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Cimcorp customer magazine 1 | 2010

Lights-out picking at Finland's largest dairy, Valio

Cimcorp+ An even greener dream Bosch Rexroth & Cimcorp Collaboration for lower energy consumption

In this issue: EDITORIAL


Collaborative development with Bosch Rexroth


Cimcorp+ – the greener dream

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Lights-out picking at Finland’s largest dairy, Valio


Buffering ensures optimal cycle



Cimcorp on a new continent HORIZON | OPTIMIZING BAKERY WORK

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Steps to automation



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”You could say that we have stripped the Swedish and Finnish armies pretty effectively”

WCS streamlines product monitoring at Valio CHIEF EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Dirk Franke, ToolBox Software GmbH:



First robot of Cimcorp+ series, the more eco-efficient TyrePick+, unveiled at Tire Technology Expo.

“Our products are a perfect fit”

Pick | Cimcorp customer magazine publisher | Cimcorp Oy, Satakunnantie 5, FI-28400 Ulvila, FINLAND phone +358 2 6775 111, fax +358 2 6775 200,, editor | Paula Ovaskainen, translation | Pelc Southbank Languages editing and layout | Zeeland Turku Oy printed by Hämeen Kirjapaino Ltd subscriptions | or phone +358 2 6775 111

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Global markets and the Finnish winter The staff here at Cimcorp has found again and again – and of course we are pleased to hear it – that our clients, especially those from far away, are interested in our country. In particular, the Finnish winter with its bitterly cold temperatures, dark winter days, and thick blankets of snow. The winter is sometimes like that, it’s true. We Finns are equally fascinated by the homeland of our clients, which in many cases differs a great deal from Finland. They have a warm climate and plenty of people, both of which are usually in short supply here! PHOTO: TOMI GLAD

The global markets are an interesting blend of different cultures. The world has indeed become smaller in terms of accessibility. Physically, however, it is still as big as ever and is a source of enormous opportunities and differences. The Chinese are still Chinese, the Germans are still German, and the Americans are still American; even if they do use the same computers, cell phones and Internet. It is a wonderful thing and at the same time a challenge to operate in these

Markku Vesa Managing Director

markets as a Finnish company offering clients expertise developed here in the snowy cold of the North. We are surrounded by a rich combination of cultures, languages and backgrounds and the diversity that this brings, which makes life so rewarding for people who work in a very technical environment. Fundamentally, even an engineer is a human being! and a person who looks for technical solutions to make the world a better place to live in. In this issue we are showcasing our newly launched Cimcorp+ robot, which is an environmentally friendly option thanks to its great performance and energy efficiency. The MultiPick systems we have developed for the food industry ensure that fresh food products move as quickly as possible from production to the shop shelves and the consumer. On that note, I would like to wish you all the best for the rest of the year. I hope you will find some food for thought in these pages, and that together with our global partners we can be of assistance to you.

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Cimcorp & Bosch Rexroth

Collaboration for lower energy consumption Dr Steffen Haack, how did the co-­operation between Cimcorp and Bosch Rexroth come about and what has working with the Cimcorp development team been like?


“Cimcorp had, for some time, been one of the major Finnish companies with business potential for Bosch Rexroth and we were ­delighted when the need to develop a brandnew concept for the second generation of the TyrePick robotic system opened up the possibility for co-operation. We immediately felt that we were dealing with one of the most skilled and experienced companies in ­material handling robotics and this first impression has certainly been proven during this project. It has been a real pleasure to develop such a revolutionary product with the highly professional team at Cimcorp.” Bosch Rexroth has established ­markets for its products in diverse industrial ­sectors worldwide, so what motivates you to customize your products to meet new applications? Bosch Rexroth AG is one of the world’s leading specialists in the field of drive and control technologies. Under the brand name of Rexroth, the company supplies more than 500,000 customers with tailored solutions for driving, controlling and m ­ oving. Bosch Rexroth is a partner for industrial applications, factory automation, mobile ­applications and renewable energies. As ‘The Drive & Control Company’, Bosch Rexroth ­develops, produces and sells components and systems in more than 80 countries. In 2008 Bosch Rexroth AG, part of the Bosch Group, achieved sales of around 5.9 billion Euro with 35,300 employees. • 4 | Pick

“There is one consistent theme in the ­history of our company that can be traced right back to Robert Bosch in the 1880s: innovation. Bosch Rexroth invested € 263 million – that’s 4.5% of turnover – in research and development in 2008. We’ve found that our innovation is optimized when it’s harnessed with the help of a partner with applicationspecific knowledge. Our ability to customize and optimize the products of market-­leading companies who are well established and have detailed know-how in their field provides great business opportunities for both ­parties. By adopting a partnership approach, we are able to deepen our own ­understanding of the products needed today and benchmark our visions of the solutions required for ­tomorrow, helping to ensure maximum return on our investment in R&D.” Can you explain how the Cimcorp+ robot’s new control system results in lower energy consumption and higher performance?

“The Cimcorp and Bosch Rexroth development teams worked intensively on this project to find a solution that offered higher yet genuinely greener performance. The result is a robot that offers 30% higher productivity, yet 40% lower energy consumption. These benefits are partly due to the advanced control system modified specifically for Cimcorp+. To achieve lower energy consumption, the new controller regenerates and feeds back

Cimcorp’s latest innovation, the Cimcorp+ robot, features an advanced control system, developed in partnership with the world-leading controls and drives specialist, Bosch Rexroth. To discover more about this co-operation, Pick magazine ­interviewed Dr Steffen Haack, President of Bosch Rexroth AG Electric Drives and Controls Business Unit.

braking energy to the power network, thereby decreasing the heat generation and ­power consumption of the drives. In addition, an ­innovative feature developed in co-­operation with Cimcorp allows the required performance to be achieved with smaller drives. Higher performance has been ensured by the use of more versatile, advanced servo ­control loops and parameters, resulting in faster ­robot movements. Using an SSI interface to measure the X-axis external position enables laser-based measurement for more precise load handling. In addition, Cimcorp+ features more flexible movement commands with paths – for example, those for gripper control – ­optimized. Finally, placing drives in the ­robot bridge enables longer X movement and power supply via a busbar. As well as the ­environmental and efficiency gains, the new ­Cimcorp+ robot is also easy to use. Wireless E ­ thernet communication to the robot controller allows more open and versatile ­communication for user-friendly operation.”

because it’s clear that environmentally ­friendly equipment and processes will ­ultimately have the lowest lifetime costs of ownership. In many cases, the required investment can be kept to a minimum, too. It’s a completely new way of thinking, with machine concepts designed from the viewpoint of saving energy and protecting the environment.”

Bosch Rexroth and Cimcorp both have a strong commitment to environmental ­protection. Do you think this approach is compatible with maintaining profitability in the current economic climate?

Do you think the trend of increasing ­environmental awareness in industry will continue and, if so, how do you think it will evolve?

“It is absolutely compatible. In fact, I ­believe it is a precondition for profitability. Intelligent automation offers fantastic ­possibilities

“Yes, undoubtedly. Continuing to forge this path is imperative for every company that wants to maintain profitability in the future.

After all, energy is a competitive factor with growing strategic importance for both equipment manufacturers and end users. Energy ­efficiency will increasingly be a critical ­factor in the decision to buy products or ­services. At the same time, rising energy costs will ­accelerate the search for efficient manufacturing solutions. Consequently, energy efficiency will be one of the major growth areas for the ­global economy in the years ahead. Bosch Rexroth will continue to innovate to meet the needs of its customers by ­offering highly intelligent automation solutions, focusing not just on a single factor – such as energy-efficient components – but on the ­system as a whole.” Pick | 5


+ More effective performance + More energy efficient = 6 | Pick

The first robot of the Cimcorp+ series, the more eco-efficient TyrePick+, was unveiled at the Cologne Tire Technology Expo in early February. The new-generation series of robots is the answer to the future trends of the tire industry. Better performance and more energy-efficient. Faster, light in structure, but robust. The new Cimcorp+ robot series is raising gantry robot ­automation for material handling to a ­completely new level. “This is our response to the feedback from our customers,” says Cimcorp’s product development director Lasse Salakari. “Energy savings, carbon footprint, recyclability, and above all green values have become key ­factors for robot manufacturers too. While the car industry is placing demands on the tire manufacturers, it is also setting us a challenge. The aim of the development work is to improve the ­quality and efficiency of the entire production chain.”

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An even greener dream Cimcorp’s dream factory is a total solution for material handling in tire production, based on gantry robots. It takes care of all the material flows from tire-building machines to curing presses and on via inspection, finishing, and palletizing, to storage and from there on to distribution. The dream factory concept streamlines the material and data flows in tire production by making use of automatic material handling systems. Cimcorp+ is a new, more ecological robot series. This series, with more effective performance and more energy-efficient, is the perfect answer to the needs of today’s tire industry.

Design, lightness, and recycling

Product development director Lasse Salakari:

“The requirements and feedback from the endusers was the impetus in the develop­ment of the user interface.”

The demands for eco-efficiency encapsulated in the Cimcorp+ series have resulted in enhanced performance. An ecological approach in technology is often associated with a reduction in power, but in the new robot series, development has gone in a different direction to the mainstream. Speed, acceleration, and the minimization of energy consumption are the undeniable benefits of this new generation of robots. One of the most obvious changes in the mechanical structure of the robot is that aluminum has replaced steel in the moving parts. In addition to improved acceleration and speed, aluminum also has an impact on running costs. “Making the moving parts lighter translates into considerable savings on in-use consumption. Aluminum is ideally suited for robots because, besides being light, it is also an extremely strong material,” says Salakari. There are also fewer parts in the new ­robot series. “Together with an industrial designer, we have been able to reduce the number of components to be manufactured, for instance by combining different parts and subassemblies together.” Special attention has also been paid in the mechanical design to minimizing the inuse maintenance requirements. For example, all the bearings and gears used are lubricated for life, and do not need any maintenance at all. According to Salakari, this situation has been achieved thanks to advanced design.

Smart energy miracle In addition to an innovative choice of mater­­ials and technical changes, the Cimcorp+ ­series also brings something completely new to the whole sector. A versatile and extremely high-performance motion controller has been selected as the new robot controller for the series, and as a result the entire control concept has been revised. 30 percent of the energy consumed by 8 | Pick

the robot can be fed back into the network and used again. “Just as often as motors accelerate, they also need to brake. Earlier, the ­energy ­generated in braking would have turned ­into heat, but now it can be returned to the network and reused. Together with the ­controller manufacturer we have ­developed a new ­feature, which enables the use of ­smaller and less energy-demanding power ­components in the controller.” As for costs, the easing of the logistics in the building phase thanks to light ­materials and the replacement of pneumatics with ­electricity are major contributing factors. “Compressed air is one of the most expensive forms of power. The operating costs of an electric-powered robot are significantly smaller,” asserts Salakari. In addition to the latest robotics technology, of course, the systems also need some operators. Training in the programming, service, and operation of the Cimcorp+ robot ­series takes only one day. On the other hand, the interactive user interface offers assistance in operating conditions, for instance, by suggesting suitable selections to the user. “The requirements and feedback from the end-users was the impetus in the develop­ ment of the user interface, as it was in the ­design of the whole robot series.”

Continuous product development The Cimcorp+ generation of robots launched on the tire industry market in February represents the cutting edge of ­development. Cimcorp will continue to keep a close eye on upcoming trends, needs, and technologies. “The team of specialists from different departments that we have put together to map out the development needs of the tire industry keeps an updated list of targets for develop­ ment and plans the next steps to take. This ­also enables us to be pro-active in finding new targets for development and expansion.”


Green narcistor In Stanislaw Lem’s series of short stories ”The Cyberiad”, the genius inventors and Trurl and Klapaucius try to outdo each other with their ever bolder inventions. I particularly like the ­story called the Electrotroubadour, in which Trurl invents a poem-generating machine. Just from the point of view of the puns, it makes me chuckle when Trurl installs a cliché filter, e ­ motional elements, and of course also narcistors. Some of the poetry machine ­improvements are unsuccessful. Receiving poems with a philosophical slant, Trurl develops a ­philosophy restrictor for it. As a consequence the poetry machine becomes silent and starts to sulk. When the contraption is finally completed and generates a sample poem, the result is the most boring part of the story, the end of the fun. The Cyberiad was written in the 1960s and only the craziest authors rightly predicted that poem-generating machines would be an everyday occurrence a few decades on. But not even the murkiest cellar was hiding the kind of screwball who would have claimed that there would be green robots by 2010. In spite of everything, this is where we are today. Robots have evolved into eco-idealists, aware of the environment and their carbon footprint. Over time, robots have developed artificial intelligence for themselves. I believe that this development is the funniest thing to come out of the story. Since they are already so worried about the environment, it will be fascinating to see what kind of overkill this development will lead to. Will we see tree-hugging robots in the future? Will the most radical robots run clanking to the controversial logging sites and chain themselves to the pine trees? Or will they set up a Facebook group, demanding improvements, not only to pigsties, but also to human-sties, the ‘burbs where humans live? Of course it is awesome that green robots have been invented. But it is insignificant in comparison with what I am in the process of inventing right now. I am working on ILLUSTRATION: NINA RINTALA

the concept of a robot that functions on the power of thought, without wasting natural resources or any energy at all. Although this is a trade secret, I can reveal the basic principles of my stroke of genius. My invention is to stare at my apartment intensively and get the housework done by the power of thought. For the last two weeks I have been staring at the mess and I really think the solution will come any moment now.

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Lights-out picking at Finland’s largest dairy Valio – nowadays the largest dairy products company in Finland – was established in 1905 to help boost the export of Finnish butter. At that time no one would have believed that in the space of 100 years of operation, 200 million kg of products would be order picked by robot. Currently the Valio product portfolio includes about 750 chilled products, a third of which are picked using the Cimcorp MultiPick robot system. Besides the robots, the WCS system in particular has received a lot of praise, as it enables the monitoring of real-time operations in all the warehouses, including those where order picking is still largely carried out manually.

Finland is one of the major consumers of milk in the world. According to the statistics, annual consumption of milk is just less than 140 liters per capita – 86 percent of which is produced by Valio. When you add the hundreds of other dairy items to the different milk products, the production volumes are staggering: annually Valio delivers 750 million kilograms of products to its customers. In terms of order lines, that is about 45 million lines a year. As far as fresh foods are concerned, ­accuracy and speed of delivery are n­ aturally of top priority. Demands for efficiency in Valio’s order picking and dispatch operations have been addressed in part by automating both warehousing and order picking. About 450 million kg of products go through the main warehouses in Riihimäki and Jyväskylä. “About half of the volumes picked in the main warehouses are picked by Cimcorp ­gantry robots. Automation plays a signific­ ant role in both warehousing and dispatch ­operations, as about 60% of all our products are picked in these warehouses,” says Heli Helminen, warehouse operations manager at Valio. No labor is required for the volumes picked by the Cimcorp gantry robots other than to roll finished orders onto trucks. As well as the robots, Helminen has special praise for Cimcorp’s WCS (warehouse 10 | Pick

control software), which has enabled realtime monitoring and reporting of warehouse operations. “We also use Cimcorp’s warehouse control software alongside SAP in Tampere and Oulu, where products are picked ­manually. The WCS provides us with the necessary transparency, and monitoring of operations can also be done between the various warehouses. In our view, this is one of Cimcorp’s real selling points,” says Helminen. Apart from the direct effects of the Cimcorp WCS system, Valio has also enjoyed some indirect benefits. When the ­company implemented voice-directed picking at the Oulu site in 2007, one of the preconditions was setting up warehouse control software. “There are over 100 order pickers on the payroll at our Oulu warehouse, whose work used to be based on printed lists. Now the lists have been replaced with headsets and their hands are free. Thanks to the voice-­directed system many traditional work s­ tages can be ­bypassed, and thereby we have increased the ­efficiency and accuracy of our ­operations.”

From minimum to maximum As well as the key benefit of cost efficiency, Helminen believes that the Cimcorp automation systems have also achieved other import­ ant results. Order picking errors have been minimized, and the effective throughput,

storage, and picking of large volumes have been facilitated. “The robot systems have enabled an ­efficient and rapid flow for high volume products. In other words we can get products very quickly from production to the stores. In the best case scenario, milk can move from the packing section to the consumer’s refriger­ator within six hours!” says Helminen. And since the products move so ­quickly from production to stores, monitoring also has to be kept continually up to speed. “In dairies that make fresh products, the timeliest packing possible according to actual demand is an essential factor in practical terms. These challenges have been answered by adding the pull control application to the WCS. This allows us to monitor customer orders and production volumes minute by minute.” Although the situation in relation to ­efficient use of time is now looking good, Helminen thinks that the demands of the supply chain will grow even more in the future. As product ranges expand and the markets grow, operators in the sector will be expected to manage their business on an even larger scale. “We have continuous cooperation with Cimcorp, in particular regarding software ­development. The results have been ­impressive and I believe that we will ­continue to see more positive improvements in the ­future,” smiles Helminen.

“About 450 million kg of products go through the main warehouses in Riihimäki and Jyväskylä and about half of the volumes are picked by Cimcorp ­gantry robots,” says Heli Helminen, warehouse operations manager at Valio.

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Buffering ensures optimal cycle A buffer storage area using the MultiPick robotic system was installed at Valio’s Jyväskylä warehouse last year. All kinds of targets were set for the buffer. TEXT: TOTTI TOISKALLIO PHOTOS: PETRI BLOMQVIST

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“We wanted to safeguard production ­capacity and its growth as the number of product items increases, and also to improve product throughput and, as a result, productivity,” say supervisor Martti Tervala and maintenance manager Tero Ruusuvirta of the Valio Jyväs­kylä warehouse. These objectives have been achieved as far as the automated buffer is concerned. The bottlenecks between production and order picking have been reduced and cross-traffic in the order consolidation area has decreased. In addition, the fill ratio of the ­dollies has improved and there are more ­alternatives for product location. “The automated buffer allows us to distribute the order picking of routes to ­several robot frames when necessary or to ­carry out prepicking in the buffer during peak times. This is also reflected in better delivery ­accuracy for our customers,” says Tervala.

Double the gripping efficiency Order picking, particularly of slow movers and products manufactured more infrequently, has also been optimized thanks to the buffer. In the dairy industry, the expiry date plays a crucial role and special attention has to be paid to optimizing the inventory turn­ over of fresh products. “The new storage area facilitates the ­buffering of products. Consequently, each ­robot frame can be utilized to full capacity, as there are always products available for picking. Buffering also frees up more space for the robots for daily order picking,” says Ruusuvirta. The peripheral equipment supplied to the Jyväskylä buffer storage includes MultiPick Dual grippers instead of standard grippers. MultiPick Dual grippers are able to handle two different crate stacks at the same time. In practice, this doubles efficiency. “The number of cycles is halved both in picking and deposit, and the extra capacity of

Cimcorp’s scope of supply for automated distribution in Valio’s dairies at Jyväskylä, Riihimäki, Tampere, and Oulu: • systems design and simulation • equipment design • project management and commissioning • MultiPick robots for buffering and full crate picking • MultiplePick robots for mixed crate picking • MultiPick and MultiPick Dual grippers • conveyors and transfer cars • Cimcorp WCS w arehouse control software for all order picking operations (RIC, full crate, mixed crate and manual) and total material flow management (infeed, order consolidation) • pull control software for optimization of stock and production volumes • voice-controlled system for manual order picking • customer training • in-situ maintenance of equipment

The MultiPick Dual gripper can handle two crate stacks at a time, doubling the handling capacity.

the transfer robot can be used to handle mixed stacks with a single gripper,” explains Tervala. The new buffering system has also brought changes in the warehouse work routines. In particular, more possibilities are now available to the systems operator for storing different products. “For example, the realtime control of mass transfers made from the buffer to the order-picking robot is ­reflected in an improvement in overall capacity. The system enables us to deal with order picking and replenishment of the picking storage at just the right time. Likewise, it offers more alternatives for production control,” comment Tervala and Ruusuvirta. The buffering system, which has been in operation for almost a year, has proved a profitable investment. Valio was also pleased with the straightforward installation project. “Construction proceeded according to plan and the installation work did not cause any disruption to production or customer deliveries.” Pick | 13

Over 1,500 robotic installations in 30 countries Cimcorp has installed MultiPick order picking systems in bakery, dairy, fresh produce, beverage, meat processing and mail sorting facilities around the world

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Cimcorp in the USA The American company Logistics Connections represents the Cimcorp MultiPick system in the US. Pick interviewed Victor Hoerst, president of the company, headquartered in Burlington, North Carolina. Can you tell us a little about your company and its services?

In which market sectors has most of your experience been gained?

“I established Logistics Connections in 2008 and the company represents ­several m ­ ajor ­European logistics equipment s­ uppliers. ­Earlier in my career, I worked in sales and business development for two major ­system integrators – Witron and then Swisslog – and I found that there were many European material handling equipment providers whose equipment was not known about in the US. In many cases, their machines could do things that no other equipment on the market could do, but in North America they were r­ eally only known to those European ­integrators who had a presence there. As this situation was unlikely to change – due to the substantial costs and risks for these ­European manufacturers of opening a sales office in the US, given their relatively small size and inexperience in the North American market – it struck me that there was a great business ­opportunity to create a sales and marketing company that could accelerate the connection of these top-notch European suppliers to the US market.”

“I have considerable experience in the grocery retail and food & beverage manufacturing sectors, although I have also worked on projects in general retail. This makes Cimcorp’s Multi­Pick solution, which is aimed primarily at the bakery and dairy distribution markets, a great fit with Logistics Connections.”

See you in September? Cimcorp’s Sales Manager Anssi Kiiski and our representative Victor Hoerst from Logistics Connections will be at the IDFA’s International Dairy Show in Dallas from Sept 13–15, 2010 and at the IBIE exhibition in Las Vegas from Sept 26–29, 2010. Remember to fix up a meeting in advance! Please contact: • •

What do you think that Cimcorp can bring to the US market?

“With over 20 MultiPick installations ­supplied worldwide, Cimcorp brings a ­tremendous amount of experience in delivering fully automated logistics solutions to the bakery and dairy industries. What’s more, Cimcorp has the expertise and software tools required to size and quote for an automated order picking solution quickly and a­ ccurately, which is a very attractive feature for most prospective clients.” Do the US bakery and dairy ­distribution markets differ from their European ­counterparts, in your experience?

“From a logistics perspective, European and US bakery and dairy markets are quite ­similar, on a certain level. In both markets, product with a short shelf life is manufactured and shipped to customers in a ­plastic ­container. In the US, as in Europe, without the use of automation, the picking of ­customer orders is a labor-intensive and ­unpleasant activity. However, there are differences between the two market areas. In the North ­American market, there tends to be less industry-wide crate standardization, ­lower wage rates, less stringent ­ergonomic regulation and ­shorter payback ­requirements, all of which make the business case for Multi­Pick slightly more challenging than in Europe. On the other hand, US bakeries and

Victor Hoerst (left) and Anssi Kiiski

dairies tend to produce more, pick on route rather than ­customer level and have a ­lower requirement for less-than-full-tray picking than their European counterparts. All of these factors, of course, add weight to the business case for MultiPick.” How will you be marketing Cimcorp’s solutions to US companies?

“Education and visibility are key, so Logistics Connections will be exhibiting at trade shows and arranging newsletters and mailings. Many companies with dispatch issues are just not aware that a solution like MultiPick exists – or they mistakenly believe that the justification for such a system is light years away. The truth is that if a bakery or a dairy is moving more than 5,000-10,000 crates of product per day, then a simple analysis of the case for MultiPick is merited. Even though the partnership with Cimcorp is quite new, Logistics Connections has ­undertaken a number of MultiPick feasibility ­studies ­already. This entails collecting the relevant data – such as customer orders, production schedules and inventory requirements – from a bakery or dairy in order to size and price a MultiPick system. A cost-benefit analysis is then performed to determine the economic viability of a MultiPick project.” On a more personal level, what can you tell us about yourself, Victor?

“I have a chemical engineering degree with a German minor and an MBA. Actually, it was my fluency in German that was one of the original reasons for being hired by a ­European integrator all those years ago. I'm a big fan of American football, supporting the Cincinnati Bengals. I’m married to Holly and we have a 10-month-old daughter, Sophie, who likes hearing the 'true' story of Santa Claus from Mount Korvatunturi in Finland.” Pick | 15


APPOINTMENTS Vesa Hakanen, (MSc Eng), has been appointed m ­ anager of the newly set up project and planning group for the ­Customer Support unit. Vesa has longstanding experience of Cimcorp’s robotic systems as a software designer and project manager. He has been at ­Cimcorp since 1998.

Hannu Kailasvuo (BEng) has been appointed sales manager, food industry ­applications. Hannu has ­earlier worked at Cimcorp as a software designer and sales manager in c ­ ustomer ­support, and as a sales ­manager at Raumaster­­ Paper Oy.

Cooperation between Cimcorp and ToolBox aims at optimizing bakery work Cimcorp has commenced cooperation with another leading manufacturer of order picking systems, ToolBox of Germany. Combining Cimcorp’s robotics systems for full-crate order picking and ToolBox Bakery Solutions’ control systems for manual order picking means the companies can offer industrial bakeries

Harri Liljeroos (BEng) has been appointed sales project manager. Harri has worked at Cimcorp since 1988 in several positions in electrical and software design, including project manager in charge of software and sales project manager, CRT industry.

Antti Isola from Metso plc has been appointed General Manager, Procurement. His area of responsibility is global procurement. Antti holds a degree in engineering and an MBA. He joined Cimcorp from the Metso Paper Wood­ handling Unit, where he was Purchasing Manager, in charge of purchasing, quality control, and logistics. 16 | Pick

comprehensive cutting-edge automation technologies. Managing Director of Cimcorp, Markku Vesa, believes that Cimcorp and ToolBox make a formidable duo, with extensive ­expertise in the bakery sector. “Cimcorp has automated the ­distribution activities of many ­industrial bakeries, while ToolBox is the market leader as ­supplier of computer-controlled pick-by-light systems for bakeries. Dirk Franke, Chief Executive ­Director of ToolBox Software GmbH, stressed the benefits of cooperation. “Our products are a perfect fit, so we can offer bakeries a wide range of distribution solutions. Sometimes, the ­control of manual order picking using pick-by-light for instance is sufficient, but the ­delivery volumes in larger bakeries call for the ­automation of full product crate ­picking with robots. Often bakeries need both ­solutions side by side.”

Savings through technology Cimcorp’s MultiPick systems have a ­successful track record in order picking at food and beverage distribution centers. The system is based on large gantry ­robots that pick batches according to ­customer orders from product-specific stacks on the floor. The batches are loaded onto transport units or into delivery vehicles just as they are. Automation speeds up order picking, eliminating picking errors, reducing costs, and improving product trace­ ability. It facilitates warehouse cleanliness and makes the stringent hygiene requirements of the sector easy to meet. ToolBox is focused on the bakery market, providing a ­comprehensive range of picking and handling solutions. Its top product is the market-leading ­dispoTool pick-by-light distribution system, in use at more than 500 locations world-


wide. ToolBox has found that its pick-tolight s­ olutions can save 30 per cent in time and ­labor costs in bakery distribution. dispo­ Tool is a comprehensive warehouse management system (WMS) controlling reception of goods, storage, inventory control, ­­retrieval, picking and dispatch, as well as tools for analysis and statistics. Other ToolBox ­products include cabTool, a production ­management system, and the GPS-based ­tomTool for route management.

Distribution efficiency Competition in the bakery markets is becoming increasingly tough, the volumes to be

Improved gripping accuracy Cimcorp has developed a new feature for TyrePick ­robots, automated stack height measurement. This ensures gripping of even the most challenging tire products.

handled are high and require a lot of manpower. The greatest challenge is posed by the short shelf life of the product, which puts particular pressure on the order picking and dispatch stage. These functions have to be speeded up, costs have to be cut and service improved. “Traditional order picking and distribution methods in bakeries form a bottleneck, preventing increased production,” ­explains Tero Peltomäki, Sales Director of Cimcorp. “Bakery picking work is ­physically ­demanding and monotonous, and along with its ­unsocial hours, it makes it difficult to ­recruit motivated staff. Cimcorp and ToolBox

cover and visit

Cimcorp TyrePick robots are used in tire plants for sorting and buffering in the inspection area and for order picking in the dispatch area. The tires in the system are stored in stacks on the floor under the robot. Picking up tires from a stack by robot is sometimes ­challenging, ­especially when only a few tires are picked ­rather than the whole stack. To date, tire handling in the Cimcorp ­system has been based on the product ­data ­received from the client. However, the ­dimension data obtained in this way is not always sufficient for automated handling, since the tire width given by the client (= tire height in stack) is the width of the tire on the rim. Nor is it possible to determine how the tires will ­behave during stacking directly on the basis of this

­ easurement data. Some types of tire keep their m shape well, but some tend to collapse. Mathematical calculations of stack height are inadequate because collapsing occurs non-linearly. Cimcorp’s solution is based on ­sensor technology and software. The robot measures automatically each new product when it enters the system. At the same time, the stack height formed by ­these ­tires is measured and the behavior of each ­tire type in stacking is then calculated from this ­data. Stack height measurement is an extra ­feature, which ensures successful gripping. It ­allows the transfer of tire-stacking measurement to the robot, and will no longer be dependent on adapting the product data supplied by the client for this task.

solutions can dramatically improve efficiency.” ToolBox’s Dirk Franke concurs that the greatest potential for optimization in bakeries lies in distribution. “If the goods arrive one hour later at the store, that’s one hour off the selling time, which has an effect on total sales. ­Bakeries know they must provide not only high ­quality products but also the fastest deliveries and excellent service. This is where Cimcorp and ToolBox have a lot to offer.”

See you at the IBIE Fair in September For further details see back

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From the idea of automation 5 steps to effectiveness When a company wants to evaluate the economic feasibility of ­automating a process, be it order picking or production, it is worth consulting with an expert to assess system requirements and compatibility. But what does this process look like and how long does it take? Cimcorp has a five-step process to make the decision easier. “It’s easy to work out the profitability of an investment with a professional analysis. Just get in touch with us!” urges Victor Hoerst, Cimcorp’s US representative,

Potential project


Let’s take the example of food distributor, Acme, who uses stackable plastic crates to store and ship their product. This distributor has grown significantly and has seen Cimcorp’s MultiPick. The distributor wonders if a high-performance, automated order ­picking ­system could reduce labor costs and ­injuries enough to justify itself. After contacting ­Cimcorp, discussions begin, and a preliminary ­evaluation is made of the project feasibility as a potential business case.

18 | Pick

Initial data report


Cimcorp requires data from Acme to start their analysis. Two sets of data are needed and are usually ­readily available: product ­data and raw customer order data. Product data tells Cimcorp about all of Acme’s products, i.e. how many are in a crate, SKU number, what height of crate is used, etc. Raw customer data is a line by line account of what customers ordered each day. Acme has a ­product table that they can give to Cimcorp. Also, Acme ­produces a raw customer ­data file e­ very day. After all, this is what ­Acme ­uses today to pick customer orders. The order ­data file looks intimidating, since they have 100 customers that each ordered 100 items for 5 days Monday through Friday. Even though the file is 50,000 lines large, it is child’s play to Cimcorp’s Excel™ junkies! Cimcorp gives individual guidance on a case by case basis for data collection, since every application is unique.

Basic analysis


Cimcorp analysis of Acme’s 50,000 lines of data produces 5 key input numbers, which are fed into Cimcorp’s MultiPick dimensioning tool. (The 5 key inputs, for those who want to know, are stack height, number of ­orders, number of crates, number of SKUs, and number of order lines.) Cimcorp’s dimensioning tool also takes into account when the product is available to ship and when the orders must be completed. This tool was developed with the experience of 20+ Multi­ Pick installations and can very accurately ­determine the number of MultiPick robots that are needed. It indicates that Acme would need two MultiPick robots. Based on “rule of thumb” cost estimates for a two Multi­ Pick system for Acme’s industry, both Acme and Cimcorp feel that a two MultiPick robot system would be justifiable. Therefore both ­Acme and Cimcorp move on to step 4. A basic analysis can be made in one day, depending on the accuracy of the initial data.

to reality

Database simulation


Now that Acme and Cimcorp know that two MultiPick robots are needed, the next step is to determine the area that the MultiPick robots will need, especially when taking i­nto account Acme picking rules and operating times. In order to do this a database simulation is needed. Data about customer orders and the product to fill these orders from the basic analysis are loaded into a database. Additionally, however, Acme must tell Cimcorp when products are available for orders. (The basic analysis ­assumes that all products are available at the beginning of the order picking.) All this ­data represents a large queue of work. The database then simulates the MultiPicks receiving products and then picking customer orders. For instance, in the graph above, you can see at the beginning of the day the gantry is e­ mpty. Locations are needed as product is stored. As soon as there are enough different products to start picking orders, cus-

tomer ­order picks are simulated, which start to free up ­locations on the floor. The peak on the graph shows that the MultiPick will need a total of 900 stack locations in order to ­process all of ­Acme’s work. Additionally, the simulation helps establish an automated picking performance schedule, which is compared to customer routes and production schedules. Acme can see that all of their routes, regardless of priority level, are picked in time. Some routes could even be picked one or two hours earlier than their current manual process. The database simulation is kept as simple as possible at first. Eventually, however, special rules and functionality specific to Acme’s situation will be added. For instance, Acme would like to test whether or not it would be possible to meet shipping deadlines if Acme allowed certain customers an additional hour to finalize their orders. Cimcorp needs one week to create a basic database simulation.

Layout design and price estimate


After the number of MultiPicks and footprint requirements are determined, then layouts can be made. Of course, there have been conceptual layouts prior to this. These layouts are ­different, however, in that vendors will use them to make bids on support equipment. For ­example, a conveyor manufacturer will see that ­exactly 55 meters of conveyor will be needed and will quote accordingly. From these layouts a budgetary price is determined and is submitted to Acme. Acme must now verify that their in­ternal ROI (Return on Investment) is met and ­decide whether or not to move forward with a completely automated picking solution for their operations. TEXT: TOTTI TOISKALLIO PHOTOS: CIMCORP AND FAZER

Pick | 19


The Republic of Korea, one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing economies, was Markus Viitala’s destination. His trip to service Cimcorp’s TyrePick robots at the Korean tire factory in Daejeon was his fifth visit to the country. Besides the service work, he also got to know the local way of life and Korean cuisine.

On the trail of the E 07:00 08:30 12:00 are 11 robots in this plant, but only eight of them need servicing this time.

ately for each day according to the plant’s safety regulations. Even though safety harnesses are available, working at ceiling level is not for people with a fear of heights!

Markus wakes up at the Cosmos hotel.

Daejeon is the fifth biggest city in South ­Korea, with almost one and a half million inhabitants, and it never goes quiet. Stores are open 24 hours a day, and there are always great numbers of people on the move all over the place. Despite the crowds, travelers can feel quite safe, because there is practic­ ally no crime and you get good service everywhere. Like a typical street in the Far East, it is full of cars and free parking places are hard to find. There are high-rise apartment blocks side by side, and it takes a long car ride into the countryside before you find any land that is not built up.


After a breakfast of omelet, frankfurters, toast, marmalade, and coffee, it is time to start the journey to work.

Outside the hotel the familiar installation team are waiting with an agency company car: H. K. Park, Y. H. Yoon and O. S. Kwon, who are going to help Markus to service the robots. After a drive of twenty minutes, they arrive at the huge industrial park where the customer’s tire plant is located. To give you some idea of the size of the site, there is still about one kilometer from the gate to the place where the TyrePick robots are. There

20 | Pick

According to the agreement, the robots are serviced four times a year, and this is the first time in the second service year.

Depending on the flight schedules, the trip takes a good week, during which time the typical repair and maintenance procedures are carried out. In addition to a routine inspection, cables, belts, and bearings are replaced as necessary. Fortunately in new robots it is very rare for these parts to break. Markus and his assistant carry out the ­inspection of the points on the service card and lubricate the bearings and sliding rails. Since TyrePicks work from above, sometimes you have to climb up on top of the robots at a height of over four meters (13 ft). A permit for working at height must be applied separ­

Lunch at the plant cafeteria is a typically rice-based, extremely spicy dish flavored with chili.

The meal also includes a fiery soup, and kimchi, a Korean staple dish made from Chinese leaves, is served as a side. The fieriness and red color comes from its spices: chili, onion, garlic, radish, and ginger. The exotic Korean cooking demands a lot of getting used to for Finns, who are used to milder food. It is interesting that water is only drunk after the meal is over.

MARKUS VIITALA'S SERVICE TRIP TOP 5 • Inspecting the robots’ performance when running, both visually and listening out for unusual noises. • Interviewing the robot operators: how have the robots been working and have they detected any glitches? • Inspecting of the points on the service card. • Repairing of glitches detected and ordering of any spares required. • Greasing of bearings and sliding rails etc.

12:45 18:00 20:00 During lunch, database communication with the upper-level interface had stopped for some reason and someone had tried to find the solution by switching off all the computers, including the database server.

The server should not really have been switched off because cold starting is not exactly the same as booting up a home PC, Now Markus contacts the Cimcorp Helpdesk by remote, and gets assistance in restarting the server. ­During the disruption, the robots’ conveyors fill up with tires and they even start to unload them manually so that the manufacturing process can keep going. However, the database server is up and running relatively quickly and the indefatigable TyrePicks can get back to work.

Even though people work ten-hour days, there is no hurry to go home.

Who would have the strength to go home after such a good dinner?

This evening Markus goes out with his colleagues for dinner at a local restaurant, which is such a special place that they also grill ­sausages. Chili sausages, and thinly sliced meat, such a duck and pork are grilled for many hours while sitting on the floor, while enjoying the local traditional distilled rice drink called Soju. To follow the meat, there are countless dishes served in little bowls, from seafood that looks like lutefisk to silkworm pupae. Unaccustomed to sitting on the floor for several hours, legs are aching, despite the numerous toasts to friendship during the evening. In Korean style, water is mainly used for rinsing out the Soju goblet, so that the glass can be passed to the person sitting next to you to be replenished.

The party can continue in a pub, where a private room can be reserved for karaoke. You can be locked in there for an hour or two and you can order more to eat or drink at the press of a button. Since karaoke is for ­Koreans what tango is for Finns, it is easy to find a common tune. As midnight draws near, Markus sets off for the hotel to sleep, wondering how the ­locals manage to stay out so long night after night. Luckily tomorrow is a day off so there will be time to see the city without the glare of the neon lights for a change, go shopping for clothes or just go for some tea and let other people spend a busy working day.

Pick | 21


Eastern tiger


22 | Pick


From the garbage heap to store shelves Globe Hope design clothing and accessories are known all over the world. They are made out of used seatbelts, naval canvas sacks, sails, and advertising banners. Globe Hope was born in spring 2003, and the first products were a collection of purses made out of the legs of Nokia rubber boots. The product portfolio has been expanding all the time with products made out of army sleeping bags, naval canvas sacks, old working clothes, ad sheets, and seatbelts. Because the products are made out of recyclable materials, no raw materials are avail­ able from a central source, so Globe Hope has forged numerous cooperation deals with ­auto wrecking yards, the army, and many ­other firms. Altogether, it has over 60 suppliers. Seatbelts are sourced from auto ­wrecking

”I wish that companies would offer discarded working clothes and other textiles more actively for us to reuse,” says CEO Seija Lukkala. Globe Hope products are sold in 10 countries worldwide in addition to Finland.

yards, old discarded working clothes from companies, and surplus stock from the army. ”The majority of our military textiles come from the Swedish army and are ­decades old. Army materials are excellent raw ­materials because of their high quality and durability, and large batches are available which means we can have long-running collections. You could say that we have stripped the Finnish and ­Swedish armies pretty effectively,” laughs CEO and founder of the company Seija Lukkala.

Seatbelts reused Globe Hope transforms army surplus materials into warm quilted jackets and stylish bags. The material most used is naval canvas sacking from the Swedish military. According to Lukkala, well over 15,000 pieces have been revamped. On the other hand, seatbelts and sails are something that production sometimes has to wait for. “We use so many seatbelts that we need them continuously. They work brilliantly as purse straps, and in fact we have turned seatbelts into a product line of its own, including computer bags, pouches, and suitcase belts.” The company is always seeking out and testing new materials. Recently, glass fiber mats from the Finnish company, Ahlström, ended up being turned into bags.

Globe Hope employs a permanent staff of nine. Production is done solely through sub-contracting in Finland and in Estonia. “We generally use durable natural mater­ ials, such as cotton or linen. Only very few modern garments are fit for recycling because they are of such poor quality. Recycled mater­ials may have their limitations but they also bring a stimulus. There are many delect­ able details in them that we can exploit.”

Eco business gifts Materials are stored at head office in Nummela, Finland and are sent from there for revamping in the ­production facilities. Vintage textiles collected from households, as well as seatbelts, banners, and sails are sent to the laundry before ­arrival at Globe Hope. The biggest job is sorting through the materials. ”We want to offer our customers consistent quality products. Even though the end-products are made from recycled textiles, the customers know what they are getting.” Globe Hope launches two collections a year, alongside their classic products. 80 percent of the products are sold in Finland, but it also has a loyal clientele in Japan. Globe Hope has received many awards for its work, and as its reputation grows, companies have reacted and now offer their own products to be reused. In addition to its own collection, it collaborates with ­numerous ­companies and organizations to produce ­tailor-made corporate gifts and image ­products for them. Old overalls or surplus materials from manufacturing are an ideal source of raw materials. “When companies offer us their own materials to be reused, we often first try to find out with the customer whether they can utilize the products themselves, for instance as gifts for the employees or seminar mater­ ials. If a company commissions us to make folders for its upcoming seminar out of its advertising banners, it gives a powerful message about their values,” comments Lukkala. Pick | 23

See you at the exhibition! IDFA's International Dairy Show 13.–15.9.2010, Dallas, USA. •

IBIE – International Baking Industry Exposition 26.–29.9.2010 Las Vegas, USA. At the expo, we will be showcasing our MultiPick concept, which ­optimizes bakery dispatch operations and thus helps bakeries face the challenges of tightening competition. Technology at the cutting edge of development in this sector brings freshly baked products from the bakery straight on to the store shelves.Welcome to our joint Cimcorp and Toolbox booth 6540! •

Post-Expo 6.–8.10.2010, Copenhagen, Denmark. We will be presenting how the innovative MultiPick system can facilitate mail sorting at the specialist fair for the postal industry. •

International Materials Handling Exhibition (IMHX) 16.–19.11.2010, Birmingham, England •

RubberTech China 2010 25.–27.11.2010, Shanghai. We will be presenting our Dream Factory concept for the tire industry and the new generation of Cimcorp+ robots. Welcome to our booth 2B622! •


Cimcorp’s customers are companies in the field of ­ production and ­distribution. The solutions provided by the ­company for the automation of logistics and p ­ roduction improve the profitability and ­competitive edge of their customers’ b ­ usiness. ­Solutions are based on advanced ­robot and software technologies and on highly developed service concepts.


Satakunnantie 5, FI-28400 Ulvila, FINLAND phone +358 2 6775 111, fax +358 2 6775 200, China: Beijing Hengrongda Trade Co., Ltd. (HRD) 16B02, 16/F Tower C, Central International Trade Center, 6A Jianguomenwai Avenue, Chaoyang District, Beijing, 100022 CHINA Phone +86 10 65630702 • India: Larsen & Toubro Limited, LTM Business Unit Mount-Poonamallee Road, Manapakkam, Post Bag No. 990, Chennai - 600 089, India Phone +91 44 2249 1932 • Japan: Itochu Machine-Technos Corporation Sanno Grand Bldg., 2-14-2 Nagata-Cho, Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo 100-0014, JAPAN Phone +81 3 3506 3528 • Russia: LLC International Representative House, First Link Dorogobuzhskaya Street 14, Building 1 121354 Moscow, Russia Phone +7 495 223 6839 • South Korea: EKL Korea Corporation RM 305, Dongsun Bldg., #413-5 Jangan 1-dong, Dongdaemun-Ku, 130-843 Seoul, Rep. of Korea Phone +82 2 2242 2963 • United Kingdom: Logistics Planning Ltd 2 Manor Close, Urchfont, Devizes SN10 4RE, UNITED KINGDOM, Phone + 44 (0)5601 482815 • USA Food&Beverage Industry: Logistics Connections 2407 Wimbledon Circle, Burlington NC 27215, USA Phone +1 773 295 1916 Others: Pesmel North America P.O. Box 289, Ashland, MA 01721, USA Phone +1 508 893 0850

Cimcorp Customer Magazine 2010/1  

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