LogiMAT 2017 – Shaping change
Digital – Connected – Innovative. The 15th LogiMAT exhibition, an international trade fair for distribution and the flow of materials and information, took place this year under this motto.
The LogiMAT sets new benchmarks as the largest annual intralogistics trade fair in Europe. It was attended by just under 44,000 industry visitors in 2016. I visited the trade fair from 15th – 16th March together with some other colleagues. This was also the first time that our colleagues from Building Management were in attendance alongside those from Logistics. We were able to learn a great deal about various topics in specialist forums and lectures. Therefore our thirst for knowledge was amply quenched by presentations covering topics from “Logistics 4.0” right through to lithium-ion forklifts.
My LogiMAT highlights
The advances in automation were what really impressed me the most. Shuttle warehouses in which thousands of products can be accommodated in the smallest possible space and automatically made available for order picking were just a small part of this.
Here is a short video of an automatic small parts warehouse that I found particularly fascinating.
New forklifts – new luck
After waiting a short while at a forklift supplier, I was able to operate a narrow-aisle truck myself. Under supervision, I was allowed to raise the forks to a height of approx. 5 m and pick a promotional gift off the shelves for myself. This was a fantastic experience; I’d never operated a piece of equipment like that before.
There is a plan in place to put a truck like this into service at Herth+Buss in the future, too. However, this will take the shape of a forklift that can lift items up to a height of 13.5 m, and which will be inductively operated by means of a guide cable in the floor. In addition, we intend to equip the truck with a “warehouse sat nav” system. This warehouse navigation system would be a huge relief for operators: using this, they could make a simple selection on the touch screen and automatically proceed to the right shelf location.
The “pick-by-motion” system was another highlight. In this case, the item to be picked was indicated to me by an illuminated pointer. Once I had then picked the item and placed it into the right box, I had to confirm the procedure with a “thumbs up”. The whole thing was almost like a video game – and was a lot of fun!
All in all, it was a very successful trade fair visit and everyone got a lot out of it. That goes for Logistics and Building Management alike. Even if “Logistics 4.0” isn’t rolled out at Herth+Buss today or tomorrow, at least we’re up to speed on the latest developments and prepared for any eventuality. I’m already looking forward to the next visit!