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Intelligent material and information control for C-parts

Keller & Kalmbach presents eLogistics and the latest generation of Kanban systems


Unterschleissheim, July 1, 2016

Keller & Kalmbach, connection and fastening technology as well as C-parts management specialist, presented the new-to-market product eLogistics and a new generation of logistics systems to 350 participants at its "Logistics Innovation Forum". With eLogistics, the company for the first time presented an IT-based platform for automated goods management which, among other things, enables integration of third-party suppliers and intralogistics control, as well as new RFID-based and NFC-based logistics systems.


Innovation forum with numerous market launches

With the slogan "C-parts management in Industry 4.0", Keller & Kalmbach hosted the "Logistics Innovation Forum" in Hilpoltstein, site of the company's central warehouse and logistics center. Beside presentations by experts from the fields of science and consulting in and around the topics of Industry 4.0 (Prof. Dr.-Ing. Klaus Richter, Fraunhofer Institute), C-parts procurement (Konrad P. Bänziger, Management School St. Gallen), and the latest developments in the global economy (Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Hans-Werner Sinn), the event focused on the market launch of the new RFID-based and NFC-based logistics systems which interact with eLogistics.

The visitors had the opportunity to get an impression of the company's expertise in the field of C-parts logistics during a final tour through the logistics center. This was actually the first time that the new logistics center had been viewed since commissioning a palletizing robot and completion of a generous extension, doubling both the warehouse capacities and performance.

C-part management and Industry 4.0

Requirements in the field of production supply are becoming increasingly complex, while response and development times are becoming ever shorter, so it is more important than ever to react flexibly to new requirements. The road increasingly leads to the so-called "Smart Factory". It is all the more important for purchasing and logistics to create a standardized infrastructure for the business. Logistics plays a crucial role in this. Having the right products and data in the right place at the right time is an absolute necessity for networked, automated production and production supply. The impetus for logistical processes is no longer given by large, centralized systems, but by systems which run themselves and automatically order their replenishment supplies, whether it be for production or maintenance.

eLogistics from Keller & Kalmbach is an intelligent, IT-based solution for inventory management automation which takes precisely this approach. The platform makes it possible to control all material and information flows of items with recurring demands. In eLogistics, all relevant information is controlled, monitored, logged and evaluated. eLogistics recognizes missing containers and defective transponders, as well as illogical orders (such as duplicate orders). Using eLogistics, which is an open solution, additional suppliers can be integrated into the system and material supply for multi-step production can be controlled within the plant using the pull principle. Another special feature is the bidirectional data exchange. With this approach, the data is no longer just monodirectional – i.e. order data is typically sent from the customer to the supplier, but also specifically transmitted back. So, for example, the delivery notification is displayed directly as information to the transponder which is located, for example, on the container in the warehouse.

Seven new logistics systems

eLogistics is used for intelligent material and information management. Yet without logistics systems, i.e. the "hardware" consisting of shelving, containers, transponders, smart tags, data transmission units, etc. that are managed and provided with data by eLogistics, eLogistics simply would not work. In addition to the platform, the company therefore also developed the corresponding logistics systems which support these technologies and the requirements of the customer.

"Along with our partner SFS unimarket AG in Switzerland, we have asked ourselves many questions in the past four years, resulting in the operational requirements for the next generation of our logistics solutions. It is therefore important to know what a logistical system must actually be capable of and what type of support an industrial enterprise expects from us. We also discussed how we could support businesses in making their processes sustainably leaner and thereby gain a competitive advantage," explains Thomas Obermeyer, Director at Keller & Kalmbach, referring to development of the solutions. "The result is something to be proud of. We now offer our customers sophisticated systems for all requirements, all the way up to integration of third-party suppliers or control of intralogistics, tailored to the customer," comments Thomas Obermeyer proudly.

In addition to classic supply systems, Keller & Kalmbach offers a completely new generation of Kanban solutions which communicate directly with eLogistics. These are turnLOG®, pushLOG®, reachLOG®, weightLOG®, dropLOG®, moveLOG®, and parkLOG. All systems are based on the newest and most innovative wireless technology.

With turnLOG®, the demand is triggered by the rotating the container. With pushLOG®, which is offered for bulky items, it is triggered by pressing an order button. With reachLOG®, the order placement process is triggered via sensors which "pick up" the fill level of a container. weightLOG®, on the other hand, is linked directly to the weight of the material located in the container, which is determined using sensors found directly in the container. With dropLOG®, the order placement process is triggered via insertion of an empty container into a box. With parkLOG, it is triggered when a container is placed on a mat, which is usually located on the top shelf. moveLOG® triggers a demand in the form of a "bulk reading". By passing through a door or gate with several containers on a cart or pallet, for example, requests are triggered simultaneously for all containers. With these new systems, which can also be used in combination, all requirements for modern Kanban systems can be fulfilled today and in the future.