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Cimcorp customer magazine 1 | 2014



SEAMLESS PRODUCTIVITY at Cordiant Yaroslavl Tyre Plant


The Holy Grail of modern distribution



Keeping up with e-commerce


3 steps to e-commerce success: Pick–Pack–Ship

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Millions of liters of success at Olvi Brewery



Freshness is the key 11 Full control and traceability at Yaroslavl Tyre Plant






Derek Rickard made it almost around the world in 2014


In this issue:






It was just theory, but when the system was installed and taken into production, it was quite amazing.


Faster, higher, smoother BY MONORAIL



captures containers Pick | Cimcorp customer magazine publisher | Cimcorp Oy, Satakunnantie 5, FI-28400 Ulvila, FINLAND, phone +358 10 2772 000, fax +358 10 2772 200,, editor | Paula Ovaskainen, translation | Pelc Southbank Languages editing and layout | Zeeland printed by Finepress subscriptions | or phone +358 10 2772 000

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Dream factory opening




Wedded bliss On 30 October 2014, Cimcorp had the great pleasure of welcoming Daisuke Murata, President and CEO of Murata Machinery, Ltd. (Muratec), from Kyoto, Japan, as he announced the acquisition of the Cimcorp Group. Mr Murata and his team were greeted with spontaneous applause by Cimcorp’s personnel, expressing how we feel about the latest development in the group. PHOTO: CIMCORP

For us and our clients, this change means that the two companies will together provide best-in-class material handling solutions to a global customer base. Cimcorp’s clients will be offered the same well-designed and innovative automation systems for which we are already well known, as well as the full advantage of dynamic solutions featuring the complementary systems of both Muratec and Cimcorp. The development also means that both companies will utilize the potential to enhance service coverage through the networks each company has established

Martti Artama, President, Cimcorp Oy

globally, targeting best-in-class service performance for our customers. For the future, we aim to introduce new innovations for various manufacturing and distribution industries by integrating the experience and know-how that both Muratec and Cimcorp have developed. What does not change is the fact that both Muratec and Cimcorp will continue business operations going forward, with no change to their current strategies. In addition, the integration of Finland-based Cimcorp Oy and Canada-based RMT Robotics – acquired by Cimcorp in 2010 – will soon take a visible step forward. Effective from 1 January 2015, RMT Robotics will become Cimcorp Automation Ltd. It will mean deeper co-operation in R&D and continued software development within the Cimcorp Group. With these two happy marriages, the MuratecCimcorp Group can truly be a one-stop shop. Our promise is to focus solely on improving our offering for the benefit of our customers. Muratec and Cimcorp are worldwide leaders in their respective fields in the material handling industry. Muratec is ranked as having the fourth highest annual sales in the world amongst solution providers for material handling systems. Cimcorp Group is the top intralogistics supplier in the tire industry and has unique solutions for a variety of retail and distribution customers. That’s how it will continue to be in the future. Our clients will have the same contact people to talk to as they have now.

Daisuke Murata (right), President and CEO of Murata Machinery, Ltd. introduces his team at Cimcorp on Oct 30 Pick | 3

The author is Derek Rickard, Sales Manager of Distribution Systems in Cimcorp, North America


Automation levels the playing field in goodsto-person distribution

E-commerce continues to boom around

This unprecedented growth has largely been attributed to the increase in mobile device usage for shopping, which empowers consumers to make purchases at any time, from anywhere – at home, at work or on the go. By 2018 there will be over 10 ­billion mobile-connected devices, exceeding the world’s estimated population at that time (7.6 billion)2). The convenience of online and mobile shopping has driven consumers to ­leverage virtual and physical stores to find and purchase products. This opens up ­opportunities for retailers to further increase sales by ­promoting both web-based and in-­ person shopping through location-based

e-commerce the world, forcing manufacturers to find new ways to keep up in their ­distribution Channels. With projections of B2C worldwide ­e-commerce sales reaching n­ early $1.8 ­trillion in 20151), only those organizations that meet the demand accurately and on time will ­survive. The United States leads the ­global e-commerce market with an ­estimated $347 billion to be spent this year, while C ­ anada is expected to see a 13.5 percent growth in online sales. Combined, the North American market, which currently ranks second only to the Asia-Pacific, is expected to command close to $540 billion in e-commerce sales in 2015.

By year 2018 over

10 billion

mobile-connected devices, exceeding the world’s estimated population at that time, 7.6 billion2) Non-Smart devices and Connections Smart Devices and Connections

8% CAGR 2013–2018 10


Furthermore, retailers are creating omni-channel strategies that seamlessly integrate online and brick-and-mortar entities throughout the supply chain. This enables brick-and-mortar behemoths like Walmart to enhance offerings with online-only products and direct-to-store delivery, or ­traditional grocers to offer an internet shopping experience such as Peapod or Grocery Gateway by Longo’s. Alternately, Internet-based giants Google and Amazon are now offering sameday deliveries through Google Express and Amazon Fresh (and a rumored New York City brick-and-mortar store for the latter). Some companies are reevaluating their entire business strategies based on the opportunities available through a goods-to-person business model and moving toward drop-shipping or selling products exclusively through a third party, like Amazon. To fully accommodate this e-commerce growth, retailers are looking at the industrial landscape to determine how, when and where to build integrated, big-box centers for both distribution and order fulfillment. However, these centers are much larger than ­traditional distribution centers and require not only more manpower, but also increased levels of automation and technology to ensure efficiency and productivity.


Combining traditional distribution 4







Source: Cisco VNI Mobile, 2014

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n­ otifications, in-app advertisements or email campaigns.



and goods-to-person order fulfillment into a ­single location can streamline operations, but it also presents an entirely new set of challenges for order picking. The transition from picking large quantities of product to load onto a truck for delivery to a retail store to


As global e-commerce sales continue to grow, finding the most efficient way to pick, pack and ship goods directly to consumers is fast becoming the Holy Grail of modern distribution. Cimcorp 3D ShuttleTM provides an innovative and highly cost-effective solution to the challenges posed by e-commerce.

3 steps to e-commerce success The path a product follows through the supply chain has changed, compelling users to change the way they use industrial real estate – leveraging increased levels of automation and locating in areas that allow for faster delivery3). picking individual items can result in timeconsuming and inefficient manual picking for individual goods-to-person orders. Utilizing automated storage and picking systems can alleviate this disconnect.

Automated systems are pro­­grammed to identify and execute the most ­effective path to picking an order, eliminating the need for individuals to walk long aisles across the warehouse for various items. An automated system for the goods-to-­person market should be able to accommodate a large number of SKUs, whether handled in plastic crates, containers, trays, totes or bins. High efficiency and accuracy of the ­system are key to ensuring effective productivity ­levels and unmatched customer satisfaction. An additional benefit of automated systems is the acquisition of data throughout the picking and packing process. Using historical data such as the number of orders fulfilled or the amount of a specific SKU packed will help management make data-based decisions to improve productivity and predict volume spikes. Looking at orders in real time also helps to optimize efficiency by shuffling the orders to find the most efficient picking routes. As e-commerce continues to explode with new, more convenient ways for con-

sumers to shop, automation will remain a ­vital component to any manufacturer’s distribution success. To remain competitive, ­many businesses will have to consider new ­options, looking to alternative sales channels or drop shipping, brand extensions and new product lines, to streamline operations and increase their bottom lines. But with so many potential variables, it’s difficult to implement an automation system that will accommodate an unknown future business strategy. That’s why it’s imperative to find a system that is flexible enough to scale with these business decisions, as well as seasonal spikes that increase the volume of orders, such as the month from Black Friday through the end of the calendar year. Embracing advancements in this technology will inevitably improve the efficiency, accuracy and ­ productivity of any distribution and order fulfillment center.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE SCAN THE CODE: 1) eMarketer, Global B2C Ecommerce Sales to Hit $1.5 Trillion This Year Driven by Growth in Emerging Markets

2) Cisco, Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2013–2018

3) CBRE, E-Commerce and the Changing U.S. Industrial Landscape


Software is playing an increasingly prominent role in automation systems, and more in-depth expertise is required in product development. When this software know-how is combined with Cimcorp’s extensive expertise in system development, we are able to deliver solutions to customers on a turnkey principle, from a single location. Pick | 5

THE ELEMENTS OF A TYPICAL E-COMMERCE SOLUTION • Tote-filling stations with height-adjustable floor for decanting of pallet loads of incoming goods • Conveyor system to transport totes between the storage area, picking stations and packing stations • Tote warehouse for product totes and empty totes operated by Cimcorp 3D ShuttleTM robots • Picking stations with height-adjustable floor for slow- and medium-movers • Market Square pick-from-pallet area for fast-movers • Packing stations with height-adjustable floor • Value-added services (VAS) station for tote management, inventory consolidation, checking and quality control • Return management station


Over the years, we have supplied our customers with a wide range of automation solutions for various industries, for handling and transporting a variety of products. Our experience naturally provides us with a solid base for developing new products. Product development projects are led by people who have strong knowhow within the particular sector concerned.


In most distribution centers, order picking is the most labor-intensive – and hence the most expensive – activity. The shift to lowvolume orders – and therefore essentially single-piece picking – has put additional cost pressure on the warehouse. It is in the picking operation, therefore, that the potential for savings through the use of automation to improve speed and accuracy can be most easily realized. Cimcorp’s solution for e-commerce distribution – 3D ShuttleTM – offers superb efficiency in goods-to-man order picking, with an attractive return on investment. Handling goods that can be stored in plastic crates or totes – which form, for many retailers, the major part of the ­product range – Cimcorp 3D ShuttleTM can operate as an ‘island’ of automation for these goods, with non-tote-based products either being handled manually or through other picking techniques. Cimcorp 3D ShuttleTM can take care of warehouse processes from receiving, through storage and picking, to packing and shipping. TEXT: HEIDI SCOTT PHOTO: ARTO HELIN ILLUSTRATION: TIMO KYYRÖ

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Unrivalled efficiency – the stackhandling capability of the high-speed robots, combined with the ingenious shuttle concept, makes Cimcorp 3D Shuttle™ extremely efficient. In fact, order picking is six times more efficient than in a manual solution and the system becomes unrivalled as the number of SKUs and size of storage increase. High flexibility – the system adapts easily to inventory and volume increases, seasonal fluctuations and order structure changes, giving a high degree of operational flexibility. Scalable solution – a variable number of robots serving the storage area and the ability to add further storage modules to the system means that Cimcorp 3D Shuttle™ can be designed to suit the throughput, with additional capacity added when required. Low investment – the modular system offers an excellent cost/storage capacity ratio through the reduced amount of equipment – as no racking or sprinklers are needed – and the high storage density achieved by avoiding the need for space-wasting aisles.


The right one. Family and relationships are usually the first things to think of, when talking about a happy and enjoyable life. At the other end of the scale is work. The meaningfulness of one’s work has become more and more significant over the last decade. Thus, finding “the right one” can also refer to job seeking and education. Moving towards a goal – or even just floating in the winds of the world without a clear objective – is a must. No one can stand still for his or her whole life. For most the idea of happiness includes having both family and career, but for some, it’s all about personal growth, education and career and family does not factor into the happiness equation. The latter concept often leads to accusations of antisocialism or even narcissism for failing to ­follow the path of many versus that of few. So why do people need that magical combination of relationship and personal growth to attain real joy? For most people still, sharing life’s ups and downs with another human being and finding a meaningful career are fundamental. In many cases, ILLUSTRATION: SHUTTERSTOCK

the two goals overlap: the right partner is found from working circles, from a next-door classroom, from another faculty at the university, or even from a rival company. The moment Mark met Susanna at the company’s pre-Christmas party, or when Janet met Chris at the university library, something new was born. Maybe it was love at first sight, or maybe just comfortable co-existing that grew in time to be something much more. Whatever the reason why, the outcome was the same: two people became one entity. While still being individuals in their own right, together they were something more. Once the goal of finding the right one is completed, life is usually beautiful and things tend to go well. When interests, characteristics, values and ambitions are shared with a similar-minded soul, truth is often stranger than fiction – in a good way, that is. Just like when Mark met Susanna and Janet met Chris. And when Cimcorp met Muratec.

Pick | 7

The Finnish brewery Olvi produces around 160 million liters of beverages a year, mainly for the domestic market. Last summer, a new high-bay warehouse with over 13,000 pallet places plus automation systems was brought on stream, raising the storage and delivery capacity of the traditional brewery and lowering costs.

Millions of liters of success

Situated near the geographic center of Finland, the Olvi brewery in Iisalmi was established in 1878, because the founders wanted to offer “milder alternatives to citizens possessed by a lust for spirits.” At that time, there were almost 80 breweries operating in Finland, of which Olvi is the only one that has remained an independent Finnish company - with subsidiaries in the Baltic states and Belarus. Olvi produces mostly beer, but the product range includes cider, long drinks, mineral water, and soft drinks. “Less than 10 years ago we started a push for growth. From an annual capacity of 100 million liters we have risen to 160 million liters a year,” says Timo Hortling,

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development manager at Olvi. Although Olvi is now the only Finnishowned brewery and has concentrated ­mainly on the domestic market, competition for market share is tough. One challenge is the location of the Olvi brewery – the markets are chiefly in the growth areas in the south of Finland, over 400 kilometers away. “The business has become highly concentrated and naturally looks for the best price from the suppliers. We are up against stiff competition from the big international players. However, Olvi’s committed personnel is one asset, which puts us in a better position than many companies operating in the Helsinki area,” Hortling figures.

Pioneer of modern distribution With regard to product distribution, Olvi has been a groundbreaker. It started with the first terminal operation in Finland, where customerspecific loads were dispatched first to terminals near the customers, and distributed from there. “This was a huge change in the way we ope­rated. Everyone else in our industry followed in our footsteps,” says Hortling. With the start of terminal operations, all order picking was concentrated at the brewery, and made it even more important in terms of the overall productivity and profitability of the company. In 2005, Olvi implemented their first automated order picking system supplied by Cimcorp.


“Automation helped improve both efficiency and accuracy. Of course it also reduces costs.”

New high-bay warehouse optimizes production During recent decades, the shape of drinks packaging has undergone a radical change. When products used to be packed in crates rather than the current trays, ­manual floor storage worked perfectly well. Now ­completely different features are demanded of the warehouse. “Due to the diversity of packaging and poor stackability of pallets, traditional open floor storage no longer made sense,” explains Hortling.

When the production capacity of the brewery increased, there was a need for more space. “For several years, we had to rent ­premises outside the brewery site, which incurred costs and made our operations more difficult.” The solution was found in 2014, when Cimcorp supplied Olvi with a new high-bay warehouse with over 13,000 pallet ­places and an order picking system. Besides the warehouse with six stacker cranes itself, the ­delivery included six MultiPick robots, ­pallet and stack conveyors, as well as a voice ­picking system and Warehouse Control Software (WCS) system. Thanks to the warehouse, which is

30 meters high at the ridge and has over 3,000 square meters of floor space, all the storage and order picking operations could once again be concentrated at the brewery. The system became operational in time for the summer season. “The project was a great success and the system worked smoothly from the outset,” states Hortling.

WCS controls material flows The Warehouse Control Software (WCS) system plays a central role in the Cimcorp delivery, covering the entire intralogistics at the Iisalmi distribution center. The control system encompasses all the different storage

Pick | 9


The systems have allowed us to automate the supply chain. Cimcorp’s WCS works seamlessly with our sales system.

and order-picking areas, and manages the material flows from arrival at the warehouse to the loading docks. Automation has enabled a rise in stock balance monitoring accuracy, increased efficiency, and minimized the number of errors. “The systems have also allowed us to automate the supply chain. Cimcorp’s WCS works seamlessly with our sales system,” says Hortling. Thanks to the increased production capacity, the interface between production lines and warehouse has become a key factor. “It’s important that the product moves flexibly from the production line to the warehouse. That’s why the conveyor systems have been built to correspond to the new capacity, and we’ve been able to eliminate the bottlenecks.” Hortling praises Cimcorp for the way they implemented the high-bay warehouse project. “We were familiar with Cimcorp from a previous delivery, but of course the decision

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wasn’t based only on that. Excellent references, the fact that it is a Finnish company, and competitive price were naturally the important factors behind the investment decision. Service at Cimcorp works well and the customer is looked after so that the equipment can operate at maximum capacity day after day. And when a construction project is undertaken in the middle of a working plant, the supplier also has to know how to avoid disruption to the normal daily work of the brewery.”

International player Outside Finland, Olvi has four subsidiaries: AS A. Le Coq in Estonia, A/S Cesu Alus in Latvia, Volfas Engelman in Lithuania and Lidskoe Pivo in Belarus. They differ in terms of packaging and return systems from Finland, which also affects warehousing – in the Baltic states and Belarus, they still use manual floor storage. “They don’t use beverage trays there. Glass bottles are stored on top of trays, and

many plastic bottles are packed directly in shrink-wrap. For the time being, there is no automatic storage and order picking at our subsidiaries at all,” says Hortling. In the future this too could change. “An automated rack warehouse saves a lot of floor area, and when the brewery sites are full, I’m sure we will give serious thought to building an automated warehouse.”

Recipe for success Olvi’s long history as a Finnish beverage producer is unparalleled, and all the signs are there for future success too. Finding new, appealing products through product development and logistics solutions for the long distances in Finland will become the key factors for success. As far as the core business is concerned, Hortling would not start changing the proven recipe. “In the end, success boils down to our own expertise. We have done well so far, and we’ll keep on using the same recipe,” jokes Hortling.




Automation of the intralogistics of the entire daily consumer goods distribution center is seldom the right solution. However, profitability and productivity can easily be increased with independent automation islands, fitting seamlessly into the overall process.


Straight from the field to the shop shelf. That kind of logistics route would be the ­optimal in the distribution of fresh ­products. When quantities are huge and ­customers are ­many, distribution centers are a ­vital part of the ­production process. In order to ­offer ­customers the highest ­quality ­possible of fresh produce from vegetables to dairy and bakery products, handling and ­order picking must be both fast and gentle. ­Cimcorp’s ­automation islands, which handle ­plastic crates, are the perfect answer to this ­challenge.

based on robots that operate on an overhead ­gantry to combine buffer storage and ­order picking functions into one flexible ­entity. The robots handle, store, and pick crates of product in stacks. “The system picks the crates accurately and quickly one ­order at a time ready for delivery. This also ­enables the grouping of the order according to the customer’s wishes, for example by ­product group, so that shelf-stacking at the sales ­outlets is made easier,” explains Honkanen.

When automation is used instead of a ­manual order picking process, the lead times of the products are reduced ­dramatically. By minimizing handling and picking time, fresh products can be delivered to the customers: the less time spent in the distribution center, the longer the shelf life. “Cimcorp’s automation islands enable justin-time deliveries within even the tightest of timeframes. Products can go from reception to transport-readiness in just six hours even in the largest distribution centers – that’s the time it takes for robots to pick over 28,000 plastic crates,” says Jarno Honkanen, Sales Manager for order picking systems at Cimcorp. Cimcorp MultiPick® automation islands are

The modular structure of the system is one of its strengths: applications for special requirements can be implemented easily, and ­expanding the system is straightforward. The ­diverse types and sizes of plastic crates pose no problems for the flexible system. “Typically the ­numbers ­handled daily by one automation island are ­between 25,000 and 40,000 crates.” Along with shorter handling and order ­picking times, the key benefits of automation ­islands ­include the complete traceability of all goods movements. “The robots also help with the tidying up ­because they can automatically empty the whole floor area,” laughs Honkanen.

• High-bay warehouse with 13,800 pallet positions and six automatic stacker cranes

Self-sufficient automated order picking system

• Automatic order picking system for full plastic crates, trays and dollies based on Cimcorp’s MultiPick robots

Cimcorp’s MultiPick® automation islands take care of

• Voice picking system for products that are not suitable for automatic picking

• goods reception

• Pallet and stack conveyor systems

• retrieval planning

• Warehouse Control Software (WCS) for controlling of all trans portation, warehousing and order picking operations, from the production to the shipping docks.

• picking of crates

• put-away • location of stored items

• sorting and assembly of crates into discrete orders SEE IT IN ACTION =9emyxAwFdzQ

• loading of the orders onto transport units ready for delivery Pick | 11

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FULL CONTROL & TRACEABILITY AT YAROSLAVL Full tracking and tracing at one of Russia’s largest tire plants When Alexander Rykov, Maintenance Team Supervisor at the Yaroslavl Tyre Plant, first studied Cimcorp’s technical drawings, functional descriptions and other project documentation four years ago, he could barely imagine what kind of system the company would deliver. “It was just theory,” Rykov says, “but when the system was finally installed at our factory and taken into production, it was quite amazing. It’s an incredibly modern system and I’m extremely proud of it. The Cimcorp solution integrates all the other machines and devices into one total solution, a seamless production line.” It was three years ago that Cordiant – which owns the facility, along with two other

tire plants in Russia – decided to invest in Cimcorp’s Dream Factory solution at the Yaroslavl Tyre Plant. As well as the ­robotic material handling system from Cimcorp, the company invested in new production ma­ chinery in order to increase capacity for ­modern all-steel tires up to 650,000 units a year. The Dream Factory concept provides total material flow, from tire building to tire finishing and storage in the warehouse. The Cimcorp system, now in full production, receives green tires from the building machines and conveys them to the spraying area, where Cimcorp’s linear robot loads and unloads the spraying station. Green tires are then ­conveyed to the curing buffer (that is, the green tire storage area), which is operated


The Cimcorp solution integrates all the other machines and devices into one total solution, a seamless production line.

ABOUT CORDIANT: The OJSC Yaroslavl Tyre Plant, founded in 1932, is the largest tire plant in the central region of Russia. Part of the Cordiant Group, the factory produces tires under the brand ­names of ‘Cordiant’ for passenger car tires and ‘TyRex’ and «Cordiant Professional» for all-steel truck tires. The Cordiant Group (formerly Sibur-Russian Tyres) is one of the biggest tire-manufacturing companies in Eastern Europe. The Truck & Bus Radial (TBR) sizes handled by the Cimcorp system at Yaroslavl are 17.5”, 19.5” and 22.5”.

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Our personnel were trained by Cimcorp’s experts, and now we follow the plan strictly.

by Cimcorp’s gantry robots. From here, ­Cimcorp’s monorail transfer system ­delivers the green tires to the curing presses. Cured tires are then conveyed to the finishing a­ rea where more gantry robots sort and store ­finished tires and serve the finishing machines. Tires are then conveyed from the finishing area to the warehouse, ready for delivery to ­customers. All o­ perations – by the robots, conveyors and ­process machines – are managed by Cimcorp’s WCS (Warehouse Control Software) and MES (­Manufacturing Execution ­System) to provide a continuous flow through this part of the group’s flagship plant. This computer ­control takes care of tire d­ ata management, r­ ecipe management and t­ racking, as well as ­ensuring the critical 100% availability of green tires at the curing p­ resses. ­According to Rykov, no other Cordiant tire plant has such a modern material handling system. “Our department – from tire building to spraying, curing, final finishing and then the warehouse – is the only part of our plant where the material flow is totally automated, thanks to Cimcorp’s material handling systems.”

Fitting into existing facilities Alexander Rykov was involved with the automation project from the very beginning, 14 |

including the planning stages during which the systems had to be adapted to suit the existing buildings. The robotic systems fit within the plant with no more room than inside a traditional set of Russian dolls. The facility of the OJSC Yaroslavl Tyre Plant was founded back in 1932. The ­nature of the site was a problem that the three ­partners involved in the project – the ­design and engineering (planning) company, ­Cimcorp and Cordiant – had to work hard to solve. “We had to fit the most modern robotic technology into old buildings. It has been quite a challenge,” Rykov admits. “In addition, having three partners in the project brought additional difficulties.” The challenges resulted in a significant number of changes to the planned equipment as the project progressed, causing some delays in the start-up of the system. “We had to make changes that neither Cimcorp nor Cordiant wanted, nor were willing to do,” explains Rykov. “We just had to do them due to the circumstances.” The installation was performed in stages, starting with the finishing buffer and continuing with the press area, curing buffer and building area automation. Step by step, as

new equipment was installed and tested, any challenges were overcome by the Cimcorp and Cordiant teams. According to Rykov, Cimcorp was an adaptable partner: “The Cimcorp project team reacted quickly; plans and drawings were modified rapidly and modifications made in due course.” In particular, Rykov praises the communication skills of Cimcorp’s personnel: “It has been a great help that Cimcorp had a Russian-speaking site manager; it has ­defi­nitely made life easier,” admits Rykov, “even though technical language is often easy to understand between technicians and engineers from different countries.”

Non-stop production Alexander Rykov is now responsible for the maintenance of the equipment in his department. His team takes care of all preventive maintenance tasks, as prescribed in Cimcorp’s instructions and maintenance program. “Our personnel were trained by Cimcorp’s experts,” he explains, “and now we follow the plan strictly.” Servicing is carried out in short periods in order not to disrupt production. “The plant operates non-stop in four shifts; the process cannot be stopped,” says Rykov.

Fully automated material handling solution for truck tires Cimcorp has delivered a comprehensive automation system for truck tire handling at Cordiant’s Yaroslavl plant in Russia. Consisting of fully automated equipment and software for total control of the material flow from the tire-building area to the testing area, it includes robots for unloading of the tire-building machines; conveyors for transporting green tires from tire building to weighing and spraying; weighing and spraying stations; green tire buffers; monorail transfers for loading the curing presses; and conveyors from the press area to the finishing area, located in another building and on the second floor. For the testing area, Cimcorp supplied manual trimming and inspection machines, as well as finished tire buffers. The total material flow, including tracking and tracing, is managed by the Cimcorp WCS (Warehouse Control Software) and Cimcorp MES (Manufacturing Execution System) which integrate all robots, conveyors and process machines – from component manufacturing to finished tire testing – into a seamless system. This computer control enables tire data management, recipe management and tracking, as well as ensuring the critical 100% availability of green tires at the curing presses.

“We have shutdowns twice a year, during which larger repair or maintenance operations can take place. Preventive maintenance, however, must be made during normal operations.” The automated system is divided into sections, each of which – comprising certain devices, such as a robot and its gripper – should be capable of being serviced in 2–3 hours. Although Rykov’s team was not familiar with modern robotic technology, they have learned quickly how best to maintain the system. “In the curing buffer (the green tire storage), the robots operate at a very high level on gantries over the storage area,” says Rykov. “It is no mean feat to access the servicing points, but we have learned how to do it.”

Full traceability A great benefit of the integrated material handling system, according to Alexander Rykov, is the fact that total control of the material flow enables full traceability of tires. “Today’s customers are very ­demanding. We have to be able to trace each tire in the production process. We have to know how a tire is produced – starting from the ­component materials – how it is built, cured and tested. Cimcorp’s system makes this ­happen.” Pick | 15




During 2015, approximately 50 Cimcorp+ High Speed Monorail Transfer solutions for the manufacture of PCR and TBR tires will be installed and become operational worldwide.

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The latest achievement of Cimcorp’s product development, the Cimcorp+ High Speed Monorail Transfer System, optimizes the tire production process by transporting green tires twice as fast as before. The world’s fastest green tire monorail transfer system will be unveiled at the Cologne Tire Technology Expo in February 2015.

The carrier moving at the ceiling level of the tire plant transports its load smoothly from the tire-building machine to the buffer storage. From there, the system transports the green tires on to the curing presses – quickly and accurately. In the version adapted for the manufacture of passenger car radial (PCR) tires, the monorail transfer can move loads of 45 kilos at a time, and in the future version for heavier truck and bus radial (TBR) tires, this will rise to 120 kilos. “Increased speed, shorter acceleration times, and a servo-controlled gripper adaptable for different product sizes have sped up the transfer of green tires considerably and made the whole manufacturing process more efficient,” says product manager Jani Tuomola. One of the undeniable benefits of a mono­rail transfer system stems from its ­area of operation: the high, overhead ­transfer

s­ ystem leaves the floor space empty, ­enabling easy access to the machines for the ­operators and service personnel to access to the ­machines easily. “This has been a clear challenge in ­developing an automation system for the tire industry. The new transfer system is ideally suitable for tire plants, as it does not reduce working space at floor level,” explains Kai Tuomisaari, Cimcorp’s Vice President, Sales and Projects.

Speed, precision and productivity Cimcorp has been supplying its ­customers with monorail transfer systems for ­several years now. The first systems for tire plants were installed in 2008 in different parts of the world. Cimcorp’s longstanding experience of transfer systems and logistics automation

also provided the starting point for developing a new solution. “With this new system, we have ­bene­ fitted from our extensive automation ­expertise and have enhanced the proven ­features of the earlier monorail transfer system,” says Tuomola. As part of the Cimcorp Dream Factory concept, the Cimcorp+ High Speed Monorail transfer system consists in practice of three parts: the rail system, along which the carriers move, the carriers themselves, and the WCS warehouse control system. Although the new key features of the system focus on speed, acceleration, and precision, special consideration has also been given to the safe handling of green tires. “The adjustable grippers have been developed to avoid damaging the bead of

CIMCORP+ HIGH SPEED MONORAIL TRANSFER SYSTEM IN A NUTSHELL: • Latest innovation from the Product Development department at Cimcorp to optimize internal logistics at tire plants • Fastest monorail system for green tires on the market – twice as fast as the earlier version • Increased transportation capacity: PCR version 45 kg, TBR version 120 kg. • Adjustable gripper handles all sizes of green tire gently •

Can be installed either to move back and forth or on a loop, depending on the number and cycle times of the machines to be tended

• Part of the Cimcorp Dream Factory – a comprehensive automation solution

SEE IT IN ACTION watch?v= mGMA490ZCh4

Pick | 17


Cimcorp to automate green tire handling at the green tires. In this way, the system contributes to ensuring the ­quality of the final product and reduces waste,” says Tuomola.

Critical point of tire manufacture In comparison with the earlier monorail transfer solution, the conveying capacity is now greater: thanks to the new carrier construction, the weight of the load is distributed more evenly and enables greater horizontal acceleration. The new transfer system also requires less space than before, as the shallower construction of the carriers means that the rails can be installed at a lower height than before. “For the rails, the same basic principle is used as in earlier deliveries. It is proven and only required a little tweaking. Regarding the system, the mechanics are more reliable than earlier,” states Mika Laine, who is responsible for the system mechanics. The monorail system is controlled using the WCS. The same software is used in theCimcorp Dream Factory concept for the overall control of material flows, and is compatible with the plant’s own IT systems. “Feeding the green tires to the curing presses is a critical point, which affects the productivity of the whole plant. Using the Cimcorp Dream Factory automation solutions means that the entire ­internal ­logistics can be optimized so that the feed from the tire-building ­machines or the buffer to the curing presses happens in a timely manner. This way the production capacity can be maximized to the fullest,” says Tuomisaari. MECHANICS SYSTEM ENGINEER MIKA LAINE (right):

For the rails, the same basic principle is used as in earlier deliveries. It is proven and only required a little tweaking.

18 |

Chinese Qingdao Sentury Tire Qingdao Sentury Tyre, leading Chinese tire manufacturer, has commissioned Cimcorp to provide the turnkey delivery of a new material handling solution for PCR green tires. The system is due to become operational in steps in 2014–2015. The automation system is based on Cimcorp’s Dream Factory solution and includes green tire handling from tire-building machines to curing ­presses. Cimcorp’s buffer storage between these process phases as well as the advanced warehouse ­control software will increase the efficiency of the green tire area of the new factory. The multimillion euro order includes three independent automation lines each consisting of monorail transfer systems for unloading tire-­ building machines and transferring green tires to the curing buffers, green tire buffers, spotting stations, and monorail transfer for press delivery. The material flow will be controlled by Cimcorp Warehouse Control Software (WCS), which integrates all robots, monorail transfer systems, and pallet conveyors into a seamlessly working system. Through this investment Sentury Tire wishes to increase productivity and improve product quality. According to Mr. Qin, Cimcorp’s ­automation concept ensures a better yield and a higher ­utilization of the tire-building machines, “We are not able to gain the full benefit from our tire-building ­machines. Cimcorp’s automation will make it possible.” Kai Tuomisaari, Vice President of Sales and Projects for Cimcorp, explains, “Total control of the whole process means that more high-quality tires are produced. Smaller buffers and 100% availability of green tires at curing presses increase the yield dramatically.”


Official opening of

TIGAR TYRES’ NEW PLANT Tigar Tyres recently held a grand opening ceremony to mark the launch of its new factory in Pirot, 300 km southeast of Belgrade, Serbia. The material handling systems in the new plant were designed and supplied by Cimcorp. A total of 500 new jobs have been created through the investment of 215 million euros in the Pirot plant, which will enable annual production of 12 million tires by the end of 2016. A Michelin Group subsidiary, Tigar Tyres produces entry-level passenger car tires – marketed under the Tigar, Kormoran and Riken brands – and the new capacity will help

meet growth in the entry-level segment in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Russia and the CIS markets. The official opening was attended by Serbia’s President, Tomislav Nikolic´, and the President of the Michelin Group, JeanDominique Senard, who joined with em­ ployees and suppliers to celebrate the success of the project. In his speech, M. Senard said, “The great talent of our team in Pirot and the active support of the Serbian authorities have made it possible to complete this project successfully...I am glad it will create new jobs and economic activities in Serbia.” Manufacturing light truck and SUV tires as well as passenger car tires, it is planned for the number of employees at the plant to increase to 2,700 by the end of 2016.

Rapid design and installation Cimcorp received an order from Tigar at the beginning of 2014 for systems to automate the material flows in the tire-building and ­curing areas, as well as in the finishing and pallet­ izing area for three production lines. With the first tire being produced from the new facility in September, the schedule to design, manufacture, install and commission the auto­mated handling systems was extremely tight.

Integrated material flows The handling solution supplied to Tigar Tyres is based on Cimcorp’s Dream Factory concept and features integrated material flows using

conveyor, monorail and robotic technologies. Green tires are transferred by conveyor from the building machines to the spraying ­stations and then to an automatic green tire buffer. This features Cimcorp’s gantry robots, which store green tires on special rests – in a single layer – on an overhead mezzanine. As soon as the specific types of green tires are needed by the curing presses, the robots pick them from the buffer and they are transported via monorail to the curing presses. After curing, the Cimcorp systems continue to take care of the material flows, with tires being collected from the trench conveyor and placed on the the cooling conveyor, and then transferred to the visual inspection area. They then enter the testing buffer and are transferred to the testing machines before proceeding to the labeling area, the palletizing buffer and the palletizing area. Here, Cimcorp’s system automatically calculates the optimal palletizing method for each product type and robots arrange the tires in a space-optimized rick-rack pattern.

Total control In line with the Dream Factory concept, the entire material flow at Pirot – from the mixing machines to the finished tire warehouse – is fully controlled by Cimcorp’s Warehouse Control Software (WCS), while the ­tracing of production data, recipe management and reporting are taken care of by Cimcorp’s Manufacturing Execution System (MES), enabling 100 per cent traceability of tires.

Pick | 19


FUTURE ROBOTS WILL SEE Distribution Systems Manager Derek Rickard is based in Grimsby, Canada and works mainly on Layer Picking and Multipick products. His work takes him regularly to different cities and countries. In April, Rickard gave a speech at the WERC annual conference in Chicago and became inspired by the future of the robotics industry. The Niagara Falls


Often customers visit our facility and sometimes they spend the night. Our typical ­evening of dinner and entertainment is to take them to view the Niagara Falls. I must have been there more than 50 times over the years, but I still enjoy it and our ­customers absolutely love the experience. It is o­ nly 50 kilometers from our facility. My f­ avorite ­restaurant is the Fallsview Keg, a fantastic ­Canadian steak-house with an incredible view of the falls.

Another popular activity has been to take customers to a reference site in Vancouver. Vancouver is one of the most beautiful ­cities in the world and a city most Americans or Europeans have never been to. I have a ­couple of must-see places where I take customers to ­ensure they have a memorable experience. In the summer Grouse Mountain is a mustsee! O ­ nly minutes away from downtown Vancouver, you can take the gondola up to

20 |

the top of the ski hill. Also, the suspension bridge in Lynn Canyon is worth a visit. The 100-year-old bridge connects hiking trails on each side of a canyon and is 50 meters high.

Finland Once or twice a year we have a North American customer interested in doing a site visit to see some Multipick references. Our typical itinerary is to take them to Finland – first to see Tuko in the Helsinki area, Valio Dairy in

Riihimäki, then Itella in Tampere and finally Cimcorp HQ in Ulvila. This summer I was with customers in Finland; it was during the summer solstice in June. It was amazing to see the sun still high in the sky after 10pm!

Chicago I was asked to give a speech for the WERC annual conference in April. My topic was “How Robotics will change your operations by 2020” – basically I talked about the ­future of robots in the warehouse. The focus of the presentation was more far-reaching than what I usually spend my time on, so it forced me to take a broader look at the industry. In doing this I learned a lot about the industry as a whole. I was most interested in where the ­industry is heading with ”Vision Systems”. For instance, there’s a lot of work being ­done in the robotics industry right now ­using new types of sensing technology such as the ­Microsoft Kinect sensor. Developers are ­tapping into the inherent abilities of the gaming device and using them for industrial applications. The most fascinating part for me is that Microsoft is encouraging and even ­facilitating an open source environment so ­developers can share and build on each other's work.

This is contrary to how R&D is typically ­done, with companies going to great lengths to protect their intellectual property. If the industry truly embraces this method, the rate at which some applications are developed could be astronomical. As long as robotics has been around, ­basic sensor technology has been relied on to tell the robot when it can travel blindly to a target or a fixed coordinate. With new vision and sensing technology, robots will have the ability to ”see” the objects they need to interact with and will have the ability to react to inconsistencies, just like a human would. It will be exciting when this is more thoroughly proven for the industrial environment. It will result in more complex solutions that are more flexible and adaptable, in faster startup times and in lower costs.


Pick | 21



UNDERCOVER WORK IN THE WORLD OF LOGISTICS First Mari Hirsikallio spotted ships she had photographed, then she got interested in the containers they were carrying. Her interest became a hobby, resulting in a virtual collection of containers from different parts of the world.

Photography is an interesting way of being able to show others the world the way you see it.

22 |

Blue containers, yellow containers, refrigerated containers (reefers), tanks – the blog written by Mari Hirsikallio has photos of containers of different colors and sizes but above all, containers produced by different companies. “I was taking photos of ships and noticed that the containers were made by various manufacturers. One thing led to another and I started container-spotting on land and at sea,” Mari recalls.

Mari photographs containers and then works out their manufacturers. The hobby’s appeal is partly exactly that – finding out the background of the containers. “When you find a container, the com­ bination of letters on its side does not tell you anything at that stage, but when you start hunting on the Internet, the marking reveals a whole world of information: routes, who is transporting it and what maybe inside the container. For example if you see a Dutch reefer, there’s a strong chance that it is to do with flowers. You can get hooked on checking out the background information.” Mari, who has lived near the sea and ports all her life, has been photographing ships for years now. “I guess it stems from the fact that I was taken to an island for the first time at the age of six months. Very often my brother and I used to shout from the shore that a ship was coming,” she laughs.

Excursions to harbors Head of a primary school, Mari is also known amongst her pupils for her photography. It is a big and important part of her life. “Photography is an interesting way of being able to show others the world the way you see it. If two people take a photo from the same place, the pictures are seldom the same. Likewise if I bring out a photo of a container, I can point out details that someone else may not even notice.” Container collecting began three years ago. So far around sixty containers have appeared on Mari’s blog. “There are not so many container manufacturers. I’ve already found the obvious ones, now I’ll have to do a little work to find the next ones. For example you can’t always get photos of tank containers, because ports are secure areas.” Mari’s pastime is helped by the fact that she lives near the border between Finland and Russia. “A lot of containers are transported by road around here and a lot of goods are transported through the Port of HaminaKotka.” The hobby has got into Mari’s blood to the extent that her vacations also turn into spotting trips. “When we travel abroad, an excursion may take us to some port. Perhaps our path doesn’t lead us to the normal tourist destinations, and my husband is not in the least surprised if we wind up hanging around a port somewhere.”

Collecting genes in the family? Collecting in virtual form suits Mari down to the ground. “Virtual collecting is a better option than for instance having the place full of garden gnomes! My mother collects statuettes of Santa Claus, and so I guess that has pushed me to the virtual side, since I’ve been looking at Santas and elves for 12 months a year!” Container spotting could be regarded as special. Mari herself has only found two other container spotters: one at the Port of Antwerp in Belgium and the other somewhere in Japan. There are also people who build scale models of containers. Mari says that, whatever your hobby may be, the essential thing is that you find it rewarding. “I read somewhere about the things that people spot – power lines or long-distance buses. There’s nothing that can’t be spotted. I considered myself to be a little wacky at some stage, but when I read that someone spots power lines, I realized that this is actually quite normal,” Mari laughs.

Pick | 23

See you at the expos! RubberTech 2014 Dec 3–5, Shanghai, China

Tire Technology Expo 2015 Feb 10–12, Cologne, Germany

ProMat 2015 March 23–26, Chicago, USA

APPOINTMENTS Jari Jylli, B.Eng. has been appointed Director, Project Management. He pre­viously worked as a project manager.

Pasi Kankaanpää, B.Eng. has been appointed Head of Control System Engineering. He also previously worked as a project manager.

Tapio Kaartinen, B.Eng. has been appointed Product Manager, Conveyor systems. Tapio’s previous position at Cimcorp was head of control system engineering.

Mika Laine, B.Eng. has been appointed Product Manager, Gantry robots. He previously worked as a mechanics system specialist.

Jani Tuomola, B.Eng. has been appointed Product Manager, Monorail transfer. He previously worked as a control system specialist.

Marjo Latva, M.Sc. (Tech.) has been appointed Product Manager, Warehouse Control Software. She previously worked as a software specialist.

Erik Repo, B.Eng. has been appointed Product Manager, Cell controller software. He also previously worked as a software specialist. 24 |

Miia Vironen, B.B.A. has been appointed QHSE Manager. She previously worked as a QHSE consultant and trainer at VM-Qualitas, and a QHSE lead auditor at DNV-GL.

CIMCORP IN A NUTSHELL Cimcorp Group – part of Murata Machinery, Ltd. ( and consisting of Cimcorp Oy and Cimcontracting Oy in Finland and RMT Robotics Ltd. in Canada – has become a leading supplier worldwide of material handling systems for the tire ­industry and provides unique robotic solutions to the food and beverage, e-commerce, consumer goods and postal services sectors. The group has around 300 employees and has delivered 2,000 robotic systems in 40 countries across five continents. RMT ROBOTICS BECOMES CIMCORP AUTOMATION LTD. Effective January 1, 2015, RMT Robotics Ltd., Cimcorp’s North American subsidiary, will become Cimcorp Automation Ltd. The name change signifies a unified Cimcorp brand and well-designed automation solutions under one umbrella. CIMCORP AUTOMATION LTD. 635 South Service Road, Grimsby, Ontario, Canada L3M 4E8 phone +1 (905) 643-9700, fax +1 (905) 643-9666, CIMCORP OY Satakunnantie 5, FI-28400 Ulvila, FINLAND phone +358 10 2772 000, fax +358 10 2772 200, CONTACT US WORLDWIDE: North America, Brazil, China, Japan, Poland, Russia, Scandinavian countries, South Korea, Taiwan R.O.C., United Kingdom

Cimcorp Pick 1 / 2014  

E-COMMERCE DISTRIBUTION & CIMCORP 3D SHUTTLE: The Holy Grail of modern distribution • SEAMLESS PRODUCTIVITY at Cordiant Yaroslavl Tyre Plant...

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