Sometimes art delivers the best guideline: “Everything is so colourful here”, as sung by the old punk singer Nina Hagen many years ago in her song “TV-Glotzer [TV gawkers] (White Punks on Dope)”, and of course was referring to the television. We would rather take a look at intralogistics! “Everything is so nice and new here”: Changing the phrase that has become a familiar quotation. Every word of it is true. Currently everything is changing in the industry. It is so nice, because the economy is soaring, contrary to all typical German prophecies of doom. It is also new, as we finally have technology and software available for improving in-house material flows that before we could have only dreamed of. Discuss it with Michael ten Hompel, the Director of Fraunhofer IML in Dortmund, it is worth it.
We finally have technology and software available for improving in-house material flows you could previously only have dreamed of
Finally the “here”: It is indeed nice that in intralogistics it is the European companies, and you can even say companies from the German speaking countries, who set the tone world-wide. New developments, which make it possible for many intralogistics companies to make impressive profits, do not only originate from the various think tanks, but are also strongly requested and driven by customers. More efficient warehouse logistics are not only something nice on paper for a cost/benefit analysis, but are the necessary answer to the change in demographics (or do you want to work in a warehouse?), to the e-commerce boom (or do you really want to do without “ordered today, best delivered yesterday”?) and the growing world population, which must be supplied with goods.
The increased merging of production and logistics, which up until now have been two separate realms in many companies, will require new concepts.
However, both planners as well as the exporting companies must pay attention to many aspects that concern intralogistics projects. Thus, the increased merging of production and logistics, which up until now have been two separate realms in many companies, will require new concepts. Up to the shuttle, which does not only run away from the shelf, but can go anywhere. Or the question, where can a shuttle go in the future, because space in the warehouse and in production is a valuable commodity. Below ground, on the floor, on the walls, in the air or on the ceiling (a tried and tested solution)? There will never one solution par excellence, but rather individually tailored concepts, the batch size of one also applies for warehouse planning.
Also the topic of Industry 4.0 is nowhere near being fully implemented in warehouses, real-time data availability, open interfaces, artificial intelligence – much still lies ahead that will take inspiration from the traditional ways of thinking of logistics managers. I am feeling so optimistic that I do not want to hide from you what Nina Hagen sang before the quoted line “It is all so colourful here”: “I simply can’t decide”. This whitepaper Lean logistics - Making intralogistics ready for the future surely offers a few organisational thoughts to not leave the reader alone with this nice new world of intralogistics and have to make a decision afterwards. It is worth reading!