated.
Now on the way to totally networked production, some laminated flooring manufacturers also want to integrate their business partners, from the suppliers all the way to the customers. When this happens, intelligent assistants could notify them that their supply of raw materials is diminishing and order resupply without an employee ever having to fill out a form. In the end, the system plans and organizes nearly all of the processes independently.
For the forklift system, all relevant vehicle data from intelligently networked forklifts is col-lected, evaluated and made visible. In doing so, goods transportation can be monitored, routes shortened and collisions avoided. To keep the companies’ internal logistics operating smoothly, data is continuously recorded and then processed in the RELAG-System®. With this, all movements in the logistics system are monitored and controlled. This guarantees that loading and unloading is always carried out correctly and that all pallets can be located at any time and will be delivered to the right place at the right time. On top of this, data is collected for batch processing and other organizational indicators. “The RELAG-System® decides intelligently which subsystem carries out the transportation of materials; it doesn’t matter if it’s done by forklift, an automated guided vehicle (AGV) or automatic conveyer technology. Our clients concentrate solely on the customer’s order in the ERP system; the logistical work is then automatically organized by the warehouse management system,” explained Konrad Scheider, Senior Technician at SEP Logistik AG. “This is why it’s im-portant for our clients to find the most efficient sequence for the respective production pro-cess. Through our experience and the modular construction of the RELAG-System®, the appropriate solution can be found quickly and reliably and at the same time, our client keeps the option to be able to later expand the system as necessary.“
Well-known manufacturers in the wood industry including Krono-span, Kaindl, Klenk Holz AG and Egger have been using the solu-tions from the SEP Logistik AG as a strategic IT system successful-ly for years and are able to integrate these innovative solutions at all of their facilities.
At INSERCO, we will gladly provide you with more information about this very interesting development and other technologies in storage and security systems.