The European magazine promoting the effective use of IT in supply chain applications
Special Technology Report: PRINTING & LABELLING
Interview: ELECTRIUM SALES LTD.
Also in this issue:
Supply Chain Management in the Cloud
Enterprise Asset Intelligence and the hardware to deliver it
Label management and the extended supply chain
Gain the competitive edge with the right printers
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CONTENTS Manufacturing and Logistics IT October 2016
Editor: Ed Holden
Electrium Sales Ltd.
Special Technology Report
Contributors: Ken Moir, NiceLabel Samuel Mueller, Scandit JĂśrk SchĂźĂ&#x;ler, Citizen Systems Europe Richard Scott, SATO David Stain, Zebra Technologies Paul Swaddle, Pocket App Mari Waldron, Honeywell printers
Printing & Labelling
Citizen Systems Europe: Gain the competitive edge with the right printers
Printing & Labelling NiceLabel: Label management and the extended supply chain Honeywell: Mobile printers improve productivity Seiko Instruments launches new MP-A40 Series mobile printers SATO: Application-enabled printing solutions for the manufacturing and logistics industries
Publisher: Dean Taylor Designer: First Sight Graphics Ltd, www.firstsightgraphics.com
Automatic Data Capture
Zebra Technologies: Enterprise Asset Intelligence and the hardware to deliver it Scandit: Mobile barcode scanning â€“ capturing top performance without breaking the bank
Production: Carolyn Pither
Voice Picking Circulation: Carole Chiesa
BEC: Modernising the warehouse puts Raleigh ahead of the pack Voiteq launches VoiceMan Data Analysis
IT Manager: Ian Curtis
Warehouse Management Systems Accounts: Sarah Schofield
Vanderlande: Automation paves the way for ifmâ€™s success Iptor Supply Chain Systems adds ProTrack Labour Management to Warehouse Management solution
Published by: B2B Publishing Ltd PO Box 3575, Barnet, Herts, EN5 9QD UK Tel: +44 (0) 1707 664200 Email (publishing): email@example.com Email (editorial): firstname.lastname@example.org
Chess Logistics Technology: Cloud-based warehouse stock control for e-commerce business
Eco-friendly packaging manufacturer prepares for growth with QAD ERP solution upgrade
Printed by: The Magazine Printing Company, www.magprint.co.uk
Supply Chain Management No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publishers. No liability is accepted for any action arising from the contents of this publication; readers are advised to check any manufacturerâ€™s or supplierâ€™s claim for products. The publishers do not endorse opinions expressed in any article by an outside contributor. While every care is taken over photographs and illustrations, which are returned when requested, no liability can be assumed by the publishers for the loss of such materials.
Oracle: Supply Chain Management in the Cloud Gartner announces ranking of top European supply chain organisations for 2016
Transportation Management 46
PTV Group acquires DPS and invests in Cloud-based trip planning Maxoptra helps Thornbridge Brewery keep the beer flowing
Pocket App: Mobilising the logistics supply chain
Electrium Sales Ltd.
Energising IT Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with Paul Simpson, head of residential supply chain management at Electrium Sales Ltd., about recent and ongoing enhancements to the company’s IT estate and the business and operational rationale behind the changes.
lectrium Sales Ltd. is one of the UK’s largest electrical installation equipment manufacturing companies. The company’s supply network operates throughout the UK, as well as exporting to more than 40 countries worldwide. All Electrium products are designed, manufactured and tested in accordance with British and international product standards in quality-assured and approved factories and laboratories. Each Electrium brand is well-recognised and long established with most achieving over 100 years of service to the electrical installation market – brands such as Wylex, Crabtree, Britmac, Volex Accessories and Appleby.
the company have been separated into two primary aspects; Residential and Commercial. “Commercial is more project-oriented, covering things such as large distribution boards and high power applications, while Residential is more focused on electrical wiring accessories for homes, offices and factories; under-stairs consumer units, plugs and sockets, lights etc. My colleague on the Commercial side deals with more of the highvalue, lower-volume demand, which equates to around 15 to 20 per cent of Electrium annual turnover. On the Residential side, I am responsible for the higher-volume, lower cost, fast moving products.”
From a supply chain perspective, Paul Simpson, head of residential supply chain management at Electrium, explained that since 2014 the supply chain activities within
Demand Planning In terms of the Electrium’s most recent IT deployment, the company went live with
DynaSys’ Demand Planning software solution as recently as May this year. The DynaSys sourcing and implementation project was largely led by Simpson and the Residential side of the business to deal with some of the complexities that go hand-inhand with volume and transactional activities, and all the product managementrelated aspects involved. Prior to sourcing DynaSys, Electrium largely relied on Excel spreadsheets for its demand planning processes. “The data was mined out of our SAP ERP system and downloaded into a spreadsheet, from which we sought to determine what our daily, weekly or monthly requirements were in order to satisfy product or component demand,” explained Simpson. Interestingly, DynaSys’s business consultant, Gary Shaw, worked for Electrium up until 2005. “During his time with the company Gary was involved in forecasting and the demand planning for Electrium’s retail customers,” Simpson pointed out. “He was the commercial sales lead for this aspect of the business, while also liaising closely with the operational side, which largely dealt with providing the right product at the right time in the right format for the customer.” Electrium was then acquired by Siemens in 2006. “Gary and I kept in touch over the years,” continued Simpson, “and last year he invited me to attend a supply chain conference in London, which DynaSys was sponsoring. I accepted the invitation and
Electrium Sales Ltd.
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during the event Gary explained what DynaSys solutions could offer. Upon further investigation I realised that DynaSys offered the type of statistical and scientific discipline to the whole supply chain and demand forecasting process that we were looking for within Electrium.â€? After the Electrium board had agreed to source the DynaSys Demand Planning solution, Electrium established two main sponsors for the project; Simpson, who was given responsibility for the functional outputs and requirements, and Dave Woolham, Electriumâ€™s head of IT. Simpson and Woolham then liaised closely with both Shaw and Barry Drummond, DynaSysâ€™s business development manager. Commencing in April 2015, the Electrium and DynaSys teams had a number of strategy meetings, during which the decision was made to source the DynaSysâ€™ Easy On-Boarding Demand Planning solution. Implementation then commenced during the latter part of last year, with Chris Yates, programme manager at DynaSys, becoming involved and liaising with the Electrium team, including the companyâ€™s logistics manager Karen Taylor. â€œThe whole process, from discussions with DynaSys to scoping and deploying the system has been impressively fast,â€? said 6
Simpson. â€œWhen sourcing a new system, it can be tempting to make something of a monster out of the deployment by customising its functionality to the exact perceived requirements of the whole team within the company. By doing this, systems can grow a life of their own and become rather cumbersome. However, DynaSysâ€™ Easy On-Boarding solution gave us all the key functionality that we required, whilst retaining its inherent flexibility.â€? One of the things Electrium needed to determine early on during the scoping process was whether DynaSys was able to easily extract business and operational data from its SAP ERP solution and then be able to upload the updated demand management information back into SAP while respecting the Siemensâ€™ security and confidentiality protocols. In this regard, one of Electriumâ€™s â€˜satelliteâ€™ software solutions, Phocas, became an invaluable part of the mix. Phocas was initially deployed by Electrium prior to sourcing its first iteration of SAP some 12 years ago for the purpose of mining sales and related data out of SAP on a frequent basis. â€œPhocas was already mining the data out of SAP and putting the information into a data table, so all the information we required was already mined and accessible in accordance with Siemensâ€™ security and
confidentiality protocols,â€? said Simpson. From that point it was just a case of understanding how DynaSys worked as a demand planning tool. With this in mind, DynaSys familiarised Electrium personnel on using the software with products that were unrelated to Electriumâ€™s normal range. â€œThrough this type of training and familiarising technique, we got to understand the system from a purely functional perspective,â€? said Simpson. â€œSo we were able to forget about the product detail and concentrate more on how the DynaSys system worked from a purely demand-orientated perspective without getting hung up on specific product details related to our own company.â€? Electrium then set up working groups comprising people who were going to use DynaSys as part of their daily routine, and began a training process based on utilising the system within the context of Electriumâ€™s own portfolio of products.
Sales & Operations Planning One of the key selling points of the DynaSys solution for Simpson was its Sales & Operations Planning functionality. â€œDynaSys looks at 20 different algorithms and chooses the best fit for each product based
Electrium Sales Ltd.
upon historical demand. And because Electrium deals with the retail, wholesale and export markets, DynaSys also helps us make forecast adjustments for each of these segments.â€? Simpson explained that DynaSys gives Electrium statistical validity at the granular/item level, so each product can be treated in a different way. â€œFor example, a two-gang switch socket normally attracts a very high demand, and prior to deploying DynaSys we may have held six weeksâ€™ worth of stock for the product. Because DynaSys gives us the capability to treat the requirements of each product individually, we could more easily determine that, because stock demand patterns for twogang switch sockets are so predictable it might only be necessary to keep three weeksâ€™ worth of stock, thus freeing up capital and space in the DC.â€?
ERP In terms of its ERP requirements, Electrium relies on SAP. â€œPrior to first sourcing SAP around 5 years ago, we had used an IBM AS -400 PRMS (Physical Resources Management System),â€? remembered Simpson. â€œHowever, this became increasingly customised inhouse. When users wanted to operate the system in a particular way we would append the system. With SAP you have the ability to adjust the system to your requirements while also benefitting from greater functional rigidity and reliability within the system.â€? Simpson added that, from Electriumâ€™s perspective, one of the key benefits of SAP is that users can easily mine deep within its data banks to access detailed information related to any particular item in stock or on order. However, in order to maximise the ease, speed and flexibility of accessing data related to the 14,000 SKUs in its distribution centre (DC), Electrium designed additional functionality within Phocas so that it was able more easily to present data in different groups. â€œWe group products into what we call â€˜P typesâ€™, and we can mine data out of Phocas to look at sales orders within a particular P-type group. So, essentially
the process involves accessing data within SAP at the granular level, and then analysing it as a product group within Phocas. This functionality is important in that it allows us to cluster products together, moving sideways between groups of product, and then diving down into the detail to establish what is going on.â€?
orders to ascertain which suppliers were the most reliable terms of on-time delivery etc. â€œFor a number of years now, this aspect of Phocas has been a highly respected facilitator of this type of supply chain data,â€? said Simpson.
On the sales and commercial side, Phocas was first implemented around 15 years ago. â€œThis gave the company directors the ability to analyse the activities of sales personnel and how they were responding to different targets etc.,â€? explained Simpson. â€œFor example, you could drill down to the national sales manager level for a particular brand and then you could drill down to regional teams or to individual salespeople. So it was very useful in terms of gaining a feel for what was going on in the business and determining which areas of the business needed more support.â€?
About nine years ago, Simpson and Electriumâ€™s then head of supply chain management, John Gair, sat down and discussed how the supply chain side of the commercial Phocas functionality could be enhanced so that the company could more easily drill down into customer orders to determine which customers were buying the most stock, and survey supplier purchase
In terms of warehouse management, Electriumâ€™s SAP WMS has proved itself to be a highly effective system for stock control and stock accuracy, according to Simpson. â€œWeâ€™re well into the realm of 99.9 per cent stock accuracy in the DC,â€? he enthused. â€œIt used to take four to five days to complete a stock take with our old PRMS system; now within SAP we can complete a wall-to-wall stock check â€“ every single product every single location, all 14,000 SKUs on site â€“ in less than three days. This offers major additional benefit in terms of reduced downtime when counting items. There are also the functional day-to-day benefits that you get in terms of knowing exactly what aisle and shelf location you need to go to in order to pick a particular type and quantity of product.â€? Additionally, Simpson pointed out that if an issue arises regarding a particular product on
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Electrium Sales Ltd.
customer experience, in terms of ensuring order information is stored in one electronic iteration; cutting back on the need for paperwork and the dual-keying of information,” explained Simpson. “The system also helps us to remain compliant regarding regulatory rules and regulations.” The order entry tools are SAP-based; although Electrium’s IT staff have customised these assets with some additional SQLbased functionality.
a particular day that particular product doesn’t have to be isolated within the DC universally. “If we have two different locations for the same product – one delivered on 5 September and the other on 5 October – and we find we have an issue with the batch code of 5 September, we can freeze that location while still being able to deliver the product we received on 5 October.” Simpson reflected that, because of the SAP WMS’s functionality richness, when the system was first implemented it took Electrium staff in the DC a while to determine what flags to turn on and which ones to turn off. “However, we put the time in upfront and had a particularly effective team employing that approach. So it wasn’t long before we had 40 to 50 people within the DC gaining major accuracy and time-saving benefits from the WMS during every day of the week. Because of these benefits the payback period for the system was impressively short too.”
Order entry Electrium has also developed new order entry tools over the past year. “They’re primarily aimed at providing a better
Simpson pointed out that a Lean IT methodology is something Electrium is keen to develop further going forward. “Deploying the best IT solutions, customised where necessary to our specific needs helps us minimise waste within the business, whether this relates to maximising the daily efficiencies of staff performance, keeping the right level of inventory in the DC in the best accessible locations, storing and best reacting to customer information, improving manufacturing processes and so on.” One of the more mature and long-proven IT solutions within Electrium’s IT armoury is its Gemba OEE (overall equipment effectiveness) software package. It helps Electrium to visually express objectives and performance metrics using live data, helping to drive continuous improvement where it is most needed – for example, in terms of job sequencing, maintenance, tracking and removing the need for paper-based operations wherever possible. “This is a very valuable and reliable OEE reporting tool for us,” said Simpson. “Among its benefits is its ability to track the productivity of individuals in the production area producing, assembling or labelling. Essentially this tracks and assesses output quality and yield, and formulates percentage-based appraisals which are then multiplied together to form what is referred to as an OEE statistic. We can then focus on improving performance in any area that is deemed to be under-performing. This also ties in with our in-house Lean manufacturing
regime. It’s essentially our version of the Single-Minute Exchange of Die (SMED) concept – a proven methodology for reducing waste within manufacturing processes. We refer to it as a ‘three-second pit-stop’; making changeovers as quickly as possible.”
Data capture In terms of data capture, Electrium has relied on RFID labels from Checkpoint Meto for a number of years. The company also used Motorola RF scanners in the DC for picking and packing. “We don’t actually scan specific item barcodes themselves because they are not universally applied to the products. Instead, we have a set of barcodes that we utilise for various different warehouse locations and different packaging SKUs – the packaging SKUs could contain anything from 1 item to 100.
Printing & labelling Within the Electrium Residential production facility are a number of Zebra inline printers for the generation of 2-D and QR barcodes. The barcodes are required mainly to meet the requirements of the company’s retail customers. Electrium also uses a Hand Held Products inline laser verifier, which checks the validity of the barcodes; e.g. that they are positioned at a certain level in accordance with the requirements of the customer.
Greater efficiencies In summary, Simpson said Electrium sees the value of investing in state-of-the-art IT solutions and related equipment, “The type of financial commitment we put aside for systems such as DynaSys Demand Planning is a no-brainer when you consider the business and operational benefits they can bring to the table, not to mention the enhanced service we are then able to provide to our customers.”
Unlock Supply Chain Potential
Sales & O Operations Plan nning
To better analyse, plan, simulate and optimise your Supply Chain, yo ou need a comprehensive, inte egrated and collaborative solution. A solution tha at aligns cross-functional priorities while increasing proďŹ tability. Experts in Demand & Supply Chain Planning solutions for over 30 years, DynaSys offers the DSCP suite, a solution that will optimise the strategic, tactical D and operational levels of your extended Supply Chain. BeneďŹ t from our unique expertise in Supply Chain to help deliver your organisational strategy.
Sir Stanley Clarke House 7 Ridgeway, Quinton Business Park Birmingham, B32 1AF +44 (0) 121 506 6500 www.dys.com / email@example.com
Special Technology Report
Printing & Labelling
Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with a number of experts from the vendor and analyst communities about recent developments in the world of printing & labelling technologies.
the most vibrant and fast-changing technology
with a kiosk at the grocery store – maybe all
By 2025, new US OEMs such as Local Motors
areas actively deployed within the
within the last day,” he said. “This ease of
are expected to increase adoption of
manufacturing, logistics and retail fields. Michael
technology understanding and adoption has
microfactory business models to:
Dizdar, project manager, Panorama Consulting,
driven advances to end user labelling and
opens the debate by observing that labels are
his report will consider a host of
the day-to-day lives of consumers has
current key discussion points and
significantly impacted the changes in the
tools such as jigs, fixtures, and moulds. •
Prototype parts, such as Ford’s 4-cylinder
recent and ongoing areas of
labelling and printing environments. An end-user
EcoBoost engine and F-150 exhaust
innovation and development with the
of a label mostly likely has a ‘smartphone’, has
printing & labelling space; one of
played a new video game, and/or interacted
Print parts at authorised representative locations, reducing supply chain
moving away from being a display mechanism
complexities and cost.
for static, dated data. “Gone are the days where
Viroop Narla, mobility research analyst, Frost &
a label was printed two days’ ago when a pallet
Sullivan, considers 3D printing and the
was received (and may or not be correct at the
technology’s impact on the automotive industry.
current time) to a vessel that can give updated
This, he states, has primarily been in research
and changeable information based on
and development (R&D), but OEMs are turning
transactional events and environmental factors,”
the corner into commercially printed parts for
he said. “New labelling advances from
mainstream production. Frost & Sullivan
Expansion of 3D printing in the value chain is
companies like Thinfilm allow real-time
research indicates that in 2014, 90% of 3D
expected to face multiple challenges, such as:
temperature data to be produced accurately
printing applications in the automotive industry
and timely based on the needs of the current
were for prototyping and 10% for production,
user, not what was produced in the past based
enabling OEMs and suppliers to:
• point that the pervasiveness of technology into
The high cost of 3D printing machinery and materials.
Conventional component manufacturers lobbying governments against 3D printing.
In terms of drivers for change, Dizdar makes the
Enable convenient and quick vehicle servicing to maximise customer satisfaction.
on stale information.”
Expand crowdsourcing and collaborative design to capitalise on a diverse talent pool.
Create proof of concepts with localised manufacturing.
Customer patent infringement implications for OEMs and suppliers.
Fabricate complex and unique production
Printing & Labelling
Special Technology Report
A shift from 3D prototyping to production is
hearing aids, implants and surgical tools.
voice to the item it
expected by 2030 due to:
However, they comment that while there are a
is placed on.
lot of 3DP technologies that have promise and
More and more
An expected 40% reduction in raw material
have moved beyond the proof of concept phase
we are seeing,
prices for 3D printing.
at companies, not every organisation is ready to
Price similarity: A conventionally
adopt. Further, merely adopting 3DP in a
need to connect
manufactured part now is 78% cheaper
vacuum can be a recipe for disaster, they said,
the printer to the
than one that is 3D printed; the gap is
adding: â€œThe majority of organisations still need
network so status
expected to shrink to as low as 11%.
to adapt or create new internal processes for
can be observed.
handling 3DP workflows, data, hardware, supply
Also, the ability to
Gartner analysts, Michael Shanler and Pete
chain management and products. The
connect quickly to
Basiliere, comment that the 3D printing (3DP)
mainstream media, vendor capitalists (VCs) and
industry continues to see growth, innovation and
vendors are still creating a very â€˜hypedâ€™
such as scanners
many new players. â€œWhile several of the seven
environment where 3DP can solve everything â€“
or mobile computers is key to efficiency and
3DP technologies have existed for nearly 30
from 3D-printed food to end world hunger to
years, those early tools had limitations to speed,
creating body parts so people can live forever.â€?
quality, resolution and performance,â€? they said.
Availability. People will wait for goods and merchandise if they get accurate and
â€œThey provided limited value to enterprises beyond prototyping in manufacturing. Over the
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convenient delivery commitments. Those
Internet of Things
that wonâ€™t will shop around, so inventory
last five years, the â€˜maker movementâ€™ catalysed
David Stain, senior vertical marketing manager
visibility is key and getting the stock to a
numerous 3DP activities and inspired 3DP
EMEA manufacturing, field mobility &
convenient location for the customer just as
solution vendors and end users alike to begin
healthcare, Zebra Technologies, comments that
key. Track & trace is vital to both.â€?
leveraging 3DP in ways to create brand new
developments we see taking prominence are
values and societal impacts. Many industries
the need to bring the Internet of Things (IoT) to
have moved beyond leveraging 3DP in
life in the printing/auto ID world. This, he
experiments and will be approaching an
explains, is about making the print devices
Centralisation and standardisation
inflection point within the next five years, where
visible across the user estate where there may
Ken Moir, VP marketing, NiceLabel,
executing on 3DP is industrialised into the value
be several hundred or thousand devices,
comments that, first, there is more
flagging their status, use rate and being able to
centralisation and standardisation taking
manage them from a central location.
place because companies want to increase
Shanler and Basiliere added that, recently,
the agility of their business. â€œThese types of
major aerospace and automotive companies
process optimisation benefits can mean
have leveraged 3DP to create new products
companies are able to ship product faster,
and assemblies that were previously impossible
Another development of note, according to
sell more product, have less downtime, have
to build or to shorten delivery times on orders.
Stain, is the appreciation that the labels
less product returns, reduce inventory,
â€œNew materials have been 3D-printed in the
themselves have become much more
mitigate the risk of mislabelling etc. â€“ these
retail industry to create new aesthetic and
configurable by use case; for example, new
are the key drivers for change,â€? he said.
performance characteristics, as well as to satisfy
RFID tags designed specifically to work better
Also, Moir points out that web technology now
consumers' growing appetite for personalised
on metal components, shelf-edge labels that
allows companies to do client-side web printing.
products,â€? they remarked.
peel away more easily when being replaced
â€œThis is now fully usable,â€? he said. â€œThe latest
and wrist bands for medical applications. Stain
web technology doesnâ€™t require Silverlight or
Shanler and Basiliere
considers that the drivers for change can be
Flash plugins, and doesnâ€™t require administration
also make the point
characterised as follows:
that the medical device and healthcare
Customisation. â€œBoth end user and
anywhere across the extended supply chain for
enterprises want products and components
any authorised user. It can be deployed across
that are right for them. Hence we are seeing
your own business, your stores, your franchises,
mass customisation or product variants
your suppliers, your contract manufacturers or
being produced to fulfil this need.â€?
your 3PLs etc., and all be controlled centrally.â€?
outcomes and reduced cycle times .*.0/&,(,.-.)0/+/(&*)0
rights for users to install software locally. So web-based technology can now be deployed
Visibility. â€œIn a connected world, all devices
by delivering 3D-
need to be connected and indeed the
Moir adds that the latest integration systems
outputs of a printer â€“ the tag or label â€“
and service buses also allow companies to
enable the connectivity by giving a digital
take advantage of universal templates and
Special Technology Report
Printing & Labelling
print from any device on any operating
â€œOur mobile print solutions seamlessly integrate
system. â€œSo a big part of the story here is
Greater business efficiency
with industry-leading software, meaning the set-
mobility; itâ€™s not just PCs that you can print
Ioana Nitu, product manager at ICT services
up and incorporation of the technology into
from, itâ€™s also tablets and android devices,â€?
provider Brother UK, states that the main
existing systems is straightforward. We've also
he remarked. â€œMost retail stores and
function of mobile and label printers in the
invested in the range of connectivity options
warehouses use mobile devices and itâ€™s now
manufacturing and logistics industry is to
available on our products, helping to ensure
easy to actually print from these devices. You
increase business efficiency by allowing
they're compatible with a both iOS and Android
no longer need to hard code or generate and
employees to print simply, quickly and easily
devices. Print speed has always been a key
embed printer command templates in your
while on the move, and this hasn't changed.
feature for us, coupled with the continued need
applications. This is what NiceLabel calls
However, what has changed in her view is the
for reliable, hardwearing and compact solutions.â€?
next-generation mobile printing.â€?
capabilities of the technology in facilitating this, and that is what is steering the biggest trends at
Mari Waldron, global business development
Previously, explains Moir, some vendors
the minute. â€œAs businesses across all sectors,
manager, Honeywell printers, points to key areas
would offer template printing solutions
including this one, broaden the devices they're
of development as being simplicity, ease-of-use
whereby users could design a label, print it to
using, connectivity has become more important,â€?
and connectivity â€“ with command language auto
file, take the printer command language and
said Nitu. â€œManufacturing businesses are
sense, printers automatically analysing incoming
embed it within their application. â€œHowever,
investing resource into innovative new
data streams. This, she explains, means a user
what users now want are universal templates,â€?
technology to help employees work more
can pull the printer out of the box and
he said. â€œIntegration systems now make it
efficiently while reducing costs, and any print
immediately start printing, which makes the start-
easy for iOS, Android etc. to print universal
systems need to be compatible with these.â€?
up process quick and simple for the end user.
intelligent labels; they donâ€™t need to store
â€œCustomers have come to expect user-friendly
separate templates for different mobile
Running almost parallel to this, according to Nitu,
design, including a large, multi-colour touch
devices. Itâ€™s now easy to integrate mobile
is the growth of different technology used across
screen with easy-to-use commands,â€? said
computers into label management systems
businesses and the impact this has on how
Waldron. â€œThis is driven by consumerisation
(LMS) so that users can print to any printer,
easily these different devices integrate. â€œAs
trends, which means a familiar interface and
whether mobile or fixed. It doesnâ€™t matter what
technology develops, businesses are
compatibility with consumer devices, such as
printer you use. The point is that mobile,
continuously trialing new software and hardware,
desktop or tablet computers can be easily
making it more and more challenging to ensure
integrated into LMS.â€?
these different systems are compatible with each
In terms of motivation for change, Waldron
other,â€? she said. â€œWe're finding that customers,
believes the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)
In terms of the key drivers for change, Moir
now more than ever, want mobile printers that
and the need for connectivity is driving retailers,
comments that, in addition to reduced product
integrate easily with existing systems and cause
manufacturers and supply chain firms to invest in
returns, reduced inventory, reduction in
technology to enhance their business
labelling errors, etc., there are drivers
performance. She points out that companies look
concerning legal compliance. â€œIn life sciences,
Additionally, Nitu considers that the evolution of
to connected devices to improve flexibility,
the FDA UDI deadline recently passed in the
technology over the past decade has raised the
efficiency and profitability.
US,â€? he pointed out. â€œThe next thing regarding
bar in terms of customer expectations. â€œIn
medical device manufacture is going to be the
everyday life people want solutions which have
EU medical device
an instant impact with minimal inconvenience,
and this is certainly the case in this sector,â€? she
Increased adoption of consumer technology
said. â€œCustomers are looking for high-speed,
In addition, Waldron explains that Honeywell
there will be further
compact devices that increase business
customers place a strong emphasis on ease-
efficiency and empower employees from any
of-use when it comes to technology for their
workers. â€œThis is partly driven by an increased
track and trace over
/,0*/,+)0&.+,'.-*,#/(0%/-.*,+$ %/+/$.-0 %/+"/#*"-,+$)0,.( %',(,*00 ./(* #/-.)0
Nitu added that the speed that technology has
â€œWorkers on a manufacturing or distribution
years. This is all
developed in recent years has led to a
centre floor expect the devices they use to be
naturally driving the
continuous need for investment in Brotherâ€™s
familiar and intuitive. This is particularly
need for a more
products. â€œAll of our solutions are designed with
important when hiring and training new
the customersâ€™ needs front of mind, and we
workers. For seasonal workers hired during
spend a lot of time understanding the sector and
peak times, a printer must be easy to use in
the challenges they're facing to ensure our
order for the new staff to be productive in a
products can help meet these needs,â€? she said.
short amount of time.â€?
adoption of consumer technology,â€? she said.
the next couple of
Printing & Labelling
Special Technology Report
JĂśrk SchĂźĂ&#x;ler, marketing director EMEA for
ways; for example, Bluetooth and WiFi,â€? he
patterns also helps
Citizen Systems Europe, maintains that
organisations to manage printing
omnichannel, mPOS and reverse logistic are some of the most interesting current talking
Lassus added that printers with intelligence
points where printing and labelling is involved.
onboard, such as SATO Application Enabled
â€œFor example, customers now receive and return
Printing (AEP), mean that separate printers and
goods in a variety of ways, which can be
PCs are no longer required. â€œAn application-
challenging for warehouse and logistics
enabled printer not only has its own internal
operations,â€? he said. â€œTo ensure this process is
processing power â€“ so it can connect to other
efficient and not overly costly for the goods
devices such as weighing scales, a handheld
reducing costs by
provider, it requires perfect integration. For
barcode scanner, or a keyboard, and it can print
moving pages from
instance, letâ€™s say a customer who ordered
without the need to connect to a PC â€“ but it is
printed to digital form
something online opts to pick up the
designed to be readily reprogrammable,â€? said
and printing only
merchandise in store but return it via a courier if
Lassus. â€œWith increased intelligence, printers can
when and where they
they decide not to keep it. The customer will
also monitor their status, reporting back to the
truly need physical documents,â€? she said.
receive a receipt from the store, and also a
maintenance team 24/7, and alerting them before
returns label to send back the goods. This
any problems occur. This reduces downtime as
Print providers, in turn, evaluate, transform and
places different demands on printers. The way to
well as unnecessary regular service costs.â€?
adapt to a maturing technology market and
/"-.+*0/&&"&) $.+.-/(0%/+/$.%/-.*,+$00!-'"#* %/+/$.%.+*)0
businesses' impending challenges, commented
overcome the challenge is to combine the use of mobile POS and label printers or box printers,
Also, Lassus explains mobile printers that are
Lam. â€œThe need for organisations to manage
and perfectly integrated them â€“ through Wi-Fi or
portable and easy to operate allow users to print
printing costs and move content freely back and
Bluetooth â€“ into the shopâ€™s retail system.â€?
on the move, where and when required,
forth from physical to digital is creating
regardless of having to be near a power supply
opportunities for providers,â€? she said. â€œThe need
Regarding motivation for development, SchĂźĂ&#x;ler
or infrastructure. In Lassusâ€™s view, drivers for
to better manage printing costs in organisations
explains that these changes are simply driven by
development include the continual need for
led to the growth in managed print services
the changing world and the different demands of
businesses to work more efficiently, and
(MPS) over the years. As organisations seek to
shoppers. â€œPotential customers are always online
streamline operations, with the adoption of
digitise their work processes and manage their
nowadays and they expect the same from
workflow more efficiently and effectively, print providers are investing in expanding their range
shops,â€? he said. â€œThey demand the same user
of solutions, such as data capture and retrieval
experience from the tools they use at home as they do in their professional lives. The line
solutions, document management services and
between private and professional IT is blurring
Gartner analyst, Lai-ling Lam, states that
managed content services (MCS), that help
more and more, with the user experience
providers can no longer rely on the success
companies to this end. Investment in high-
becoming a critical factor in the success of
formulae of print hardware and supplies to thrive
volume digital printing technology is increasing
implementing different technologies.â€?
in this industry. Printing cost, being one of the
as print service providers gradually shift from
nonpriority expenses, was high on the cost-
offset to digital printing.â€?
Laurent Lassus, general manager marketing &
cutting lists of most organisations. To control
product management, SATO, believes the
printing costs, Lam points out that organisations
Lam added that the growing trend toward Cloud
most current trends in printing and labelling
have embarked on projects to optimise their
delivery, digital transformation and global
printing fleets, reduce hardware purchases, and
adoption of mobile devices leads to revenue
control excessive printing and supplies usage.
opportunities for print management solutions and
printing and mobility
As a result, print volume has shrunk, followed by
a possibility for managed IT services that extend
of equipment, and
lower consumables sales. Total end-user
that they all relate to
spending on printers, copiers and multifunction
the wider Internet of
products (MFPs) has declined for the past five
years. In 2015, total end-user spending on
printers, copiers and MFPs declined 6.2% while
Printable electronics and the packaging industry
users are demanding
consumables spending for enterprises shrank
Mike Hopkins, project manager, CDi Yorkshire (a
printers that easily
13%, and the outlook for the next five years is not
special interest group of the BPIF), explains that
connect to the
expected to improve despite having small
the increase in the use of smartphones and the
network and can
pockets of growth, such as production printing.
incorporation of printed electronic solutions and
Lam comments that adoption of print
printed logic into consumer products is creating
through a number of
management tools to track and monitor printing
a global billion-dollar industry. â€œIn 2013, over 967
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Special Technology Report
Printing & Labelling
predominantly manufactured with conventional
of-the-art Printing and Labelling systems, what
were sold to
electronic components. The project is continuing
do you feel have been some of the key recent
to work to overcome the challenges of creating a
changes? Nitu believes this ties into the growing
and it is projected that
hybrid label which will be manufactured with
trend for seamless integration. “Businesses are
by 2019 sales of
both conventional and printed electronics that is
looking for one solution to help them increase
able to survive the rigorous application process
business efficiency and cost savings,” she said.
reach over 2 billion,”
and post labelling electronic quality control.
“Our customers don't care if it's different companies providing these services, so long as
he said. “The capabilities of
Hopkins explains that the printing of electronic
they work together as one solution which is why
smartphones and the
functionality will enable designers to embed
simple integration is key.” Nitu adds that due to
way in which we use
technology into their designs, creating innovative
the flexibility that technology has offered
them has changed
components that are smarter, lightweight and
businesses, customers are also now demanding
since the first
wireless without the need for expensive and rigid
bespoke end-to-end solutions that serve their
smartphones came onto the market in the late
silicon chips. “Typically, the technology has been
specific needs. “No one business and their
1990s. Today’s smartphones include touch-
embedded into RFID (radio frequency
requirements is identical, so it's important ICT
screens, high-speed internet access and NFC
identification device) tags used for tagging and
services providers spend time understanding the
(near field communications) which has altered
tracking purposes,” he said. “These electronic
company and ensuring its mobile print or
the way we interact with people, and objects,
tags (circuits) contain data which can then be
labelling solution is going to achieve optimum
conduct business and make purchases.”
transmitted back to an antenna using radio
results,” she said.
frequency signals. But NFC is an emerging As the market opportunities and demand to
technology which goes one step further. An NFC
Dizdar considers one revolutionary change to be
incorporate NFC into smart products grows,
chip, which is embedded into a device, operates
the increasing incidence of data that originates
Hopkins points out that so does the demand to
as one part of a wireless link. Once it is activated
outside of the ‘system’ (ERP/CRM/WMS, etc.)
produce high-volume printed electronic
by another chip, data can then be gathered and
and ends up being printed via a label or other
components at low cost. “This is essential to
transferred between the two devices when held
‘hard copy’ means. “Data collection is no longer
extend the reach of electronic intelligence into
a few centimetres apart.”
restricted to the four walls of a facility,” he said. “Instead, information can be obtained via any
everyday objects, where conventional siliconHopkins adds that printable electronics is
number of devices – whether a personal phone,
moving from niche applications into more
an anchored RFID reader, or a camera attached
The BPIF is involved with project SCOPE, the aim
lucrative mainstream applications. One such
to a traffic light. These different collection
of which is to develop new processes,
application area is packaging and labelling. “As
mechanisms are driving consistency and
equipment and applications – in essence
the unit price for a printed electronic system falls,
openness with the ERP/CRM/WMS vendors in
building a UK supply chain – in order to meet the
smart packaging is set to become a reality and
order to allow their customers ease of integration
growing demand for high volume (billions or
may even evolve into what futurists are heralding
even trillions) units incorporating various
as an ‘Internet of Packaging’,” he said. Hopkins
components, at low cost. It will also provide a
observes that brands, packaging companies
Waldron considers that, increasingly, users are
technology platform to develop new, innovative
and retailers are all keen to embrace this
wanting to print their own shipping label directly
and ultimately more complex and novel
technology for applications such as:
from their smartphones to reduce cost and
based electronics is unsuitable,” he said.
increase speed. “It is important for printers to
functionalities and applications, build skills and • Anti-counterfeiting/brand protection.
integrate with smartphones – supporting the
• Consumer management.
Initial concepts have been carried out to develop
• Logistics track and trace.
operating systems –
low-cost, high volume, printed logic for
• Monitoring a pack’s contents.
in order to seamlessly
capabilities and strengthen the UK supply-chain.
connect the devices,”
integration into labels, for smart packaging and product branding on fast moving consumable
“All of these functions can be framed within
she said. “For
goods for the end user. Initially prototypes were
the umbrella term ‘smart packaging’ as a set
example, a consumer
produced using a combination of conventional
of technologies that allow packaging to
needs to ship a
and printed electronics, including Labels
contain, evaluate and transmit relevant
parcel. He or she
incorporating LEDs, used for promotional
information,” he said.
books the shipment with a smartphone
purposes by one of the UK’s major fast moving
app and takes the
consumer goods manufacturers. While the prototypes demonstrated the potential for printed
parcel to a store to
electronics, the concepts have been
In terms of the relationship between some state-
ship. Using the
-0# (.-) %/-.*,+$0,-.#*')
Printing & Labelling
Special Technology Report
phoneâ€™s camera, the
that integration can, of course, cover everything
Moir points out that SAP is the ERP system of
consumer scans a
from document design and device integration
choice for many companies, particularly the
barcode from the
through to device management and developer
larger ones. â€œWe realised that more and more
storeâ€™s printer screen,
tools. Regarding developer tools, he thinks it is
companies wanted to deploy LMS and see
which pairs the device
important that users provide an SDK developer
previews of labels inside SAP before they printed
to the printer and
kit to their suppliers to allow them to use the app
them as finished labels; basically, they wanted to
in the way that suits them best. This, he adds,
see the label with the master data in the ERP
shipping data. The
can also enable the devices and the Cloud
system,â€? he explained. â€œHowever, there wasnâ€™t
platform to connect better.
an easy way to get a preview into SAP from
prints the shipping
LMS. Realising that some of our clients had
label, thereby saving
Stain said many of the Cloud challenges that
spent a considerable amount of time trying to
time and giving the
Zebra comes across are around what the
achieve this, we decided to develop an add-on
shopper a user-
company terms terminal emulation, for
for SAP, which has proved to be very popular
friendly process. Honeywellâ€™s PC43d printer
companies that want their brand on the label,
with our customers. We are now looking to
offer a hi-res, colour display to enable this
and also want standard format and standard
develop similar pre-built solutions for other
process.â€? Another trend highlighted by Waldron
label sizing. â€œThese companies want the format
systems so that more companies are able to
involves the use of smartphone apps and
of that printer to be able to be emulated across
achieve faster time to value.â€?
mobile printers in transportation & logistics
all the devices on their estate,â€? he explained.
space. â€œDelivery drivers are being utilised for
â€œThis is an area where the Cloud can really reap
In SchĂźĂ&#x;lerâ€™s view, one key change that stands
other doorstep services, such as collecting
benefits because you can place your template in
out is the relationship between mobile and back-
parcels, for which a receipt or label would be
the Cloud for, as an example, front of store for
office systems, which is so close that they have
needed,â€? she said.
houseware and this can then be downloaded by
to become one system. â€œThis combination helps
each store as a when they are need it.â€?
enterprises to work more efficiently by reducing
Stain believes touch to pair on devices is without
time and increasing precision,â€? he said.
a doubt of massive benefit to enterprises that see a huge time saving as configuring printer to
scanner or mobile computer, is done in seconds
Stain adds that in the retail world â€˜convenienceâ€™,
â€“ almost like the speed difference between
is becoming the watchword; hence the click &
What are the current key discussion points
contactless card payment transactions and the
collect and home delivery markets are
concerning convergence within the printing &
PIN number method. Stain also makes the point
developing to fulfil the consumer need, as well
labelling technology space? Dizdar comments
that manufacturing is in the midst of Industry 4.0
as seeing into other store branchesâ€™ stock levels
that convergence is a consequence of
(the 4th Industrial Revolution). â€œThat means one
to check availability. In terms of the healthcare
technological advancement, thus it is a
of the key elements is better visibility of material
market, Stain points out that Positive Patient ID is
positive force for the end user and the
flow through the line extending right back to the
the cornerstone of secondary healthcare. He
marketplace. â€œEnd users are going to
supply chain = AIDC and RFID deployment,â€? he
also makes the point that, with the digitalisation
continue to demand increasing functionality
said. â€œTransport & logistics business are seeing
of records, administration of the right treatment
from any technological device in the future,â€?
parcel delivery increasing and the need for
and medication is now much more accessible.
he said. â€œTechnology that can only perform a
accurate time slot of delivery. Waiting in all day
â€œIn hospital, that means giving the patient a
single task is going to be seen as outdated
for a parcel is no longer acceptable for the
digital voice via a wristband,â€? he said.
when compared to other multi-function
consumer. 30- and 15-minute delivery windows
technologies. For example, the ability to take
are here along with a stream of notification
Lassus believes the methods of communications
a picture via a
capabilities to the customer on status of
have seen the most development. â€œBluetooth-
smartphone is now
enabled printing has been available for a
number of years, but now printers are being built
for many purchasing
with SIM cards and 3- and even 4G capabilities,â€?
a camera to take
SaaS and Cloud
he said. â€œNear field communication (NFC) is also
pictures is now
In terms of device integration, Stain points out
being introduced into equipment which allows
unthinkable. From a
that Zebra offers Cloud Connect, which allows
users to simply copy the settings from a printer
Link-OS printers to interact with the Cloud. It also
to an Android phone, so they can send the same
drives areas such as SAP or Oracle ERP
settings to other printers while they are switched
integration as well as Zebraâ€™s Link OS PDF Direct
off. The NFC also allows usersâ€™ phones to view
capability that allows the printing of PDF
some of the printerâ€™s settings which is an
(with printing as one
documents without middleware. Stain explains
advantage for service.â€?
of the basket of
,-''!0/-(/)0%',(,* -.&./-# 0/+/(&*)0
Special Technology Report
Printing & Labelling
functions) for a device will be seen as
smaller environmental footprint and efficient use
access data via
commonplace and necessary at a minimum.â€?
of valuable space. We also see this in the field
labels or printed
for connecting mobile workers and enhancing
Moir believes there will be an increasing level of
productivity. Logistics and direct-store-delivery
convergence in terms of, for example, labelling
firms are implementing PrintPads which combine
and direct marking solutions. A good case in
a mobile computer and a printer, vehicle-mount
SchĂźĂ&#x;ler reflects that
point is the dairy company he referenced earlier,
printers and wearable printers.â€?
labelling & printing are commodity
which has adopted a NiceLabel LMS solution that satisfies both its labelling and marking
Stain explains that Zebra is putting labels on hot
requirements. Moir is also seeing convergence in
ingots of steel for Tata Steel. â€œIf you have this
â€œThey might be
the ability to access label master data from ERP
type of convergence capability regarding
enhanced in a way
and MES on mobile devices such as
adhesives and labelling within the business it
that they are APP like
smartphones and tablets; as well as on desktop
starts to open up many more avenues of
PCs. â€œAgain, the requirement for greater
application,â€? he said. â€œI think part of the
systems, so for the
standardisation and centralisation is driving
challenge for many print companies is they donâ€™t
next year or two I think usability might be the
conversion,â€? he said. â€œWe also see that more
have a print supply business, whereas Zebra
main focus,â€? he said. Waldron believes linerless
and more companies want to reduce IT
does. In terms of marking, from etching through
media presents interesting, environmentally
complexity because this also helps to reduce
to direct part marking, our scanners can read
friendly opportunities in printing and labelling in
costs and unplanned downtime, as well as save
both.â€? Stain added that tap to pair is another
industrial applications. â€œWhen printing linerless
time and increase agility.â€?
convergence where NFC enables printer and
labels, backing paper, which may end up in
scanner to be paired swiftly.
land-fill, is eliminated,â€? she explained. â€œIn
Stain considers that technology will continue to
tripping over any backing paper hanging off a
offers the chance to choose best of breed
advance, but believes we need to remember
printer in linerless printing.â€?
solutions,â€? he said. â€œBesides that, IT isnâ€™t any
that many enterprises want scalability. â€œSo even
addition, there is no risk of workers slipping or
SchĂźĂ&#x;ler sees the convergence trend as very positive. â€œThe acceptance is much higher and it
,.0 '!,+&)0 !-'.#*0%/+/$.-)0, '-& ,-.00/0&!.#,/( ,+*.-.&*0$-'"!0'0* .0
longer a secret or bad things. Most people fully
though sensing technology could be seen as a
Waldron added that the future of the printing &
understand that it is making their work life and
threat to the printed barcode, having a portfolio
labelling marketplace will be dynamic as
private life much easier.â€? Lassus also believes
that embraces both positions the supplier in a
companies look for ways to reduce costs and
the convergence of technology is a good thing
more strategic light with customers as it gives
increase productivity. â€œConsumers and retailers
for manufacturers. â€œWith printers using the same
them choices as to which technology to deploy
are increasingly moving away from printed
common languages to communicate, installation
based on use case and density of visibility
receipts and instead receiving their confirmations
and operation will become much easier, so users
and invoices by email,â€? she said. â€œPrinter manufacturers need to continue to find new ways
can ensure their workplace runs more efficiently,â€?
to deliver solutions that still provide Return on
Investment where demand is reduced.â€?
In general, Waldron considers technology
What might be the next key
convergence to be a positive trend. â€œToday,
innovations/developments to look out for over
Stain believes we will see the 2D barcode get
businesses face constant pressure to do more
the next year or two within the printing &
a lot smaller; to micro label size. â€œThis can be
with less,â€? she said. â€œMore often, enterprises are
labelling technology space? Dizdar
very valuable from a security and authenticity
looking at Smart Printing, in which the printer
anticipates continued development of the
(fake product) standpoint, for example,â€? he
runs apps and
ability for a printed document or label to give
said. â€œZebra has already supplied micro
doesnâ€™t require a
â€˜real-timeâ€™ information in a proactive instead
labelling to a number of electronic
computer, to support
of a reactive manner. â€œInstead of a label
manufacturing businesses. This means the
â€˜waitingâ€™ to be accessed by a user, the label
companies are able to identify small parts very
can help reduce
will utilise rules and data to determine when
easily and readily using 2D barcodes with scan
costs as a company
to inform due to changes in the entity that is
capabilities on the other machines. Therefore, I
does not need to
labelled,â€? he said. Another development,
believe marking, and certainly 2D printing, will
invest in additional
states Dizdar, is to continue to allow for a
increasingly become not just about ID; we will
computers to support
user outside of a closed system to access
also start to see more security features too.â€?
their printers. Smart
data via a label or printed document. â€œThis
Stain also maintains that interoperability
Printing also leads to
will allow organisations to market better
between devices will grow, and that will yield
transparency between themselves and the
unprecedented ease of use, configuration and
end customer due to the end userâ€™s ability to
manageability. Also, he believes the ability to
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Printing & Labelling
Special Technology Report
embed identity into a small form factor will help
Narla considers that the future price of 3D
however, their revenue
lead to an age of total transparency.
printing is expected to stagnate if speed,
Hopkins observes that developments in smart
machinery technical capabilities, software usage,
remain a small part of
and connected electronics applications are
and material specifications do not change
the overall print
opening up significant new market opportunities
significantly; conventional manufacturing
industry. Lam adds that
in areas such as e-health, intelligent packaging
techniques are still expected to dominate.
total enterprise print spending will still shrink
and wearable technology (IoT technology). Hopkins reminds us that the Internet of Things
He added that the cost of difference between
throughout the forecast
describes a world in which every day physical
conventional manufacturing and 3D printing is
period. However, “the
objects or ‘things’ are embedded with
expected to shrink to only 11% by 2030 based
shift to Cloud,
electronics, sensors and connectivity which
on close parity to raw material prices. A
enable them to exchange data with the
summary of some of the key future indicators
mobility and digital
manufacturer, operator and/or other connected
regarding 3D printing from Frost & Sullivan’s
business transformation are opening up
perspective is as follows:
opportunities for print providers to sell related
He adds that, although embedded computers
MCS solutions”, she said. Large-scale commercialisation of 3D printing
have been able to communicate wirelessly for
is expected to bring about faster and
Shanler comments that while there are myriad
years, the majority of these have been closed
localised production, but only by achieving
options for 3D printing of concept ‘non-
systems that are only able to communicate with
economies of scale.
functional’ prototypes to assist with iterative
Current high cost of materials and
design and feedback, users could consider
a central computer. “With the Internet of Things,
devices are able to communicate with other
machinery, and low printing speeds, prohibit
driving 3DP for creation of ‘functional
devices,” he points out. “They have the ability to
prototypes’. “This could mean leveraging more
Only very-low-volume production can be
advanced 3DP technologies, such as powder
(such as RFID and NFC), are able to report on
undertaken when tooling investment is
bed fusion and directed energy deposition, that
activities worldwide through sensors, and they
may deliver more exotic materials than
communicate through wireless technologies
can be controlled or accessed from anywhere in
the world. The Cloud provides the power to store and exchange information, irrespective of location.” Hopkins explains that we are able to: •
Connect to things simply by scanning them
Prices decline exponentially as quantities
traditional acrylonitrile, butadiene and styrene
increase since cost is spread over
(acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) plastics,” he
said. Shanler added that using 3DP for
In the future, low prices for materials and
prototyping can assist with reducing new
machinery are expected to lower production
product development schedules via faster,
frequent and more insightful feedback when in
Printing time and material availability
the concept/ideation, research, development
Monitor things remotely.
challenges still expected to prohibit wide
and beta-testing phases.
Manage things better, from traffic flows to
adoption and stagnate prices.
with our smartphone.
Moir considers that IoT will increasingly
use of energy within the home. •
Control things, such as smart thermostats.
Lassus believes the next generation of printers
empower managed print services (MPS) and
will have look and feel of tablets and
predictive maintenance etc. He anticipates that
smartphones, becoming PCs that print, rather
further Cloud and Software as a Service (SaaS)
than simply printers. “Users will come to expect
development will also continue to change
Project SCOPE, in which the BPIF’s role is to
a similar user experience throughout their
things. “In the near future, LMS could move to a
connect the technology and technology
industrial applications as they find in their typical
model that’s something similar to Office 365,
providers to the packaging industry, began in
day-to-day personal lives,” he said.
and a lot of this will be multi-tenancy in the Cloud,” he said. “I think when people become
late 2014 and will conclude in the middle of next
more confident about having business-critical
year. Towards the end of the project the BPIF will
Lam comments that weak demand for print
devise awareness and training programmes to
hardware and consumables will remain the main
manufacturing applications in the Cloud this will
inform the industry of the new opportunities that
challenges for print vendors as demand for
become more prevalent. It is possible that
the technology will open up. Hopkins points out
printed pages stagnates or declines, and
smaller users will move to this type of solution
that of particular importance will be the
content moves from paper to digital. She adds
before some of the large businesses, then more
brainstorming with the technology experts to
that consumables spending will fall at a faster
and more companies of all sizes will adopt it.
understand the potential applications of the
pace than hardware spending within the forecast
The main point is the Cloud and SaaS will
technology both now and in the future and how
period. Lam also maintains that print services
change LMS in the future. Indeed, I think we will
the label industry in particular can integrate into
and solutions will become growth drivers that
start to see SaaS LMS in the Cloud within the
their production runs.
place print vendors in front of enterprises;
next few years.”
Printing & Labelling
Gain the competitive %% $#&#%& $#& $!#% "& -2("*1-#2%.-1/0,$2'0-1(/+-22+-20/01,2!)/1%)2 -+&1#21&*.0,)2"+ &.!0,$2.//1,/0+,2/+2/"12/"0,$)2/"./2.-12+/1,2(+,)0'1-1'2)%.**2'1/.0*)#20,2&.-/0( *..-(+'12.,'2*.1*2&-0,/1-)#20**2"1*&2*+$0)/0()20-%)2%.1210(01,(!20%&-+1%1,/) .,'2$.0,2.2(+%&1/0/0121'$120,2/"12)./ -./1'2*+$0)/0()2)1(/+-
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ith more than 63,000 companies operating in the sector, the UK logistics environment has arguably never been more competitive. New small businesses and the consolidation of larger companies, combined with increasing fuel prices and the fluctuating value of sterling, has resulted in significant pressure on prices and therefore margins.
Everything from transportation management systems to unmanned robotics is now a possibility for the logistics industry, yet it is often the smaller elements that can have the biggest impact on operations. Take printers, for example. They are an essential fixture in any warehouse for producing documents, slips and labels that if specified correctly can streamline processes and boost productivity, but if not can waste resources, cause considerable delays and, ultimately, eat into profits. This is especially true when it comes to barcode label printers as poor image reproduction can result in rejected deliveries and the associated significant, unnecessary costs that come from extra transport and administration fees. In the case of shipping perishable goods, these costs can be particularly steep and cause weighty damage to a supplierâ€™s bottom line and reputation. Equally, some printers are not designed to withstand the demanding warehouse environment and will succumb after only
short operating lives, requiring frequent replacements and resulting in yet more unnecessary dents in the budget. The job calls for rugged devices that can cope with challenging environments and consistently produce high quality, fast and reliable results over high volume workloads if tangible time and cost savings are to be realised. In response, market leading printer manufacturers that understand the challenges experienced by the logistics industry have been developing technology that delivers exactly that to help firms manage costs, achieve the best possible return on investment and maximise profitability. The latest generation of industrial desktop printers, such as the CL-S700 from Citizen Systems, are specifically designed to provide extreme efficiency over long operating lives in busy warehouses. These robust yet compact machines offer high performance printing at up to 10 inches per second and excellent quality definition for accurate DataBar, QRCode, Datamatrix and PDF417 reproduction.
Indeed, considering the growing opportunities in emerging markets, the competitiveness of the sector is only going to intensify in coming years. Itâ€™s therefore becoming increasingly critical that logistics firms focus on finding new ways to save time, increase efficiency for enhanced performance and deliver greater value to customers. In his foreword to the Freight Transport Association (FTA) Logistics Report 2016, FTA chief executive David Wells pinpointed greater technical innovation as a key opportunity, and one which has the potential to make UK logistics firms among the best in the world. This could not be truer, as the technology is there for the taking.
simple operation and feature USB, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, as well as iOS and Android compatibility, meaning that they can be operated using a standard mobile smartphone or tablet with suitable software or an application.
They are also ideal for the logistics industry where space is often at a premium as they include clever features like vertical opening, which does not expand the already small footprints of the units when the lid is opened for media or ribbon changes. Another innovation in the printer market that is delivering huge benefits to logistics companies is the introduction of mobile printers. Harnessing the increased capabilities of mobile devices, these industrial handheld units are an ideal solution for quick and easy label and receipt printing. They have been specially designed for
Unlike some other mobile technologies, these printers are built to last and withstand tough, frequent use. Citizen’s CMP-40L, for instance, is IP54 rated and made with a durable and shock-resistant moulded plastic housing that means it can survive being dropped from up to 1.8 metres and keep on running. These models also provide exceptionally long battery life and ample media capacity for reliable operation over long periods of time without having to be charged or the media being changed.
Reduced risk of errors As well as providing a high quality print output, convenient mobile printers can help logistics firms to achieve substantial time
c, e p s High dget! u b w o l
Printing & Labelling savings and increased productivity by eliminating the need for unnecessary trips backwards and forwards between a point in a warehouse and an office, where a static printer might otherwise have been located. Similarly, this instant, on-the-spot printing in situ reduces the risk of errors. The units are also extremely quick and easy to set up and configure and require minimum maintenance for uninterrupted label and receipt production. Consequently, the time saved can be spent elsewhere on other areas of the business that perhaps require more attention for better operational efficiency. Although the competitiveness of the sector might be daunting, there are routes that individual businesses can take and options that can be explored for enhancing operations and delivering greater value. Giving due attention to the smaller details – even down to the label and receipt printers in a warehouse – can create significant improvements in efficiency, productivity and profitability that give logistics firms the competitive edge.
Citizen CL-E720 If you‘re searching for a printing solution that can help you to achieve efficiency savings, look no further! The CL-E720 is packed with features usually reserved for higher class machines. It is a highly reliable and cost effective printer, perfect for busy environments. Further key benefits: • Space saving design • Hi-Open™ Case • Easy media loading • Simple maintenance operation Scan for more Info.
MANUFACTURING www.citizen-systems.com 19
Printing & Labelling
Label management ! #%&%#%!%&"&$! !21,2+0-#2 2%.-1/0,$#20(1.1*2 different label printers, and continuous inkjet printers (CIJ) at dairies around the world. Each dairy would undertake its own type of integration with the Manufacturing Execution System (MES). There were also a number of local IT companies providing integration support for connecting the printers to the MES. This resulted in escalating IT costs or sometimes even unplanned downtime.
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or many years, label design was largely something that was undertaken using a software package installed on a PC. However, todayâ€™s state-of-the-art web-based printing and labelling solutions can allow companies to maximise value for their own businesses â€“ and their partners â€“ by providing a single, scalable platform to manage all their global labelling and marking management needs. At NiceLabel, we call this new category of solution LMS (label management systems). Initially it was mainly the larger companies that began to deploy this type of technology. Now, based on the compelling deliverables enjoyed by these enterprise-level organisations, we are seeing an increasing number of smaller companies taking on board this type of solution â€“ and across all core vertical sectors.
The silo issue
Some production lines had no integration and the printers where operated standalone with manual data entry. If a user typed in the wrong best-before date, the item would ship to, say, a large supermarket chain and it would be rejected, and would be scrapped because it was perishable. Lost sales can naturally have a serious effect on a companyâ€™s profitability. Even if this amounts to just 1% of a companyâ€™s turnover this could equate to millions of Pounds. So the cost of LMS software is completely irrelevant by comparison.
marking needs. This allowed the company to benefit from having a single unified solution with standardised integration with the MES at each dairy to automate the printing process. The company can now provide all its dairies with this pre-built integration. Also, because itâ€™s a single solution â€“ rather than various different methods of integration â€“ the company can provide its own centralised global 24/7 support. This results in significant reductions in IT costs as well as a more consistent, centralised means of support, which results in less unplanned downtime, which helps to secure a fast return on investment (ROI). However, the really big numbers are to be found in less rejected product due to more accurate data entry.
Therefore, the company decided to move away from relying on many different printing and labelling systems throughout their dairies globally and standardise on one LMS for all its labelling and marking requirements. It initially approached some of its existing providers of labelling and marking solutions to come up with a standardised solution, but this proved not to be forthcoming, largely due to different providers only being able to support their own printing equipment.
Another NiceLabel client within the food & beverage sector is a Belgian bakery company that sells freshly prepared sandwiches in its stores. Because people need to queue to buy their fresh sandwiches during busy periods, the company wanted to find a way to sell sandwiches pre-packed. However, when sandwiches are pre-packed a label must be put on the package in order to comply with allergens and nutrition regulations. With NiceLabelâ€™s centralised web printing solution managed at the companyâ€™s HQ, staff at all its stores can now simply log in, access the solution and print the labels out on-site. This queue-busting advantage means the company now sells more sandwiches.
Standardised integration Extended supply chain
Within the food & beverage industry, for example, one of the largest global dairy companies is standardising on a NiceLabel LMS. Previously, they relied on a number of
The remedy was for NiceLabel to share the dairy companyâ€™s vision and develop standardised drivers not just for its labelling requirements but also for its direct
Greater control and collaboration within the extended supply chain is now more important than ever. Take the retail sector,
for example. NiceLabel works with a number of retailers on supplier labelling. In the case of a leading luxury goods retailer, our LMS was initially deployed within a number of regional warehouses, then to several manufacturing sites and has now just been rolled out across the business. The next stage of development for the retailer is to deploy the solution within its branded shops so that labels and tags can be reprinted in store so products don’t have to be sent back to the warehouse, which could result in lost sales opportunities.
More than a million companies use NiceLabel technology to reduce the complexity of barcode labeling.
Brand protection Also, from a brand consistency and brand protection perspective, the retailer is now able to control suppliers’ labelling activity and to be able to stop production overruns by building-in anti-counterfeiting RFID methodology that can be controlled via the web. [subhead] Quality or regulatory compliance Any company that relies on a quality management system to remain ISO 9001 compliant should consider LMS as it provides similar quality controls and procedures for the entire labelling process. Highly regulated industries such as life sciences (medical device manufacturers and pharmaceutical) require a centralised, standardised labelling solution and it is critical in order for these companies to remain compliant. Regulatory requirements are very similar in both the medical device and pharmaceutical sectors. In the US, for example, both are regulated to 21 CFR Part 11, part of the Code of Federal Regulations that establishes the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations on electronic records and electronic signatures (ERES). One of NiceLabel’s clients in this area is pharmaceutical manufacturing company Krka, which delivers medications to more than 70 countries worldwide. The company has centralised and standardised its labelling operations with NiceLabel’s LMS. The solution has improved Krka’s master data management, streamlined compliance and provided a next-generation system to support future growth.
Find the solution that best meets your needs
Start producing professional labels without IT help.
Complete system Labelling systems have moved away from being a ‘box’ to becoming a complete business system offering greater agility and empowering business users to streamline the whole labelling process. It’s about not relying so much on IT; for example, for making label change requests. We see this need across all industries and among all sizes of company. Companies want universal intelligent labels and the ability to consolidate label variations. They also want to mitigate risk and optimise processes by being able to seamlessly integrate with the ERP’s or MES’s master data. NiceLabel is dedicated to helping businesses to modernise and achieve significant financial and productivity gains from their labelling process. We call this ‘print productivity’.
Streamline label printing to control labour costs and eliminate errors.
Standardize your entire labeling process to meet quality requirements.
Streamline your labeling
Printing & Labelling
Mobile printers $ % #$$# !2.-02.*'-+,#2$*+.*2 )0,1))2'11*+&%1,/2%.,.$1-# +,1!1**2&-0,/1-)
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usinesses are faced with more and more complex supply chain requirements, including shorter delivery times, the need for greater accuracy and pressure to reduce costs. Companies need to optimise their processes to prevent disruptions that can lead to supply shortages, financial losses and damage to a companyâ€™s reputation. One of the unsung productivity tools in the supply chain is the mobile printer, which is used for packaging and labeling of goods, spare parts and shelves. Virtually every product needs a label: during storage, repackaging for short-term storage and eventually shipment. These processes involve a high potential for error if distribution centre or manufacturing staff have to pick up labels from a stationary printer. To avoid duplication of work, they may print the labels in groups and fix it to
the corresponding package. In this method, they risk applying a label incorrectly, which leads to delays in processing or an error in the delivery.
printers are the ones that are constructed on a solid cast metal frame and protected with metal die-cast covers.
Mobile printers can solve these challenges and enhance operations in industrial and warehouse environments considerably. By attaching printers to vehicles such as forklifts, they save valuable time and reduce errors. Labels and receipts are printed immediately and directly attached. These mobile receipt and label printers must meet high demands because the floor of the manufacturing or distribution centre â€“ or on the loading dock â€“ presents a
Print in confined spaces On the manufacturing or distribution centre floor, space is incredibly valuable and the smaller the printer, the less space it occupies. Compact printers must have the flexibility to be installed in a variety of configurations on-site using additional brackets and mounting plates. In addition to the normal standing position, printers may be installed vertically, on the wall or even upside down.
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number of challenges such as confined spaces and harsh environments. The following tips and recommendations will help operations managers select a mobile printer that meets their needs.
Durable design Fork trucks present a challenging work environment for printers. The devices are exposed to harsh conditions for long periods of time. Printers must be able to handle shock, vibration, high and low temperatures and humidity throughout the day. For these rigorous industrial environments, the successful rugged
Easy access to electrical power is important. During space planning, owners should consider placing a charging station in a central location to avoid work interruptions. With a voltage converter, a mobile printer can be connected to the fork truckâ€™s battery. To avoid damage in this configuration, mobile printers should offer power spike and vibration detection.
Small but powerful Users should also make sure that the device is easy to use and powerful enough to meet their needs. For example, the new model of Honeywellâ€™s MP
Printing & Labelling • High print quality. • Direct thermal and thermal transfer printing. Performance • Option for processing wide label rolls. • Larger rolls mean fewer changes and interruptions of work. • Connectivity to voltage onboard industrial trucks. Ruggedness • Resistance to extreme temperatures, moisture, drops, shocks and vibrations. • Protective housing, such as cast metal. • Additional brackets for multiple mounting positions.
Compact printer weighs less than eight pounds, making it easy to mount on tables, walls or a mobile cart or forklift truck. It supports higher media capacity to reduce the frequency of reloading media during a single shift, ultimately helping to boost productivity. The Honeywell MP Compact printers support large label rolls, which are typically less expensive to produce and thus cheaper to buy.
Ease of use A user-friendly design is significant when choosing a new printer. To prevent loss of time when changing media, it is important that the printer can be easily operated by workers wearing leather or rubber gloves. Look for a printer that allows fast reloading by using a paper feeding form or a slot on the side of the device. Ideally, rolls can be changed without an employee having to open any doors or removing covers. Parts should be interchangeable and not require special tools to replace. Finally, printers should support quick and easy integration into existing IT infrastructures.
spare parts. In some extreme cases, certain printers may not have spare parts readily available. Also important to consider is having access to maintenance service and support that is available around the clock to fix defects quickly.
Intuitive operation • Easy operation by workers with leather or rubber gloves. • Intuitive label feed.
The following is a checklist that buyers should consider for choosing the correct mobile printer:
Quick integration into existing IT infrastructure • WLAN (802.11 a / b / g / n) with WPA2 security protocol. • Connectivity options: USB, serial connection, Ethernet. • Compatibility with common software.
Printer type • Compact, mobile printer solutions for more flexibility in the supply chain.
Low total cost of ownership • Availability of products and spare parts. • Service and support options.
Long-term thinking When selecting printers, buyers prioritise which devices offer the lowest possible total cost of ownership, which includes factoring in costs for service, repair and
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Printing & Labelling
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eiko Instruments USA Inc. (SII) Thermal Printer Division, recently launched a new mobile printer line, the MP-A40 Series. The printer offers a 100mm/second print speed and is said to be able to withstand multiple drops from up to 6.6 feet. With up to a 4-inch paper width, and weighing just a little more than 1.5 pounds, the MP-A40 Series mobile printers are built tough â€“ but that doesn't mean they lack in style or simplicity. With intuitive drop-in paper loading and easy access button, the printers offer a smart and robust design that fits into the palm of your hand, or belt clip; a small carry-on case offers the option of over-the-shoulder transport.
Printing & Labelling
and Wi-Fi capabilities, providing added value and easy transition from cable to wireless communications.
Ergonomically designed The MP-A40 Series mobile printers are ergonomically designed to be used in â€˜front-of-houseâ€™ verticals like retail and hospitality, but also have the ruggedness and strength for usage in areas such as direct-store-delivery, warehousing and logistics, field service, and public utilities. Other important features of the new mobile printer line include compatibility with the latest operating systems, including Windows 10, as well as SDK availability for both Android and Windows CE print class libraries for added mobility. The printer also offers auto-detection Bluetooth interface
"At a time when today's end users are looking to further mobilize their business processes, it was only natural that the MPA40 mobile printer line was designed with these trends in mind," said Kaz Onishi, vice president of Seiko Instruments USA. "In addition, our partners are realising the demand from their customers for this technology, which is something that was at top of mind during our research and development process."
Epson Europe appoints &$ %# &# %% #%& %$!&""#$!$$#&$#%!#"
o enhance and accelerate sustainability commitments to customers, employees and the communities in which it operates, Epson Europe has announced that Henning Ohlsson, managing director for Epson Deutschland, will also take on the new role of Epson corporate social responsibility (CSR) director for Europe, Middle East and Russia (EMEAR). Epson, provider of printing, wearable devices, robotics and visual communications solutions â€“ comments that the appointment formalises the company's long-standing commitment to sustainability in Europe, building on a global CSR track record that stretches back eight decades to actions taken in the 1940s.
Epson's forward-thinking on the environment is contained in its Environmental Vision 2050, established in 2008 as a long-term guide for environmental action, which includes the goal of reducing CO2 emission by 90% across the lifecycle of all of its products and services by 2050. 24
Sustainability Report Ohlsson's appointment coincides with the publication of Epson's Sustainability Report 2016, a new downloadable document detailing the company's CSR actions in the development of environmentally responsible products, initiatives to develop its own human resources with diverse values and capabilities, steps taken to enhance corporate governance and volunteer programs launched in communities local to Epson operations. Rob Clark, senior vice president, Epson Europe, said: "Bold sustainability actions are our duty as a leading technology manufacturer, considering the scale of the environmental and social challenges that the world faces. More than ever, sustainability actions are also a business imperative, helping us to deliver differentiated value to our customers, retain and attract the best talent in the industry, and enhance the communities in which we
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live. Henning's role in leading our CSR initiatives across Europe is therefore critical to our long-term success across the region." Ohlsson commented: "My role as CSR director will include amplifying the environmental benefits of our product range, ensuring our regulatory compliance, and raising employee awareness and engagement in local and regional CSR initiatives. I'm proud to lead this effort and to work for a company that takes its environmental responsibilities so seriously."
Embodiment off ef e ﬁciency Streamlined: Ever y thing you need to get it done d , nothing you don’t. How do we do streamlined? Strip away the distractions. Leave behind all the ﬂ ash, ﬂuf f, and ﬂourish. Streamlined is ever y thing you need to do the job, nothing you don’t . It’s straight for ward, focused, economical – the embodiment of ef ﬁciency. And when it means making the labeling par t of your job fast , easy, and on demand: It’s the new PC42t Desk top Printer. For more information, please visit w ww.honeywellaidc.com/produc cts/printers/desktop © 2016 Honey well International. All A rights reser ved.
Printing & Labelling
Application-enabled printing "#$!" &#%&!# $!&!&$"#$"&$!"# $%" !20(".-'2(+//#2 -+&1.,2&-+' (/2%.,.$1-#2 technologies to make the production of labels and tags more flexible and cost-effective. While businesses want label printing solutions that are tailored to their individual needs and work processes, too often they are offered a standard non-intelligent package that either does far more than they need and is complex to install and maintain, or one that must be laboriously built up from a kit of parts. The result can be multiple labels where one would suffice, plus wasted staff time and resource. :2,95/=$2866"=-7:;<77<7=95<=94)9+7=488#:;3=.85 )9+7=68=)85#=*<66<5=9;/=185<=<..:2:<;64+%=9;/=8;< 95<9=),<5<=1985=39:;7=95<=0877:*4<==<70<2:944+ :;=19;-.926-5:;3=9;/=483:76:27==:7=05:;6:;3(
n the age of the Smart Phone, almost everyone is familiar with â€˜appsâ€™- or applications - in mainstream technology, which allow users to take a standard piece of equipment and adapt it with software to easily configure a device that is perfectly suited to the individualâ€™s use. Perhaps what is less well known or considered however, are the huge benefits that this technology holds for the business world.
It should come as no surprise that the leading printer manufacturers are now incorporating this ability for end-users to customise their product, giving the concept of customer satisfaction a whole new meaning by helping businesses streamline their printing processes. In this paper, I will discuss how Application-Enabled Printing technology is offering manufacturing and logistics environments sophisticated and flexible solutions which are set to revolutionise the way we do printing. Businesses are always looking for ways to work better and more efficiently, and one area where major gains are possible â€“ especially in manufacturing and logistics â€“ is printing. In particular, the use of new intelligent printing
Smart Printing was one of the first technologies to address these problems, and it offered a partial solution. It allowed a printer to be used stand-alone by making it programmable and able to operate without being attached to a PC. However, it had the drawback that once programmed, the smart printer became a single-purpose device until it was taken back and reprogrammed, with all the potential downtime it might entail. That might be acceptable in some industries, but not in more fast-moving areas that we find in todayâ€™s era of e-commerce. To put it briefly, in the world of manufacturing and logistics, one size does not fit all. Enter application-enabled printing (AEP), a new generation of technology that leaps far beyond the smart printer in capability. AEP brings intelligent printing into the 21st century, helping businesses get a grasp on their printing processes. An application-enabled printer not only has its own internal processing power â€“ so it can connect to other devices such as weighing scales, a handheld barcode scanner, or a keyboard, and it can print without the need to connect to a PC â€“ but it is designed to be readily reprogrammable. Unlike smart printers which can only hold one program at a time, new applications can be added to an existing AEP, as you might add multiple apps to an iPhone or Android smartphone.
For example, in a manufacturing and logistics environment an app could be downloaded to automatically calculate and print thaw and use-by labels â€“ relying on the printer's internal real-time clock. Another app might use its internal product and price database to correctly calculate and clearly print markdown labels to clear older stock. Not only does this mean that you could start with a printer with one function, then add others as the needs arise, it also means that the printer can be customised to include exactly the right set of applications for a given purpose. The product more accurately fits the user's needs, yet at the same time it also means fewer components in the chain â€“ fewer devices to look after, fewer interconnections to manage, and fewer things to go wrong. It can also mean a simpler package that is easier to understand. That is because it can be easier to set up and tailor an AEP app for a specific purpose than it would be to set up a large PC-based software suite of which only a few elements will actually be required. And because AEP devices can be powered by batteries, they can operate free of connection to a PC and do not need a mains lead. Printing can therefore be located where it is required such as, on a trolley or a table in the centre of a warehouse and away from any power sockets, not where the infrastructure dictates. AEP devices are also designed to be userfriendly. Some of the current models have a mobile phone-type keyboard which will be familiar to most users. Both the buttons and the display screen are designed for ease of use â€“ the buttons are large and the screen is wide. Future models could include a smartphone-type touchscreen, too. Apps can be downloaded to the AEP unit either using a
Printing & Labelling
PC running a utility program, or loaded directly as a package containing all the necessary elements, such as a pricing database. They can be loaded via a USB cable, a wireless network (Wi-Fi) connection, or on a memory card, with some AEP units accepting the same SD-cards that are widely used in digital cameras and other devices.
Programmable printing So-called smart printers are not new, of course: the ability to set a printer up and then use it independently of a PC has been around for many years. What has changed now with the arrival of application-enabled printing is the sophistication and flexibility of those printers, and their ability to grow with the customers, providing far greater levels of investment protection. The ease of programming has also changed dramatically, mirroring the huge advances that have taken place in application development tools in recent decades. Gone are the days of having to write code in BASIC, and instead we look for advanced scripting languages, and development tools that abstract most of the heavy lifting involved in creating new applications. Called AEP Works, these app development tools include a PC-based printer simulator, enabling developers to load new apps and test or demonstrate them. It also helps that the AEP is a system with well-defined functional areas, unlike say an Android or Apple smartphone which might be called upon to be a telephone one minute, a satnav the next, and a videogame thereafter. Add advanced programming tools to an AEP therefore, and you have a system that allows new applications to be created and deployed – and subsequently updated – remarkably easily. A major benefit of being able to add applications for the AEP is customisation, with no need to buy an entire suite of printing capabilities if you only need certain specific ones. It allows an AEP to be set up to exactly meet the user's needs by mixing and matching from a standard set of apps,
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either written by the manufacturer, or bought in from other programmers, appstore-style. If further customisation is needed, existing apps can be modified or new ones written to suit. AEP apps are also able to run on multiple platforms, so there is no need to redevelop apps if you change or update your printer. Instead, an app developed for the first generation AEP units should also run on subsequent AEPcapable devices, whether they are desktop printers, mobile printers, or other printcapable devices. And of course if the manufacturer is not sure yet what their needs will be, that does not matter: they can choose an initial app or set of apps to load now, then change that mix or add more apps later on as their use of the technology grows and as the need arises. These capabilities are not entirely free of effort, and some programming skills are required to modify AEP programs. Today's implementation of applicationenabled printing is just the start. The same concept will be implemented on multiple classes of printers in the future, including both mobile and desktop printers ranging from low-end to high-end. All these devices will be able to run the same AEPdeveloped apps. It is also possible to run the intelligence behind AEP on a separate device, such as a smartphone or tablet computer, and have it print to a mobile printer, or even a suitably-equipped desktop printer.
SATO’s NX Series The NX Series printers features SATO’s AEP technology, offering users a more flexible and cost-effective option for the printing of labels and tags. SATO’s NX Series printers are quick and easy to install and maintain, all these help reduce downtime and improve productivity. For businesses which are often running 24/7, reducing downtime is key to responding to customer queries effectively while improving operational efficiencies. Minimising costs associated with maintenance can also go a long way to improving the bottom line. SATO’s CL4NX/CL6NX are plug-and-play printers that are easy to set up, without needing specialists to install them. They can also can print immediately. Printers that have been designed for parts to be replaced by the users, without having to call in technicians are also preferable. They are designed to allow for fast parts replacements. ‘Wear parts’ such as print head and platen roller are quick to replace with no tools needed, while help videos are also available in the front display, to aid with maintenance. The SATO NX display reads in up to 31 global languages and are intuitive and simple to operate, reducing the time spent on staff training. In addition, SATO’s NX family is equipped with 100MB user accessible memory allowing formats, large graphics and custom fonts while delivering best-in-class speed processing and fast throughput, which is also essential when it comes to fulfilling orders as fast as possible.
AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE MOBILE COMPUTING
Enterprise Asset Intelligence and the hardware to deliver it By David Stain, senior vertical marketing manager EMEA manufacturing, field mobility & healthcare, Zebra Technologies. s manufacturing and logistics
manufacturers both improve productivity and
businesses strive for products
deliver better experiences for their customers
that deliver on their promise
through sensing, analysing, and driving
together with flawless fulfilment,
business actions. Using tools and technologies
realising these can be
that give you real-time operational visibility into
challenging. Today’s customer invariably not
people and things, you get a full sense of what
only wants more product customisation as
is happening in your enterprise, helping you to
standard but also transparency of when the
simplify and improve operations.
product or merchandise is available. Relationships and revenue streams are built
Where it is all-pervasive and potentially
around the ability of suppliers to deliver on
overwhelming, we help you to extract and
their promise of when components will be
analyse the most appropriate data and
delivered to a manufacturer and onwards from
formulate actionable information to drive
the manufacturer to its promise of when it will
smarter business decisions and enhanced
deliver finished product to a customer.
A manufacturer may be driven by its customer to comply with a product specification and deliver those products on a just-in-time basis. This in turn often drives that manufacturer to either look at its environment to establish pinch points and compliance challenges.
and increased collaboration. Today’s
The use of technology in these environments is critical, and whilst investment can be seen as a barrier it is something that must be overcome if companies are to survive and grow.
Enterprise Asset Intelligence and how it helps
Sense – Analyse – Act
technologies can help to create a smarter,
The key features and benefits of Enterprise
complete visibility, enabling you to take a
Asset Intelligence solutions include:
holistic view of operations and know what’s
going on across your demand chain.
form of Enterprise Asset Intelligence, a full cycle of visibility for the manufacturing sector.
Enterprise Asset Intelligence is about delivering visibility solutions to help
A functionality portfolio that addresses every point in the plant manufacturing
At Zebra, we have looked at the challenges you face, and come up with a solution in the
more connected business that incorporates
lifecycle; from supply in, to build, to supply
By capturing the data available, and turning it
into actionable information, you can streamline
Adherence to operational KPIs – on cost,
processes and make positive steps towards
on plan, on specification, safely.
optimal production. The two themes of focus
The ability to extract the maximum value
that resonate across the manufacturing sector
from the Internet of Things (IoT).
were identified as:
These solutions are developed to optimise efficiency, productivity and asset utilisation.
Track & Trace
What the solution looks like Forrester, over 80% of firms indicated that IoT
Tell me something I don’t already know
solutions would be the most strategic
As a technology company it is sometimes a
technology initiative for their organisation within
lottery as to how much a customer’s enterprise
actually knows what technology can do for
In a 2014 survey Zebra commissioned from
them. They are busy people, and taking on
Technology becomes the enabler to follow due process by making work instruction visible on a mobile PC screen or voicedirected via a mobile PC in the ear of the operator etc.
IT October 2016
IoT and mobile capabilities provide operational
new technology or refreshing their current
and actionable data on the location and
hardware can be daunting. However, the
condition of assets. This gives you better
following are just a few insights that might start
control of processes and costs and helps to
to help you realise that the challenge is worth
mitigate risk, while enabling more functionality
AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE MOBILE COMPUTING
powerful visibility engine that drives inefficiency out and enables agility to
Industry 4.0 - the fourth industrial revolution –
has arrived. The cyber physical world is where the human-to-machine interface is becoming critical, so to bring this into the
Stage and gate
here and now think about the way you
Track & trace and process compliance – the
manage your critical machine assets (be that
foundations to smart manufacturing. There’s a
a manufacturing line machine or your vehicle
tendency for different cells and areas of
fleet). Maintenance – be that preventative or
plants and supply chain to operate as silos.
reactive – can be much better served by
Stage and gates help to cross these divides.
providing technicians with the information they
With eKanban forming the basis of an efficient template to work with, the opportunity to shrink storage space at manufacturing facilities and drive the supply chain to deliver just in time to line side means that barcode and RFID working together can drive unprecedented efficiencies across the demand chain.
need real time; the schematic drawing on a
A gate is a point for tracking, checking and
mobile PC, the ability to scan a barcode label
auditing – for example, at goods-in to check a
on the machine to determine the model type
delivery manifest against arriving materials or
or calibration setting, the ability to locate parts
components. The stage is the area between
on the system all make sense.
two gates. It follows that the more gates there
information to mobile devices the visibility that
are, the more visibility you have. You can
results, when incorporated into wider
automate the data collection processes at
operations, helps to assure compliance, drive
gates by using barcode and RFID labels and
product quality and optimise process
As we think about manufacturing line
tags. The data on labels can be captured
operations the ability to bring new staff on
using handheld scanners or automated
board or to cross-skill staff becomes
systems whereby fixed RFID readers in your
A manufacturer may be driven by its customer
imperative. With technology tools such as
facilities track the location of items as they
to comply with a product specification and
wrist-mounted wearable computers, voice-
deliver those products on a just-in-time basis. This in turn often drives that manufacturer to
guided assembly and intelligent ID badging, the skills uptake becomes much more
With the data from tags shared over Wi-Fi
either look at its environment to establish pinch
achievable within a shorter time frame, with
networks with your back office and control
points and compliance challenges. Technology
the potential of a clear audit trail generated
systems, and your team’s mobile devices, you
becomes the enabler to see these areas and
giving operations undertaken, when, by who,
can keep a constant eye over the progress of
also the enabler to follow due process by, for
and using what tools.
the manufacturing line. Best practice track
instance, making work instruction visible on a
and trace embeds the right technologies into
mobile PC screen or voice-directed via a
Another point worthy of mention is as product
every element of the stage and gate process,
mobile PC in the ear of the operator. Scalability
complexity increases the correct components
giving every physical asset a digital profile,
is the key so that the investment can be staged
fitted to an assembly is critical. Build manifests
and every action a measurable and
as the organisation grows.
are the backbone of process compliance, so
manageable value. In this scenario, on time in
the notion of scanning in components used
full is very much achievable.
processes, solutions and people in place, the
and of printing on-demand the new assemblies’ identity makes a lot of sense for product assurance and for audit trail needs in the event of a quality or efficiency issue.
With the right combination of technology,
potential to create a world-class
Today’s technologies can help operations to
and not to be missed.
manufacturing operation is very real indeed,
execute, monitor, diagnose and resolve asset
Line side parts
and equipment issues to decrease downtime,
With eKanban forming the basis of an efficient
They can improve inventory accuracy and
Gartner projects that 25 billion connected
template to work with, the opportunity to
reduce associated time and costs of
things will be in operation by 2025. With smart
shrink storage space at manufacturing
sensors and labels and tags attached to items
increase repeatability and supply efficiency.
facilities and drive the supply chain to deliver
the Internet of Things promises to transform
just-in-time to line side means that barcodes
The key to working this way is to give every
visibility over your production line and through
and RFID working together can drive
physical object a digital identity or signature
the demand chain. As Abraham Lincoln, 16th
unprecedented efficiencies across the
using a combination of mobile computers,
President of the United States, said: “An
demand chain. Technology in this instance
barcode printers, scanners, tablets and RFID
investment in knowledge pays the best
can link up the demand chain silos into a
readers. By also capturing and presenting
AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE MOBILE COMPUTING
Mobile barcode scanning – capturing top performance without breaking the bank By Samuel Mueller, CEO, Scandit. urchasing barcode scanners has
environments. By deploying ruggedised
become a matter of varied
smartphones, or smartphones protected by
choices. No longer are enterprises
rugged cases, enterprises can further lower
Some organisations are even leveraging
restricted to selecting from an
TCO and benefit from the same durability
employee's personal devices instead of
array of dedicated scanners or
as traditional rugged mobile computers or
investing in enterprise hardware. Apps that
utilise a smartphone's camera can be extended
traditional mobile computers. Barcode
to personal devices via bring your own device
scanning options now include smartphones. Organisations must determine which device
Mitigating the higher hardware costs of
(BYOD) IT policies, eliminating hardware costs
will deliver the scanning performance needed
rugged smartphones is the fact that they
from the TCO equation. Training on iOS and
at the right price.
still have a much lower TCO than the
Android-based smartphones may also be
dedicated scanning devices traditionally
easier and more cost-effective, simply because
As any IT buyer knows, one of the most
used in demanding scan scenarios.  Even
of employee familiarity.
important considerations in a technology
so, mobile computers can still cost over five
purchase is getting the biggest bang for your
times as much as a rugged smartphone
Other benefits, which may further reduce the
buck. Upfront costs are only one of many
over the device's lifetime. Meanwhile,
TCO of a consumer smartphone (ruggedised
factors barcode scanning device buyers need
rugged smartphones developed by
or non-ruggedised), include its applicability to
to include in their evaluation. Others include
traditional barcode scanning hardware
numerous non-scanning functions. As
how long the device will last, how frequent
manufacturers can cost three times as
opposed to a dedicated scanning device,
and expensive maintenance and repairs will
much as standard iOS or Android
smartphones can also be utilised for tasks
be, ruggedness, the amount of training
such as communication and navigation.
needed, ergonomics, scan performance levels, and how many different tasks the device will handle. Taken together, these and other elements comprise the total cost of ownership (TCO).
Mitigating the higher hardware costs of rugged smartphones is the fact that they still have a much lower TCO than the dedicated scanning devices traditionally used in demanding scan scenarios.”
TCO accounts for all hard costs (such as the device itself, the software that runs on it and associated software development costs) and
Fortunately, other options exist for
Rugged smartphones, as well as
soft costs (such as training, operation and
enterprises seeking to perform rugged
smartphones protected by ruggedised cases,
scanning operations without paying too high
offer a lower TCO by a large margin. IT
a price. In good news for supply chain
buyers and supply chain managers should
managers seeking convenient and efficient
note they also offer alternative advantages to
scanning solutions, enterprise technology
businesses with a barcode scanning
First, it's important to understand that
providers offer cloud-based software that
requirement. With fully-ruggedised and
smartphones can be deployed as
utilises the built-in camera and flash of a
encasement options now available,
consumer-grade devices to be used in a
smartphone to turn it into an enterprise
smartphone-based scanning solutions offer a
variety of enterprise workplaces. However,
scanner. Many smartphone manufacturers
more economically viable alternative that will
they are also available in rugged models to
also offer ruggedised smartphones
suit the rigours of even the most demanding
ensure operation in physically demanding
designed for use in harsh environments.
TCO Models for Mobile Computing and Communications Platforms – VDC Research Total Cost of Ownership of Mobile Barcode Scanning – Scandit
IT October 2016
Just-in-time. TECHNOLOGY TO MANA AGE G PRO ODUCT VARIETY A Y.
V OICE technology
Modernising the warehouse puts Raleigh ahead of the pack sk anyone in the UK to
difficult and further slowed down their
remember their first bike and the
Raleighâ€™s Parts and Accessories business
chances are that one brand is
was running a manual, completely paper-
mentioned more fondly than any
based warehouse system, which was not as
other â€“ Raleigh. The company is
efficient as it could have been in terms of the
Raleigh knew it needed to change and brought
one of the most successful bicycle brands in
picking process, resulting in a lot of location
in BEC (Systems Integration) Ltd., a UK-based
history, stretching back to its foundations in
errors. Furthermore, the admin team were
leader in data capture solutions for supply
Raleigh Street, Nottingham, in 1885, and
always a few hours behind actual stock levels
chain logistics and manufacturing, to map out a
growing to become one of the largest
on products, so managing sales in real-time
project to automate the warehouse in its
manufacturers and distributors of bicycles and
was impossible. This was compounded by
entirety. BEC proposed a two-phase project
accessories in the UK and around the world. For many bike fans, Raleigh is adored for its iconic Chopper, Mustang and famed â€˜Bananaâ€™ road bike from the 1980s, which is now a sought-after collectorâ€™s item amongst British hipsters. Raleighâ€™s pioneering designs and
BEC proposed a two-phase project using its eSmart WMS software underpinned by Honeywell hardware to update the goods-in and goods-out sides of Raleighâ€™s Parts and Accessories business.â€? â€“ Philip Jarrett, BEC.
reliability have kept it at the forefront of the bike
the seasonality of the bicycle business, which
using its eSmart WMS software underpinned by
business for decades. In order to keep pace
means that Raleigh employs seasonal
Honeywell hardware to update the goods-in
with its flourishing e-commerce business,
workers at peak times of the year to keep
and goods-out sides of Raleighâ€™s Parts and
Raleigh undertook a project to transform its
pace with customer demand. However, the
Accessories business. At every stage of the
warehouse into a faster and sleeker operation.
paper-based system only made training more
process, BEC was on hand to help ensure a smooth delivery of the project. Phase One focused on the receiving and picking side of the business, eliminating existing issues around stock control by ensuring that all the stock received into the warehouse was barcoded. Raleigh used Honeywell barcode scanners to make sure that everything coming into the business was scanned and coded appropriately and that the data was correct before products could move forward into the storage and distribution process. Honeywell CK3 mobile computers were selected for receiving goods-in as they are
designed for rugged warehouse environments. For packing, Raleigh opted for 3820 cordless Bluetooth scanners, which are ideal for
scanning applications where freedom of
immediately working with great accuracy.
V OICE technology
available stock, whereas it used to take between two and three hours to update the
movement is essential. For Raleighâ€™s pickers and packers, the Voice
system. Furthermore, BECâ€™s eSmart solution lets
Phase Two dealt with picking and
system works well and is quick, being much
Raleigh manage an unlimited number of
replenishment, equipping warehouse staff with
more efficient than paper. The workers report
concurrent orders, which is essential in
Vocollect A730 Talkman devices, which are
that the headsets are extremely comfortable to
enabling the management and growth of its e-
purpose-built for Voice-recognition in
wear and that they forget they are wearing them
challenging warehouse environments. The
in no time. The improvements have led to an
A730 integrates a Voice-activated scanner so
increase in worker productivity, enabling them
The benefits of the new system have even
workers are completely â€˜hands-freeâ€™, while SRX2
to pack and launch much more quickly,
spread to the physical layout of the warehouse.
headsets allow them to communicate directly
accurately and effectively.
Raleigh has been able to create a flexible pickface which has quadrupled the number of
with the warehouse management system. Raleigh also has access to more data than ever
locations it has for picking without increasing
before regarding all the picks, packs and
the physical space. Due to the success of the
When the management team at Raleigh first
processes happening within the warehouse.
Honeywell and BEC system, Raleigh now plans
informed the workforce that they were looking at
One of the key benefits is that Raleigh is now
to extend the solution across the rest of the
implementing Voice and scanning technology,
able to produce individual carton packing lists,
there was a degree of trepidation, especially
which it couldnâ€™t do before.
about how effective the Voice technology would be, however it was well received and there
Compared with paper, the use of Honeywellâ€™s
have been no negative issues.
scanners and the Vocollect Voice system gives more accuracy and control. It also adds the
Introducing Voice-directed workflows into the
benefits of real-time stock control because
warehouse has had an additional benefit for
personnel are recording directly into the
training seasonal workers, who can now be fully
Warehouse Management System about stock
trained up within a couple of days and are
movement, allowing for a real-time view on
Benefits "" "!!""
! !""!" ! !"" ! ""! !" ! !" ""!" "
BEC eSmartÂŽ Voice WMS Enabling Complete Door-to-Door Voice Solutions Increase worker productivity by up to 35% Reduction in picking errors by up to 50% ROI typically within 6-12 months Built with voice technology at its core, not as an add-on Based on our proven eSmart Warehouse platform Real-time dashboard reporting & status updates Seamless integration into any host ERP system
Call BEC today and speak to the experts: October 2016 www.logisticsit.com +44 (0)1254 688 088 or visit www.becsi.co.uk
V OICE technology
Voiteq launches VoiceMan Data Analysis Voiteq, global provider of Voice-directed work solutions, launched its 'next generation' business intelligence solution, VoiceMan Data Analysis, at IMHX 2016. ommitted to providing its
button, whether it's for one site or multiple
data analysis capabilities. VoiceMan Data
customers with highly reliable
operations across the network.
Analysis is the next generation analysis tool."
Analysis has been developed to
Isabel McCabe, managing director, Voiteq Ltd.
meet the growing need for
said: "Supply chain is under increasing
Predictive analysis â€“ 'what-if?' capabilities
actionable insights in the supply chain;
pressure to reduce costs and meet ever
In addition to current and historic information,
providing understandable and usable
increasing demands. So visibility into logistics
VoiceMan Data Analysis includes predictive
information to improve business processes and
operations is vital. Customers are realising that
analytics, calculating future outcomes for
performance. With Data Analysis, customers
big data is the solution and are looking for
proactive management and allowing 'what-if?'
are able to benefit from interactive
more powerful tools to access the information
analysis of future scenarios, including year-on-
visualisations; supporting more informed
needed to run smarter operations.
year comparisons. Data Analysis can also be
and innovative solutions, Data
used to simulate the short-term impact of
decision-making for both short and long-term planning.
"We've always been at the forefront of the voice
operational changes, such as reallocating
market and our latest solution proves that we
resources or workloads around a busy
With the latest business intelligence
are staying ahead of where our customers
distribution centre. This gives managers the
technologies, VoiceMan Data Analysis uses
need to be. We have invested a lot into our
ability to plan ahead and proactively manage
predictive analytics for users to test future
data capture and reporting methods.
service levels and performance.
'what-if?' scenarios. An easy-to-use application,
Understanding the market and our customers'
the new solution doesn't require any changes
needs, we are now taking data to the next
to be made to existing host systems and data
level, moving from static reporting to providing
Data Analysis works in near real-time providing
visualisations are available at the touch of a
a platform with dynamic, advanced, interactive
clear visibility of critical operational information
V OICE technology
and processes; converting raw data captured
within the workplace. Multi-language support is
to highlight data most important to their
by VoiceMan into valuable, actionable
simple, reflecting the capabilities of the
information and making it available for deep-
VoiceMan system itself.
diving analysis by managers and staff in a
Data can be filtered as required, and then
Supports better decision-making
single site or across a warehouse network.
exported to CSV files for seamless integration
Isabel McCabe added: "The value of data
into other reporting tools. Data Analysis users
comes when it is distilled to help make better
Big picture and tiniest detail
can also query the data warehouse directly,
decisions. Resourcing, managing seasonal
Data can be analysed with a high degree of
enabling customers to add VoiceMan
peaks, identifying process improvements and
granularity without 'walking the floor' – ranging
generated data into any existing investment in
responding to trends are just some of the
from identifying bottlenecks, weekly and daily
areas where our new VoiceMan Data Analysis solution can deliver significant benefits to
shortage counts, mismatches in staff deployment to reviewing productivity rates by
person, team or zone, and much more.
Rather than traditional reports and dashboards,
Historical information can be retained for long-
Data Analysis offers more sophisticated,
"Often business intelligence tools are
term analysis. This allows for precise
interactive visualisations including a blend of
controlled by IT departments. Operational
comparison of performance over time against
text, charts and images that can be viewed on
staff can find that data is either out-of-date or
standard or bespoke KPIs or amongst
desktop, tablet or mobile devices and feature
too rigid to get the information they need. With
individuals, teams and sites.
touch-friendly user interfaces. With the ability to
VoiceMan Data Analysis, operations teams
drill down and move through data to access
can have access to valuable information when
the information when needed – users don't
they need it to help them run a more efficient
Accessed via a browser, data can be viewed
have to switch from report to report or across
business and identify opportunities for further
by remote or off-site personnel. Access can be
applications. The powerful, yet simple user
assigned to specified users, limited by
interface, also means that customers can 'self-
parameters (team, zone, date) or broadcast
serve'; easily creating custom views and filters
Hearing a Smarter Vo oice The logistics world is constantly changing, with more SKUs and an increased frequency of smaller deliveries, keeping on top of it all is a challenge. It’s crucial for you to be in control and responsive to consumer spending habits as well as seasonal peaks; Vo oiteq offers a solution that will ﬂex and grow with your business. Business intelligence should be at the core of every operation; at Vo oiteq we are data-led. Using our powerful Data Analysis tools, rich visualisations enable you to see, understand and interact with your data d t – enabling bli you to t make k better b tt decisions d i i in your smarter warehouse.
Hear a smarter voice, run a smarter warehouse Visibility Improved Productivity Increased Accuracy 24/7 Support
Automation paves the way for ifmâ€™s success
ince its foundation in 1969, ifm, based in Essen, Germany, has developed, produced and sold sensors, controllers and systems for industrial automation worldwide. The company has over 5500 employees, with around 700 working in research and development (R&D) and 3800 based in Germany. In 2013, it achieved a turnover of â‚Ź 630 million and this had grown to more than â‚Ź 720 million in 2015. Essen is home to its new 6,200m2 worldwide distribution centre, which supplies the companyâ€™s distribution network in over 70 countries.
Turning challenges into opportunities ifmâ€™s ambition is to develop into an integrated provider of hardware, IT and services, which through the course of Industry 4.0 will help companies with the maintenance and monitoring of their machines. However, the company recently faced a number of challenges in realising its growth potential. One of the challenges was that its old warehouse was too small to handle the groupâ€™s next phase of development. Order processing was predominantly carried out manually at the site and the number of existing storage locations was no longer sufficient for the constantly increasing number of products. Warehouse staff worked from picking lists and RF terminals in determining what products to select from shelves and flow racks. This was a labour-intensive method, with picking errors and relatively low operator performance not uncommon. Within the confines of the old warehouse, it was simply not possible for ifm to increase its packaging output. In addition, the inefficient manner of picking goods did not match ifmâ€™s image as a company at the cutting edge of technological innovation.
New home, new horizons ifmâ€™s solution was to move to a new location in 36
which a future-proof, automated solution could be implemented. In January 2015, ifm selected Vanderlande to help it plan for â€“ and realise â€“ a new solution to overcome its logistic challenges.
a high level of control and shortened lead times. In addition, it can change rapidly to match varying business requirements, and represents a favourable ROI. â€œWe preferred a â€˜hybridâ€™ system, which combines goods-to-person and person-togoods technologies,â€? explained ifmâ€™s Managing Director Thorben Petersen. â€œADAPTO is an excellent solution for moving goods to the operator, but for faster moving items, we chose a Pick-to-Light system, in which the operator moves to the goods. This combined approach is a perfect match, and its flexibility and scalability are two of the key features.â€?
The two organisations worked closely during the initial phases to develop a solution based on Vanderlandeâ€™s ADAPTO system. This is a 3D solution that ensures easy access to around 8000 different products in 23,320 locations at all times. It comprises: a racking structure across ten aisles with an integrated shuttle track system; 25 multidirectional shuttles; and seven lifts that allow the shuttles to move between rack levels and system exits/entries. Each shuttle can reach every location in the system, keeping service levels at a maximum. Maintenance platforms with additional staircases also allow quick operator access for fast troubleshooting if and when required. This is also supported by a spare parts package, as well as a maintenance and hotline contract (to follow). ADAPTO performs independently of the number of SKUs and order size, and maintains
The optimum process The process begins at the receiving stage, when trucks deliver pallets of goods from either ifmâ€™s production facility in south Germany (daily), or the companyâ€™s other manufacturing plants in Poland, Singapore and the USA (less frequently). Additional deliveries are also received every day from different couriers. At the ergonomic workstations, pallets are
raised to an optimum height and operators position the individual cartons on trays and scan these on to the system. The cartons are filled with either one product or different items spread across four compartments. If the barcode is positioned on the outside of the carton, this indicates that only one product type is contained inside. If there are multiple products, the operator scans the four compartments internally in a clockwise direction. In this way, the system knows the exact layout of the compartments, which is vital when it comes to the picking stage. The cartons are moved down a conveyor and into a lift, which connects them to another conveyor. This feeds the new stock on to one
of the shuttles, which carries it quickly to an available location within the racking. There are two optional destinations when a tray is recalled by the system and leaves ADAPTO again via one of the shuttles: the fast movers (top 250 products) as replenishment for the flow racks directly connected to ADAPTO; or the slow movers for order-related picking at the goods-to-person workstations (CPS). ifm utilises four types of cartons – the largest (600 x 400 x 200mm) is used for both shipping and storage on site – and three smaller varieties for shipping only. The numbers of each shipping carton required are assembled via a fully automated carton erector. These are automatically labelled and either transported to the flow racks or the CPS workstations. The cartons required for order picking are ‘married’ to an order on their way to the designated flow racking. With Pick-to-Light, operators at the three zone-pick workstations can select from 300 channels through the ‘pick-pack’ procedure. The barcode on the carton is scanned and the operator is advised of the direction for locating each product, which is more accurately indicated by a light.
ADAPTO delivers the cartons in the correct sequence for each of the three goods-toperson compact-pick workstations. The sequence is built within the three-dimensional shuttle cube, which means that an extensive installation of loops – found in conventional systems – can be omitted.
Cost efficiencies ADAPTO is also providing ifm with a range of other benefits. The cost efficiencies are significant as, in addition to the optimised storage density and maximum system availability, there is a better return on the investment should the structure of the business change. “The current system is set up for 800 shipping cartons per hour, so with that level of technology at our disposal, we can comfortably reach our 2026 turnover target,” said Petersen. “The biggest benefit to us is that we can copy this design to other warehouse locations in the world, in fast-growing markets. It is therefore the blueprint for the development of these sites and the springboard to offer this solution to other markets.”
Reliable partner for value-added logistic process automation
The pressure on your warehouse is increasing with the explosive growth of e-commerce, the high number of stock items and short lead times required to meet demand. The need to optimise the flexibility of your processes has never been greater – and this is where Vanderlande can help. We are a reliable partner for many of the world’s largest retailers, wholesalers and e-commerce operators, who benefit from our vast experience. Whether it’s a new or refurbished facility, we are a leader in innovative systems, intelligent software and life-cycle services for warehouse automation solutions. Want to know more? E: firstname.lastname@example.org. > vanderlande.com
Iptor Supply Chain Systems adds ProTrack Labour Management to Warehouse Management solution
ptor Supply Chain Systems, formerly IBS - the supply chain management, planning and logistics software and services provider â€“ has partnered with TZA, the supply chain labour management solutions provider, to include TZA's ProTrack Labour Management Software as part of its Warehouse Management solution. TZA's ProTrack software is a Cloud-based solution that helps users measure, monitor and motivate workforce productivity and utilisation for increased performance, lower cost-per-unit and greater competitive advantage.
"Considering that almost 60% of the costs involved in running a distribution centre track directly to labour, adding the proven labour performance capabilities of TZA's ProTrack to our Warehouse Management solution is a huge value-add for our customers," said Jayne Archbold, Iptor Supply Chain Systems CEO.
Real-time visibility and decision support As an integrated part of Iptor's WMS, ProTrack will give users real-time visibility and decision support for proactively planning, deploying and
managing associates on the warehouse floor via any enabled mobile device. "Logistics operators face critical labour issues today, including an aging workforce, a shrinking pool of skilled workers and rising wage costs," said Evan Danner, CEO at TZA. "Together with Iptor's WMS, ProTrack software provides the tools to respond to these labour challenges and sustain a high performance operation and culture."
"With the ProTrack interface, Iptor's Warehouse Management solution becomes even more powerful for customers," said Bill Tomasi, Iptor senior vice president of product management. "In addition to excellent control over material movement, storage and the transaction processes associated with running a warehouse, customers will benefit from labour management capabilities that drive additional supply chain productivity gains."
PathGuide and QubeVu power Cascade Orthopedic Supplyâ€™s win at PARCEL Forum 2016
athGuide Technologies, provider of warehouse management systems (WMS) for industrial and retail distributors, together with QubeVu, a dimensioning systems provider, has announced that its customer, Cascade Orthopedic Supply, has won PARCEL Forum's 2016 Game Changer of the Year Award.
Measurable savings This award recognises a leading company for its successful implementation of a significant innovation that resulted in measurable savings, enhanced productivity, and other benefits to improve shipping or distribution operations. 38
Cascade Orthopedic was chosen for its successful deployment of PathGuide's Latitude Manifest and Shipping System, together with QubeVu's dimensioning solution. "QubeVu offers the most advanced technology in the dimensioning market today," said Kim Karvonen, sales manager at QubeVu. "Our solution provides certified dimensions of any object, regardless of shape. Together with PathGuide, we've deployed a system at Cascade that seamlessly handles irregularlyshaped items, helps to lower shipping costs and provides online customers transparency into stock availability and shipping costs. This has literally been a game changer for Cascade's business."
Designed from the ground up "Latitude WMS was designed from the ground up to be compatible with a host of ERP platforms and other vendor solutions like QubeVu," said Mark Van Leeuwen, regional sales manager at PathGuide. "In addition to helping Cascade reduce shipping costs, this feature-rich combination has helped the company optimise warehouse space while maintaining a 97% same-day shipping rate. We're very pleased that Cascade has been recognised for its innovative and comprehensive approach to operational efficiency and customer satisfaction."
Cloud-based warehouse stock control for e-commerce business ProSKU is a new Cloud-based warehouse stock management application that enables online retailers to manage and track inventory in warehouses and store rooms efficiently to enhance customer service, reduce cost and minimise administrative input.
he application integrates quickly and easily with all popular ecommerce platforms including eBay, Amazon, Woo Commerce, Magento and Shopify, as well as traditional CRM solutions such as Sage. It supports the essential warehouse stock management functions including receipt and putaway, picking and despatch, stock management, and reporting. ProSKU has been developed by Chess Logistics Technology, which has delivered enterprise warehouse management systems for nearly 30 years. Many online retailers offer exceptional customer experiences but struggle to manage their stock effectively; particularly as their businesses grow. Inaccurate stock information and failure to identify where items are located in the warehouse can limit a retailer's ability to provide customers with stock availability or fully meet order demand on request. Stock levels may be too high, leading to inefficient use of space and hidden cost, or too low, leading to missed opportunities.
Supports single and multi-site operations ProSKU sets out to provide a well-featured and easily deployed solution designed to meet the current and future needs of online retailers. Single and multi-site operations are supported. During set-up, users follow simple and intuitive on-screen workflows to create their warehouse layout and enter stored product data which along with customer, supplier and live inventory data can be entered manually or imported in any common data format. The application also incorporates an API for rapid integration with other web applications. ProSKU is hosted on secure backed-up servers. This is claimed to ensure a robust and resilient stock management component to
the integrated e-commerce solution with maximum possible service availability and almost no risk of data loss. The application can be accessed from any PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone using any modern browser. Pricing is based on a simple monthly pricing plan with a minimum commitment of one month and no hidden start-up costs. The system is accessible to the extent that set-up can be undertaken by the user with minimal assistance from the vendor. Detailed operating guides and video tutorials are provided to assist but ProSKU also provides cost-effective support services for those customers who require more handholding during the key implementation phase. After commencing live operations, a range of support options is available to suit varying needs.
Stock control and warehouse management functions ProSKU incorporates all mission-critical stock control and warehouse management functions: Receipts and putaway: simple and flexible management of incoming stock items. Users can process receipts rapidly while recording important data accurately. The system makes intelligent automatic decisions but also allows manual operations. It generates pallet labels and documentation for putaway execution, and allows rapid confirmation or amendment of successfully completed movements. Post confirmation, all receipt data is archived with full movement history, as well as periodbased goods-inward reporting. Picking and despatch: these functions facilitate rapid conversion of orders to despatches. Automatically imported (API or CSV) or manually keyed orders can be viewed, selected and processed. Flexible picking strategy allows order selection by
ability to fulfil with pre-process check to verify product quantities. Single, wave and cluster picking options are standard. Standard stock rotation is FIFO (first in, first out) or BBE (best-before-end), with specific criteria selection including date, batch and status also available. Standard task documents and on-screen confirmation are provided with an optional handheld scanning module to allow combined execution and confirmation. Handling of pick exceptions ensures full integrity at the confirmation stage. The despatch function offers dual options to confirm onward consignments. A standard despatch process allows quick validation and despatch paperwork print, while a 'scan and pack' feature offers order scanning at product or item level to ensure despatch integrity. Stock Management: all the essential stock management functions are included, providing users with the ability to control and deal with all stock-handling scenarios and exceptions. Stock check functions allow verification by location, product or ownership, offering the flexibility for regular cyclic stock checking. Reporting options are designed to offer stock and movement data in a highly accessible form while allowing considerable scope for formatting. Reports have pre-defined fields and allow additional user field definition. Sequence selection, filtering, sorting and totalling are also available where appropriate. All reports will be selectable by key identities like depot and stock ownership.
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producer of industrial packaging. The company manufactures and reconditions a wide range of
plastic, steel and fibre containers including drums, injection-moulded packaging and bottles. Working with agricultural, petro, industrial chemical, medical waste, food and beverage, paint, and pharmaceutical companies, Mauser supplies them with reliable, perfectly
effectiveness and put it in the best possible
The challenge: keeping ahead of the curve
position as the company implement its â€˜buy
acquisitions and joint ventures, Mauserâ€™s
Mauser has to deal with a wide variety of
â€œWe believe all things have a life cycle,
major focus is on expansion of its global
customer needs and distribution challenges
including our ERP system,â€? said Dr. Bernhard
presence and reconditioning business.
as well as the volatile European economy. The
Rohde, global CIO at Mauser. â€œWe need our
company also has to accommodate different
financial and planning systems to stay ahead
currencies and the business and tax
of the curve.â€?
sealed products that reduce risks and prevent industrial spills and accidents.
and buildâ€™ plans.
Using a â€˜buy and buildâ€™ strategy of global
More than EUR 1 billion revenue.
82 Facilities at 57 production locations in
Mauser has been running QAD enterprise
18 countries worldwide.
resource planning (ERP) solutions since 1994.
Joint ventures in Europe, Asia and the
The company realised an upgrade of its
current system was needed to maximise its
practices of widely diverse cultures.
The solution: thoughtful design and testing make for a successful upgrade QAD met with Mauser to discuss its current and future ERP needs, set goals and determine an upgrade timeline.
Strategic goals â€˘
Growth through acquisitions and joint ventures.
Continuous refining of delivery abilities.
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time frame from the first planning meeting to
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going live in Germany was only seven months
â€” fast and right on schedule. There were few technical problems and the entire process
Mauser determined an upgrade to QAD
was quite painless from a system point of
Enterprise Applications Enterprise Edition
view. The standardisation efforts to harmonise
(QAD EE) was the best solution and upgrade
system data have been immense and promise
goals were defined.
to be a big ongoing success.â€? With the upgrade to QAD EE, Mauserâ€™s
financial processes have seen many improvements mainly in the ease and speed money and be more efficient.â€?
Enhanced financial functionality.
of the financial closing process. The new
Better built-in reporting functionality,
features facilitating the booking in local GAAP
easily customized by the user.
and the group-wide IFRS standard are
Mauser has seen a 20% improvement in
Ability to better forecast and more
particularly a tremendous benefit. Closing the
reporting and won a QAD Visionary Award for
accurately compare actual vs. budget.
books is now faster and more accurate,
Clean-up and standardisation of existing
resulting in both an increase in effectiveness
processes including data structures in
and a decrease in costs. Moreover, Mauser
â€œWe can now more effectively manage the
accounting, master data, and harmonised
was fully prepared for the general switch to
supply chain, especially transport of goods to
customer, supplier and item numbers.
the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) bank
customers,â€? added Rohde. â€œWith the success
Easier ERP maintenance through
transaction required in Europe.
of the upgrade process and the immediate
reduction of customisations. â€˘
Greater transparency and granularity on freight costs with QAD Trade Activity Management.
More effective management of the supply chain, especially transport of goods to
We took the ERP update project as an opportunity to reconsider our core business processes and to discuss, optimise and document them on a companywide basis.â€? â€“ Dr. Bernhard Rohde, global CIO, Mauser.
customers. The new user interface has received positive
and long-term benefits we are seeing, this has
Mauser and QAD partner Kontext-E worked
feedback on ease of use as well as the better
been a great intellectual and cultural
through the system design, which was based
reporting functionality. QADâ€™s Browses have
investment for us. QADâ€™s and their partnerâ€™s
on a strategy from the QAD Customer
become a major part of day-to-day work, and
care and concern for Mauserâ€™s needs during
Engagement Process. The superior
the ease to filter and export data has
the planning and implementation process was
internationalisation features built into QAD EE
improved process efficiency.
very impressive. When the time comes for the next upgrade, I will not hesitate.â€?
made it easy to design the system to accommodate the current countries Mauser
Budgeting has become easier and more
does business in and prepares for future
accurate as forecasting improved with the
addition of more weeks of concrete orders in the system to better predict customer
Each of Mauserâ€™s project objectives was
demand â€“resulting in budget versus actual
discussed, carefully considered and
incorporated into the system design. Financial aspects were a particular focus. Mauser was
â€œWe have seen improvement sooner and it
open to testing, which helped the design
has been more tangible than we ever
process move forward more quickly, avoiding
expected,â€? said Dr. Rohde. â€œStandardisation
problems later in implementation.
is taking hold in our data structures including accounting, master data, and global customer, supplier, and item
Benefits: bigger, faster, better and primed for the future
numbers. Our IT department is happy that with the upgrade. ERP maintenance is reduced as fewer customisations are
â€œThis upgrade was a major success for us,â€?
needed, and the greater transparency on
says Dr. Rohde. â€œIt was a huge project but the
freight costs has already allowed us to save
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Supply Chain Management in the Cloud Manufacturing & Logistics IT attended Oracleâ€™s Modern Supply Chain Experience event in London earlier this year to find out about Oracleâ€™s views on forward-looking supply chain software developments and strategies.
not â€˜ifâ€™. He added that Oracle has embraced supply chain Cloud as one of its key areas of development, as is evidenced by the launch of Release 11 earlier this year, a package that has been built for use in the Cloud â€˜from the ground upâ€™.
Rick Jewell, SVP applications development at Oracle, said that over 80 per cent of all companies either are using, or plan to use, Cloud applications for their supply chain management requirements. Jewellâ€™s view is that adoption of the Cloud model for supply chain management is now a case of â€˜whenâ€™,
Jewell said that some of solutions vendors simply adapt existing SCM solutions and offer them in the Cloud realm, but he stressed that this is simply dressing up something designed for the supply chain world of yesterday into something more fashionable. However, he added that the modern supply chain environment is markedly different from that of a few years ago. Indeed, he made the point that the way companies interact with each other â€“ shipping, buying and selling goods â€“ is constantly changing and adapting to current needs. Therefore, supply chain professionals need a software solution that is
t Oracleâ€™s two-day Modern Supply Chain Experience event staged at the Intercontinental London â€“ The O2 earlier this year, professionals from the manufacturing, logistics and retail sectors were able to hear presentations and participate in roundtable discussions covering the current state of play and likely future trends regarding a number of manufacturing and supply chain-related topics. One of these themes was supply chain management in the Cloud.
able to change and adapt easily as the market trends themselves. This is why, said Jewell, the level of rigidity within many onpremise systems, together with issues surrounding integration with other software packages, can stifle effective business performance rather than enhance it. With this in mind, Jewell said Oracle has set about developing entirely new SCM capabilities with a focus on ease of use, flexibility and cross-functional business flows, making integration with the wide portfolio of complementary Oracle Cloud solutions a straightforward process.
Shift in mindset Vikram Singla, product innovation and supply chain apps leader, Oracle UK, added that due to the increasing level of
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confidence and satisfaction in Cloud-based applications among manufacturers and logistics professionals there is now a significant shift in mindset towards the Cloud. He added that while the majority of today’s supply chain solution adoptions are still undertaken in the traditional on premise fashion (whereby the solution is normally owned and maintained by the user company’s IT department), the Cloud model is being seen as increasingly compelling among Oracle customers.
Routes to Cloud deployment In terms of the route to Cloud adoption, Singla explained that individual companies will find that their level of required change may differ. “This is why we champion a fully flexible deployment model leading to the Cloud,” he explained. “For instance, a company may already have an SCM solution installed on-premise, and it may still satisfy the company’s core requirements on the whole. However, the company might wish to add extra functionality in order to, for example, maximise compliance or security. This extra functionality could be provided as an SCM Cloud solution. We refer to this process as complementary change.”
number of years and is looking to replace it, then a more transformational approach could be the best option,” he said. “Here, the company could set about moving to the Cloud wholesale for its SCM needs. Similarly, in the case of a start-up business, where the strategy is to become operational and efficient very quickly, while also avoiding often expensive up-font capex and ongoing consultancy costs associated with the onpremise option, then Cloud has to be the route to go down,” he said. Singla explained that SCM in the Cloud also offers greater levels of smart supply chain connectivity, enabling Industry 4.0 to be realised.
Platform enhancements So, it can be seen that Oracle’s SCM functionality offerings in the Cloud are fully flexible and broad-ranging. But what of the platform server options on offer, whether for Oracle’s SCM solutions or an array of other complementary suites? Last month (September), Oracle announced new additions to its Cloud Platform, which enable customers to get the best of both multi-tenant and singletenant environments. These new additions include Oracle Bare Metal Cloud Services, Oracle Ravello Cloud Service, Oracle Container Cloud Service and enhancements to existing Oracle Cloud services.
Oracle Cloud Platform offerings now also support Oracle MySQL Cloud Service, Oracle Big Data Cloud Service and Oracle Event Hub Cloud Service in addition to enhanced levels of support for Oracle’s existing Platform-as-a-Service offerings. “As more and more enterprises leverage the Cloud, they want a simple, seamless way to migrate their large and complex IT infrastructures to the Cloud, and to use the security and management controls that their IT teams already know,” said Thomas Kurian, president of product development, Oracle. “The latest additions to the Oracle Cloud Platform enable organisations to seamlessly connect their existing resources to the Oracle Cloud using Virtual Cloud Network (VCN) and select from a wide variety of computer services including bare metal, virtual machines and engineered systems as if it were a part of their own datacentre.”
Carefully phased migration Singla concluded that whether a company’s path to the supply chain Cloud is transformational, incremental or complimentary, Oracle can help with a carefully phased migration, with a focus on ensuring that SCM in the Cloud delivers everything the customer wants, and more.
Singla explained that the second level of change – which Oracle refers to as incremental change, is one whereby the user’s SCM Cloud functionality of choice is able to offer the flexibility to be fully and seamlessly integrated within an existing IT suite; whether as a hybrid (part on-premise and part-Cloud) model or whether these solutions are sourced from the same provider or other vendor. He then pointed out that Oracle describes the third potential mode of change as transformational. “If a company has been relying on an old legacy SCM system for a
Gartner announces ranking of top European supply chain organisations for 2016 Gartner, Inc., revealed its 2016 ranking of the top 15 supply chain organisations based in Europe at its annual Supply Chain Executive Conference, held from 19 to 20 September in London. "In this year's edition, four of the top five European supply chain organisations from 2015 (see Table 1) remained in the top five. H&M and Inditex switched places at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively and Schneider Electric made its debut in the European top five," said Stan Aronow, research vice president at Gartner. "Three new companies also made the supply chain top 15 ranking in Europe this year, with Bayer joining the list for the first time and Nokia and Ahold Delhaize rejoining after several years." This year, Unilever not only maintained the No. 1 spot in the European supply chain ranking, but also ranked No. 1 globally. Unilever has made supply chain a true
partner to the business in delivering its broader Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, with the aim of doubling revenue and halving its environmental impact by 2020. H&M climbed one place to gain the No. 2 European ranking this year, reflecting a strong record in sustainability and workers' rights, as it quickly grows its business. Uncertainty in Europe exists and has increased since the UK's decision to leave the European Union. "More than ever, leading organisations in Europe will need to optimise their supply chain functions and embrace bimodal capabilities in order to drive growth and remain competitive in new markets," said Aronow. "They will also need to deliver
strategies that add real value to consumers, be mindful of new competitors capitalising on this period of uncertainty, and incorporate corporate social responsibility (CSR) goals into their supply chain strategy and operations." Gartner has outlined below some of the common challenges and key supply chain capabilities of this year's leading European supply chain organisations:
Growing emphasis on corporate social responsibility This year, for the first time, Gartner included a CSR score in order to highlight CSR
Return on Assets CSR Component Inventory Turns2 Revenue Growth3 (ROA)1 Score4
British American Tobacco
Notes: â€˘ 1 ROA: ((2015 net income / 2015 total assets)*50%) + ((2014 net income / 2014 total assets)*30%) + (2013 net income / 2013 total assets)*20%) â€˘ 2 Inventory Turns: 2015 cost of goods sold / 2015 quarterly average inventory â€˘ 3 Revenue Growth: ((change in revenue 2015-2014) *50%) + ((change in revenue 2014-2013) *30%) + ((change in revenue 2013-2012) *20%) â€˘ 4 CSR Component Score: Index of third-party corporate social responsibility measures of commitment, transparency and performance. â€˘ 5 Composite Score: (Peer Opinion*25%) + (Gartner Research Opinion*25%) + (ROA*20%) + (Inventory Turns*10%) + (Revenue Growth*10%) + (CSR Component Score*10%) Source: Gartner (September 2016)
excellence within Europe's top supply chains, with seven of the top 15 European companies scoring a maximum of 10 and four more scoring nine of out of 10. "The emphasis on CSR is not only driven by investors, but also by consumers, employees and the general public, all of whom expect businesses to run socially responsible supply chains and for their methods and results to be made public," said Aronow.
Increased adoption of advanced analytics The use of predictive and prescriptive analytics is becoming more prevalent within
leading European organisations across all sectors. For example, NestlĂŠ uses predictive analytic algorithms to support its global engineering process flows and expand its supply chain. BASF is developing a single platform supply chain control tower, applying advanced prescriptive analytics to remove silos in its supply chain and create a valuebased supply chain ecosystem.
Digital business and innovation increasingly featured Digital business is increasingly featured as part of the capabilities of leading supply chains. Companies such as Unilever are spending a substantial proportion of their
marketing activities on digital, and the supply chain is being reconfigured to leverage digital opportunities. Schneider Electric receives more than 70% of its orders digitally, which substantially reduces order processing time. Supply chain innovation is no longer used just to make supply chain more efficient, but also to drive a new level of competitive advantage for leading organisations. For example, L'OrĂŠal uses its supply chain technology and analytics to monitor the safety of its ingredients, thereby reducing the need for product testing on animals; also, H&M has a supply chain designed to move a garment from design to the hanger within 20 days.
PTV Group acquires DPS and invests in Cloud-based trip planning
TV Group in Karlsruhe, Germany has acquired the British company, Distribution Planning Software International Ltd. (DPS). Both companies supply software to the transport logistics market and plan to expand the international market coverage of their products. The range of solutions will grow for both companies, and both will profit as a result. The transport logistics market is benefitting from a new cloudbased product for trip planning via routeoptimiser.com. Vincent Kobesen, CEO of the PTV Group, said: "The integration of DPS, with all its employees, products and offices, into our group of companies has come at exactly the right time. It enables us to further extend the geographical coverage for our logistics software business in the UK, Sweden and South Africa, gaining new planning and optimisation products at the same time." The DPS Route Optimiser product enhances the existing PTV product range by adding trip optimisation to its Cloud solutions. Logistics companies now have easier access to powerful technology in today's connected environments.
Growth objective Both companies own international sales units that are mutually complementary. PTV has had its own office in Birmingham since 2013 and has set itself the objective of further growth, not only in the traffic sector, but also in transport logistics. To achieve this goal, the local sales and marketing presence in the UK and Scandinavia will undergo further expansion. DPS is based in Birmingham, with additional offices in Sweden and South Africa. In future, these offices will market the range of solutions offered by both companies under the PTV Group flag. In North America, PTV is already well-
established in the traffic sector with offices on the East and West Coasts. With its Cloud-based route scheduling PTV Group has yet another product in its portfolio, which is expected to put it in a strong position to specifically target the logistics market.
Global market presence
Paul Palmer, founder and previous owner of DPS, added: "DPS benefits from an extended reach and immediate access to a global market presence for its products. I am excited to be part of the PTV/DPS journey in my new role in the expanded This takeover allows us to business." As a new PTV subsidiary, DPS can continue to strengthen our operate in the market with market position, especially in a broader solution the UK, and double our existing portfolio.
"This takeover allows us to continue to strengthen our market position, especially in the UK, and double our existing revenue in this region. DPS is now 100% owned revenue in this region.” PTV Group has been by the PTV Group,” said – Vincent Kobesen, PTV Group. operating for almost 40 Kobesen. “All staff have years, with 700 employees been retained. We even supplying software for traffic and transport plan to take on additional personnel. We logistics to the entire world from their guarantee to all customers that existing headquarters in Karlsruhe. The business has contracts and product service agreements performed extremely well over the past few will be continued. Later changes are years. The company currently produces a possible but are not foreseen in the near turnover of over 100 million euros. future.”
Thornbridge Brewery keep the beer flowing Independent brewer, Thornbridge, is improving delivery costs, increasing driver efficiency and minimising the environmental impact of its mobile operation following the implementation of a dynamic delivery route planning solution.
he Maxoptra Cloud-based software is helping the brewery ensure customers receive their beer in a timely and costeffective manner. Since introducing the online delivery route optimisation system, Thornbridge has also seen an improvement in customer service and is planning, with the continued support of Maxoptra, further expansion of the business. James Walker, logistics manager at Thornbridge Brewery, said: "We discussed in detail what we required from a route planner, including all possible factors that needed to be taken into consideration when scheduling. We then trialled a number of solutions before concluding that Maxoptra was the most user friendly and fitted all of our needs perfectly." Thornbridge Brewery was founded in the grounds of Thornbridge Hall, Ashford-in-theWater in Derbyshire. The first craft beers were produced in 2005, and Thornbridge rapidly expanded opening a new state-ofthe art, 30-barrel brewery in 2009. Thornbridge has won more than 350 awards
Automated process Prior to the implementation of Maxoptra, each of Thornbridge's drivers were manually planning their own deliveries. This required returning to site at the end of every day to collect delivery manifests in order to prepare the next day's schedule. Using Maxoptra, this process has been entirely automated. Routes are prepared in advanced and in accordance with customer specific requirements, such as opening times, weight of deliveries and time required onsite.
Ambitious growth plans Stuart Brunger, head of business development at Maxoptra, added: "It is very exciting to be supporting Thornbridge at such a critical time in the company's
Walker continued: "Since we started using Maxoptra, we have seen a noticeable reduction in mileage, and therefore costs and emissions, and driver time is better utilised. We have also improved customer service with better communication and are confident that, as our business continues to expand, Maxoptra will support us along the way.”
Since we started using Maxoptra, we have seen a noticeable reduction in mileage, and therefore costs and emissions, and driver time is better utilised. We have also improved customer service with better communication and are confident that, as our business continues to expand, Maxoptra will support us along the way.” – James Walker, Thornbridge Brewery.
since opening, is considered by many to be the UK's first craft brewery and distributes beer to more than 38 countries. Thornbridge also operates six public houses in the Sheffield area and, in an exciting new venture, their first pub outside of the UK in s-Hertogenbosh in the Netherlands.
development. The use of Maxoptra is already delivering tangible benefits and returns on investment, and will help underpin the brewery's ambitious growth plans. It has to be said, site visits to Thornbridge are also a pleasure."
the logistics supply chain By Paul Swaddle, chairman, Pocket App.
egardless of the sector, be it banking, insurance, retail or utilities, the whole world seems to be adopting a digital or mobile-first strategy at breakneck speed â€“ and the logistics industry is no different. The reason for this digital transformation is simple; organisations are positioning themselves for the future, and with the smartphone arguably weighing in as the greatest technological disruptor of the 21st century, you have to either get with the programme or get left behind. There are real monitory reasons why transport and logistical companies should
be embracing mobile technology. Not so long ago, I read a survey conducted by Intermec, which showed how transport and logistics companies could save approximately ÂŁ303,855 per annum as a result of process re-engineering and the implementation of mobile technology across workflows. The survey also revealed that nearly three quarters (72%) had not evaluated their existing processes for at least two years. By digitally transforming their business, companies in this sector would be better placed to satisfy customer demand, streamline internal processes, meet business expectations, stay ahead of global competition and, most importantly, improve that bottom line.
Is adopting a mobile first approach going to be expensive? Having worked for many years on the frontline of app development and digital transformation in the enterprise, I've witnessed a widespread misconception that this can only be done at great expense, and having worked with a number of logistics companies, I've seen that this concern is indeed prevalent in the industry. This fear is understandable; the words 'digital transformation' even sound expensive. People hear them and assume they have to change every aspect of their organisational structure overnight, but this isn't the case. Many
businesses can take huge leaps forward just by focusing on small, fundamental changes. A prime example of how a relatively low cost digital change can have a dramatic impact is a project we undertook for Bridgestone Europe, a global manufacturer of tyres and rubber products, and provider of services and vehicle management. Bridgestone required a means of monitoring tyre pressure more efficiently than the manual procedures that were in place, so we developed a smartphone-based system which monitors pressure readings from Bridgestone's TPMS sensors using a Bluetooth Transceiver. Transmitters on the valves of each tyre send data to the Bridgestone Capture Pack (BCP), and then to the smartphone via Bluetooth. The phone displays the number of tyres that are under minimum air pressure, indicating which need to be serviced. Before Bridgestone had this mobile system in place, drivers had to monitor their tyre pressure by inserting a manual pressure gauge into each tyre, which took a huge amount of time and effort. Thanks to the mobile solution, Bridgestone is able to more efficiently ensure that its tyres are at the optimal pressure, and that the company is therefore getting the most value out of its fleet. That said, we know that measuring tyre pressure is not a key concern for everyone, and this is just one of many examples of how mobile technology can improve business and
logistics operations. Here are other ways an organisation might benefit:
Receipt of data in real-time Perhaps the greatest advantage of implementing a mobile app is the ability to deliver crucial data in real-time to both business employees and customers. Apps can also record and store valuable data, yielding more responsive business decisions by making it easier to perform accounting, billing and regulatory reporting tasks. In addition, paper waste is eliminated, manpower is reduced and human error is diminished, which in turn, will improve profitability and enhance your bottom line.
Tracking and notifications For companies in areas such as shipping or transportation, access to accurate tracking facilities and notifications that can be sent automatically at each stage of a journey will enable companies to easily keep track of vehicles and their cargo. Logistics companies were previously only able to track deliveries each time they arrived at a key destination (depot, port, or at the customer's location). Mobile makes it possible to track an individual parcel on a meter-by-meter, second-bysecond basis, monitoring the transport processes and not only identifying issues when they arise, but predicting problems before they appear.
Improve customer service The opportunities to improve customer service by utilising mobile apps are virtually endless. An app can allow customers to track shipments, arrange updates to deliveries or even live chat with a company representative. From a business perspective, an app can also be used to communicate product news and offers with customers.
Automation of existing paper-based processes Finally, one of the main benefits that mobile technology introduces is the automation of existing paper-based processes. Nowadays, you can eliminate paper forms by replacing them with instant mobile reports. This will not only save you time, but you can also be sure that your data is safe and collected in one place. The logistics industry, like most modern business sectors, is continuously transforming and evolving, as business race to meet customer demands and keep up with increasingly sophisticated competition. The continued growth of ecommerce sees no signs of abating and this is putting pressure on all aspects of the supply chain. With the increasing popularity and ever-expanding functionality of mobile affecting companies worldwide it is essential that organisations recognise how mobile can prove not only beneficial but relevant.
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