The partners STILL and Würth have proved in STILL’s Hamburg factory that the changeover to Industry 4.0 can be simple when competences are pooled: Würth’s RFID-based iSHELF system and STILL’s iGo neo CX 20 will work hand-in-hand in the future, without elaborate programming, to guarantee a just-in-time supply of C-parts to the factory’s production lines. The official meeting of the two intelligent systems took place at the handover of the iGo neo CX 20 to Würth Industrie Service GmbH & Co. KG on 25th January.
During the handover of the iGo neo CX 20 to the Würth company in the STILL GmbH factory in Hamburg, Thomas A. Fischer, STILL’s Managing Director of Sales, Marketing and Service (CSO), said: “All superfluous work steps are avoided and the logistics processes in the factory optimised by STILL’s autonomously operating iGo neo CX 20 and the intelligent Würth iSHELF. The workload on Würth’s employees is lightened exactly where this is appropriate according to Intralogistics 4.0: there is no longer any need to scan anything when using the RFID-assisted Kanban system and the intelligent iSHELF shelving. Moreover, the manual logging of follow-up orders is eliminated. This allows human errors to be avoided. Use of the autonomously operating iGo neo CX 20 does away with time-consuming getting on and off the truck.”
The machine drives ergonomically to the first or second pallet position, as required by the operator. This considerably relieves the burden on the Würth employee, since using the autonomous truck significantly reduces the distance he or she must walk while carrying the load him/herself. Access to the iGo neo CX 20 is also automatic: it is governed by a FleetManager card. This ensures, among other things, that the truck can be used only by authorised employees.
Christian Schorndorfer, Würth’s Sales, Key Account & Innovative Systems Managing Director, was also visibly extremely pleased: “Whereas our staff had to rely on their own experience when resupplying the STILL production facility with C-parts in the past, a precision supply to the STILL production lines is now guaranteed thanks to the introduction of the RFID-assisted Kanban system in conjunction with the intelligent iSHELF shelving. Furthermore, by using it together with the iGo neo CX 20, we now save a significant amount of time that we can utilise for other tasks. With our iSHELF system and by using STILL’s autonomously operating iGo neo CX 20, we have sensibly automated C-part management in the STILL factory.”
iSHELF intelligent shelving is a rolling two-container system that provides an adequate amount of C-parts, such as bolts, nuts and washers, just-in-time at the point of use. All the containers are fitted with an RFID tag on which all the relevant information is stored, e.g. container type, article number, description, fill quantity and batch. If there is an empty container on the topmost shelf level, the RFID tag is read automatically and the status wirelessly reported to the Würth employees. The latter then ensure its replenishment. Automated repeat orders, early identification of demand fluctuations and shortened response times make bottlenecks in C-part supply and thus possible production downtimes a thing of the past. Use of the iGo neo CX 20 optimises this process yet further: the autonomously operating truck collaborates with the Würth employee by following in his/her footsteps to the individual consumption points on the production line. This considerably increases the efficiency of the process.
This project emphasises the innovative strength of both companies: STILL has developed from a pure truck manufacturer into a solution provider with competence in robotics, and Würth from being purely a C-part supplier to an intralogistics provider for intelligent material flow control.
For more information visit: http://www.still.de