When investing in automation, there are a lot of things you must consider. Here is an insight on how our process as AutoStore specialists look like.
“With a wide range of expertise, a user-friendly software and more than 35 years of intralogistics experience Element Logic will find the optimal solution for you and your future growth”, Niklas Poulsen, Sales Manager in Element Logic, explains.
Establish the partnership
The first step towards automation is to get in contact with the specialists in the Element Logic sales team. With their extensive knowledge and experience in implementing warehouse automation and AutoStore systems in warehouses, they take the lead in making ROI calculations and payback analyses to find a custom solution for your current and future needs.
The team calculates all aspects of your operations. Some calculations are straightforward, such as how many employees you will need to operate. But we also calculate how much you will save on reducing human errors in picking goods and how much customer satisfaction will increase when they experience faster and safer deliveries.
“Finally, we estimate the budget and time frame for you”, Poulsen says.
Designing a tailor-made warehouse for your specific needs
After mapping your needs and preferences, our team of system designers work closely with the sales team and Project Manager using their experience and creativity to design a customised solution for your warehouse. No solution is ever the same.
“We spend a lot of time analysing and calculating numbers to understand your needs”, Lasse Vik, Product Manager AutoStore explains. Vik designs systems for all kinds of customers, regardless of size, shape and challenges.
Once you sign a contract with us, we assign you a Project Manager that will work as a coordinator in all phases, and as the bridge between you and the team designing and building the solution. This way, you have one central point of contact – making it easier for you to keep track of what is happening.
“It is essential to have an open and honest dialogue about all details with the customer. This way, both sides feel confident and secure about the process”, Nils Grille, Project Manager at Element Logic, explains.
To make sure we end up with the best possible solution, the design team makes several 3D-models and run simulations. These simulations will give you an idea of what you can expect from the end-result regarding capacity and efficiency.
“When we have established a draft plan based on your needs and your available space, we present this to you, and together we agree on how we execute the installation”, Grille says.
Delivery and construction
You can compare AutoStore to an advanced Lego-kit. Your Project Manager is in the lead of coordinating resources and deliveries to ensure a smooth construction phase.
“As your project manager, I make sure all the deliveries arrive at the right time. After more than 35 years in operations, Element Logic has not had any significant delays in delivering a project. Our customers highly value this accountability in a time of change”, Project Manager Grille explains.
Once the materials arrive, the construction team works on the time-consuming task of measuring out the grid and installing the first aluminium columns. Each stage of the construction is handled carefully and accurate to avoid mistakes that could affect the later stages of construction.
“When the foundation is complete, the rest of the grid is quickly built row after row by our experienced construction teams”, Grille explains.
Your entire AutoStore solution is custom-built to fit your space, needs and requests. The custom solution includes not only the grid itself but also the service mezzanine, ports, and everything else included in your unique solution. Our goal is to utilise your space in the most efficient and space-saving way.
For customers in need of a total warehouse solution, we have the competence and can support our customers with different kind of systems and technology in addition to AutoStore.
The final step of the construction process is to place the robots on the grid.
Testing capacity and efficiency
Once the robots are on top of the grid, the commissioning team executes extensive testing and simulations on scenarios. This way, you can be confident the AutoStore-system capacity matches the estimated figures from the sales process before you go live.
Our software eManager enables you to maximise the efficiency and reduce operational cost. This software implements warehouse execution, management, and control systems in one optimised, user-friendly interface.
“I test the system with the customer and guide them into production. I also prepare servers for installation to make sure our software eManager is compatible with the customers’ existing systems”, Theresa Marin Tantillo, Solutions Architect at Element Logic, explains.
eManager comes with built-in operator assistance for completing AutoStore tasks, an operational dashboard, and a service portal. eManager is also used to locate and control products and inventory and can integrate with ERP/WMS, and a variety of warehouse management systems.
“I would say we are World Champions of integrating AutoStore. eManager is the brain of AutoStore making it efficient and enabling all components to communicate with each other for an optimised workflow”, Tantillo says.
Support and customer care after the installation
When the solution is ready to go live, the Element Logic support division is ready to help you in your daily operations and work with you to get the most out of your automated warehouse.
“In support, we help our customers with any issues they might face with their solution”, Wenche Schellhorn, Support Consultant at Element Logic, explains.
After completing the superuser training, you and the support division can understand each other as you can speak the same technical language and can work out the issues together.
The support team is always ready to help you with ad-hoc tasks, but they also continuously work to optimise your operations and to investigate where and how they can help you grow.
“During the construction phase, we are in the information loop and are familiar with the customer’s AutoStore-solution when they start using it and might need our help”, Arnold Nielsen, Key Account Manager at Element Logic, explains.
You can receive an SLA-report each month with detailed status on your AutoStore-solution, including downtime and completed tasks.
Seamless transition to automation
After decades of experience with AutoStore and intralogistics, we are experts in transitioning our customers from manual to automatic warehouses. Our success-factor is the agility and solution-minded service team surrounding each customer – you can be confident that your solution is tailored specifically to your needs.
From the account manager, project manager, designers, constructors, commissioning team, system architects, superuser trainers and the experts in the support division, the transition to an automatic warehouse is seamless and comfortable. While simultaneously preparing your company for future growth.
The time frame from the initial meetings to an operational warehouse varies heavily. It depends on the decision-making process and your needs.
“A standard process is usually around three months from order to delivery and a few additional months of construction”, Sales Manager Niklas Poulsen states.
Source: Element Logic UK
The most common conveyor belt issues and how to prevent them
Like any type of machinery, conveyor belt systems will eventually experience issues from time to time. Regardless of how well-maintained conveyor belt parts are, it’s normal to face problems, especially given that conveyor belts are one of the most used pieces of equipment across many industries.
While some problems are bound to happen, there are ways to prevent common issues and extend the life of your conveyor belt parts. Below are some of the most common conveyor belt problems and ways to prevent them.
Material accidentally sliding, rolling, or spilling over is inevitable, especially for productions that move a lot of loose or heavy products. However, if your conveyor system is experiencing an increase in spillage incidents, it could be an issue with areas that are causing excess shaking or rattling.
To prevent material spillage, be sure to keep your conveyor system well-maintained. Clean the conveyor belt and parts regularly and consider installing impact beds.
Excessive material spillage is the most common cause of seized rollers, which can halt production altogether. To prevent this downtime, we recommend installing Luff’s patented High Moisture Seal & Anti-Lock Shield. This polymer disc sits inside the end cap and remains stationary as the roller rotates around it, allowing the roller to turn freely, even with material built up between the roller end and the conveyor idler.
In addition to Luff’s High Moisture Seal & Anti-Lock Shield, you can prevent seized rollers by carefully inspecting them on a regular basis. This should be part of your regular maintenance routine.
Material blockage can happen due to wear and tear on the conveyor belt, sharp edges, and weak points in the system. When blockages happen, they can cause the conveyor belt to simply stop moving.
To avoid this issue, again be sure to keep a well-maintained system. Inspect your conveyor belt for any holes, weak points, and sharp edges that could potentially cause a blockage and have them repaired as soon as possible. Another solution to prevent material blockage is to install guide rollers which help reduce the chance of severe belt damage from sharp edges.
Mistracked conveyor belt
Mistracking happens when the belt moves too far to one side, which can lead to material spillage, material blockage, and cause premature wear on other conveyor belt parts. A mistracked conveyor can throw off the entire system The best way to prevent a mistracked conveyor is to have inspections and adjustments done on a regular basis. If you notice small signs of misalignment such as uneven belt wear, address them immediately before they become bigger problems.
To sum it up, some of the most seemingly small issues can turn into bigger problems that can halt operations. These common issues can be prevented and solved with simple conveyor belt parts and accessories.
Plastic load carriers from the automotive specialist
A trouble-free internal material flow is one of the essential factors for efficient production of components for the automotive industry. Errors and faults in transport and storage systems result in time-consuming and costly interruptions. The Craemer Group, internationally established supplier to the automotive industry, is one of the leading manufacturers with large-scale production of automotive modules made of metal and large-volume load carriers made of plastic.
The automotive expertise of the Germany-based Craemer Group founded in 1912 has contributed to the development and production of injection-moulded load carriers made of sturdy plastic. Versatile plastic pallets and pallet boxes from Craemer reliably reduce downtime in the automotive and supplier industries.
Special plastic load carriers for customised applications
For more than 50 years Craemer has been developing and manufacturing durable pallets made of high-quality polyethylene (PE). Today, the extensive portfolio includes half pallets, Euro pallets and industrial pallets for a wide range of applications. One example from the company’s portfolio is the D1 plastic pallet with its 22-millimetre rim: It is specially designed for the automotive and supplier industry and ensures high load security when used with small load carriers (SLC) and clear packaging (blisters). Unlike wooden pallets, box elements can be transported precisely and safely, without strapping and fastening, thanks to the edge system.
Thanks to their 22-millimetre outer rims, the CS plastic pallets in Euro format and industrial sizes are also ideally suited for use with SLC. The ESD (electrostatic discharge) variants of the CS pallets are made of conductive material and protect sensitive components from uncontrolled electrostatic discharge. The CS pallet is optionally available with Palgrip® anti-slip runners.
The CR plastic pallets are ideal for heavy loads. They permit versatile solutions thanks to a load capacity of up to 1750 kilograms and an anti-slip coating on the deck which makes them ideal for high rack warehouses. On the other hand, Craemer H and TC pallets offer optimum hygiene conditions for sensitive processes. The H model is also available in a conductive version. The pallet portfolio for the automotive and supplier industry is complemented by the lightweight SL pallet in Euro format with an overall height of only 120 millimetres.
Safe transport and easier handling of commodities
For the automotive industry, particularly impact-resistant and splinter-proof pallet lids are an ideal complement to Craemer plastic pallets. They are available in Euro format and industrial sizes and are suitable for all common returnable containers (such as SLC). Thanks to their precise fit they close perfectly flush. Integrated strapping grooves and locks on the short sides of the lid optimise the load security of sensitive commodities. As conductive ESD variants, they also reliably protect electrostatically sensitive components from uncontrolled discharges.
Other products of the Craemer automotive range: CB pallet boxes. Thanks to the one-piece injection-moulded production and their sturdy construction, these large load carriers made from PE convince with their high resistance and long service life. They are available in Euro format and industrial sizes. In addition, they are UN-certified and thus approved for the transport and storage of hazardous goods. Precisely fitting lids are available as additional accessories. With its complete portfolio of load carriers and accessories, the Craemer Group supports safe transport and storage processes in the automotive industry.
Mondi partners with Heiber + Schröder to launch the new high-performance machine eComPack for automated packaging of its EnvelopeMailer for eCommerce
Heiber + Schröder’s mechanical engineering combined with Mondi’s packaging and paper expertise enables eCommerce companies to automate the erecting, filling and closing packaging process using the EnvelopeMailer solution he state-of-the-art eComPack doubles output per hour, responding to demand for the automation of paper-based packaging solutions in eCommerce operations
The state-of-the-art eComPack doubles output per hour, responding to demand for the automation of paper-based packaging solutions in eCommerce operations
The new machine perfectly complements Mondi’s universal and fully recyclable corrugated EnvelopeMailer for maximum performance
Mondi, a global leader in packaging and paper, has worked on an innovative collaboration with German machine producer Heiber + Schröder to create a high-speed automated packaging machine that meets the process, efficiency and safety requirements of eCommerce fulfilment operations. The new eComPack machine is designed for mid to large size eCommerce operations seeking efficiency and reliability. It can process up to 500 parcels per hour thanks to an automated erecting, filling and closing process.
The technological expertise of paper and board packaging automation expert Heiber + Schröder forms a perfect synergy with Mondi’s innovative packaging solutions. The resulting high-output eComPack can automatically process a wide scope of goods using one height-adaptable packaging design that is available in different sizes. The equipment stands out for its compact floor space requirement and simplicity in operation and maintenance.
In the rapidly growing world of eCommerce, the combination of an excellent paper-based product and an efficient and economic automated packaging machine is a key differentiator for our customers. The successful introduction of Mondi’s EnvelopeMailer solution increased manual packaging output by 8% compared to standard C-folder packaging. With eComPack, we are now enabling our customers to double their output and optimise packing operations in fulfilment centres handling high volumes,
Tarik Aniba, Sales & Marketing Director, Mondi Corrugated Solutions
The eCommerce market has grown significantly in recent years, accounting for approximately 20% of global retail sales in 2021¹. This means a wider variety of goods is being distributed, which increases packing complexity and requires versatile packaging solutions of different sizes and shapes. At the same time, with the rising cost of labour, the desire for packing machines in eCommerce is more prominent than ever before. To help customers tackle these challenges, eComPack provides a solution dedicated to the automated packaging of Mondi’s corrugated eCommerce solution EnvelopeMailer.
Made to safely fit single or multiple items and rectangular as well as irregular shapes up to 7 cm in height, the EnvelopeMailer’s flexibility in the fulfilment process, efficiency in handling, and economical use of material and space have made it an all-around new standard in the market since its launch in 2020.
André Garmer, Managing Director Heiber + Schröder, adds: “Together with Mondi we developed the machine in a very dynamic co-creation process. The result is a robust, user-friendly machine with top-class usability. Through clever and responsible creation, we were able to synchronise packaging design and machine functionality into a solution that offers tremendous potential if combined with the right packaging solution.”
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