For the second year in a row, the focus of SSI SCHAEFER's exhibition stand at the LogiMAT trade show was "LET'S TALK". In the new, enhanced edition of the expert forum, opinion leaders from the business and scientific communities discussed current and future topics in logistics, such as artificial intelligence, e-commerce, and flexible automation, in combination with proven success stories.
The event - already an indispensable element of the LogiMAT trade fair – was presented using a high-quality LED wall, which covered almost 30 m² and was accompanied by three flexible cameras. The high-tech format of the discussions enabled SSI SCHAEFER to reach a wide audience during the seven discussions where valuable information and conversations were shared. Moderated once again by well-known business journalist, Gesa Eberl, high-ranking industry representatives discussed the challenges and requirements of today and tomorrow, and also shared their valuable input and experiences relating to the development of future-proof solutions. The expert forum not only attracted countless visitors to the SSI SCHAEFER exhibition stand in Stuttgart, but also a large number of online viewers who watched the event via live streaming. The talks have been made available following the trade show: https://goo.gl/kn1VgK
World premiere and discussion of high-performance future technologies
Shuttle systems are becoming increasingly indispensable for ensuring flexible, fully automated logistics solutions. The new and highly scalable SSI Flexi Shuttle, which SSI SCHAEFER presented at the exhibition for the first time, is an example of this type of high-performance technology. Prof. Johannes Fottner, Institute for Materials Handling, Material Flow Logistics at TU Munich, and SSI SCHAEFER product managers and shuttle experts Andreas Koch and Christian Deppisch, were in total agreement: "In the future, shuttle systems will be even more intelligent and more flexible, and will be able to communicate with one another."
The challenges of digitization
Digital transformation is progressing at a rapid pace, and so are the processes within intralogistics. The presence of automation and software is becoming increasingly important, particularly in highly competitive markets. This in turn requires a comprehensive and thorough understanding of the opportunities that come with Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Solutions, the Smart Factory, and man-machine collaboration. The experts steered the talks in this direction, with Dr. Jörg Blechinger, Director Magna Logistics at Magna International Europe GmbH underlined that "The Smart Factory has been a reality for some time, and requires a world-class logistics solution." Dr. Peter Bielert, Managing Director of F. Reyher Nchfg. GmbH & Co.KG, is also of the opinion that IT is a crucial factor in the success of automated solutions.
At the beginning of the panel discussion "Digital Transformation in Logistics with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning", Dr. Sven Spieckermann, CEO of SimPlan stated that: "If, as a company, you don't get to grips with digitization, you are making a mistake." The participants were also in agreement regarding the high relevance of man-machine collaboration. "Man and machine are growing together", says Matthias Graefe, Director of Supply Chain Transformation at IBM Deutschland Management & Business Support GmbH. Dr. Thomas Böger, Member of the Board of Management at Schenker Deutschland AG, added: "Without humans, technology could not be put into practice." With respect to the future nature of Cloud Solutions, guests Dr. Hans-Willi Keßler, Director Condition Monitoring Equipment at Schaeffler Group Industrial / FAG Industrial Services GmbH, and Fabian Klose, Vice President Open Telekom Cloud & Managed Cloud Services Sales at T-Systems International GmbH, also came to the conclusion that the concept of cloud computing is growing and is being used more and more frequently, and the security risk is also decreasing.
"We provide the wardrobe. You deliver the clothes."
According to Claudio Marconi, Head of Logistics Development at Inter IKEA Group, this is how simple the complex logistics processes in the challenging e-commerce segment appear to an external party. However, together with Carl-Friedrich Rico zu Knyphausen, Head of Logistics Development at Zalando SE, a general consensus was reached that there is so much more to this process, to which automation provides the foundations. Digitization, and with it virtual reality (VR), voice control, and mobile shopping, is becoming increasingly important in e-commerce to make life as easy for the customer as possible.
Customer Service & Support: The key to success
Be it automated or complex logistics processes, these solutions have one thing in common: they must be viable over the long-term. For this reason, a comprehensive range of services and a thorough consultation package are essential. "Predictive maintenance represents the power of clairvoyance in machinery", explains Sven Göhring, Technical Director at KNV Logistik.