The motto of this year’s intralogistics trade fair CeMAT in Hanover, “Smart – Integrated – Efficient”, referred to the increasing intelligence and integration of sensors and control systems in the logistics industry. A trend that was clearly felt by SICK, too. SICK managed to meet this trend to perfection with the solutions exhibited at the SICK stand.
Demands for dynamics in logistics are rising due to increasingly individual end customer requirements and the growth of online trading. Rapid processes between the customer’s order and ultimate delivery of the goods guarantee high customer satisfaction. Intelligent logistical systems of the future must provide this dynamic. Perhaps you visited the SICK stand and could experience the innovative intelligent sensors in action. If not, here’s a little overview of the exhibited products and systems:
Sensors set new standards
Agile systems for the automated processing of recurring in-house transports as well as highly dynamic and energy-efficient storage and retrieval machines, state-of-the-art shuttle technology, and small autonomous transport units are the cutting-edge solutions. SICK is presenting, among other things, safety laser scanners and safe encoders that set new standards – and thus further raise performance limits.
Flexible and highly dynamic material flows
SICK ’s new Smart Sensor Solutions concept allows typical sensors (e.g. photoelectric retro-reflective sensors or distance sensors) to be very quickly adapted to new plant requirements centrally via the controller, thus also supporting requirements for flexible and highly dynamic material flows. In addition, with the help of Smart Sensor Solutions such as the measurement of object lengths or the gaps between objects, suppression of spurious switching (due, for example, to protruding labels on packages) can be implemented directly in the sensor. In the past, such functions could only be achieved centrally – and with corresponding effort – in controller programs. Efficient and flexible logistics automation can thus be ensured through the simple networking of this new generation of sensors.
Track and trace: Knowing where the goods are
The flow of materials and information not only plays a major role in distribution logistics, but also in returns management. Those who always know exactly where what goods are located increase their process transparency and thus have a clear advantage – this is true for both the logistician and customers. RFID tags are used here: Their data can be read out, modified and re-written. Comprehensive information in the process between the supplier and customer can be stored on the RFID tag; e.g. the delivery note, order form, etc., not merely saving paper, but also valuable working time. The great advantage and, simultaneously, the challenge of RFID technology is that large numbers of containers can be read at the same time and nearby tags must not be allowed to interfere. The RFGS Pro (Radio Frequency Gate System) track and trace system allows such multiple reading and is optimized for stacks on pallets – at maximum reading rates and with other such systems nearby. In the case of the RFMS Pro (Radio Frequency Modular System) RFID tunnel, tag reading takes place on the product level within the multiple packaging system. SICK has solved the high complexity of the application requirements through integration in these two systems. The new small RFU620 UHF RFID read/write devicde offers a solution when identification of containers, boxes or the correct aisle is involved.
Sensors make air freight areas safe and effectively prevent theft
Safe handling of the goods is an aspect considered by all logisticians that send their goods via air freight. Only a consistently protected supply chain offers maximum security against tampering during the transport of goods beyond national boundaries. The Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT ) in the USA and the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO ) in Europe call for implementation of a range of organizational and technical measures. These principally affect safety at work, conditions for the transport of hazardous goods, as well as security and access rights. Air freight forwarders in Germany with safe logistics centers are certified by the German Federal Aviation Authority as “known consignors”. With its LAC 1xx Prime (Logistics Access Control) security system, SICK offers an access control system that ensures the safe handling of goods by authorized persons only.
SICK also offers solutions for perimeter security, access monitoring systems, and theft prevention for logistical centers.
Success factor CeMAT
Drawing some 53,000 visitors from 65 nations, this year’s CeMAT made a perfect three-point landing: 33 percent of attendees came from abroad, with Europe taking a 70 percent share, followed by Asia with 13 percent, the Americas with 9 percent, Africa with 5 percent and Australia with 3 percent.
- Product information: DSF60S Pro safe encoder, RFGS Pro, RFMS Pro track and trace systems, RFU620 RFID reader, LAC1xx Prime security system
- Product portfolio: Safety laser scanners, photoelectric retro-reflective sensors, distance sensors, track and trace systems, security systems
- More information: CeMAT
- All articles: Safety laser scanners, photoelectric retro-reflective sensors, distance sensors, track and trace systemes, security systems, smart sensor solutions