23. January 2014

Logistics solutions from SICK at Hermes: “We have launched into a new era of identification technology”

Hermes is one of the leading logistics and trading services providers operating across Europe. Every year, Hermes manages hundreds of millions of shipments and movements of goods at its logistics centers and transshipment hubs. The information supplied by highly effective systems from SICK for volume measurement and identification are used by Hermes, a logistics and trading services provider, at many locations for efficient processes associated with handling and logistics of parcels, bag mailers, and catalogs.

Sorteranlage Hermes

© Hermes

The suitable solution for every location

Depending on the requirements at the different locations, the devices used by Hermes include legal-for-trade volume measurement systems, OPS890 omniportal reading systems, and hybrid systems with ICR890 image-based code readers as well as laser-based OPS290 code reading systems.They are in use at all new HLG branches, meeting the high demands on reading accuracy with concurrently complex composition of consignments. Using up to eight laser scanners and several cameras, these devices are capable of identifying bar codes independent of the direction of transport and item size.


OPS890 omniportal reading systems

OPS890 omniportal reading systems

The systems for volume measurement and identification from SICK provide innovative technologies and, being combined solutions, they avert any type of interface risks. The installations at different locations of the Hermes Group demonstrate day after day that they support the company in designing processes in more efficient ways technically, economically, and ecologically.



Björn Meldau, Strategischer Einkauf,

“Over the past 15 years, cooperation based on partnership has seen the emergence of an experienced team of service technicians from SICK, plant builders like Lippert, and those responsible for projects at Hermes. Together we built up so much expertise that all of the gears are really engaging. As a rule, commissioning occurs smoothly, and to date it was possible to meet all of the deadlines, including ‘Go Live;’” confirms Björn Meldau, responsible at Hermes for strategic purchasing. “Moreover, the modular system and interface structure keeps all options open for possible subsequent extensions, thus rendering the investment sustainable,” he explains.

Düsseldorf location: High-end solutions with hybrid system

A particularly forward-looking solution came to fruition at the Hermes location in Düsseldorf. Here, hybrid systems featuring different reading technologies complementing each other are used for identifying parcels, bag mailers, and catalogs. They consist of a ICR890 image-based code reader for the top and front reading, an OPS290 code reading system for top reading in the so-called counter skew, as well as an OPS290 code reading system for lateral reading.


ICR890, OPS290 und VMSD520

ICR890, OPS290 und VMSD520

Beyond that, the hybrid system offers diverse possibilities for extension, e.g. integration of a volume measurement system or a scale, the addition of RFID components, or taking into consideration an image-processing system for OCR reading.



Marcus Czwordon, Leiter der
Hermes Niederlassung Düsseldorf

“By using this new hybrid system solution, we have launched into a new era of identification technology at the Hermes location in Düsseldorf,” says a delighted Marcus Czwordon, Head of the Hermes location in Düsseldorf. Thanks to the modular design, it is possible at any time to extend the conveying and sorting technology and to adjust it to growing volumes, allowing at the final capacity stage up to 15,000 sortable shipments an hour to be processed by the sorter during incoming shipments operation. Parallel unloading and infeed options significantly reduce sorting times in the incoming shipments area as well as the handling of returns.


“Also through the integrated, automated returns processing, which allows bringing parcels collected by the PaketShop couriers or by the SATs to the conveyor belt analogously to the incoming shipments, sorting them fully automatically, and loading them loosely into swap body containers at a current maximum of three gates. Thus, elaborate multiple handling and buffering in special transport containers no longer applies to the bulk of the shipping volume,” explains Marcus Czwordon.

Six-sided reading and volume measurement at the Ohrdruf logistics center

At the logistics center of Hermes Fulfilment GmbH in Ohrdruf, simultaneous size detection and identification of consignments takes place using a combined measuring and reading station, comprised of a volume measurement system and a tunnel reading station with image-based code readers. This approach achieves optimum sorting, provision at the shipping area, and loading into swap bodies.



Successful cooperation for optimum solutions

Successful installation of the volume measurement and identification systems at different Hermes locations substantiate the outstanding cooperation based on partnership between Hermes, SICK, and a variety of integrators. In future, too, the efficient interfaces established at all of the parties involved will contribute significantly to smooth and effective management of the projects, some of which were very demanding.



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