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Cimcorp customer magazine 1 | 2012

3D Shuttle provides unbeatable productivity What is the sixth wave of innovation?

Technical Director Evgeny Rogozin, Yaroslavl Tyre Plant

Higher productivity and better product quality through modernization

EDITORIAL | simply effective


Cordiant Group´s plant is going through major changes


Sixth wave of innovation


COLUMN | home search robot




The 3D ShuttleTM provides unbeatable productivity


Tuko’s new level of efficiency


Meet our Graham Jones


Order processing island solution


Eroski and second order for order picking system


It´s all about Adam




PHOTO: Eigeny Kostishin

In this issue:

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Technical Director Evgeny Rogozin, Yaroslavl Tyre Plant:

“The aim of the modernizations is to improve product quality and increase the productivity of the plant.” president Yan Wanhua, Jinyu Tyre:

”We are happy to see the most advanced newgeneration gantry robot, and we are impressed by how efficiently it works.”



Plates not only tell you a story or show you a nice picture, but also carry culture on them. 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 printed by Paino-Kaarina subscriptions | or phone +358 2 6775 111

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Simply effective At Easter I was talking with my daughter about how her studying was going and in particular how to structure her student life so as to get the best possible results. During the conversation, she said: “I don’t feel I’m being productive unless my diary is packed full.” So the general conclusion was that life should be simplified, your diary should never be completely full, and things that prevent or reduce effective studying should be cut out or at least cut down.” This surely also applies to everyone who works – doing less, but more of the right things, is bound to be more effective. Companies think about this constantly: what should we do to improve PHOTO: TOMI GLAD

effectiveness? Often the solution is found in simple things: do what you do best, and leave the rest or let someone else do it. Then there is more time for taking care of the important matters, so the end result is better, and is achieved faster. This is often relevant in corporate strategizing. A good automation investment also follows this rule surprisingly often. Sometimes it feels as if it is easier for an outsider to give advice about simplifying and getting rid of the non-essential (although my daughter

Kai Tuomisaari Vice President, Sales and Marketing

would not agree), and sometimes these suggestions may be fairly controversial or downright unpleasant (my daughter would agree with this). The fact is that they will improve effectiveness. This is also the challenge for Cimcorp but to the nth degree: how can we effectively produce simple systems and services that will increase our customers’ effectiveness? How for instance could our clients in the tire industry produce more tires with their existing production equipment? How could a wholesale order picker pick six times more order lines a day? The Dream Factory for the tire industry, the 3D Shuttle for daily consumer goods picking, and the Automation Island for fresh produce picking are excellent examples of simple, efficient systems where streamlined material flows, handling simplicity, and a minimal amount of equipment ensure efficiency and superior cost effectiveness. Developing simplicity is rarely easy to do, and sometimes if feels as if all the easy things have already been done. Simplicity is not always easy – but it certainly is effective.

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Text: PAULA OVASKAINEN Photos: Eigeny Kostishin

Automation takes Yaroslavl to a new level of productivity

Cordiant Group’s flagship plant is going through major changes Celebrating their 80th anni­ versary on October 6th this year, the Yaroslavl Tyre Plant is experiencing its rebirth. A few years ago the goal was set to modernize the plant buildings and implement the most advanced technologies in the shortest term. Cimcorp automation and MES projects are a major part of the plan. 4 | Pick

The OJSC “Orders of Lenin and October Revolution” Yaroslavl Tyre Plant, founded in 1932, is the biggest tire plant in the central region of Russia. As part of the Cordiant Group, it is specialized in the production of modern passenger car tires with a steel breaker, all steel truck tires, and aircraft tires. Since 2005, products of the Yaroslavl Tyre Plant have been available on the market under the brand names of Cordiant for passenger car tires and “TyRex” for all steel truck tires. The plant employs about 3,000 people. The Cordiant Group (Sibur - Russian Tyres Group till 03.04.2012) is one of the largest tire-manufacturing companies in Eastern Europe and incorporates four tire-producing plants as well as a tire-testing center in Russia called “Vershina.”

The Yaroslavl Tyre Plant is the flagship of the Cordiant Group in the westerly direction, according to Technical Director Evgeny Rogozin. Out of their four tire plants, Yaroslavl Tyre Plant is in the most active investment phase, due to the completion of the project to build the new production facility for modern all-steel tires, with a capacity of up to 650 thousand tires a year. The Cimcorp projects are an essential part of this major modernization project.

New technology of mass production for high-end tires The aim of the modernizations is to improve the product quality and increase the productivity of the plant. Today, the Yaroslavl plant produces 375,000 all-steel TyRex tires for

Technical Director Evgeny Rogozin:

The target is an annual output of over

5 million passenger car tires.

trucks, as well as over 2.3 million high-end Cordiant passenger car tires. Additionally, the plant manufactures another 3 million nonbranded passenger car tires. The target now is to organize the production of passenger car tires with the use of the most advanced technologies and an annual output of 4–6 million tires, say Cordiant. Cimcorp is supplying automatic material handling systems for a production line known as “All Steel 650K”, which will allow the Cordiant Group to raise manufacturing capacity of truck tires by 650,000 tires a year. This will help to reach the annual production rate of over one million tires and at the same time make the transition to a higher quality grade. The launch of the project “All Steel 650K” is planned for the end of 2012.

“The aim of the modernizations is to improve product quality and increase the productivity of the plant. Total control of the material flow has a significant effect on productivity,” says Installation Manager Jukka Kim.

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Technical Director Evgeny Rogozin:

Car manufacturers demand not only top-quality tires from the production plant but also certain standards – a quality system and tire traceability.

Comprehensive control of material flow The world has changed completely since the Yaroslavl Tyre Plant and its production sys­ tems were built. Customer requirements are now in a different class altogether. Rogozin says that the HVAC, electrical and IT systems have to be upgraded along with the production technology. Car manufacturers demand not only top-quality tires from the production plant but also certain standards – a quality system and tire traceability. “In October 2007, the Yaroslavl Tyre Plant was the first Russian plant to be accredited with ISO/TS 16949:2002 for the automobile industry. Car manufacturers also carry out their own auditing. Otherwise you have no chance of being a tire supplier for car plants,” adds Rogozin. By April 2012, the Yaroslavl Tyre Plant had passed the audit performed by the German concern Volkswagen and was the first among its Russian suppliers to receive the highest rating of “A” level. “The tendency is for requirements to increase all the time. European requirements – relating to the environment and safety – are increasing, and Russian manufacturers have to keep up,” states Rogozin. In Rogozin’s opinion it is self-evident that there is a real use for the automation and control technology developed by Cimcorp. “The modern tire plant can no longer function without comprehensive control of the material flow, which is enabled by Cimcorp’s robot, conveyor and control technology.” Total control of the material flow has a significant effect on productivity. Cimcorp’s

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automated material handling is complemented by the Manufacturing Execution System (MES), which in Yaroslavl they call ASUP. “This is a whole new departure for us. There has never been anything like this at the plant before,” admits Rogozin. “The MES system offers plenty of opportunities, and already in the early stages we will be able to utilize some of them. Implementing the new features will be a learning process.”

Tailored solutions The Yaroslavl Tyre Plant signed the sales contract with Cimcorp in June 2010 and the equipment deliveries took place at the end of 2011. The customer was particularly appreciative of Cimcorp’s flexibility. The ability of Cimcorp to tailor the equipment and systems for the needs and conditions at the Yaroslavl plant played a significant role. “Cimcorp handled the negotiation stage, engineering, equipment manufacture and deliveries to Russia right on schedule. This was an extremely positive and pleasant surprise to us,” enthuses Rogozin. Of course there were difficulties. For example, Cimcorp’s lack of experience resulted in problems with passing through the Customs. “Every company has the same kind of problems on their first projects in Russia. You have to learn how to do business in Russia,” he acknowledges. However, Rogozin emphasizes that the implementation now underway is the most demanding stage of the project. The next 10 months are critical. Successful project completion is a crucial goal in the co-operation between Cordiant and Cimcorp.

Fully automated material handling solution for truck tires Cimcorp has delivered a comprehensive automation system for truck tire handling for the Yaroslavl plant. Consisting of all automation equipment and software for total control of the material flow from the tire-building area to the testing area, it includes robots for unloading tirebuilding machines, conveyors for green tires from tire-building to weighing and spraying, weighing and spraying stations, green tire buffers, electric monorail systems for loading curing presses, as well as the conveyor from the press area to the finishing area located in another building and on the second floor. For the testing area, Cimcorp will supply manual trimming and inspection machines as well as finished tire buffers. The total material flow, including tracking and tracing, will be controlled by the Cimcorp WCS control system, which integrates all robots, conveyors, and process machines from component manufacturing to finished tire testing into a seamlessly working system. Cimcorp’s WCS acts as the WMS (Warehouse Management System), MFC (Material Flow Control), and MES (Manufacturing Execution System). This enables tire data management, recipe management and tracking, as well as 100 % green tire availability at the curing presses.

Text: PAULA OVASKAINEN Photos: Eigeny Kostishin, shutterstock

The current factory museum building was erected before the plant itself and was originally used as the plant office. The fresco on the wall of the museum is idealistic and amusing. Lenin is making the revolution and the workers are pulling the hands of the clock so that time would go faster and bring the revolution quicker. The revolution begins at 12 o’clock.

The proud history of the Yaroslavl plant As the first tire plant in Russia, Yaroslavl began producing tires on the anniversary of the October Revolution on October 6th 1932. About 10,000 km were driven on the first tires – and they were top-quality tires! During Soviet times, the plant received awards and recognition for the development of highquality and innovative types of tires and for achieving top production figures. This is reflected in the current name ”OJSC Orders of Lenin and October Revolution Yaroslavl Tyre Plant.”

The Yaroslavl plant also supplied tires for Zhigulis (Ladas), which were manufactured under license from Fiat. The new All Steel 650K production line will be housed in the same place where Lada tires were manufactured, but in completely renovated buildings.

During the Second World War, production was harnessed for the war effort. Tires were manufactured for the airplane and tank industry and for the artillery. The other tire plant in besieged Leningrad was unable to operate, so Yaroslavl’s role was a vital one. The plant suffered heavy bombardment by the Germans in 1943.

Yaroslavl is an ancient Russian city located on the Volga 250 kilometers (160 miles) northeast of Moscow with a population of 650 thousand. This beautiful Golden Ring city founded by Prince Yaroslav the Wise has played an important role in Russian history. Pick | 7

Text: teemu j채rventie Photos: vastavalo, shutterstock, sitra

Sixth wave of

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"Your cousin’s calling," Kate Winslet whispers in my ear while I am listening to music. I nod and slow my pace as I walk to the bus stop. I chat to my cousin about next weekend’s summer cottage renovation and we agree to meet at my cottage on Friday evening. Finally the bus arrives. You can’t hear it coming, because it is silent thanks to the electric motor. If I fall asleep or get lost in thought, I will hear a gentle reminder through my earbuds to get off at my stop. I don’t need a key because the door opens by itself when I approach my house.

innovation The whole world on your skin The Nokia “Ihokki,” or “skinny,” in my cap, which used to be called a cellphone, paid for my trip. The nanotechnology-based Ihokki hidden in my cap is thin and flexible, and I can even attach it to the inside of my thigh if I want, just to thwart the pickpockets. But the Ihokki isn’t worth stealing since it only works on my skin. Or the people on whose skin I want it to work. If I forget that it is fixed to my thigh when I go for a sauna, no problem. Ihokki can withstand heat up to one hundred degrees Celsius and is completely waterproof. I can accept calls by nodding, reject them by shaking my head. My Ihokki naturally contains a radio, the Internet, and 500 gigabytes of memory. I hear everything including music through my small earbuds. The washing machine proof microphone is in the collar of my shirt, unnoticeable in a skin-colored collar, wherever, whenever. The larger display is as thick and long as a fountain pen, rolled up in my pocket. I can watch TV, movies, music videos, read text files and surf the Net on it. The keyboard is on the same roll. If I can’t be bothered to use the key-

board, I can dictate a text message, email or ask the Ihokki to find a recipe for lemon soufflé on the Net and send details of the ingredients to the store. Before that, I have called the bank, and Julianna Moore’s voice tells me how much money is in my bank account. On my way home I pick up the lemon soufflé ingredients ready-packed from the store and say into the microphone that Julianna should put a little money into the storekeeper’s account. All this is done by clicking the Ihokki a couple of times, but I’d rather speak with the lovely Julianna than press keys. On the other hand, I do want to be continually hands free.

On-the-skin phones won’t let you use butter When I get home I roll open the display, stretch it out to double its size and stick it on the kitchen wall so I can see properly how Jamie Oliver is showing me to prepare the lemon soufflé. I’m making hash for the main course. My Ihokki detects a moldy onion and instructs me to throw it out. The cooker goes on as soon as I put the frying pan on top of it, and the pan informs me when the meal is ready.

The lid placed over the pan cooks the potatoes, egg, and sausage on the top too, so I don’t have to stand there and turn the food over. The sausage, potatoes, and egg cook at their own speed, as the pan detects each foodstuff separately, and cooks them accordingly. When I try to add butter for frying, Ihokki smells the animal fat and says, this time in Glenn Close’s voice, that it measured my cholesterol and my blood pressure five minutes ago. “Put the butter back in the refrigerator, naughty boy, and save it for a celebration. Put coconut fat in the pan, it has zero cholesterol.” I wash the dishes in a machine that only uses half a liter of water a time. All the water in my home is heated by solar panels from spring to fall. The rest of the year water is heated by a heat-storing fireplace. I live in a plus-house, which produces more energy than it consumes. I sell the surplus electricity to the utility company. The hash and the lemon soufflé are perfect, and my wife is thrilled with her favorite dishes. Actually, she doesn’t praise my cooking skills, but the sixth wave of innovation that made all this possible.

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Context will become more important in the middle of the abundance of information.

“New innovations that we cannot even imagine.” According to Jari Pasanen of Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund, ‘out of the box’ innovation acts best when it responds to people’s everyday needs. Jari Pasasen, Lic.Tech., is the head of business development at Sitra. He believes that the future visions described here will be perfectly possible in 20 years’ time, and some are already so. "As electronics get smaller and become more energy-efficient, they can be integrated “everywhere” - for instance, we talk of the concept “the Internet of things”, in other words, everything is soon going to be connected to something, from refrigerators to coffeemakers. You can already print out spare parts for humans in 3D, if your skull gets hurt.” Pasanen was previously employed at Nokia, where he worked as a project manager and in upper management, as a member of the management team at the Nokia Multimedia business group. In 2012 his key assignment at Sitra is to ponder how to recover quickly from the hangover caused by the Nokia cluster. By the 10 | Pick

year 2030, Pasanen believes that people’s basic needs - according to Maslow for example – will still be the things that define what people want. In other words, more meaningful things like being “more richly” in contact with other people and getting more information about the things that have meaning here and now. “Context will become more important in the middle of the abundance of information - what is it that can help me get through the day’s chores in the place where I happen to be. For example, if I am in New York, what is on offer around me is likely to be more important than what is on offer in Las Vegas. The amount of information will continue to explode and there has to be some way to filter out the insignificant.” According to this expert’s long experience, all the predictions of how fast technology will develop are always somewhat conservative. “The thing that slows down adoption is how profitable in terms of business the

technical innovations are or how consumers embrace them. But once critical mass has been reached, use tends to explode.”

Technology just a means to enable innovation Pasanen points out how, over the decades, the use of new technologies has accelerated all the time and for that reason, information now travels everywhere faster. In addition, people come into contact with technologies in a completely different way than they did a few decades ago. He takes the social media as an example, which exploded into people’s lives. It was possible because many of the innovations it demands, such as the Internet and cheap personal computers, were already in place. “Now when computing reaches everywhere, we will see new innovations that we can’t even imagine.” In Pasanen’s opinion, ‘out of the box’ innovation responds to consumers’ needs if it comes from people’s everyday life. In that case it can open up new perspectives and problems to be solved. "If it originates from technology, or at worst technoporn, it may just mess up the entry of meaningful innovations onto the market. Generally speaking, the best innovations come about from solving everyday problems, from people’s evolving needs. Technologies are therefore just the means to enable real innovation.”


Home search robot When ordering things online, it has never occurred to me to think about the supply chain involved in getting them to my home or the nearest post office. When I heard of the robot systems manufactured and supplied by Cimcorp that pick my product from the warehouse, I realized that the goods are in fact physically in a certain physical space. The Internet is such an abstract place that it has been buried under an overall material concept system. On the other hand, my home also feels like an abstract abode for objects. Items disappear and materialize whenever and wherever. No matter how carefully I place my house keys in a small compartment in the grandfather clock, they are not there when I come to leave the house. During my lifetime, I have spent thousands of hours looking for my toothbrush because it remains exactly in the place where I stopped my “brushing on the move.” I have even been known to run around in a rage searching for a pen that was in my hand! Same thing with the phone that I am currently speaking on, until the person I am talking to points out that I am probably holding it to my ear. Whereas my wallet is always where I left it: in my jacket at home, when I am wearing another jacket at the checkout! When I recall all the things that I have managed to lose in my lifetime, I am convinced of the claim that the human brain is the most complicated mech­anism in the Universe. But the blame cannot be attributed to the brain in its entirety for persistent object searching; the part of the sub-conscious that looks after routine tasks is to blame. In defense of the sub-conscious, it must be said that many of its tasks are extremely tedious: drop the keys there, move your left foot forwards, do the same with the right foot, stop, scratch temple with right hand, bend your knees, sit illustration: janne kunttu

down, use the conscious part of your brain to find out why you are sitting down. And so on. All the same, there is only one solution for my desperate situation – which I share with millions of people – Cimcorp. If I ask really nicely, could Cimcorp develop a household object search robot?

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The group consisted of Sun Guohui, PCR Plant Manager of Jinyu Tyre, Yan Wanhua, President of Jinyu Tyre, Huang Gege, Vice General Manager of Guizhou Tyre, Zhao Shukai, Vice Director of PCR R&D Center and Fangmin Di, President of Qingdao Great Ocean Co., Ltd..

Chinese Tire Manufacturers aim to catch up with performance of top brands A delegation of Chinese tire company representatives recently visited the Cimcorp head office in Ulvila, Western Finland, with the aim of getting to know the latest tire manufacturing technologies.

Fangmin Di, President, Qingdao Great Ocean Co., Ltd.:

Labor cost is no longer an advantage for Chinese tire companies. 12 | Pick

“Chinese tire manufacturers are using the latest tire building equipment, but the performance of these products is still slightly behind the world’s most famous brands,” said Fangmin Di. While touring the Cimcorp plant, their attention was drawn to the latest gantry robots. “We are happy to see the most advanced new-generation gantry robot, and we are impressed by how efficiently it works,” said Yan Wanhua. The visitors were pleased to see that Cimcorp automation systems could bring a real productivity boost to their processes: by linking together the manufacturing equip-

ment currently owned by Chinese companies, automation could easily eliminate the common bottlenecks in production. Not only would automation improve productivity, but it would also reduce labor costs. “Labor cost is no longer an advantage for Chinese tire companies,” Fangmin Di pointed out. “On the contrary, an ever-increasing labor cost pressure as well as a lack of sufficient labor force in certain regions is a real issue in China.” During their tour, the delegation also visited Test World Ltd. in Finland and Seichter GmbH in Germany, both partners of Qingdao Great Ocean Co., Ltd. All in all, the Chinese delegation were happy with their visit to Europe. “We appreciate the open discussions we have had with the Cimcorp management. This is a good start for future co-operation projects,” said Yan Wanhua. However, the ultimate experience that crowned their trip took place in Lapland. “We were thrilled to see the Northern lights!” he concluded.


Cimcorp+ robot series – development continues


The Cimcorp+ robot concept launched on the market in 2010 has been a great success. The first MBR700+ robots, more energy-efficient, more environmentfriendly and with superior performance, are already out in the world. Development of other robots in the series is ongoing. The MBR700+ gantry robot is especially appropriate for the tire industry for the buffering, sorting, and palletizing of PCR and LTR tires. Equipment that is one degree stronger, the MBR800, is required for TBR tires, and currently a new, more eco-efficient gantry robot is being developed in the Cimcorp+ series. The MBR800+ is also a core component of plastic crate order picking systems in distribution centers. The press loader MBR410+, monorail transfer MBR300+ and linear robot MBR400+ tailored for the tire industry are also on the list for development. The entire original Cimcorp MBR series will be raised gradually to a new level. The aim is for more performance and lower energy consumption. The equipment includes the same mechanical components and constructions, which are as light and maintenance-free as possible. The Cimcorp+ controller developed for the robot series has already been used on several projects. It enables the attainment of the required performance level with smaller drives and braking energy can be returned to the network. The interactive robot interface is being developed continuously to guide users better than previously in operating situations.

Postal Technology International, March 2012, page 45

Tire Technology International, April 2012, page 28

Intelligent barcodes – the future, today

A QR code (Quick Response code) is 2-D matrix barcode with a greater storage capacity than its 1-D equivalent. The square code can be scanned using a smart phone, which will then direct the user to a website or app. Last year the adoption rate grew by 400 percent worldwide. • By Saul Wordsworth in the article "On track" about tracking technologies

The imminent introduction of tire labeling

in the EU is being welcomed by the industry – but with important procedures still to be finalized, it raises almost as many questions as it anwers. Good news: tire labeling goes live across the EU from November 2012. At last, consumers will have three clearly presented reasons not to buy simply the cheapest tire on offer. This could be the dawn of a whole new era of tire technology understanding on a mass scale, with tires no longer being seem as commodity purchase. Righ? Maybe..." • By Graham Heeps in the article "Sticky situation"

Sakari Mikkola, M.Sc. has been appointed Head of Software Design. He worked previously as an applications specialist.

Matti O. Heikkilä, M.Sc. has been appointed Head of Production. He worked at the company previously as a systems specialist.

Jyrki Anttonen, M.Sc. has been appointed Technology Director. He worked previously as a technology manager.

Tapio Kaartinen, B.Eng. has been appointed Director, Project Management. He was previously responsible for software design. Pick | 13

Text: totti toiskallio Photos: timo kyyrö, cimcorp

Efficient distribution is a key factor when competing in the fields of retail, wholesale and e-commerce. As customers require fast and accurate delivery, the start of the ordered items’ journey has to meet the same requirements.

The 3D ShuttleTM provides unbeatable productivity As the leading supplier of gantry robot handling systems for the food and beverage, tire manufacturing and mail processing industries, Cimcorp has now develop­ed a full-scale robotic storage and retrieval solution for totes – the 3D ShuttleTM. “When compared to any existing solution in distribution centers, the Shuttle is extremely competitive and becomes unbeatable as the number of SKUs and the size of storage increases,” says Kai Tuomisaari, Sales Director at Cimcorp. The Cimcorp 3D Shuttle™ solution uses proven gantry robot technology, combined with an innovative shuttle device to store and retrieve totes required for order fulfillment. “It is perfect for applications where large numbers of SKUs are handled, such as goodsto-person order picking stations. The system can make order fulfillments six times more efficient than a manual solution.” The efficiency of the 3D Shuttle™

comes down to innovative technology, but at the same time the basics of its operation cycle are quite simple: As rainbow stacks are created on entry to the storage area, the system first collects the stacks and deposits them inside the robot’s working envelope. When a particular SKU is required to fulfill an order, the nearest corresponding tote is retrieved and deposited on the shuttle device. The shuttle travels along the gantry and transfers the tote to the outfeed conveyor, which then transports it to a conveyor line that feeds the picking stations. Once picking from the tote is complete, it is conveyed back to the entry point of the storage area. “The high-speed shuttle can retrieve up to 1,000 totes per hour from the storage area. On the other hand, infeed capacities can exceed 5,000 totes per hour, meaning that some 80 percent of system time is used for the primary task of feeding totes to the picking area.”

Perfect fit Being modular in design, the 3D Shuttle™ solution meets the precise throughput needs of each application: the floor area of the system and the number of gantry robots can be tailor­ed

for each customer. The system can take care of a distribution center’s entire oper­ations or, alternatively, it may operate as an ‘island of automation’ within a manual facility. In addition to unequalled efficiency, the 3D Shuttle™ also provides for higher storage density: with goods accessed from above, there is no need for space-wasting aisles and massive conveyor sequencers. “Optimum space utilization is achieved through the use of floor-based storage. As well as other benefits the shuttle can provide, this is a clear advantage for retail, wholesale and e-commerce distribution centers.” With each gantry robot able to store an extensive number of totes on the storage area floor, and the need for only a minimal amount of equipment both contribute to the costefficiency of operations. While the excellent cost/storage capacity ratio leads to lower in­vest­ment costs, the lack of the need for racking further adds to cost savings. According to Tuomisaari, the modular design and scalability of the system guarantee investment protection. “As the robots are easily programmable, the solution offers unrivalled dynamism to meet changing flows of goods.”

3D Shuttle™ – Unrivalled efficiency • • • •

14 | Pick

80% of system time is used for the primary task – feeding totes to the picking area. Independently operating gantry shuttles for the retrieval of required totes allows the robots to return to storage tasks sooner, boosting efficiency even further. High speed: up to 1,000 totes/hour retrieved from the storage area. The innovative shuttle and the reduced amount of equipment enable 100% sequencing of totes.

Pick | 15

Text: totti toiskallio Photos: tuko logistics

“A new level of efficiency”

Cimcorp in the UK As the country prepares to host the Olympic Games and celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, this summer is an exciting time for Great Britain. Pick interviewed Graham Jones, Managing Director of Logistics Planning Ltd, which represents Cimcorp in the UK market. Text: HEIDI SCOTT PHOTO: Sarah-Jane Bullock

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Tuko Logistics, a groceries assortment, purchasing and logistics service provider in Finland, has ordered Cimcorp’s automated order picking system to increase the efficiency of their logistics. Tuko’s new system will be enforced with the 3D ShuttleTM.

So, Graham, how did you come to be involved in logistics? “I’ve always had a passion for how things work and how to make them more efficient. After education at a technical school, I undertook a five-year apprenticeship as a technician in the motor trade. Then my wanderlust kicked in and I served with the British Antarctic Survey, spending two winters on bases in Antarctica followed by a period as an engineer on the Antarctic supply ship, RRS Shackleton. I think my interest in logistics really began in Antarctica because – being cut off from the rest of the world for months – it plays a pretty important role! After that, I worked in a variety of food companies in the UK, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe – mainly plant bakeries – starting as an engineer, then moving into operations, sales, logistics and finally consulting. Along the way, I became a member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply and the Society

Goods-to-person CEO of Cimcorp, Markku Vesa:

This enhances order picking effectiveness many times over and also improves order picking ergonomics.

Petteri Pelkonen, CEO of Tuko Logistics, is looking forward to raising the efficiency of Tuko’s order picking process and logistics with Cimcorp’s automation solutions. About 7,000 products, mainly slow movers, will enter the new system. “The process challenge for Tuko is the relatively wide SKU portfolio in relation to volumes and thus the high level of logistics costs,” he says.

of Operations Engineers. I’m always keen to learn new things and was delighted to achieve an MSc in International Logistics and Supply Chain Management recently.” How much scope is there for Cimcorp’s solutions in the UK market? “Logistics Planning has represented Cimcorp in the UK since 2009. I thought their technology was fantastic then but it has simply got better and better, so the potential is huge, in my opinion. The order processing island solution, for example, is not only ideal for fresh produce but also for chilled foods and bakery goods. This solution – one of which is now installed at a customer’s site in the UK and is being commissioned – increases the accuracy and speed of order picking, enabling concepts such as the consolidation of deliveries to stores or urban areas to become reality at last. Of course, this could be of

The technical solution of the system delivered to Tuko is based on the Cimcorp robotics application that has been developed for the distribution of products delivered in plastic crates. Cimcorp order picking systems are in use at the facilities of major European retailers, such as Eroski, Vroegop-Windig, ICA and Colruyt as well as large food & beverage companies, including Arla and Valio dairies, and Fazer bakeries. A new, innovative feature of the Tuko system is that the robots deliver products in plastic crates from the storage area to the picking stations. CEO of Cimcorp, Markku Vesa, believes that Cimcorp’s successful continuous development of order picking automation led to the deal. “There are now 30 of our order picking systems operating in Finland and worldwide, many of them extensive in size such as this. In the Tuko project we have developed an additional feature known as goods-to-person for their system, where the products to be picked are brought automatically to the order picker rather than the order picker having to go to the product. This enhances order picking effectiveness many times over and also improves order picking ergonomics.”

tremendous benefit in reducing greenhouse gas emissions through cutting the number of vehicle movements required.” What do you think about Cimcorp’s new 3D Shuttle solution? “This is a brilliant goods-to-man picking solution and I think it’s destined to be a market winner. It’s ideal for retail, wholesale and e-commerce distribution operations, becoming unrivaled as the number of SKUs and the size of storage increases. Of course, e-commerce is a strong and growing market. Recent research shows that the Internet contributed some £100 billion – or 7.2% of GDP – to the UK economy in 2009, and the UK’s e-economy is predicted to grow by 10% per year, reaching 10% of GDP by 2015. This is why I believe that Cimcorp’s innovative 3D Shuttle has a bright future in the UK market – and everywhere else, for that mat-

ter! The key benefit of this solution is the very wide range of SKUs that can be handled with the minimum amount of hardware and energy consumption.” Which areas will provide the greatest challenge to the supply chain over the next few years, in your opinion? “Firstly, I think that there is a genuine lack of skilled people with relevant experience in the industry. This could prove something of a time-bomb for the logistics sector, although I believe it can be overcome by the use of the right interim managers to work with and mentor staff. Secondly, I think there will be increasing focus on the risk of disruption to global supply chains – much like the problems resulting from the tsunami in Japan last year – and the response will be an increasing trend towards near-sourcing.”

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Text: heidi scott Photos: shutterstock

No man is an island Not every area of grocery distribution is suited to full automation and, in these scenarios, ‘islands’ of automation – fully integrated with the surrounding manual operations – may enable clients to achieve maximum benefit for minimum investment. Distribution centers that have both crate handling and other operations – such as manual order picking, handling of whole pallets or handling of items in cardboard cases – use a combination of logistics technologies. In these applications where full automation is generally not feasible due to cost or complexity, Cimcorp’s ‘order processing islands’ can be a highly effective solution for automating the handling of full crates. For example, the islands are ideal for the handling of fresh fruit and vegetables within the distribution networks of large grocery retailers.

tem can handle large volumes with ease, as well as several different types and sizes of crate. The island prepares orders for retail stores – with product pallets going in and customer pallets coming out – enabling goods to be transported to the supermarkets without the need for any further processing. The unmanned island is totally self-sufficient, taking care of goods reception, put-away, location of stored items, retrieval planning, picking of crates, sorting and assembly of crates into discrete orders, and loading of the orders onto transport units ready for delivery.

Efficient robotics

Clear benefits

Cimcorp’s order processing islands for plastic crates feature overhead gantry robots that combine buffer storage and order picking functions into one flexible operation. With the gantry design being modular and able to accommodate any number of robots, the sys-

18 | Pick

The order processing islands secure a number of key advantages. Picking rules can be customized – such as placing heavy products at the bottom of crate stacks, arranging crates into product families, splitting transport units into temperature-specific groups and taking

into account expiry date or production batch. This enables consistent implementation of retailer preferences and thereby facilitates handling within the supermarkets. Full tracking and tracing are possible, with all goods movements being communicated to the host system without the need for barcodes or RFID tags. Furthermore, as the crates are stored on the floor without racking, the robots are able to empty the entire floor area fully automatically for easy cleaning to meet the demanding hygiene standards required in the food industry. Finally, with the island surrounded by safety fencing to prevent unauthorized access, security is also enhanced.

See it in action ?v=mU8KKqxJJS0

Independent automation island unit is an efficient part of the distribution center

The Spanish grocery giant, Eroski, has recently placed a second order for Cimcorp’s order processing island solution.

Automation island


Storage and picking area

Transport unit loading

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Text: heidi scott Photos: EROSKI AND ULMA

Eroski places second order

Imanol Alberdi Logistics Director, Eroski

“We are so delighted with this solution that we have recently ordered another order picking system from Cimcorp for our Zaragoza DC.”

as automation is rolled out The Spanish grocery giant, Eroski,

Imanol Alberdi, Logistics Director

has recently placed a second order

for Eroski, explains, “The automatic picking system has replaced 300 tons of manual handling each day, and the work of some 30 order picking staff is now completed by the automated equipment, supervised by just five operators. Our project in Madrid has acted as a pilot for a series of automated installations we are planning at our regional distribution centers,” continues Alberdi, “with the aim of eliminating the manual handling of fresh produce, as well as dry foods. We are so delighted with this solution that we have recently ordered another order picking system from Cimcorp for our Zaragoza DC.”

for Cimcorp’s order processing island solution. The first, installed also in collaboration with logistic engineering ULMA Handling Systems, was implemented at the company’s award-winning, 28,000m2 distribution center in Madrid last year, automating the order picking of its fresh produce lines.

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The order processing island at the Madrid DC has secured not only ergonomic benefits but also labor savings, and thereby significantly lower operational costs. Errorfree orders have improved product availability and reduced wastage in the retail stores. Another key benefit has been greater flexibility; this is achieved through the solution’s unique way of handling goods in stacks, which allows retailers to adapt their operations to meet daily, weekly, monthly and seasonal fluctuations in the most economic way. Of course, another critical factor for perishable products with limited shelf lives is the shorter lead-times that have resulted from the very rapid order processing.

It’s all about Adam Innovation often spurs innovation. That’s really the story of the ADAM™ Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) from RMT Robotics. ADAM is a robot with such a revolutionary design and functionality that it’s setting a new standard in material handling. ADAM’s Creation ADAM robots can be found in lean manufacturing operations worldwide, but the robot was created in response to a specific industry challenge. Tire companies were searching for a way to efficiently, economically, safely and reliably automate the movement of work-in-process (WIP) green tire inventory from storage to the production machinery in their highly dynamic, congested and complex production environments. Most facilities were never designed to accommodate automation. Operational complexity and day-to-day variety required an uncommon level of adaptability and flexibility for which most conventional automation solutions are far too rigid and expensive – manual labor was less expensive, modular, expandable and flexible. Creating a Revolutionary Solution In the research and design phase, RMT crafted a sturdy, compact aluminum body for the new robot, giving it a resilient, low-weight, compact character. To ensure maneuverability, it was designed with a low center of gravity, with two independently controlled servo wheels mounted centrally on the octagonal frame, permitting tremendous navigational freedom that includes a zero turning radius.

In addition to physical design, RMT knew that the key to ADAM’s success lay in the artificial intelligence that would give it a flexible and independent nature like the human solution it was mimicking. When a fleet of these workhorses was introduced as a pressroom solution, tire manufacturers, for the first time, were able to automate a repetitive, physically strenuous task, lowering operating costs as well as reducing the risk to the health and safety of employees. The AMR Advantage ADAM was intentionally designed from day one to be physically unlike a conventional AGV. This was the only way that RMT could take full advantage of the AMR technology, which is a fourpoint value proposition, all of which must work autonomously together at the vehicular level: • Dynamically interpretive awareness of the vehicle’s position based upon common features such as machinery, columns and walls (rather than icons such as barcodes, guide wires, etc.) • Dynamic path planning based upon real-time inputs • Traffic management • Power management and replenishment

ADAM in a Lean World ADAM has proven to optimize both manual and automated work cells in manufacturing environments, responding predictably and instant­aneous­­ly while moving WIP materials on-demand between production cells. ADAM delivers what you want, when you want, in the quantity that you want to provide optimal WIP efficiency. In essence, ADAM repositions the value of labor and optimizes production machinery to provide a truly lean manufacturing environment. Today ADAM has become an indispensable partner in a number of industries and is an ideal application for lean manufacturing environments in the automotive, electronics, plastics and aerospace industries, to name a few. These industries represent a global initiative and with sales partners in Brazil, Scandinavia, Europe, India, Korea, Japan and China, ADAM is making its way around the world as companies race to remain competitive in the age of automation. Text: lori vaughan Photos: JEFF HARDY

To learn more about ADAM and to see video demonstrations, visit:

More improvements and updates to ADAM include ADAM RAP (Reactive Audio Playback), an exclusive programmable sound system that enhances the safety and flexibility of AMRs through interactive voice messages and a mobile “vehicle in motion” jukebox. The ADAM RAP application plays various sound bites or text-to-speech audio based on the particular function the robot is undertaking at the time. All AGVs have a standard beeper-based “vehicle in motion” alert system which is mandated by international safety standards. In many operations, however, noise proliferation combined with the monotonous beep of vehicles tends to diminish the alertness of workers with constant exposure. ADAM RAP’s innovative design promotes a safer work environment and enhances the interaction between workers and robots. Pick | 21


A full plate of culture According to stereotypes, the English fill their plates with fish and chips, while in Finland, mornings start with pouring porridge on theirs. A few decades ago in Germany, plates were filled not only with food, but also with pictures. For Fangmin Di, these pictures are more than just appetizers. It all started from a fairy tale. One weekend long ago Fangmin Di, a Cimcorp representative in China, was visiting a flea market and came across a German porcelain plate with a picture inspired by the Danish author H. C. Andersen’s stories painted on it. “I was attracted by the design, the picture and the story, and bought it,” says Fangmin Di. The Andersen plate was the beginning of a story of its own. Today, with around 4,500 plates collected, Fangmin Di can surely

22 | Pick

be designated the world’s biggest collector of painted German porcelain plates. “The plates can not only tell you a story or show you a nice picture, but also carry German culture on them, which many Chinese people are eager to find out about.”

From flea markets to leading museums During the years, Fangmin Di has had the opportunity to visit many German flea markets – as they are the main source of old but new plates for the collection. The Internet could prove to be a valid source too, but shipping can sometimes cause big problems with fragile porcelain. On the other hand, finding interesting plates from the flea markets usually comes down to pure luck. “Sometimes I am lucky but most of the time I’m not. The longest trip I’ve driven for plates was to Braunschweig, which is 350 kilometres from my home. And from that trip, I didn’t find any interesting plates.” Occasionally, as opposed to finding nothing, plates come in numbers. Some time ago a real window of opportunity came up

when Fangmin Di met the grandson of a deceased porcelain collector. “He did not have too much interest in the plates, so I bought the whole collection consisting of 500 pieces. It really boosted the range and quality of my collection,” says Di. The fact that Chinese people are keen on German culture has taken Fangmin Di to various museums to exhibit his impressive collection. Leading museums such as the Qingdao, Guizhou, Yangzhou and Anhui Museums in China have all hosted exhibitions arranged by Di. “Dozens of guest books prove how successful the exhibitions were,” he says.

Not the plate nor the price, but the picture Most of the German porcelain paintings were made during the 1970s, 1980s and the 1990s. With over 20 years passed since the last interesting ones were painted, some pieces have become quite rare – as well as desirable. “Porcelain is easy to break, which makes the collection and storage challenging.” To find a porcelain plate which was produced some 40 years ago but still in good condition

is even more difficult. There can be fierce competition between collectors in order to get a real good and rare plate, but this happens mainly on screen on the Internet. Filling cupboards with fine white porcelain could be the thrill for some, but for Fangmin Di, the pictures are a priority. ”The painting itself should be attractive, and often specially made by the artist for a limited edition. The porcelain should also be of good quality, but, when considering German plates, there usually aren’t any problems with that. For example, the city of Selb in South Germany is famous for porcelain production.” Although having probably the biggest German porcelain plate collection in the world, Fangmin Di has never really given a thought to the monetary value of his collection. ”I have never thought about selling my collection, so it’s not really important to me whether it’s worth just one or a few thousand Euros. My collection can form a picture of German culture, and that’s the main thing.” While Fangmin Di’s collection has grown in size, a new kind of dream has arisen. He is now hoping to find a real home for the collection – even if it would mean building a museum of his own. ”Working together with any suitable partners is of course a real option too.” Renowned for his collection and his clear and vast enthusiasm for plates, Fangmin Di still considers that collecting them is purely a hobby. ”There are so many nice things in our life which people are simply too busy to notice. I try my best to keep track of our history, which also gives me pleasure and knowledge. Nevertheless, my work always comes first, way before my hobby.”

"I have never thought about selling my collection, so it’s not really important to me whether it’s worth just one or a few thousand Euros."


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See you at the expos! ChinaGRTAE May 15-17, Guangrao China We will be presenting our Dream Factory solutions for the tire industry •

PostExpo September 18-20, Brussels, Belgium We will be presenting how our innovative tray handling and sorting solution enhances the process control, efficiency and ease of operation in mail processing and distribution. •

RubberTech China November 14-16, Shanghai, China Visit Cimcorp’s stand to find out how our Dream Factory concept can help you to achieve the maximum possible thoughput of high-quality tires. •

75th National Beer Wholesalers Association Annual Convention October 14-17th, 2012 San Diego, California, USA •

CIMCORP IN A NUTSHELL Automation technology company Cimcorp supplies robotic solutions for managing material flows in production and distribution environments. Cimcorp’s purpose-built systems, software and services improve the profitability and competitiveness of its customers’ businesses. The Cimcorp group – which consists of Cimcorp Oy in Finland and RMT Robotics Ltd in Canada – has become a leading supplier worldwide to the tire industry, and is also strong as a supplier to the food & beverage and postal services sectors. The group has 230 employees and has delivered almost 2,000 robotic systems across five continents.


Satakunnantie 5, FI-28400 Ulvila, FINLAND phone +358 2 6775 111, fax +358 2 6775 200, North America RMT Robotics Ltd. (a Cimcorp Oy company) 635 South Service Road, Grimsby, Ontario, Canada L3M 4E8 phone +1 905.643.9700, Brazil, Parana M2 Concepts Solucoes Empresariais LTDA phone + 55 41 32052937, China, Qingdao Qingdao Great Ocean Co., Ltd. Phone +86-532-8097 0696, India, Chennai Larsen & Toubro Limited, LTM Business Unit phone +91 44 2249 1932, Japan, Tokyo Itochu Machine-Technos Corporation phone +81 3 3506 3528, Russia, Moscow LLC International Representative House, First Link phone +7 495 223 6839,, Scandinavian countries, Gothenburg, Sweden KAP Management phone +46 3126 2512, South Korea, Seoul EKL Korea Corporation, phone +82 2 2242 2963,, Taiwan R.O.C., San Chung City, Taipei Hsien Song Rock Exim Industrial Group tel. +886 2 2999 4647, United Kingdom, Devizes Logistics Planning Ltd phone + 44 (0)5601 482815,

Cimcorp Customer Magazine 2012/1  

Technical Director Evgeny Rogozin, Yaroslavl Tyre Plant - Higher productivity and better product quality through modernization • 3D Shuttle...

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