On June 9th the fourth ADMA Learning Network Event (LNE) took place. Answering to current developments, it took place virtually for the first time. The topic was “Digital Technologies for Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management”, spanning over several ADMA transformations. The working language was German.
The virtual format allowed for a streamlined webinar spanning over two hours. One part was dedicated to the digital transformation process of a German manufacturer, BEUMER Group. The second part was a virtual tour of the innovation lab of Fraunhofer-Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML, where current digital solutions in manufacturing, intralogistics and supply chain management were presented.
Overall, ten people from eight different SMEs took part in this LNE. The group size allowed time for one-on-one questions between participants and direct feedback, even in this virtual setting.
After an introduction of ADMA and the Learning Network Event by Thorsten Hülsmann from the Digital Hub Logistics Dortmund, Germany, participants were invited to introduce themselves and offer some expectations.
This was followed by the presentation of Johannes Stemmer, Director Digital Transformation at BEUMER Group of the digital transformation journey of a German mechanical and plant engineering company, focusing on intralogistics and conveyor belts.
Adapting to new competitors from digital platform companies, including Spotify – making hardware production redundant, the company started implementing digital solutions into their production processes. Examples presented included: 3D printing, drones, smart glasses, artificial intelligence/machine learning.
These technologies are applied for:
- Manufacturing of small parts
- Plant design
- Sorting and picking
- Failure management and customer services
Key observations from the BEUMER example can also be true for smaller small and medium sized manufacturers:
Utilize your unfair advantage, that you have established over the years!
Find partners, not everything can be solved internally.
While digital is dangerous, analogue is deadly.
Afterwards Nazanin Budeus, ADMA advisor and Senior Consultant at Fraunhofer IML, led through the innovation lab at the research centre. Participants were given a virtual tour of a selection of Fraunhofer IML’s developments for intralogistics.
The solutions presented focused on optimizing intralogistics. They included:
- iPackAssist utilising intelligent software for commissioning workstations
- Bin:Go, the rolling drone for in-house transportation
- MotionMining, a technology developed at Fraunhofer to the automated and anonymous analysis and optimisation of manual processes, widely used in warehouses
- Stack Access Machines for adjustable warehouse infrastructures, which allows access to each individual container in a stack, without having to transfer containers that lay on top of it
At 12 o’clock it was already time to say goodbye, and all participants had the opportunity to continue with their working routines, having had access to up to date technological developments and explanations from experts, without having to leave their work place.