Page 1

1 / 2015

New Tigar: Believe - Imagine - Go!


“This is a long-term commitment that will help us to meet the needs of growing markets all around the world,” states Gary Scheide, Plant Director, about the newly expanded Tigar Tyres plant in Pirot, Serbia.


Goods-to-person picking — 16


Major order from Sentury Tire — 8


BY Masatoshi Wakabayashi • PHOTO BY Matti Immonen

Cimcorp culture – passion, innovation, professionalism and teamwork


ince taking on the role of Cimcorp’s CEO in March 2015, I have had the great opportunity and joy of getting to know Cimcorp’s people, the company and its customers. I am very proud to be part of the company as it celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. I have great respect for the people I’ve come to know—the ones that have been essential to helping the company grow, including employees and their family members, shareholders, communities, partners, suppliers, and most importantly, our customers. On behalf of the entire company, I say thank you for all your efforts and loyalty! At Cimcorp, we have a passion for optimized material flow and developing innovative solutions that deliver more with less. But this is only possible because of Cimcorp’s dedication to our customers and the extensive expertise of our staff. Engineering is the basis of what we do.



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Our offerings are as extensive as the defi­ nition of engineering is broad. At Cim­ corp, we develop, design, integrate and support comprehensive turnkey, automa­ tion solutions. Utilizing better warehouse layout design, intelligent software and advanced robotics, our solutions require fewer components, yet deliver increased efficiency. As a team, Cimcorp partners, sup­ pliers, staff and even customers work closely to create solutions that not only meet the specific needs of projects, but of­ ten exceed expectations. From our Dream Factory, 3D Shuttle and Multi/Layer Pick Systems to AGVs, warehouse control systems (WCS) and ‘islands’ of automa­ tion, Cimcorp’s solutions are leading a revolution in material and data flow and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. Each member of the project archi­ tecture teams, including our customers,

plays an important role. Just like the sports that I love, strategy and innovation at Cimcorp are executed by skilled indi­ viduals that work as a team with passion and a drive for winning! Read on in this edition of Flow magazine – replacing Pick magazine – to learn more about the results of our teamwork and innovation. As a newly instated CEO, there’s always curiosity about the inner work­ ings of a company. What I discovered at Cimcorp is nothing short of excellence. Here’s to the 41st year, the 50th year and many more exciting years to come! Our pride and passion push us forward with continued focus on self-improvement and burning innovation to continue to lead the intralogistics revolution through professionalism and teamwork.

Contents — 1 / 2015

Cimcorp culture – passion, innovation, professionalism and teamwork


Editorial by our CEO, Masatoshi Wakabayashi

Dream Big Case study about Tigar Tyres


About us We are the pioneers of automated robotic solutions for intralogistics. Albert Einstein once said: “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” We couldn’t agree more. Optimization is simplification and vice versa. With better factory or warehouse layout design, intelligent software, and innovative robotic solutions, we can get more out of less. Fewer components, increased efficiency. This is how we operate; we are the architects of intralogistics. For more than 30 years we have optimized our customers’ material flows in warehouses, distribution centers and tire manufacturing facilities. What drives us? Passion for optimized material flow.

More about us:

Learn what’s so dreamy about our new and improved Dream Factory

Greetings from the North




Read about how we’re about to deliver our largest order yet and who is the new man in charge at Cimcorp Automation.

Extended Dream Factory

Pick a flavor, any flavor

Picking through the Layers Small study about Layer Picking technique

Tweet-Tweet Who to follow, what to tweet: our own curated list of best throwbacks in our network. Go tweet @CimcorpOy and @CimcorpNA!



Flow is a stakeholder magazine giving insight to the daily business and development of Cimcorp and its personnel. The papers and inks used are eco-friendly and produced responsibly. Source of addresses: Cimcorp’s marketing register. For subscriptions, please contact

From squirrel pelts and euros to bitcoins!




Perspective view about new currency, Bitcoin, by our fellow Cimcorper, Mika Impola




Paula Ovaskainen

Jonne-Pekka Stenroos/Staart Lönnberg, Finland


Main Case

WRITTEN BY Heidi Scott • PHOTOS BY Tigar, Aleksandar Ciric


BIG Under the project slogan ‘BIG’ – Believe, Imagine, Go – Tigar Tyres has implemented a major expansion of its Serbian factory, including investment in Cimcorp’s Dream Factory concept for automated material handling.

Goal for 2016:


of production capacity

Total investment:

215 4



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G Proven fact:


Traceability of tires with new Dream Factory implementation

First tires being produced after placing order with Cimcorp:



ary Scheide, Plant Director for the factory at Pirot, 300 km southeast of Belgrade, is an American who has worked abroad for over a decade. Beginning his career with Michelin in 1991, he rose to Plant Manager at the Ardmore factory in Oklahoma by 2000, before moving to China in 2004 to manage the Shanghai plant and then, in 2008, the Shenyang facility. In 2013, he joined Tigar Tyres, a member of the Michelin Group, to take the helm at Pirot and steer the plant through a major upgrade that would transform it into one of the most modern tire factories in the world. Flow magazine caught up with him to ask a few questions about the project. What does Tigar Tyres produce at its Pirot plant? “We manufacture entry-level passenger car and light truck tires that are sold under Michelin’s Tigar, Kormoran, Riken and Taurus brands. We are constantly expanding our product portfolio to meet customer demands and evolving markets. This year, for example, Tigar Tyres will launch no less than 20 new sizes of SUV entry-level tire.” What led to the decision to expand the factory? “The entry-level market segment that the Pirot plant serves is expanding rapidly, especially in Central and Eastern Eu­ rope, Russia and the CIS countries. The

company recognized that extra production capacity would enable us to respond more effectively to this growing demand. In addition, we wanted to implement a more flexible business model in our manufacturing capacity at Pirot, enabling us to be more adaptable and competitive in meeting consumer demand.” What was the scale of the upgrade project? “Including the cost of the land required, the expansion of production capacity at Pirot represented an investment of 215 million euros. We added 70,000 m2 of industrial space – including a 40-meter-high building for the mixing equipment –that required 90,000 tonnes of concrete flooring and 50 km of piping networks. Then there was the installation of state-of-the-art production machinery and the automated handling systems, so it was a huge and extremely challenging task.” What were your targets in making this investment? “Our plan was ambitious – we wanted to construct a facility that, with the support of modern machinery and automation, would enable us to increase annual production capacity by 50 percent from 8 million tires to 12 million tires by the end of 2016. I am delighted to say that we are on course to achieve this.”


Dream Big

How important was logistics automation in this project? “We chose the automated handling solution because it was the best fit to our needs and would help us increase the ef­ ficiency of our manufacturing processes. There is a clear trend in favor of auto­ mation in our industry but in reality this represents a new balance between human capital and smart machines. The human input is still important – it is just that the job descriptions are being changed to involve more co-ordination and supervi­ sion. Our investment at Pirot is creating 500 new jobs, such that we will have some 2,700 employees here by the end of 2016.” Why did you select Cimcorp as your automation supplier? “One of the common principles in the selection of production equipment for Tigar Tyres is that we want to install the latest technology available on the market. As Cimcorp is considered a pioneer in the area of intralogistics automation, it was natural to want to have them as our partner. Cimcorp was already on our ra­ dar, in fact, as the company has delivered several robotic systems to the Michelin Group over the years for the storage and palletization of finished truck and bus radial tires in France, Spain, Brazil, Italy and China. Cimcorp’s automation offered us a complete and efficient solution that would mean quality, speed, flexibility and cost control, thereby helping us reach our production targets and satisfy client demands. We see our collaboration as a long-term commitment that will help us




1 — 2015

to meet the needs of growing markets all around the world.” What have been the key benefits of the automated handling systems? “The fact that the Cimcorp systems would enable us to reduce work-in-progress to a very low level allowed us to optimize the size of the building and operate effectively with lower levels of stock. Another key advantage has been that Cimcorp’s con­ trol systems are highly intuitive, making operator training very simple. The ease of use of the software systems has allowed us to make decisions in a timely manner in order to optimize production and im­ prove efficiency.” Did you encounter any problems as the project proceeded? “Overall, the project has run quite smoothly; one of the major challenges has undoubtedly been co-ordinating the installation of all the various equip­ ment in order to be able to produce the first tire according to our demanding schedule. We had the advantage of some great teams being involved in this pro­ ject – from Tigar Tyres, Michelin and our partner suppliers – that worked very closely together to ensure a rapid and efficient start-up of the new production lines. As the time period from placing the order with Cimcorp to the first tires being produced was just 13 months, this was no mean feat. Of course, we had some tricky issues along the way but we managed to overcome them with a little ingenuity and a very strong team spirit.”

“We will have some 2,700 employees here by the end of 2016.” Gary Scheide Plant Director

Cimcorp’s scope of supply

“Cimcorp’s control systems are highly intuitive, making operator training very simple. The ease of use of the software systems has allowed us to make decisions in a timely manner in order to optimize production and improve efficiency.”

Tigar Tyres commissioned Cimcorp to supply systems to automate the material flows in the tire-building and curing areas, as well as in the finishing and palletizing area for three production lines. Cimcorp’s handling solution for the Pirot plant is based on its Dream Factory concept and features conveyor, monorail and robotic technologies.

Gary Scheide

Green tires are transferred by conveyor from the building machines to the spraying stations and then to an automatic green tire buffer. This is served by gantry robots, which store the green tires in a single layer on a mezzanine. When specific green tires are required by the curing presses, the robots pick them from the buffer and they are trans­ ported via monorail to the curing presses.

Plant Director

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 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, the Cimcorp system automatically calculates the optimal palletizing method for each product type and robots arrange the tires in a space-optimized rick-rack pattern. The entire material flow at the Pirot plant – from the mixing machines to the finished tire warehouse – is 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 percent traceability of tires. READ FURTHER:

Scan the code to watch a short documentary about the Dream Factory at Tigar

More about Cimcorp’s software solutions at Dive deeper into our Dream Factory on pages 12–13


WRITTEN BY Heidi Scott, Liz Palm, Paula Ovaskainen • PHOTOS BY Esa Kyyrö, Jeffery Hardy, Johanna Uusitalo, Amanda Aho


Cimcorp to supply its largest ever order to Sentury Tire SUCCESS ON THE WAY • Cimcorp has secured the biggest order in its history from Chinese tire manufacturer, Qingdao Sentury Tire Co Ltd, for a turnkey material handling solution at its new factory in Thailand. The order, worth nearly 30 million euros, will become operational in stages during 2015 and 2016.

Cimcorp’s solution for the new plant will feature six independent automation lines, each consisting of monorail systems for the unloading of the tire-building machines and transfer of green tires to the curing buffers; green tire buffer storage; spotting stations; and monorail transfers for press delivery. In addition, Cimcorp’s scope of supply includes finished tire buffers and palletizing stations, rail guided vehicle (RGV) loops, stacker cranes in a high-bay warehouse and shipping buffers in the dispatch area. The material flow will be controlled by Cimcorp WCS (Warehouse Control Software), which will integrate the various technologies – robots,



1 — 2015

monorails, RGVs, stacker cranes and pallet conveyors – into a seamless system. Sentury manufactures and sells tires with 13 ranges and more than 400 sizes. Cimcorp recently supplied the automated handling systems for Sentury’s Qingdao plant in China. Following the success of this project, Sentury is using the same Dream Factory concept for its new facility in Thailand. “We want to build a modern tire plant with the latest automation technologies to ensure high product quality and high productivity from the beginning,” says Qin Long, President & CEO of Qingdao Sentury Tire. Kai Tuomisaari, Cimcorp’s Vice President of Sales and Projects, explains: “Today’s state-of-the-art tire plants are efficient, well organized, dy­namic and lean. This flexible effici­ency can be achieved through modular automation and total control of the process flow.”

Celebrating 40 years of success EVENT • Cimcorp’s story started at Rosenlew Tool Factory in Finland. The top management had initiated a project to study new business opportunities. Robotics was an attractive new field at that time.

The first robot was sold to Kemira Vihtavuori for the handling of explosives in 1975. The big boom started a couple of years later with automation supplies to the television tube industry, and the modular robot series was developed. Since then Cimcorp has been a systems integrator and managed over 2,000 projects all over the world.

Scan the QR code and see how we did back in year


Rick Trigatti appointed as Cimcorp Automation’s new CEO Former CEO Doug Pickard has retired from Cimcorp Automation Ltd. after leading the company for nearly 35 years. His successor Rick Trigatti, Operations Manager, has extended his responsibilities by stepping into the role of president of the company’s North American subsidiary. The transition was effective as of June 29. After founding the company to introduce robotics and machine vision into the automotive industry, Pickard led the development of large, high-speed gantries that allow cus­ tomers to sort, store and pick a large number of SKUs at very high rates. Rick Trigatti, North America president, Cimcorp, said, “I am excited to step into this new leadership role and help Cimcorp continue its quest to establish itself as global supplier of world-class order fulfillment and tire handling solutions.” With the recent union of Cimcorp’s Finland headquarters and Cimcorp Automation Ltd. under a single brand umbrella, the global company now offers one suite of solutions across the worldwide manufacturing and distribution landscape. Through flexible, data-driven solutions, the company works to improve energy and operational efficiencies, productivity, speed, and capabilities of its systems. Other new appointments at Cimcorp:

PEKKA NURMI ERP Project Manager

JYRI MÄNTY Training Manager

PAULA OVASKAINEN Corporate Marketing & Communications Director

MIKKO SAARIOLA Manager, Machinery Safety

MARKKU SETÄLÄ Global Sourcing Director

SUVI TALVITIE Online Marketing Manager 9


WRITTEN BY Liz Palm, Lori Vaughan, Paula Ovaskainen • PHOTOS BY Jeffery Hardy, Lori Vaughan, Hannes Frigård

Monorail transfer – a great success Our latest product development achievement was launched at the Tire Technology Expo in February 2015. The Cimcorp+ Monorail Transfer System for PCR tires has been very well received by tire manufacturers. The high speed monorail transfer system is designed to transfer green tires from building machines to the curing buffer and to press delivery. Monorail transfer makes the whole manufacturing process more efficient. The reliable, durable and highly developed product will have further sales potential based on our professional experience and research. By the end of the year 2015 over 100 monorail transfers will have been produced for our customers. Moving its load at the ceiling level of the tire plant, the carrier leaves the floor space empty for process machines and operators. In the version adapted for the manufacturing of passenger car radial (PCR) tires, the monorail transfer can move loads of 45 kilos at a time, and in the stronger version for heavier truck and bus radial (TBR) tires, this will rise to 120 kilos.

Scan the code to watch short documentary about our monorail system



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New monorail transfer:



Total payload:


Kroger Dairy in the spotlight at the Dairy Show


tinues to keep things moving in the tire industry with new implementations in Japan, Europe and the United States. ADAM’s autonomous nature and scalable flexibility provide green tire handing solutions in difficult brownfield facilities, adapting to legacy constraints in ways in which other non-autonomous automation is restricted. ADAM’s technology continues to move forward and advance with the utilization of stateof-the-art LiFePO4 batteries and robust navigation hardware and software.

EVENT • Kroger’s new dairy processing plant in Denver is the Dairy Foods 2015 Plant of the Year. At the Dairy Show, the grocery retailer’s executives detailed how it came to be. Cimcorp’s automatic order picking system is part of the success.

One of the world’s largest grocery retailers with fiscal 2014 sales of USD 108.5 billion, Kroger designed and built the Mountain View Foods dairy processing plant in Denver to challenge innovation in the dairy industry. The state-of-the-art plant processes fresh conventional and organic milk in half-gallons and gallons and it packages aseptically processed milk, creams and juices in quarts and smaller bottles. Upon its opening Memorial Day weekend 2014, the facility showcased robotic handling operations based on European best practices, mix-proof

technology, aseptic and extended shelf-life filling systems, processing equipment and CIP systems. It is one of the first dairies in the U.S. to deploy robotic technology that enables packing, picking and palletizing of crates in the cold storage areas entirely by automation. Derek Rickard, Distribution Systems Manager, Cimcorp, participated in The Kroger Co.’s seminar during the International Dairy Show 2015 in Chicago on Sept. 15, detailing what makes its Mountain View Foods plant in Denver the 2015 Plant of the Year. “Kroger is a shining example of innovative thinking backed by solid research and smart decision making. Incorporation of a fully automated warehouse system helps the company improve accuracy, product traceability and faster turnaround times,” Rickard states.


What if your tire plant‌



Ran at full capacity

In 50% less space

Tire production capacity is increased through 100 percent availability of all materials and components at all process machines.

Total control of the material flow results in smaller buffer stores, reduced work in process (WIP) and efficient use of space.

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With a 50% smaller investment With optimized layout design, the investment in material handling is reduced by 50 percent.

This is your solution The Cimcorp Dream Factory optim­ izes material and data flow for tire man­ ufacturers from raw material storage to the finished tire loading dock. In the Dream Factory, production capacity is increased through 100 percent availability of raw materials, compounds, components, green tires and finished tires at all process ma­

chines. It means smaller buffer stores and reduced work in process (WIP). Your most valuable process machines, such as building machines and curing presses, are utilized 100 percent by opti­ mizing overall equipment efficiency. This unique concept uses robot tech­ nology for handling and buffer stor­ ing, integrated with warehousing and material handling systems, to create a single, end-to-end solution. Intelligent

software provides total control of the material and process flow with precise, real-time data for production and inventory management. With optimized layout design, the system requires half the space of con­ ventional solutions, while the invest­ ment in material handling is reduced by 50 percent. With the Cimcorp Dream Factory, less is more.


Meet us at RubberTech in Shanghai China, November 11-13, 2015: booth 3B551. Meet us at Tire Technology Expo in Hanover Germany, February 16-18, 2016: booth 4042.


Greetings from the North

WRITTEN BY Tanja Hovi • PHOTO BY Mikko Kiviranta

Kuusamo, Finland. Temperatures of more than 20 below and a bitter wind that stings the cheeks. Mikko Kiviranta, automation engineer, who has been taking photos of the special features of Finnish nature for the past ten years, recalls one magical night: “I was walking on snowshoes. Peaceful glows alternated with wildly dancing corona eruptions, filling up the entire sky. The landscape was lit by a full moon that elongated the tree shadows for meters deep across the blanket of snow. You certainly didn’t need a flashlight.” LOCATION DATE & TIME SHUTTER SPEED

65°58´N 29°11´E 17.3.2013 — 20:32

3.2 sec APERTURE f/4 ISO 3200 FOCAL LENGTH 17 mm

Case Study

WRITTEN BY Tanja Hovi • PHOTOS BY Matti Immonen

Pick a flavor, any flavor French apricot jam, local Finnish honey, cough drops and wholegrain crispbread: a roll container is being filled with groceries that will be shipped to anywhere in Finland within two days of receipt of order. The picking system at the Tuko Logistics Cooperative handles thousands of SKUs.


uko Logistics is located in the city of Kerava in Southern Finland and serves 40 wholesale stores, 1,000 grocery stores and 5,000 institutional kitchens daily. The Tuko product selection includes some 28,000 products. The cooperative imports foodstuffs, vegetables and fruit, detergents and other articles from the in­ ternational market. Tuko uses a terminal and distribution network that covers all of Finland. The cooperative also supports the operations of its members in the Baltic countries and Russia. The strengths of the cooperative lie in its extensive product selection, afford­ able private label products and powerful logistics. A modern control system enables the real-time handling and monitoring of products all the way from acquisition and receiving to the shop shelves. This allows the monitoring of product data informa­ tion for complete traceability. Automation increases efficiency of goods-to-person picking Finnish shops have seen their product variety triple in the last decades and the products are now more refined. The variety of products spans from the limited selections of corner shops to the tens of



1 — 2015

thousands of products available in hyper­ markets. The product selection of a shop is generally dictated by the basic selection of the chain to which it belongs. This basic selection is then supplemented with products specific to the shop. While products sell at different rates, the availability of favorites may be highly important to the consumer. Brands also gain an additional marketing benefit when they have a wide presence across store shelves. “A single brand of cough drops may have fifteen different flavors; these trans­ late to fifteen different products and EAN codes for logistics. As the number of product variants grows, the selection expands and the individual volumes of variants decrease,” says Kaarlo Svensson, Director of Logistics at Tuko. The ambient storage at Tuko has both highbay pallet storage and automated storage. In May 2013, Tuko moved over to Cimcorp gantry robot automation. The automatic goods-to-person storage and retrieval system is already being used to pick the majority – about 70% – of the orders for the SKUs in Tuko’s ambient storerooms. “We can choose which pallets we want to unload into the plastic totes in

Watch the interview with Tuko Logistics’ Kaarlo Svensson and Miikka Heiskanen

“Fifteen different flavors mean fifteen different products.” Kaarlo Svensson Director of Logistics at Tuko


Tuko Logistics

How does this picking system actually work? 4

The jam jars await collection for customer orders in buffer storage.


A pallet of apricot jam is transferred from reserve storage to automated picking for wrapping removal.


Staff load the jam jars into totes at three stations according to on-screen instructions.


The robot deposits the jar totes in intermediate storage at one of the four storage cells.


The robot retrieves a jar tote from the storage cell for a picking line.


The staff pick jars and other products for the order according to on-screen instructions, placing them in a roll container.


The robot transports the fully loaded roll container to the outgoing gate, where the voice-controlled picking system will retrieve it.

the automated storage area, which en­ ables us to fully utilize our automation’s capacity. Right now we use it to store the slow-movers, which number about 7,000 individual SKUs in 50,000 plastic totes.” Exceptional robotics and gripping technology Tuko invested in automated robotic stor­ age and retrieval as part of a larger survey of the development potential of logistics. Cimcorp was selected as their partner from a group of ten competitors. “Cimcorp’s robot and gripping tech­ nology was different from the others. Their system could be implemented in a section of our existing storage space with­ out disrupting deliveries to customers. The competing picking systems would have required more space,” says Miikka Heiskanen, Development Manager at Tuko. To facilitate automation, shelves and other previous structures were cleared. The area was cordoned off with sheets, the floor leveled with concrete and the

electrical system reworked. The first of the four robot cells or­ dered by Tuko was initially assembled at Cimcorp for product customization and testing. “This test cell was used to, for ex­ample, make unloading and picking stations more ergonomic in collaboration with the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and our own warehouse staff.” The automated goods-to-person picking system has indeed improved workplace ergonomics in both pallet unloading and product picking. At the stage where products are unloaded from pallets into totes, the work surface can be adjusted by the worker. Similarly, the roll containers will lower to a more ergo­nomic height as they are loaded with products from the totes. Return on investment Bottlenecks have been eliminated from Tuko’s unloading and picking process, thanks to robotics. Barcode readers and weighing machines prevent mistakes

in the process and ensure that logistics personnel know exactly what products and SKUs are contained in each tote, and where in storage these totes reside. “The Cimcorp 3D Shuttle enables us to retrieve any one tote in floor-based storage efficiently and without delay,” says Heiskanen. As is typical for robotic applications, the goals for automation at Tuko are to enhance process reliability and overall ef­ ficiency and to reduce costs. The Cimcorp 3D Shuttle robots allow the products to come to the picker – not vice versa, as is the case for conventional voice-controlled picking. Automation speeds up picking and directly reduces the man-hours needed. “This investment will pay for itself,” says Svensson, summing things up. Thanks to the continuous chain of or­ der and delivery, consumers will have an easier time finding their favorite flavors in shops. This is what it’s all about, after all.

Cimcorp 3D Shuttle In 2012, Cimcorp developed a gantry robot based goods-to-person picking system for Tuko Logistics that used an integrated ‘shuttle’. This system is well suited for products with low volumes. Plastic totes are used as intermediate storage for the goods and the Cimcorp 3D Shuttle enables the retrieval of any one tote in floor-based storage. The result is up to six times more efficient order fulfillment compared to conventional voice-controlled picking. The system can fully utilize all of its floor area up to a height of two and a half meters. No storage racks or forklift aisles are necessary, resulting in more efficient storage space compared to traditional warehouses. Check out these figures for Tuko Logistics:



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Storage inventory size:


Up to




2k 7k


Layer picking system provides an estimated yearly return of nearly



Benefits of Layer Picking Labor and overtime expenses diminished

Smaller warehouse footprint required by using up to 50% less space

Less warehouse equipment needed Operating hours cut back/more off-shift productivity

Improved loading efficiency through proper sequence of orders Direct trailer loading

100% order accuracy Higher throughput capabilities Damage reduced with gentle handling



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Case Study

WRITTEN BY Liz Palm • PHOTOS BY Lori Vaughan

Picking through the layers By integrating an automated robotic layer picking system, manufacturers, distributors and supply chain professionals can employ just-in-time order picking, increase efficiency, reduce labor costs, eliminate errors and ensure traceability as products move throughout the facility.


lobal supply chains are an elaborate orchestration of precise processes that enable products to routinely move from point A to point B without a glitch. One of the more complex components of this logistical symphony is accurate order fulfillment. As material flows from receiving through the warehouse, incidents can affect the accuracy and efficiency of or­ ders—whether human error, the physical distance between SKU storage areas, types of products or number of cases per order line. Materials handling and supply chain experts are turning to automation to un­ cover efficiency, accuracy and cost savings in the warehouse and distribution center to remedy these new scenarios. Automated layer picking Once product is received, orders can be filled with an automated layer pick system that includes a robot, bridge structure and software. The robot is a combination of a clamping tool and a large gantry that trav­ els on two rails. Underneath the gantry is a staging area with a pallet of every SKU the company offers. The layer-pick tool utilizes a ware­ house control system (WCS) to commu­ nicate with the warehouse management

system (WMS) and obtain order informa­ tion, including SKUs, quantities and pick­ ing sequences. The WCS then directs the layer pick tool how to build orders and manage replenishment. Once the order is built, it is moved to the loading dock. Technology in use Layer pick systems are ideal for food and beverage and consumer goods ware­ houses and distribution centers that move more than 1,000 layers per day with 50-500 SKUs picked in layer form. One example, a Canadian alcoholic beverage distributor, utilizes four robotic heads on two gantry frames to move 100 different SKUs and averages 150 layers-per-hour with each system. In contrast, one U.S.-based food manufacturer uses a two-head layer pick system with 250 pallet positions to move 400 layers-per-hour. The solution works in conjunction with an AS/RS, which automatically provides replenishment products to the layer picking system or store orders. When trucks arrive, singleand mixed-SKU pallets are collected, by layer, and easily moved to the loading dock for shipping. A leading, global manufacturer of personal health and beauty products achieves a throughput of nearly 190

layers-per-hour based on an average of 30 cases per layer. Comparatively, in fully manual picking operations, each person can realistically pick 90 to 250 cases per hour, based on any number of factors within the facility like the type of ware­ house, distance between staging areas, and more. In this scenario, the average manual picking rate is 200 cases per hour per person. The layer picking system, with two robotic heads on the gantry, can do the work of more than 30 people per shift, allowing employees to focus on other non-automated tasks. In total, this layer picking system provides an estimated return of nearly $2 million per year. This is a significant, direct impact on the company’s bottom line and a quick return on investment. Looking to the future As consumer demands cause increased order volume and SKU variety, as well as changing distribution channels with online and mobile ordering, the global supply chain will need to alter typical handling processes. These changes require the implementation of better warehouse design, intelligent software and innovative robotic solutions, in other words, opti­ mized material flow, something Cimcorp is passionate about.




Keep your finger on the pulse of automation anywhere and everywhere around the world. Join us on Twitter! 18.9.2015

A good partner is a blessing! Read further #CimcorpOy #Rittal_Ltd #automation 2.9.2015

Kroger is a shining example of innovative thinking backed by solid research and smart decision making.


Our CEO Masatoshi Wakabayashi presenting tire robot MBR700+ to the Ambassador of Japan and his wife. 26.3.2015 @WINNINGHELIX

Robottiauton meno näyttää vähän erilaiselta koska se skannaa kaistamerkintöjä ja asemoi niiden perusteella @Tiedetytot @ tili59 @toivakka 15.7.2015

Important visitors @CimcorpOy, the President of the Federation of Finnish Enterprises @suomenyrittajat @SATYyrittajat 14.7.2015


The amazing Tom Pollard presents The Future of Robotics in the Warehouse in meeting room I @promatshow in 10 minutes!! Hurry over!

Cimcorp Announces New Leadership in North America http://goo. gl/CnFCJD 24.6.2015

Job well done! After China a new project for Cimcorp at Sentury Tire in Thailand 21.4.2015 @ROBOTICSFINLAND 4.6.2015

Cimcorp 3D Shuttle enables Tuko to retrieve any one tote in storage efficiently and without delay



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Vanhankylän koulu koodaa. Pirjo Suhonen innostajana. #Ulvila 26.2.2015

It will be exciting at @promatshow! Cimcorp 3D Shuttle is a finalist for MHI Innovation Award

Perspective portrait

WRITTEN BY Tanja Hovi • PHOTO BY Matti Immonen

From squirrel pelts and euros to bitcoins “Cufflinks and a tie from a handicrafts entrepreneur in western Finland, dinner in Budapest,” Mika Impola, Software Engineer, lists his bitcoin purchases.


mpola, who is working on the develop­ ment of the cell controller software at Cimcorp’s Ulvila facility, got into virtual money by accident five years ago. “I was buying some server space from an online shop, which offered the chance to pay in bitcoins. No commission, without your own identity, like sharing contact information. Later, I came across the definition of bitcoin and I became interested.” Cryptocurrencies operate in a decen­ tralized computer network database. They are not regulated by any national bank, nor can the currency be inflated by producing more of it at will. The receiving of bitcoins does not incur brokerage fees, as in the use of online payment messaging services like Paypal or Western Union. The value of the currency is determined by supply and demand. It is issued as a geometric series - the maximum amount is 21 million, of which 14.6 million have been issued to date. Bitcoin takes advantage of an asym­ metric encryption method. Different keys are used for encryption than those

SQUIRREL PELTS were used for payment in Finland in the Middle Ages.

for decryption. All transfers are public. The same money cannot be spent twice, thanks to the distributed time-server mechanism. The entire transaction his­ tory is saved. Bitcoins have been labeled as the currency of nerds, but according to Impola, banks have started to pilot the use of bitcoins for monetary transactions between banks. Doesn’t the existence of an organiza­ tion only specialized in money transfer seem unnecessary to a bitcoin user? “In Finland there is no problem paying by debit card, and there’s no need neces­ sarily to change something that works.” Impola believes that the virtual cur­ rency will encourage inventions, create new business and revolutionize the distri­ bution of profits. “When you link automation to easy value transfer, you could even develop a vending machine for drinks, which informs you of the need for replenish­ ment and can order a repairman itself. Anybody can fill and service a vending machine and get paid in bitcoins.”


Bitcoin (BTC) is open-source; its design is public, nobody owns or controls Bitcoin and everyone can take part.



DATE 11.9.2015


Meet us at conferences and trade fairs RubberTech China Nov 11-13, 2015, Shanghai, China

Cimcorp in brief

Tire Technology Expo Feb 16-18, 2016, Hannover, Germany

As well as being a manufacturer and integrator of pioneering material handling systems for the tire industry, we have developed unique robotic solutions for order fulfillment and storage that are being used in the food & beverage, retail, e-commerce, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and postal services sectors. In addition, we offer comprehensive customer support services.

RILA Retail Supply Chain Conference Feb 28-Mar 2, 2016, Dallas, TX, USA Modex April 4-7, 2016, Atlanta, GA, USA

With locations in Finland and Canada, Cimcorp Group has around 300 employees and has delivered over 2,000 logistics automation solutions in 40 countries across five continents. Cimcorp Group – part of Murata Machinery, Ltd. (, consists of Cimcorp Oy and Cimcontracting Oy in Finland and Cimcorp Automation Ltd. (until Dec 31, 2014 RMT Robotics Ltd.) in Canada.

See more at




Cimcorp Oy Satakunnantie 5 FI-28400 ULVILA, FINLAND Phone +358 10 2772 000

Cimcorp Automation Ltd. 635 South Service Road GRIMSBY, ON L3M 4E8 CANADA Phone +1 (905) 643-9700

Brazil, China (PRC), Finland, Japan, North America, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Taiwan (ROC)

Passion for optimized material flow

Flow 1 / 2015 Cimcorp Customer Magazine  

New Tigar: Believe - Imagine - Go! “This is a long-term commitment that will help us to meet the needs of growing markets all around the wor...

Flow 1 / 2015 Cimcorp Customer Magazine  

New Tigar: Believe - Imagine - Go! “This is a long-term commitment that will help us to meet the needs of growing markets all around the wor...