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CeMAT 2018, 23 - 27 April
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Logistics IT

From the large to the small

Industry 4.0 is also slowly creeping into small and medium-sized companies. What expectations do they have for their logistics IT? Where do their challenges lie in terms of digitalisation?

15 Jan. 2016
iGoEasy
Logistics IT

A major topic that is now increasingly grabbing the attention of SMEs is digitalisation and Industry 4.0. "Once again here the focus is on reducing costs, increasing efficiency and optimising processes," says Reinhard Bösl, Director for System & Industries at SICK AG, based in Waldkirch. "SMEs expect solutions that are tailored to them, that offer a clear benefit, that have low maintenance requirements and that guarantee secure exchange of data."

Visitors will get lots of new ideas and be able to marvel at technological innovations at CeMAT. SICK will be presenting its entire portfolio of sensor technology specifically for intralogistics with regard to Industry 4.0 in Hanover.

"The focus is on the area of data networking and data collection, so reliable identification and processing of data. Our sensors record and communicate data, but real added value only arises if the recorded data can be utilised as a decision-making basis for improvements."

Reinhard Bösl, Director for System & Industries at SICK AG

After all, particularly in logistics, where several million packages are moved through facilities each day, companies really do have to deal with "big data". This data holds great potential – as well as a great challenge: to use sensor intelligence to process data in such a way that the right decisions can be made. This applies to both big companies and SMEs.

"Industry 4.0 concerns not only machinery and systems, but also software," adds Oliver Wolf, Head of the Software Engineering Department at Fraunhofer IML in Dortmund. "It’s now all about creating IT-based networking of the widest range of data sources in order to exploit the added value that Industry 4.0 can offer."

SMEs require secure standards in order to be able to reliably implement Industry 4.0 in their value creation chain. To this end, Fraunhofer is currently developing the necessary tools and standards as part of Industrial Data Space.

SICK
SICK will be presenting its entire portfolio of sensor technology – specifically for intralogistics with regard to Industry 4.0.
Torben Posert

"Our flexible IT solutions are particularly useful for companies that are active on the international stage and kit out their sites according to uniform standards," explains Torben Posert, Head of Sales Logistics at VITRONIC Dr-Ing. Stein Bildverarbeitungssysteme GmbH.

"Our VIPAC product family offers customers a broad basis for automatically recording and analysing data in the widest possible range of applications." He explains that the software packages are designed to cover complex requirements, whilst still being user-friendly in operation and visualisation.

"In addition, we offer our customers the opportunity to archive all information locally and centrally and access it at any time through the web," says Posert. "Many of our customers use consignments' volume and weight data for invoicing."

In order to ensure this, systems are certified and work with special IT memories, the says. This makes it possible to provide even small and medium-sized customers with consistent solutions, allowing them to make their way into Industry 4.0.

Volker Welsch

"Companies are still often faced with the strategic decision of whether they see unique selling points in the logistics, which can lead to cost benefits with individualised solutions," says Volker Welsch, Head of Sales for Germany at psb intralogistics GmbH, headquartered in Pirmasens. "In this case it's important to use software that's tailored to the warehouse organisation." Particularly when it comes to automated whole solutions. "For a long time now we have been seeing this way of thinking not only among major groups, but also among an increasing number of small and medium-sized enterprises, SMEs," says Welsch. After all, the market for intralogistics software is still growing in terms of both new installations and retrofitting measures, he says, with the aim always being able to ascertain whether the software still suits the customer’s requirements and business processes. "We see a task within permanent optimisation of processes with our customers that makes it possible to constantly expand and improve our software," says Welsch.

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