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JUNE 2016

MANUFACTURING & LOGISTICS IT

The European magazine promoting the effective use of IT in supply chain applications

Special Technology Report: AIDC/MOBILE COMPUTING

Interview: LAMBERT ENGINEERING

Also in this issue:

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The bimodal supply chain: tackling today, preparing for

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Managing innovation in the Cloud

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Modern distribution centres require a connected workforce

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Logistics in reverse

For the latest news and to subscribe to the Manufacturing and Logistics IT weekly newsletter visit

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19 – 20 September 2016 | London, UK gartner.com/eu/supplychain EARLY-BIRD SAVINGS Register by 22 July and save €350

The World’s Most Important Gathering of Supply Chain Leaders The Bimodal Supply Chain: Tackling Today, Preparing for Tomorrow

Key benefits of attending: s¬.ETWORK¬AND¬BUILD¬RELATIONSHIPS¬ WITH¬ ¬OF¬YOUR¬SUPPLY¬CHAIN¬ AND¬INDUSTRY¬EXECUTIVE¬PEERS s¬#REATE¬SHARED¬GOALS¬AND¬STRATEGIC¬ ALIGNMENT¬WITH¬EVERY¬MEMBER¬OF¬ YOUR¬SUPPLY¬CHAIN¬TEAM s¬!PPLY¬INNOVATIONS¬SUCH¬AS¬ SEGMENTATION ¬COST TO SERVE ¬ 3/0¬TECHNOLOGY¬AND¬MORE s¬%XPERIENCE¬FRESH ¬OUT OF THE BOX¬ THINKING¬IN¬A¬DYNAMIC¬ATMOSPHERE¬ CONDUCIVE¬TO¬PROBLEM SOLVING


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IT 5?AB&"!

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CONTENTS Manufacturing and Logistics IT June 2016

 

      

Interview 6

Editor: Ed Holden

Lambert Engineering

Special Technology Report 10

Contributors:

Automatic Identification & Data Capture/Mobile Computing

Philip Jarrett, BEC (Systems Integration) Ltd. Ralf Schulze, EMEA Zebra Technologies Adam Rockett, Strike Jon Hall, TouchStar

Voice 20

BEC: Key developments in Voice-directed technology

Mike Doyle, Datalogic

AIDC/Mobile Computing

Publisher: Dean Taylor

22

New scanners with RFID and NFC technology introduced to celebrate 30 years of Denso Auto-ID in Europe

Designer: First Sight Graphics Ltd, www.firstsightgraphics.com

Zebra Technologies: Industry 4.0: why productivity is set to jump forward

Production: Carolyn Pither

Touchstar: Boosting visibility is the key to future-proofing the supply chain

Strike: How consumer grade devices are challenging enterprise devices for industry dominance Datalogic: Logistics in reverse Honeywell: Modern distribution centres require a connected workforce

Circulation: Carole Chiesa

Hartingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s MICA ruggedised computer now available

IT Manager: Ian Curtis

Warehouse Management

36 Accounts: Sarah Schofield

Vanderlande: Automated solution increases efficiency and accuracy for Recio Kasto: Automated storage and retrieval of steel streamlines stockholderâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s business

Published by: B2B Publishing Ltd PO Box 3575, Barnet, Herts, EN5 9QD UK

Printing & Labelling 40

Brother portable scanners improve cash flow for logistics company Brotherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s portable printers for the supply chain

Tel: +44 (0) 1707 664200 Email (publishing): info@logisticsit.com Email (editorial): editor@ibcpub.com

Supply Chain 42

Printed by: The Magazine Printing Company plc, www.magprint.co.uk

Mapa Spontex improves the visibility and control of its supply chain worldwide with DynaSys solutions Oracle: Managing innovation in the Cloud Aspen Technology announces aspenONE Engineering and aspenONE Manufacturing

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&#x20AC;&#x2122;s or supplierâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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.

and Supply Chain Version 9 software Manhattan Associates connects the call centre to modern shopper expectations

Manufacturing 48

Breaking from traditional thought, Frost & Sullivan backs autonomous device networks as a model for industrial IoT connectivity Epicor acquires Dot Net IT to accelerate Epicor ERP deployments and expand

ISSN:1463-1172

4

IT

cloud offerings

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Event

Supply Chain

The bimodal supply chain: tackling today, preparing for tomorrow Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference 2016 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; to be held at Park Plaza Westminster, London, UK from 19 to 20 September â&#x20AC;&#x201C; is the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most important gathering of supply chain leaders. A two-part, bimodal supply chain is the new reality for organisations. This marriage of two distinct approaches delivers day-in, day-out reliability and game-changing innovation at the same time.

A

t the 2016 conference, delegates will be able to learn how to create and manage a bimodal value chain strategy that achieves essential performance goals while simultaneously allowing for iteration and experimentation.

Who should attend? â&#x20AC;˘ Chief supply chain officers (CSCOs) â&#x20AC;˘ Vice presidents of supply chain. â&#x20AC;˘ Supply chain strategy and innovation executives. â&#x20AC;˘ Demand and supply planning executives. â&#x20AC;˘ Heads/directors of SC. â&#x20AC;˘ Sourcing and procurement executives. â&#x20AC;˘ Manufacturing executives. â&#x20AC;˘ Distribution and logistics executives. â&#x20AC;˘ Field service and reverse logistics executives. â&#x20AC;˘ Supply chain IT executives. â&#x20AC;˘ Centres of excellence (COE) supply chain executives. â&#x20AC;˘ Customer service leaders.

Gartner Supply Chain Top 25 Join Gartner for a fun-filled dinner event where the analyst organisation reveals the leaders on its sixth year EMEA Supply Chain Top 15 ranking and host an interactive panel with three supply chain executives from EMEA on topics ranging from running bimodal supply chains to the importance of corporate social responsibility and the view from the top of their

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organisations. (All attendees may participate.)

Registration

The bimodal supply chain

There are three easy ways to register: Web: gartnerevents.com/eusupplychain Email: emea.registration@gartner.com Telephone: +44 20 8879 2430

Fast and slow. Traditional and revolutionary. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;bimodalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s conference theme will explore how todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s global supply chain must operate on a two-part bimodal supply chain strategy â&#x20AC;&#x201C; delivering efficiency and innovation at the same time. As an attendee at this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference, you will have access to the latest research, trends and technologies that support the new bimodal approach â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and you will leave with a list of actionable next steps to help make it a reality.

Gartner clients A Gartner ticket covers both days of the Summit. Contact your account manager or email emea.events@gartner.com to register using a ticket. For more information on the event and for the full presentation, workshop and roundtable agenda, visit: www.gartner.com/events/emea/supply-chain

New for 2016 â&#x20AC;˘ Fresh new research, engaging new formats and a new bimodal focus that delivers two distinct kinds of supply chain capability. â&#x20AC;˘ More targeted networking opportunities with over 400 supply chain leaders. â&#x20AC;˘ All-new guest keynote and case study speakers. â&#x20AC;˘ 2016 Supply Chain Advisory Board with leading supply chain executives to help us continuously shape the 2016 content and experience to your needs (view members online). â&#x20AC;˘ Try, evaluate and compare products and services that support your supply chain initiative. â&#x20AC;˘ New tracks providing targeted insight. â&#x20AC;˘ European Supply Chain Survey Results.

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Interview

Lambert Engineering

Engineering greater IT efficiencies Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with Nick Green, production director at Lambert Engineering, about the company’s extensive five-year IT development roadmap and the improved design and manufacturing benefits that the company is set to gain.

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ambert Engineering is a bespoke automation solution provider for the pharmaceutical, medical and FMCG industries. Two years ago, the company made the decision to put in place an embedded IT strategy to improve the design, manufacture, storage and customer liaison operations within the business. Lambert Engineering currently operates a software system – based on Microsoft Access – for the day-to-day running of all production 6

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activities. The system, Job Tracker, was largely designed in-house to track components throughout the manufacturing process. On the sales & purchasing side, the company relies on other in-house designed access based software with job book & purchased order systems. However, Nick Green explained that Lambert Engineering has largely outgrown these systems over the past few years. Because of this, he pointed out that the company established its new IT strategy to enable it to

deliver the highest quality products while helping to achieve optimum design, operational and sales efficiencies within the company. With this in mind, Lambert Engineering recently sourced Microsoft’s Dynamics AX ERP system, which is currently being implemented and customised. “Microsoft’s Dynamics AX will run the full scheduling side of our production cell, as well as resourcemanage our production departments,” explained Green. “The system will also control

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Lambert Engineering

Interview

Dynamics AX goes live all processes will become much more automated and be better integrated.â&#x20AC;?

Data capture In terms of barcoding technology, Green explained that the company currently uses 2D barcode scanners. However, as part of the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s embedded IT strategy it is currently looking to progress to QR code deployment within a few months.

"/747(1.)-6.65373171-0,12%/74.#62375+0566205+726(653- 7056/36,7057475*.#62 1'7/643/71'7!6-(4./7643*26"7,6/0+57/1'3$426745,7457"*31,6/%7"! " )4(%4+67'127!7.4(&0505+ purchasing and the sub-contracting side of the business, as well as our manufacturing operations â&#x20AC;&#x201C; including module kitting. It will control all these disciplines through barcoding and QR coding.â&#x20AC;?

WMS In terms of warehouse management functionality, Green explained that Lambert Engineering currently relies on a largely manual put-away and storage procedure. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is all run through our Job Tracker system,â&#x20AC;? he pointed out. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Every warehouserelated operation has a barcode, which is scanned manually by an operator in our Kitting department. Whenever components or products are moved into our storage area the barcode is scanned to show that it has entered the Kitting department in the warehouse. When the barcode has been scanned this generates a bill of materials in Job Tracker. This is then used as a pick list for operators.â&#x20AC;? However, when Dynamics AX goes live later in the year, this largely manual procedure will be a thing of the past, with the new system

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controlling all warehousing operations from cradle to grave. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The bill of materials will be automatically imported into Dynamics AX by our design house through our SolidWorks 3-D CAD design package, and will run all the way through to modular kitting,â&#x20AC;? Green explained. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Operators will then receive an inventory pick list, and take the required item from its stock location. We are currently running all our design, production and warehousing systems in isolation, which means we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have as much overall control of the processes. When

In terms of shop floor data collection, personnel in the manufacturing cells will have a Work-To list â&#x20AC;&#x201C; generated in Dynamics AX and made available to them via their handheld terminal â&#x20AC;&#x201C; informing them of their tasks for the day. Also, through its embedded real-time clocking system, Dynamics AX it will be able to clock-in and clock-off jobs in order to better time-manage and monitor work performance. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So, rather than rely on personnel to scan all the barcodes manually at their workstation, the whole process will become fully automated through the shop floor terminals,â&#x20AC;? said Green.

CRM On the customer relationship management (CRM) front, Green explained that CRM functionality comes as standard within Dynamics AX. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are currently implementing

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Interview

Lambert Engineering

improve model interaction, speed and overall efficiency,” said Green. Lambert Engineering also plans to go live with SolidWorks’ Enterprise Product Data Management (EPDM) solution for product data management within the next three months. The system is currently being trialled alongside Citrix.

Consultancy Green explained that when Lambert Engineering makes the decision to acquire new IT solutions, it normally calls on the services of specialist consultants who fully understand the systems. “As you can imagine, our own IT department are mainly focused on the day-to-day running of the systems currently being operated within the business,” he said. “If we have an embedded solution, such as Microsoft SharePoint, personnel within our IT department can be trained to be able to fully control the functionality, and make changes to the operation of the software as and when required. Because Dynamics AX will be such an integral part of our IT portfolio, our own IT team will be fully trained to understand the system inside out so it can be further tailored to suit our needs as we progress with the system after go live.”

As a complement to SolidWorks, Lambert Engineering also recently invested in a number of seats of Delcam’s FeatureCAM design software, and an Autodesk CAD/CAM package for 3-D machining. “Autodesk helps us to optimise our machining times and to reduce our programming times through being able to download model designs directly from SolidWorks,” Green pointed out.

0(%726657 &0/70/747)6201,71'7.4 12 056/3.6537'127*/7#*37$67%51$7037$0-#67.156 7$6--7/)653726/*-305+705 +2643627,6/0+57.45*'4(3*26745, /3124+626-436,76''0(065(06/70573&6 #*/056//7 Dynamics AX CRM and this will be an integral part of our new integrated IT package within a few months,” he explained.

Design Lambert Engineering has been running SolidWorks CAD design software for the past ten years, and earlier this year the company upgraded to SolidWorks 2016. “The solution is invaluable for us; allowing users to check their own work in order to

Greater processing power Lambert Engineering is also looking to implement a Citrix centralised mainframe computer within the next few months in order to benefit from greater processing power for internal connections. Green explained the rationale behind the decision to source Citrix: “A design system like SolidWorks requires a high level of computing power, and if you don’t have the right level of processing power this can be a problem for a company like ours, which relies on 25 designers with their own PCs and laptops needing to have access to, and work on their CAD models of pieces of automation equipment during the day. With Citrix, we will be able to speed-up the performance of the design department, while also allowing users to use one large model when necessary – without the risk of computer overload.”

Schematic design Lambert Engineering is also currently implementing Eplan electrical schematic design software. “Because Eplan has active PDF document control built-in, and contains a large database of manufacturers’ data; with things such as, design manuals, predrawing symbols and safety information,” said Green. “We have a number of large panels within automation, and Eplan will be able to download all the labels for these panels to our Cembre label printers so we can print them off as required. At the moment it’s a very manual process. So, all of these benefits will further enable us to reduce design time and improve efficiency.”

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Lambert Engineering

Production inspection In the production area, Lambert Engineering has a number of large CMMS machines in order to product parts for some of the large pieces of automation equipment the company manufactures. To enhance its production operations, the company sent live with a Faro Smartinspect laser tracking software package in March this year. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Faro system is used for the inspection of large components and to help set up the machinery to the correct alignment,â&#x20AC;? said Green.

Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things As part of its forward-looking IT strategy, Lambert Engineering is heavily focused on leveraging maximum advantage from the greater levels of design and manufacturing connectivity that are now possible through the use of technology in line with Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things (IoT). â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are in the process of setting up an Aftersales & Servicing department,â&#x20AC;? said Green. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Here, Industry 4.0 and IoT will be key to getting vital information to that department. This is largely because weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re moving from what has largely been a reactive maintenance strategy to more of a planned scheduled maintenance regime.â&#x20AC;?

connectivity arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t hindered by any enhanced risk to data security. â&#x20AC;&#x153;As we continue to move more and more in the direction of Industry 4.0 and IOT we need to ensure that we are able to minimise the online threat level to our business,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;With this in mind, we are investing in a more robust cyber security package, which will be fully in place by next year. We accredited through an external party for cyber vulnerability and hold PCIDSS certification. Lambert Engineering currently

Interview

Major development In summary, Green said Lambert Engineeringâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s commitment to a major investment in its IT overhaul over the next five years is progressing well. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I started working for the company as an apprentice in 1996, and remember walking around the factory with a piece of paper on a clipboard tracking components. Things have developed out of all recognition since then, with the pace of

â&#x20AC;&#x153;

Microsoftâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dynamics AX will run the full scheduling side of our production cell, as well as resource-manage our production departments. The system will also control purchasing and the sub-contracting side of the business, as well as our manufacturing operations â&#x20AC;&#x201C; including module kitting. It will control all these disciplines through barcoding and QR coding.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Nick Green, Lambert Engineering.

has Symantec for filtering emails for viruses, Sophos is our current antivirus software and watchguard is our firewall. All of these are both extremely good systems. We understand the need to make our systems more robust with IoT and the ever growing risk of cyberattacks, and are currently looking at solutions from Palo Alto Networks to introduce within the next year.â&#x20AC;?

change within the IT world. This is a period of major investment for us, but we know it will be money well spent, resulting in greater design, manufacture and storage-related efficiencies in the business; which in turn will afford a better all-round service to our customers.â&#x20AC;? 

Green explained that Lambert Engineering already fits a number of sensors on various pieces of production equipment, which are controlled remotely by Rockwell PLCs. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The whole IoT process is still very much ongoing, but we fully recognise the benefits to be had by developing a robust IoT-based strategy, both from an operational and maintenance perspective.â&#x20AC;?

Security Because IoT is very much Internet-focused, Green explained that Lambert Engineering needs to ensure that the benefits of greater

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AIDC/Mobile Computing

The data factor Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke with a number of experts from the vendor and analyst communities about recent developments in the world of automatic identification & data capture and mobile computing technologies – including those concerning integration, security and technology convergence. The contributors also reflect on some of the key drivers for these developments, and consider what AIDC/mobile computer solution users can likely look forward to in the not too distant future.

T

Gupta, director, autoID & data capture, VDC

“Big Data – defined simply as extremely large

Research, observes that the explosion in e-

datasets that can be analysed to reveal

Expanded use

commerce sales volumes has retailers and

patterns, trends, and associations – is a topic

Tim Zimmerman, research VP, Gartner, reflects

service providers scrambling to get their

generating significant interest among AIDC

that, in today's environment, gathering location

technology infrastructure up to date in order to

industry veterans,” said Gupta. “It is gaining

or access information about key personnel,

enable greater supply chain visibility and

significance in the modern connected world as

crucial physical assets or inventory counts is

seamless communication across a broad array

the collection of ‘non-traditional’ data increases;

critical to making business decisions across

of connected devices. She cites several factors

information vital to accurate business decision-

many organisations. “We have historically seen

that are impacting warehouse operations and

making can be found not only in transactional

RFID deployed in the supply chain for inventory

subsequent investments in AutoID solutions,

data collection methods but even more so via

tracking; however, IT organisations are

including:

scanners, imagers, machine vision systems, and

expanding the uses of RFID for access to

disparate sensing technologies. AutoID

buildings, as well as to track crucial assets in

1. Omni-channel retailing pressures.

solutions represent the front end supporting

the data centre, hospitals and libraries,” he said.

2. E-commerce sales spike and the need for

many Big Data initiatives. From managing stock

o kick-off this in-depth discussion

based imagers for barcode data capture and

regarding some of the current key

QA/QC.

talking points and/or innovations/developments related to

patterns to enhance manufacturing efficiencies and yield, leveraging AIDC technologies enables workers to undertake sophisticated

5. Growing interest in wearables for hands-free

statistical analysis and data assessments.”

operation.

AIDC/mobile computing, Richa

levels and tracking customer behaviour in retail

Although there is no horizontal hardware vendor

3. Escalating labour costs.

to monitoring supply chain wellness in

for all RFID technologies, Zimmerman points out

4. Migration from laser scanners to camera-

perishable item distribution and identifying

that some of the most successful organisation-

item level fulfilment.

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wide RFID deployments, particularly in

all know that trying to link the databases of

aerospace and healthcare, consist of multiple

contrasting systems can be time consuming

battery management.

frequencies. Zimmerman explains that to

and costly. Imager devices offer an alternative

Clark believes the

operate properly, RFID solutions may also

as shipment data can be stored locally but then

best option for optimal

require one or multiple readers, where the

updated throughout its journey to its destination.

performance and

information from the tag is communicated to the

The ability to update databases on the move

workflow efficiency

reader via one or more antennas, then

has also been improved. For example, HTML 5

and lowest total cost

communicated upstream across the network

has been developed to perform many functions

of ownership are still

usually taken by native applications running on

the rugged, purpose-

a mobile terminal. Users can now work offline,

built devices. She

Jon Hall, chief operating officer, TouchStar,

safe in the knowledge that data will be

explains that these

believes the most exciting concept that has

synchronised when a connection is re-

include both

been introduced recently has to be the ‘Wide

established.”

handheld and vehicle-

infrastructure to an application.

)!.)!!,+!-(& +,$,-+%. &.

mounted mobile computers, wearables utilising

Area Warehouse’. “It has the potential to take

mobile computers and Bluetooth ring scanners,

the ‘Elastic Warehouse’ idea – whereby a

Adam Boyce, manager of IT strategy, Panorama

warehouse operation can rapidly grow or shrink

Consulting, points out that the barcode remains

wearables utilising Voice technology and sleds

according to demand – and apply it to the entire

popular for tracking and resource management

that enhance commercial devices to perform

supply chain,” he explained. “It always surprises

such as inventory position and manufacturing

more like rugged devices.

me when so much effort is put into monitoring

progression. OCR (optical character

what is inside the four walls of a warehouse; that

recognition) is increasing as the recognition

Clark adds that the appeal of the smartphone in

visibility is all but lost once a product leaves for

technology improves,” he said. “Early adoption

terms of ease of use and reduced training time

the next stage of the chain. Visibility is such a

was tough as the accuracy was not always the

for the end user, due to a familiar user interface,

key aspect of the supply chain that I often think

best at identifying characters.

is influencing the design of new rugged devices, however. She continued: “There is a trend

of the delivery vehicle as a location that must be managed as a warehouse would be.”

Boyce added that RFID deployment is also

towards lighter devices with larger

increasing, especially for areas where general

touchscreens, as well as an increasing adoption

Hall added that understanding stock levels as

proximity is preferred, or line of sight scanning is

of Android as an alternative to Windows

well as movement increases the ability to

not feasible. Boyce also explained that

operating system. Increasingly, these devices

maximise an operation. “The Wide Area

biometrics such as fingerprinting and facial

are being used for more than just traditional

Warehouse idea will undoubtedly help

recognition tend to be employed for security

barcode scanning. With advances in scan

organisations to stay lean, competitive and

usually as an additional layer. “There are still

engine technology, enterprises are able to

questions around the legitimacy of some these

extend their use to scan not just the barcode,

systems and if they can be ‘fooled’,” he said.

but the document around it, and use capabilities

On a smaller scale – but no less important in

“Smart cards can also be deployed for security

such as OCR to capture more data. This also

terms of its impact – Hall maintains that

such as in government areas where users are

allows companies to explore new revenue

advancements in imager technology are

able to store their credentials in multiple formats

opportunities, such as parcel delivery

shaking up the industry. “The latest breed of

on a single card.”

better meet customer expectation,” he said.

imager devices are able to compete directly with laser scanners in terms of speed and accuracy, but also offer the benefit of being able

)%-. "*-&.#)+,%*'+& -"*'..#-*-.%-*"+,&.

companies also performing meter readings; as the Internet of Things (IoT) expands, this trend will grow exponentially.”

Rugged advantage

to read 2D barcodes,”

Justine Clark, industry marketing manager –

Daniel Dombach, EMEA director for industry

he explained. “This is

transport and logistics Europe, Honeywell

solutions, Zebra Technologies, believes we are

a key development,

Sensing and Productivity Solutions, pointed out

in the midst of a new technology revolution that

as 2D barcodes have

that, while some companies are testing

was initially described in Germany as Industry

to conform to

smartphones and other commercial-grade

4.0. He explains that the name points to the

worldwide standards,

devices, they are proving to lack the

potential offered by a range of converging

so imager devices are

ruggedness to consistently perform optimally in

technologies to transform the way we collect,

becoming an enabler

the field environment. In addition, she maintains

analyse and share data to provide real-time

of greater

that whilst appearing initially to be a lower

visibility into every corner of an organisation.

collaboration and the

capital investment, they fail to deliver key

Dombach believes this Enterprise Asset

sharing of data.”

attributes that an enterprise requires; such as

Intelligence (EAI) promises to improve a huge

stability of operating system version, advanced

range of operations – from enhancing the way

security, an extensive range of accessories and

production lines are planned, monitored and

Hall continued: “We

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AIDC/Mobile Computing

run, to transforming

around a new form factor, moving away from

call Situational Disabilities that inhibit decision

the performance of

the traditional gun design by placing a 4-inch

making. For instance, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s likely to be noisy, there

vehicle fleets, to

high-resolution WVGA screen on top of the

will be a lot of movement â&#x20AC;&#x201C; such as forklifts,

making a major leap

handle. The main benefit of this is that the

people and in-coming vehicles â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the light could

forward in the

user no longer needs to tilt the device to read

be dim, and it may well be very cold. Operators

efficiency and

the screen after each scan: they simply pull

may also be wearing bulky clothing and gloves.

productivity of

the trigger. And, with its consumer-style all-

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s our responsibility to produce devices that

warehouses.

touch operation, many key applications that

thrive in this environment and that intuitively

previously required multiple button presses

provide simple accessibility to smart and

Dombach continues:

need just one or two taps on the screen. Pilot

dedicated features to help users easily see,

â&#x20AC;&#x153;While many

customers, such as DHL Supply Chain, have

hear and share the critical information they need

technologies play a

seen productivity improve by up to 20 per

to get their jobs done.â&#x20AC;?

lead role in Industry

cent per operative. Nandini Bhattacharya, senior research analyst â&#x20AC;&#x201C;

4.0, the Internet of Things and mobile computing are key components: â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Internet of Things: Smart sensors and tags, such as RFID and barcode labels, can

auto identification and data capture, Frost &

â&#x20AC;&#x153;The TC8000 is compatible with Zebraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s AllTouch Terminal Emulation software. This uses

Sullivan, believes there is greater visibility in

the increased processing power on devices to

retail, manufacturing, logistics, and healthcare.

replace the legacy green-screen, and its

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Assets can be tracked and condition monitored

multiple menus and key presses, with a simple

round the clock; moreover, this happens at

be attached to objects â&#x20AC;&#x201C; from machines, to

and easy-to-use graphical menu built around

closer proximity, and located with high

people, to vehicles, to parcels, to pallets and

Android. Teams using Android devices require

accuracy,â&#x20AC;? she said. Bhattacharya added there

many, many more. The tags give items a

less training and they more readily embrace the

are various emerging applications such as

digital voice that streams data over the

technology as it helps them work in more natural

advertising in retail, studying customer

Internet to provide informative dialogue about

and intuitive ways.

behaviour, health monitoring of livestock, analysing the techniques and activities of

the day-to-day operations of the business. For example, a logistics company can use smart

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Zebra is also investing heavily in wearables.

athletes or sportspersons, remote patient

sensors to continually determine the

We see this as one of the next big trends in end-

monitoring, hand hygiene, and many more.

temperature, status and health of the assets

user computing in manufacturing and logistics.

itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s carrying. The intelligence collected from

Wearables promise to improve productivity and

Bhattacharya also made the point that due to

operations can be used in three ways. First to

lower error rates by presenting information to

growth of Cloud computing and the increased

sense whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going on in a business; second

operatives in more natural and easier-to-digest

use of smartphones, information is now available

to analyse that data; and third, to act upon it.

ways.â&#x20AC;?

anytime anywhere for users. Additionally,

Andrew Briggs, technical director, BEC, also

a service (SaaS) models for radio-frequency

Bhattacharya points to the growth of software as

Critically, with faster and ubiquitous Wi-Fi and 4G networks, on-tap computing power in the Cloud and improved data analytics, the time

homed-in on the benefits of the new Zebra

identification RFID software. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A lot more

between data being captured and presented

TC8000. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This innovative product is right in our

protocols and combination of multiple protocols

in useful ways for people â&#x20AC;&#x201C; or machines â&#x20AC;&#x201C; to

sweet spot in terms of vertical alignment, i.e.

are being used today apart from just active and

make decisions on it is closing. In fact, in

warehousing & manufacturing, with its tough

passive RFID for real-time monitoring,â&#x20AC;? she said.

many instances, it happens in real time,

form factor and rugged, tilted screen etc.,â&#x20AC;? he

â&#x20AC;&#x153;For real-time location system (RTLS) solutions,

allowing organisations to move faster,

said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also a lot of discussion around

Ultra-Wide Band,

become more agile and take better decisions.

Android â&#x20AC;&#x201C; this is bringing the price of devices

Bluetooth Low Energy

Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more, with Big Data systems

down, as customers are not paying for a

(BLE) is increasingly

continually crunching real-time data, the

Windows licence on a mobile device so the

becoming popular for

analysis will uncover new ways to continually

purchase price is cheaper.â&#x20AC;?

indoor location applications.â&#x20AC;?

improve performance.

The importance of design

Tim Thompson, head

used in logistics and manufacturing are

James Morley-Smith, director of user

of sales UK/Nordics &

changing as the best innovations from the

experience, Zebra Technologies, pointed to the

Benelux and strategic

consumer space are adapted for the

importance of design: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Teams working on

partner development

enterprise. A good example of an all-new

production floors or in the warehouse have very

Europe, Denso, points

device that offers a highly intuitive interface is

different requirements to the average iPhone

out that the traditional

Zebraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s TC8000 mobile computer. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s built

user. The environment itself presents what we

rugged AIDC market

â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;&#x153;Powerful, intuitive devices: Mobile devices

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Special Technology Report

has been impacted by the consumer mobile

within the supply chain for applications such as

2020, Zebra

devices market and the ability for enterprise

reverse logistics.

Technologies, 2016].”

businesses to utilise web-based applications. He explains that AIDC companies have

Dombach observes a

therefore had to be more innovative in their

Ergonomics

similar trend at play in

design and usability of devices. In Thompson’s

Doyle is also starting to see less focus on the

manufacturing; with

view, key developments are:

amount of memory a device has or what its

people expecting

• “Devices are still rugged however the

processor performance is, and more emphasis

their goods to be

ergonomics are much more akin to smart

on the ergonomics and usability of the device.

made more quickly.

phone devices and include full touch screens,

“By combining outstanding form, size and

“Not only that, they

integrated scanning and a full suite of

ergonomics together with a modular approach

increasingly want

communication capability – Wi-Fi, 4G, VOIP.

to device functionality, we are seeing even

them made to order,”

greater productivity and potential for return on

he said. “For

investment,” he explained.

example, the new

• “Android is now becoming a popular operating system but security and challenges around system updates remains a concern. • “RFID reading capability is becoming more widespread as the need for greater efficiencies impacts businesses.

"$*)(,. -+&.)(#"$*+ !-+,*)(.!-(-,+. *+-($'+*.-(#. ')$*)%$ "+',&.

Audi A3 offers so many options that customers In addition to ensuring that ergonomics are at

can literally order a one of a kind car while even

the core of the design process, Doyle pointed

the largest commercial airliner available –

out that Datalogic is also implementing

Airbus’ A380 comes in multiple configurations.

technologies such as wireless charging, indoor

Such complex, accelerated and customised

barcode scanning and NFC read capability –

positioning and MIMO Wi-Fi technology into its

levels of production would be unthinkable

help reduced costs, improve performance

latest devices, which he explains will provide

without the level of visibility provided by the

and reduce device management challenges.”

additional value and differentiation for end

Internet of Things, mobile devices, ubiquitous

users.

network connectivity and Big Data analytics.”

• “Multifunction devices – e.g combined

2D imaging

According to Dombach, there is one other

Mike Doyle, country manager UK&I, Datalogic,

Drivers for change

important thing to mention; firms in the

points out that imaging is the main area where

What has driven the above changes? Dombach

manufacturing and logistics sector tend to invest in technology over the long term. “For example,

he is seeing continued evolution and great

believes a key driver behind the improvements

potential to help end users maximise

to technology is the need to reduce costs while

we have over 2.5 million of our MC9000 series of

productivity within the supply chain. “2D

simultaneously doing more, and doing it more

mobile computers in service running a Microsoft

barcodes have been widely adopted in the retail

quickly. “Relentless improvement is a

OS. As organisations look to the future, and how

sector, particularly with the rapid emergence of

prerequisite for doing business in manufacturing

to increase efficiency and productivity, many are

mobile couponing and to a certain extent this

and logistics,” he said, adding that, of course,

talking to us about moving to a more intuitive

improved knowledge about the benefits of 2D

greater competition across sectors also plays a

and natural all-touch operating system. We

imaging vs linear models is driving uptake

role in innovation while the end consumer, in the

anticipate that this will further fuel Android’s

deeper into the supply chain,” he said. “Devices

Internet age, has become much more

push into the enterprise.”

that have a 2D imaging capability offer end

demanding. “Take fashion retailers: they need to

users far more in terms of potential returns than

meet shoppers’ demands for next-day and,

Boyce believes one of the main drivers for

linear scanners. 2D barcode symbologies such

increasingly, same-day delivery – flawlessly.

change is the demand for increased automation

as data matrix, PDF417 and DPM codes can

This expectation has seen organisations look at

without sacrificing accuracy and security.

contain more data such as serial numbers,

warehouses differently in recent years – rather

“Organisations desire tools to improve

locations and date information to speed up

than a cost centre, they’re seen as a value

performance reliability that can also drive down

production, improve traceability, reduce costs

centre that can help organisations secure

costs and improve quality,” he said. “Rapidly

and enhance customer service throughout the

business by the speed at which they fulfil

improving technology at reduced costs as

supply chain.”

orders. As part of this change, more

adoption arises means the systems won’t be as

warehouses are being built – to take depots

restrictive to purchase or implement. It also

As well as integrating 2D imaging capabilities

closer to the consumer. Indeed, with 74 per cent

allows investment into development that can

into devices that can cope with near-far

of logistics firms planning to build more

further capabilities.”

scanning, Doyle explained that Datalogic is also

distribution centres and employ more staff, there

developing devices to read invisible, digitally

will be a greater demand for intuitive mobile

Another factor, according to Boyce, is the

watermarked barcodes and exploring

devices to help reduce the estimated 53.6 hours

prevalence of these technologies on a personal

advancements in image recognition

that it takes to train each operative [Reference:

level. “OCR, biometrics and mobile systems are

technologies to see how these can be utilised

Building the Smarter Warehouse: Warehousing

a part of our everyday lives,” he said.

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;Computers and smart devices such as phones

AIDC/Mobile Computing

geomagnetic technology,â&#x20AC;? she said.

Improved benefits

allow for fingerprint and facial recognition. OCR can be found in mobile apps that convert words

Thompson considers the main drivers for

What have been the subsequent benefit

from an image or hand-written notes into digital

change to be:

improvements for the user? According to Briggs,

text. Accessibility allows for expanded usage

â&#x20AC;˘ The continued demands on business to use

these include faster implementations with better

innovative technology to help drive at cost,

middleware and less modifications (for example,

improve productivity and gain competitive

BECâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eSmart Voice WMS solution) â&#x20AC;&#x201C; giving a

advantage.

broader functionality to middleware etc. In terms

and subsequent improvement.â&#x20AC;?

Refining consumer service

â&#x20AC;˘ Vendors have had to react to market

of wireless communications, Dombach believes

Clark believes e-commerce has had a huge

demands for smaller, more durable,

effect. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Consumers are driving how their

consumer-like devices with operating

the Wi-Fi Alliance has paved the way for Wi-Fi to

products are delivered and visibility of where,

systems that are familiar to the demographic

become an integral part of warehouse and

when and how they are delivered,â&#x20AC;? she said.

of the users.

factory operations. He also maintains that Wi-Fi

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Retailers and logistics companies need to

the standardisation of the technology through

â&#x20AC;˘ Developers are creating applications in

has also benefited from the trend across the IT

continually refine and improve the service they

HTML, making the apps more OS agnostic

provide their customers to remain competitive.

and giving businesses the opportunity to

Cloud services â&#x20AC;&#x201C; to reduce the complexity of IT.

Use of handhelds taking barcode data enables

choose from a wider range of devices â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our Wi-Fi systems provide carrier-grade ultra-

consumers to keep track of where their product

even permit BYOD (bring your own device).

industry â&#x20AC;&#x201C; seen for example in the availability of

reliable performance but are easily installed by a guided and largely self-provisioned process,â&#x20AC;?

is, from order received to delivery or if itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ready Doyle considers that, without a doubt, a lot of

for collection.â&#x20AC;?

said Dombach. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Designed for non-stop

the drivers around form factor and usability are

business, they include â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Smart RFâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; whereby

According to Clark, changing market

being driven by the consumer smartphone

access points can sense problems and

requirements also play a huge role; â&#x20AC;&#x153;for instance

market. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Organisations are looking for devices

automatically adjust performance to optimise

in transport and logistics or retail where the

that still retain the industrial and enterprise

services. Everything is built and managed with

workforce is affected by peaks and the

requirements of a rugged handheld device, but

our WiNG operating system, which makes it

workforce is becoming younger, they require a

at the same time they are attracted to devices

simple to run, monitor and maintain the network

familiar looking device that is easy to use so that

that have a similar look and feel to their

from any location â&#x20AC;&#x201C; on-premise or in the Cloud.â&#x20AC;?

they can be up and running as soon as

consumer grade devices such as large

possible.â&#x20AC;?

displays and touchscreens in a sleek design,â&#x20AC;?

Moving away from Wi-Fi and to a more general

he said.

point, Dombach comments that greater connectivity between sensors, devices,

Bhattacharya observes that smarter manufacturing and Industry 4.0 is changing

Doyle added that this is just as true from a

machines, people, the back office and more

the use of RFID in manufacturing and

software perspective. â&#x20AC;&#x153;As people have become

across the value chain brings many benefits.

industrial applications. She adds that

more familiar with mobile technology in their

â&#x20AC;&#x153;The increasing number of data collection points

businesses across sectors are looking for

personal lives, they have also become more

allied to faster networks means that the time

information on the locations and condition of

comfortable using it in a work environment. This

between the creation and the analysis of data is

their assets to increase profitability.

increased familiarity has huge advantages

shrinking,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And, as we move forward,

Bhattacharya also believes the growth of

when it comes to user adoption and training

this will increasingly happen in real time,

Cloud computing is changing the software

requirements.â&#x20AC;?

presenting both humans and machines with

business models and has helped with many

-(), .'!-%& .#)+,%*'+.'+ )(#"$*+.$' "*)'($&.

14

IT

emerging and new

Briggs commented that, in terms of the Zebra

more effective decisions but to better predict

applications with

TC8000 it is very different to the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;normâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; in terms

what might happen and plan accordingly. The

smartphones and

of design, so this must be attributed to the

knock-on effect is that organisations can

tablets. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Because of

vendor taking into account and listening to what

become even more agile and flexible, which is

the constantly

users in warehousing and manufacturing

essential to cope with growing complexity and

increasing use of

environments need from a mobile device.

the demand for customised solutions.â&#x20AC;?

smartphones, and

Briggs added that the scope of service and

tablets, and other

support contracts has also changed to cover

mobile devices, it is

abuse; e.g. if users drop it and break it, it is

Reduced cost

possible to develop

now covered as standard. Also, Briggs points

Hall makes the point that in recent years the

solutions that work

out that the cost of contracts has dropped, and

cost of the hardware has dramatically

on Bluetooth, or

â&#x20AC;&#x153;users can get three years cover very cheap if

reduced while functionality has dramatically

GPS, or

they buy it on day oneâ&#x20AC;?.

increased. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Technology has become much

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immediate intelligence on which to not only base

June 2016

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AIDC/Mobile Computing

Special Technology Report

more intuitive and familiarity with smartphones

mobile computing,

Back-office systems

plus the availability of

towards making mobile devices much more

In terms of the relationship between

high-speed and

accessible. The extra familiarity means

AIDC/mobile computer systems and back-office

affordable mobile

lengthy training periods for new or temporary

solutions, what have been some of the key

networks, has been

staff are often not necessary. This is a huge

recent changes? In manufacturing, Dombach

the driver of the

bonus for those considering the Elastic or

has witnessed major producers focus a lot of

changes we have

Wide Area Warehouse concepts, and who will

effort on better connecting their entire

recently been a part

depend on the ability to bring in temporary

production processes. “A particular focus has

of. “With this platform

staff and have them quickly up to speed.”

been on improving Manufacturing Execution

in place, we have

Systems (MES) – the interface between the

seen end-users

From a user perspective, Clark reflects that

machine itself, which produces the goods, and

embrace Cloud

the freedom of choice regarding operating

the ERP systems that govern the order, planning

technology, as the

systems has driven greater ease of use, as

and production process,” he explained. “The

ability to access data from any location with a

solutions become more familiar in terms of

goal is to enhance visibility by improving

connection is extremely valuable,” he said.

user interface. “Workers want a device that is

information flow.”

“Knowing exactly where stock is at every stage

Honeywell places a strong focus on user

Dombach added that mobile computers are

Warehouse concept too. It offers greater

design for its technology,” she said.

also being increasingly used across

visibility, awareness and flexibility as data is

has increased,” he said. “All this goes

easy to learn and intuitive, which is why

(#+,.+)$& *,%()%- .#)+,%*'+&.

in the supply cycle is crucial for the Wide Area

production processes, and the digitisation of

quickly analysed and efficiency gains can be

Clark added that another significant trend in

standard operating procedures is now making

identified.”

user workflows is toward hands-free

it much easier to not only change these

technologies – such as wearables and Voice

procedures but to provide engaging guidance

Hall adds that one only has to look at Microsoft

solutions – to drive greater productivity and

for users through mobile devices using Voice,

Azure to see the power of this combination of

accuracy while promoting safety, ergonomics

Video and 3D models. On a broader level,

new technology. “Azure runs on a worldwide

and employee morale. “Users who feel safer,

Dombach pointed out that the industrial

network of Microsoft-managed data centres

are more productive and can do their job

browser has become more common, with

across 22 regions and is expanding its footprint

easier, tend to have much higher job

major ERP, WMS and CRM apps available via

rapidly. The proliferation of data centres means

satisfaction,” she remarked.

web browsers. “This means that organisations

that data can be held local to where you need it,

don’t have to match devices to particular

ensuring fast delivery of real-time data to a

Thompson explains that improvements in

operating systems, providing the freedom to

mobile workforce wherever they are operating.”

wireless performance standards – greater

select the best device for teams,” he said.

capacity, faster and more secure and resilient – together with improvements in 4G data

Looking at devices, technology made for the

The right protocols

networks have meant the data captured can

enterprise must be different, according to

Boyce makes the point that AIDC/etc. systems

be delivered more reliably and the operating

Dombach. “As well as being robust and reliable,

are typically viewed as extensions or tools that

range of devices is extended through the

it must be easy to deploy, operate and run,” he

work in tandem with back-office business

business. This, says Thompson, helps

said. With this in mind, Dombach explained that

solutions such as ERP. “Having a standalone

information to be processed and acted on

Zebra provides a suite of supporting

AIDC limits the capabilities and visibility to data

more quickly.

technology: Mobility DNA. “This includes end-

that more companies are seeking,” he said. “In

user apps, robust admin utilities and effortless

an integrated environment it’s key that the right

Doyle reiterates that the move to business

development tools to make it easier for

protocols exist so that the devices and

versions of operating systems like Android

customers to get the most value from their

technologies play nice together and do not

give end users devices and applications that

mobile devices. We also build smart software

excessively overlap. These solutions tend to

they are familiar with, and the knock-on

into our devices, such as 123Scan that

come with their own hardware and software that

effects of this create a number of benefits that

connects our scanners to the back office. It

need to be evaluated to ensure they are

shouldn’t be underestimated. “This is

streamlines staging, makes it easy to remotely

complimentary with back-office systems.”

particularly noticeable during roll out and

oversee devices and protects key features –

training phases and by reducing the learning

such as the battery by continuously monitoring

Clark comments that e-commerce and omni-

curve for using technology organisations have

battery life and charging patterns and sharing

channel selling has also had a large impact

the potential to start seeing measurable

this data with the back office.”

said.

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regarding the back-office system relationship. “This has greatly increased the complexity for

business benefits much more quickly,” he Hall observes that rapid advancements in

the retailer of tracking where inventory is in the

IT

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AIDC/Mobile Computing

supply chain,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;As options expand to

available by the software companies can be

explains that organisations must assure that the

buy in store, collect from store, have delivered

easily integrated by the end users into their

following three areas are addressed regarding

from store or warehouse, or transfer from one

systems.â&#x20AC;?

application: â&#x20AC;˘ Integration into back-end systems that will

store to another, visibility of inventory and maintaining accurate data has never been more

According to Thompson, the key changes

important, nor more difficult. This is just one

regarding the relationship between AIDC/mobile

process RFID tag or reader data, and

example of the continued need for businesses

computer systems and back-office solutions

whether middleware is needed to convert or

to improve efficiencies and processes, whilst

have been the capability to capture and deliver

filter the data or provide additional reporting

data more efficiently through improved

capabilities based on the additional

also reducing costs.â&#x20AC;?

functionality in devices and improved

information available on the tag. It is critical

Clark added that Cloud platforms offer a range

communicability â&#x20AC;&#x201C; faster Wi-Fi and WAN

that implementers understand the ability of

of opportunities to better collect, share and

connectivity.

any middleware or back-end application to scale as the number of tags is increased.

analyse data. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Businesses with a distributed workforce need software solutions that can be rapidly developed, are massively scalable and

Closer integration

that make their mobile teams better connected.

Doyle comments that closer integration of

data from the different tag/reader

Honeywell recently acquired Movilizer, which

mobile devices with back-office systems is

technologies that make up a total solution.

offers customers the ability to seamlessly

being enabled by advancements in mobile

collect, transmit and analyse data from their

device management and terminal emulation.

â&#x20AC;˘ Applications must be able to incorporate the

â&#x20AC;˘ Applications must be able to collect data from

workers on their existing IT systems. This

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Terminal Emulation has been a conduit for

multiple locations. For example, supply chain

enables businesses to harness the power of

transferring data between devices and back-

applications may have multiple warehouses

their workforce from anywhere to best serve the

office systems for many years, offering a very

where inventory can be moved or located.

needs of their end customers.â&#x20AC;?

fast a reliable connection for workers,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have seen a trend to browser technology

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Organisations need to be clear about the

In addition, Clark points out that logistics

but recommend that clients considering this

scope of their RFID strategies, and must

providers want the freedom to choose their

option carry out thorough testing before

carefully evaluate not only the tags and readers,

technology platforms, including their operating

implementing as a huge increase in data traffic

but also the capability of relevant RFID

systems and want the flexibility to upgrade or

could slow down response times.â&#x20AC;?

middleware platforms and applications to support their aspirations,â&#x20AC;? said Zimmerman.

change over time. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is why Honeywell offers future-proof solutions and supports all operating

From a mobile device management perspective,

systems â&#x20AC;&#x201C; iOS, Android and Windows,â&#x20AC;? she

Doyle considers that there are now lots of

explained.

options available to end users to remotely

Remaining issues

manage devices and ensure that integration

Are there any remaining concerns regarding

Bhattacharya states that the latest middleware

with enterprise systems remains streamlined. In

the use of AIDC/mobile computing systems?

and software suites are advanced enough to

addition, he observes that there continues to be

Dombach believes security is, of course, a

allow seamless integration between the ERP

changes and uncertainty in the OS market,

constant concern for the enterprise. â&#x20AC;&#x153;With this

and RFID. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The RFID software available now

which are naturally having an impact on the

in mind, our Wi-Fi networks are protected by

can support multiple technologies together and

relationship between devices and the respective

the AirDefense Services Platform (ADSP) that

make them function smoothly with high

back office system. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are seeing many

leads the industry in terms of intrusion

accuracy,â&#x20AC;? she said.

developers explore Android as a platform and

protection and supports the powerful forensic

â&#x20AC;&#x153;The advanced

this is particularly prevalent in outside the four

capabilities necessary for PCI and HIPAA

software platforms

walls for applications like electronic proof of

standards,â&#x20AC;? he said.

available can be

delivery where consumer applications are

hosted on servers,

having a strong influence on how the market is

When it comes to operating systems, Dombach

and on Clouds. These

evolving. Where in-house applications, such as

comments that Android has been subject to

software solutions are

warehouse management systems, are

concerns over security. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The latest focuses on

capable of supporting

concerned Microsoft CE and Compact 7 are still

the KingRoot app that, when installed on a

smart phones and

dominant. For these applications, the additional

mobile device, can reveal a Wi-Fiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s network

tablets making it

features and benefits of Android are unlikely to

security keys,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our Mobility Extensions

easier for the end

outweigh the additional effort required to

(Mx) solution would prevent this as all keys are

users. The software

maintain security.â&#x20AC;?

always encrypted. Mx adds a layer of features

With regard to RFID technology, Zimmerman

enterprise-class security features, application

-(#)() -**-%-+-&.$,()'+ +,$,-+%.-(- $*. -"*'.)#,(*))%-*)'( -(#.#-*-.%-*"+,&.

missing in standard Android to include

development kit (SDKs) made

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AIDC/Mobile Computing

Special Technology Report

access and control, and mobile device

versions and additional security software,

then the reader

management tools.â&#x20AC;? Dombach added that there

something that we are ensuring is implemented

needs the

is one other issue to mention: Bluetooth. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Some

on all our mobile terminals,â&#x20AC;? he said.

processing power and associated

manufacturers are worried that Bluetoothenabled devices might interfere with their Wi-Fi

Thompson believes data security will always be

memory to meet

networks. Our mobile devices intelligently

a concern. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The adoption of Android still makes

these requirements.

channel hop to avoid Wi-Fi signals so cause no

some companies nervous and it is essential that

issue with existing systems.â&#x20AC;?

device manufacturers ensure devices released

â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Over the airâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;

to meet market demands provide adequate

security is not a

Hall considers that there are challenges with

enterprise class security and functionality,â&#x20AC;? he

standard

respect to developing software applications that

remarked.

component of an

)!.'!$'(&.,-# '.$- ,$.'+#)%$ .,(, ".-(# $*+-*,)%.-+*(,+ #,, '!,(*."+',&.

RFID solution. This

will work on all operating systems and hardware With regard to RFID, Zimmerman says

means that tag

achieve this, developers are employing cross-

organisations need to realise that the technology

information is often

platform deployment tools, which will allow

can be used for successful asset tracking

communicated in the open or in the clear

developers to create applications once and

solutions, but that there are many â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;moving partsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;

from the tag to the reader. Organisations

deploy them to multiple operating systems,â&#x20AC;? he

regarding the best tags, business processes

need to assess whether this poses any risk

explained.

and types of readers needed to implement each

for the organisation or at a broader level. The

solution. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Although the organisation may want to

organisation also needs to address privacy

Clark said that with increased enterprise

use RFID to track a number of asset

concerns which may differ depending on the

deployment of mobile devices, the primary

management projects, one size usually does not

country the solution is being implemented. If

operating systems â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Android, iOS and Windows

fit all,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In more than 50 per cent of

the data is important, it can be encrypted.

â&#x20AC;&#x201C; have become a target for exploits and malware

Gartner inquiries on RFID, implementers find

One option is for the application to encrypt

attacks. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Since mobile devices are connected

that a single tag does not provide a complete

the data before it is written to the tag unless

wirelessly to a companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s server databases, they

solution for all business usage scenarios within

the information is a number that is used as a

can become a gateway for malicious software,â&#x20AC;?

the scope of the RFID project. For example, HF

licence plate and points to an upstream

she pointed out. â&#x20AC;&#x153;With connected workers

RFID requires presentation of the tag to within 6

database. In the same vein, data from the tag

becoming more mobile and geographically

inches to 12 inches of a reader such as for

may communicate its information to any

dispersed, their devices can easily fall into the

building security applications, while a UHF RFID

reader within the specified frequency unless

wrong hands, giving access to corporate

reader can detect a UHF tag on an asset from

precautions are taken to encrypt the data

systems and assets.â&#x20AC;? Clark added that many

up to 30 feet away.â&#x20AC;?

upfront or to password protect the data on the

To assure that an RFID solution does not violate

cloned and the effect of cloned tags on the

downâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; mobile devices using a Mobile Device

the organisation's security policy, Zimmerman

operation. An assessment needs to be made

Management (MDM) agent or an app such as

explains that data security needs to be

of the risk associated with RFID data if it is

Honeywellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Enterprise Launcher. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is no

assessed upfront across the entire RFID

universally available, and whether it needs

perfectly secure operating system, and software

deployment. He points out that there are two

this additional layer of security.

providers and end users should always keep

aspects that must be considered:

if we are truly going to embrace BYOD. â&#x20AC;&#x153;To

tag. Lastly, there is the issue of tags being

enterprise customers opt to prevent users from accidentally downloading malware by â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;locking

security at the forefront,â&#x20AC;? said Clark. â&#x20AC;˘ Readers, which may be considered IoT

Technology convergence

devices, must be connected to the network.

What are your commentatorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; observations and

Pivotal role

This means that they need to be

opinions regarding technology convergence

Briggs makes the point that BYOD is potentially

authenticated as headless devices (without

within the AIDC/mobile computing space?

open to devices being misused or stolen, with

keyboards or displays) to the network. While

Gupta considers that data capture technologies

the subsequent potential for security breaches

most vendors allow the input of configuration

are well-entrenched in the warehouse and the

etc. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is why we supply mobile device

parameters through external keyboards or

broader supply chain, and are widely used to

management software to allow them to be

telneting into a reader, it's still necessary to

allow consumers to check on the status of their

remotely locked down & wiped,â&#x20AC;? he explained.

determine the ability of the reader to adhere

package at a series of checkpoints during the

Doyle believes mobile computing and AIDC will

to the organisation's pre-existing security

delivery process. She adds that specific

continue to play a pivotal role in the supply

policy. For example, if the policy states that

warehouse operations that are often expedited

chain process. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For some there are concerns

only devices using an 802.1X certificate with

by barcode/RFID solution-based automation in

about security but we are confident that these

a strong Extensible Authentication Protocol

particular include track-and-trace, order sorting,

anxieties will be addressed by enterprise OS

type (which is commonly defined as WPA2),

order fulfilment, shipping and receiving.

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wrapped up as standard in most modern

customers but is equally at home in the

Bhattacharya

devices â&#x20AC;&#x201C; scanning and Voice-enabled. As an

stockroom, where it can be used to check

considers technology

example, he points out that the A730 device

inventory, or in the warehouse, where it can be

convergence as an

from Honeywell Vocollect is a Voice device

fitted with a pistol grip, attached to a belt, fixed

absolute necessity in

with a built-in scanner. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Five years ago you

to forklifts and more, to manage a range of

order to make the

had to choose whether you wanted a scanner

applications. From the CIO to the factory floor to

solution stronger and

or a camera etc., but now you can have

the warehouse loading bay, the TC70 is an

support multiple

both,â&#x20AC;? he said.

example of how organisations can consolidate

Thompson comments that the IoT means

deployment, maintenance and optimisation.

business has different

businesses will want more devices to be

And, used in conjunction with apps like

needs and different

connected so that more data that can be

Workforce Connect, teams can intuitively

types of technologies

collected. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Technology will need to converge

connect with colleagues across their

businesses and ),.' ,&.%'"(*+ !-(-,+.&.

applications. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Each

on a single device to lower the cost of mobile

are used,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Within the same industry

and devices will need to be able to offer

organisation using voice calls, Push-to-Talk and

different applications have different

multifunctional scanning capability and

rich messaging to help teams collaborate

requirements and the technology changes

multimode communication ability in a single

quickly and naturally.â&#x20AC;?

accordingly. Hence it is always beneficial to

device,â&#x20AC;? he added. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This will provide much

have one solution that caters to all types of

greater performance benefits to users and

businesses and supports all applications with

businesses and ensure the data gathered is

The future

very minimal need of customisation. Also, a

more accurate and in real time.â&#x20AC;?

What might be the next innovations and

Dombach believes convergence is a good

or two within the AIDC/mobile computing

thing. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If we can build more technology into our

space? Gupta considers that data capture

developments to look out for over the next year

stronger and robust software solution that supports multiple protocols together is much more scalable to support business expansion.â&#x20AC;? Hall maintains that if one takes browser

devices then customers need to buy fewer

industry veterans today face stiff competition not

types,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Take, for example, our 3600

only from new and emerging barcode scanner

technology to its ultimate conclusion, all devices

series of ultra-rugged scanners. Built for

vendors introducing lower-cost devices in

will be browsers and the concept of an

unstoppable performance with a super-tough

conventional form factors, but also from non-

operating system will disappear. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The

structure and extended battery life, the scanner

traditional ecosystem participants building

advantage here is that there will become one

includes sophisticated scan engines to scan

scanning accessories and software

platform that is compatible across the world,â&#x20AC;? he

quickly and accurately. And, of special interest

enhancements for consumer handhelds like

said. Boyce believes it is exciting to see the new

here, is the fact that the long-range version can

smartphones and tablets. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This advent of

developments that are constantly being made

scan close up or to 21 metres â&#x20AC;&#x201C; meaning one

scanning alternatives is challenging the

and improved upon. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The tools that will become

device can handle a multitude of scanning

advantage that purpose-built devices hold over

available in the future will enable organisations

needs.â&#x20AC;?

general-purpose, non-enterprise-grade options,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;VDC expects success in the data

to improve operations, which ultimately generates value to end-users and customers,â&#x20AC;? he remarked.

capture market to be determined by vendorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;

Dombach continued: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our TC8000 mobile computer is also highly versatile. For example,

ability to be adequately agile in their sales and

with its powerful scanner and data capture

marketing strategies, especially as enterprise-

Clark observes that the growth of

options â&#x20AC;&#x201C; including a camera â&#x20AC;&#x201C; it can be used

wide solution consistency, low TCOs, and higher

IOT/IILOT/IPOT (connectivity, Big Data) is

as a multifunction computer to support a wide

ROIs become necessary.â&#x20AC;?

increasing rapidly, and makes the point that

range of logistics and warehouse apps. But it

Honeywell has embraced this. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Complete

also has a proximity sensor that can be used as

connectivity from AIDC devices recording

a cradle on a trolley to become a presentation

to provide their largest customers with guidance

additional information for instance from sensors

scanner. And, by replacing a one-size-fits-all

and direction in analysing and presenting Big

or trackers that can be relayed back to the

keypad on all-touch devices, such as the

Data in a meaningful way will be most

device/handheld is our vision for the future,â&#x20AC;? she

TC8000, we can programme keypads to

successful in the future. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Offering support

said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is for this reason that Honeywell Sensing

specific tasks or roles.

services that go beyond simple break-fix and

Gupta added that AIDC vendors with the ability

depot repairs will play a crucial role in

& Productivity Solutions was created, merging

determining AIDC vendorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; success in

the traditional AIDC technology of Scanning &

â&#x20AC;&#x153;A modular approach to device design is also

Mobility with the alternative and expansive data

seen with our TC70 and TC75 mobile

transforming their business to better align with

sources of Sensing & Control.â&#x20AC;?

computers. These professional-grade Android

demands of todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s organisations,â&#x20AC;? she said.

devices are highly configurable. For example, in

â&#x20AC;&#x153;These include remote monitoring and

a retail environment, it looks great in front of

diagnostics, technology- and brand-agnostic

Briggs explains that there is more functionality

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device management, and even application

According to Clark, one key innovation involves

first wearable device 20 years ago and

hosting services. VDC envisions more data

applying Voice-directed work technology, which

believes that the explosion of wearables that

capture solution providers will begin to innovate

was once mostly used in the distribution centre,

we’ve seen in the consumer space will be

and make investments in portfolio expansion

to vehicle maintenance and inspection work.

matched in the enterprise. “We’re now looking

that goes beyond hardware.”

“Instead of having technicians recording findings

closely at the potential of customised heads-

on paper and manually entering them into a

up displays in smart glasses,” he said. “The

Hall fully expects that the IoT will make good on

database, the interaction is carried out by Voice

displays will provide users with all the

its potential and provide the productivity and

while the system is updated automatically,” she

information they need in their eye line and be

performance gains that will take supply chain

explained. “Using a Voice-directed, hands-free

tailored to the individual’s job in hand.

efficiency to the next level. As well the

and eyes-free inspection process, workers

Complemented by Voice guidance and the

automation of many processes, Hall also

eliminate skipped steps, make fewer errors, are

use of augmented reality (for example,

believes IoT will also offer the level of visibility

more productive and have higher job

presenting 3D SOP guidance to a line

that is key to turning the Wide Area Warehouse

satisfaction. The Voice-directed solution for fleet

worker), the technology will provide more

concept into a reality. “It will allow stock to be

maintenance eliminates the post-inspection

intuitive and natural ways to work to

managed more effectively, space to be used

manual data entry process and facilitates

productively and effectively manage tasks.”

more productively and give us flexibility to deal

compliance.” Clark adds that, whilst RFID has

with unforeseen issues,” he said.

been talked about for many years, its adoption is becoming a reality for many enterprises now, as

Continuing evolution

As the industry advances, Boyce believes we

costs are driven down and the demand for

Software will also continue to evolve,

could see more inclusion of technologies in the

supply chain visibility grows.

according to Dombach. “Look out for

form of wearables, but also collaboration with

enterprise apps that apply analysis of Big

VR/AR and AI. He also thinks there is potential

Similarly, Thompson maintains that fixed and

Data and the operator’s own style of working

for AIDC to work with driverless technology that

mobile RFID will become more widespread as

on their device, to learn on the fly and change

could allow improved supply chain management

business requirements for more data more

workflows,” he said. “Devices may also have

in areas such as forecasting, planning and

quickly drives demand. He believes this

the intelligence to change their applications

tracking. Boyce adds that robotics and drone

technology will become integrated into more

and interfaces based on assessing the user’s

technologies are other areas that continue to be

devices.

level of competence – a key advantage where

promising for automated data capture.

a large number of seasonal workers are using Dombach comments that, to coin a phrase,

devices.”

we’ve seen nothing yet when it comes to

Increased use of RFID

stretching the value from the trends

Doyle envisages that we will see greater

Bhattacharya anticipates that printed RFID

contributing to Industry 4.0, from Enterprise

adoption and more developments in Voice

labels will be more popular. “There will be

Asset Intelligence (EAI), to mobile computing,

technologies over the next few years. “Voice

an increased use of protocols such as BLE,

Big Data and more. “Take trailer loads for

technology has already seen some significant

UWB for location monitoring,” she said.

example – around 70 per cent of trucks on the

advancements with next generation solutions

“Increasingly, businesses will be shifting to

road today in the US are not full [Reference:

delivering astonishing picking accuracy,” he

IoT space, thereby increasing the number

Visibility that’s Visionary, Zebra report, 2016],

said. “This is being achieved through

connected RFID devices exponentially.

leading to huge revenue leakage,” he said.

additional functionality like location validation,

RFID/ RTLS will be a key enabler to the

“By using spatial awareness apps on mobile

which is designed to prevent users from

smart city, smart manufacturing, smart

devices, which can capture the space that an

memorising locations and picking items

retail, smart healthcare, and smart

item takes up – not just its size – firms will be

without visually confirming the location. Users

transportation. Smart supply chain across

able to use predictive technology to optimise

can also interact with some Voice software if

industries will grow with increased RFID

their loads and make better use of their fleets,

they are uncertain about what product to pick,

penetration.”

reduce costs and protect the environment

things like ‘Show Me’ functionality will display

through fewer wasted miles. We’ll also see

a picture of the product on the mobile device

Briggs believes vendors may come up with

augmented reality used via devices. For

that the Voice unit is paired with.”

less-traditional form factors, taking the

example, a point of a camera at a shelving

TC8000 as a leading example. He also

unit could return an image overlaid with

Doyle also believes we will see more

foresees further developments in the area

advice such as what product should be

changes in the software space; particularly as

of the IoT in terms of how data is collected

picked, what items might be missing and

more and more applications and infrastructure

and how devices will be able to talk to a

what items need to be put away, where.”

become Cloud-based and adopt SaaS, IaaS

wider variety of machinery, equipment etc. to capture Big Data.

www.logisticsit.com

(Infrastructure as a Service) and EaaS Dombach pointed out that Zebra launched its

(Everything as a Service) models. 

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V OICE technology

Opinion

Finding its Voice Voice-directed technology has come a long way over the past two decades. Philip Jarrett, director of sales & marketing at BEC (Systems Integration) Ltd., considers some of the key developments.

and tasks beyond picking, including Voice

Language flexibility

combined with occasional scanning. With this

Over the past few years, an increasing

in mind, Honeywell now offers a Voice device

number of language options have been

with a fully integrated 2D scanner so the DC

added to voice-directed systems â&#x20AC;&#x201C; in the

operator can benefit from both Voice and

case of Honeywell Voice solutions, this has

scanning capabilities in the same device.

now surpassed 35. This means that if a

Dual capability devices such as this mean

warehouse or DC employs operators whose

operators can move quickly between

native or preferred language is one other than

workflows such as receiving, put-away, cycle-

English, these workers can perform just as

counting and loading, ensuring the time from

accurately and quickly by benefiting from

dock to stock to loading bay is as efficient as

hearing and responding to voice commands

possible.

in their language of choice. The pick sheet methodology has often proved a major

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Noise reduction

obstacle with foreign workers in the past due

The hardware and software components

to the methodologyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lack of flexibility

comprising a Vocollect Voice solution are

regarding language options. Modern Voice

extremely advanced, having continuously

solutions completely solve this issue.

evolved during the past 20 years or so. The company has addressed and dealt with many

Performance monitoring

hether used for the more

W

of the constraints and challenges that could

And because modern state-of-the-art Voice

traditional picking and

hinder efficient operation in the earlier years;

systems lend themselves extremely well to

replenishment tasks in the

the extraneous noise problem, for example.

management reports and dashboards these

warehouse or DC or to

The Vocollect BlueStreak voice recogniser built

are other things that can be used within the

improve put-away, stock

in to every headset and wearable device is

warehouse environment where workers carry

moving and stock accounting in relatively new

what truly sets these devices apart in this noisy

out their duties on a daily basis. Often,

markets such as manufacturing, servicing &

environment. Able to interpret and filter out-of-

warehouses have screen monitors placed in

testing and package distribution, Voice-

vocabulary sounds such as forklift beeps,

different areas of the warehouse so managers

directed solutions are becoming increasingly

pallet drops or fan/freezer noise, Vocollect

can monitor the performance of the operators

popular and widely deployed. Since the initial

Voice recognition is the most accurate voice

in real time. Indeed, if the management team

introduction of Voice-directed picking

system in high noise DCs â&#x20AC;&#x201C; accuracy being the

is largely KPI-driven they can see how many

technology around two decades or so ago,

number one influencer in achieving a business

picks each operator has completed in a day,

there have been many improvements;

payback on investment. Honeywell Voice

how many times they have taken a break and

whether subtle enhancements to existing

recognition technology is an important game-

for how long, and various other pieces of

features or a more â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;blue skiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; approach.

changer because ultimately Voice-directed

information required in order to reward staff or

devices are deployed in noisy environments.

determine how their performance can

Honeywell Vocollect Voice technology

With additional noise cancellation microphones

improved.

pioneered the field of Voice-directed AIDC

installed within the headsets, background

solutions, and has continued to push the

noise is filtered out, so that only the operatorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

Supplier service

development envelope with regular

voice commands and responses are relayed to

BEC believes customers should also enquire

enhancements to its Voice solutions. For

the WMS. The operator can focus purely on the

about what level and quality of pre-

example, the company realised that, for a

workflow task at hand, with minimal insertions

implementation guidance the supplier is able

number of customers, there was a need to

and less need for repetition, thus increasing

to offer. The supplier and integrator of choice

support workers across multiple workflows

operator efficiency.

should have many yearsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; experience in not

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Opinion

V OICE technology

usually follow some of the pickers around the warehouse as they go about their daily routine. If pickers are using a paper-based picking method they are actually making their own decisions as to where they pick first. They would then have to make notes on their pick sheet etc. Through our audit, we can recommend an optimum route plan within the warehouse for each picker to take. The potential productivity gains can be demonstrable down to the amount of seconds each pick could take with the use of Voice and optimised warehouse routing. If the amount of seconds saved on each pick are then extrapolated over the just providing precisely the right Voice

receives detailed information regarding an

course of a week, and multiplied by the

solution for the customerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s needs, but also in

anticipated ROI timeline by quantifying the

overall number of pickers using this

carrying out full site audits before sourcing

likely speed, accuracy and productivity gains.

methodology, it is easy to see that the productivity gains will be very substantial,

and implementation commences. For example, BEC undertakes a full DC walk-

In the case of BEC, we will often video the

resulting in a very quick ROI for the Voice

through and then presents the customer with

customerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s warehouse process so we can

system.

a detailed report on the findings and

freeze-frame the activity at any moment and

subsequent recommendations in order to

show the company where efficiencies are

So, Voice technology has certainly come a

ensure the Voice system and related software

being challenged and where Voice could

long way since the early days, providing

and layout of the warehouse is optimised. We

provide an advantage over its current

tangible improved benefits to users in terms of

believe it is also essential that the customer

processes. When we conduct an audit we

speed, accuracy and investment payback. 

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   

        

VOICE WMS

Call BEC today and speak to the experts: +44 (0)1254 688 088 or visit www.becsi.co.uk

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AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE MOBILE COMPUTING

New scanners with RFID

and NFC technology introduced to celebrate 30 years of DENSO Auto-ID in Europe

ENSO WAVE’s history has been

D

characterised by pioneering work. For example, the company is known for inventing the first CCD Scanner and the

QR Code. This year, the European branch of DENSO WAVE is celebrating its 30th birthday, and therefore many years as a strong partner for its customers. Just recently, DENSO presented some new exciting innovations: The QK30 scanner, which scans Smartphone QR and NFC driven mobile payments apps, which also measures individual purchase behaviour. Two new QR Codes were similarly presented a few months ago – the Secure QR Code (SQRC) stores sensitive data which can only be read by a scanner with the corresponding code, while the FrameQR Code allows

The QK30-IC scans mobile QR Codes on Smartphone displays and printed QR Codes.

company logos or products to be displayed

tags have dropped, prompting many

Gelbrich cited another example: “RFID can

for the first time. DENSO is now once again

companies to increasingly think about working

particularly save a lot of time and therefore

going a step further. This Autumn, two new

with RFID technology,” explained Dirk

resources and costs when it comes to stock

scanners are expected to be launched on the

Gelbrich, team leader of technical services at

takes. Instead of having to handle and count

market using the modern RFID/NFC

the DENSO Auto-ID Business Unit. “The

each item of clothing individually, and sort

technology – the BHT-1200 RFID and the

benefits really become apparent in retail and

them by colour and size, everything can be

QK30-IC. The QK30-IC is an extension of the

logistics,” he added.

recorded via RFID with just one scan, taking the strain off staff.”

current QK30 scanner. Unlike the well-known barcode, where every

RFID – Frequencies creating benefits

item needs to be passed individually over a

Another special feature of RFID is the fact that

scanner, RFID makes it technically possible

the tags can record data from several metres

for items to be assigned a distinct number

away thanks to the high frequency. Gelbrich

Automatic payment, labelling, identification,

and be tracked individually, allowing

continued: “Different frequency ranges are

registration and even storage are all possible

significantly more information to be stored

used. Our BHT-1200 RFID can read from

thanks to RFID technology. While RFID –

compared to the simple bar code. When

distances of five metres, which is particularly

Radio Frequency Identification – is not a

delivering goods to a warehouse, for

useful in large warehouses.”

modern phenomenon (it first began to gather

example, the current aim is for items to be

speed in the 1960s), there are a lot more

fitted with RFID chips, so that they only need

applications for it nowadays. The fact that

to be delivered and scanned. Warehouse staff

RFID technology is yet to assert itself at a

can immediately see how many items have

The BHT-1200 RFID, with its progressive RFID

broader level is primarily due to the high cost

been delivered on the pallets, without having

technology, is expected to be launched on

of tags.

to manually handle them. The amount of time

the market in the Autumn. It can read several

saved is enormous. RFID could also spark

RFID tags, and even scan entire rows of

In recent years, however, there have been

major changes in retail if it became the

shelves in one go. “This results in a huge time

some changes in this respect: “The costs for

standard.

saving, for example with stock takes”, said

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BHT-1200 RFID

www.logisticsit.com


AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE MOBILE COMPUTING Sina Haupt, marketing assistant at the DENSO Auto-ID Business Unit. “Our BHT-1200 series is best known for its fast reading speed, ease of use, robustness and durability. It even recognises scratched or damaged codes”. In addition to 1D and 2D barcodes, the BHT1200 RFID can also read RFID tags. And continues to impress with its features: The BHT-1200 series can be used in extreme temperatures (-20 degrees to +50 degrees Celsius), and the barcode scanner can perform up to 400 scans a minute.

QK30-IC The DENSO QK30 series can be used in several applications: from integration into cash registers, connecting to multimedia

The BHT-1200 RFID can read several RFID tags, and even scan entire rows of shelves in one go.

terminals, and access control systems. The

produced strong sales to date via promotions

recognise and scan these QR Codes. The

QK30-IC uses NFC technology, and will be

through mobile coupons, mobile customer

scanner is the only one in its category to play

launched in the Autumn 2016. “It is identical

cards and mobile tickets,” added Haupt.

back audio files and feature programmable,

to our QK30, product but combines two

multi-coloured LEDs. The compact model is

products in the one device – the standard

The QK30-IC scans mobile QR Codes on

50 per cent narrower than previous models,

QK30 and the NFC chip card reader,”

Smartphone displays and printed QR Codes.

but has a 30 per cent larger scan surface. 

Gelbrich explained. “Our QK30 series has

The series has been specially developed to

QR Code is a registered trademark of DENSO WAVE INCORPORATED

Who‘ll scan 100,000 parcels reliably? DENSO. Driven by quality. When handling large volumes of inventory, you can rely on DENSO handheld terminals and scanners: Ruggedly built to meet the challenges of the most demanding logistics environments, they can even read damaged barcodes - delivering maximum productivity and efficiency. That‘s why logistics experts around the world trust in the quality and performance of DENSO devices. Quality by DENSO. www.denso-autoid-eu.com For example, the BHT-1400 with an extra-large 3.2 inch display. All the data on screen in HD quality.

www.logisticsit.com

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AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE MOBILE COMPUTING

Opinion

Industry 4.0: why productivity is set to jump forward By Ralf Schulze, EMEA industry solutions group manufacturing lead, Zebra Technologies.

see older technology – and, yes, even paper

foundation for what was initially termed in

– still used in plants and warehouses. Also,

Germany as ‘industry 4.0’. While it’s

despite working in some of the most

debatable that we’re on the cusp of a new

innovative industries around, there’s a

industrial revolution there’s no doubt in my

tendency in manufacturing and logistics to

mind that big efficiency and productivity

continually refine tried and tested processes:

gains can be achieved in the plant or

to evolve incrementally. Warehouses have

warehouse by embracing the technologies

tuned their workflows to such an extent that

that I look at in more detail below.

he manufacturing sector is

productivity gains of 1 to 2 per cent per

dynamic and highly competitive.

annum are the goal.

Intuitive mobile devices

globalisation has ramped

But when thinking about the bigger picture,

The best elements of consumer design are

competition to new levels. Then

there’s now, more than ever, a strong case

now being embedded into devices built for

there’s the issue of complexity, with

to look at new ways of doing things. For

the enterprise. Touch screens are

consumers demanding ever greater levels of

instance, managing highly complex,

commonplace while, at Zebra, we offer the

customisation. For instance, a buyer of an

accelerated and customised levels of

largest portfolio of Android-based devices

Audi A3 can literally specify a ‘one of a kind’

production requires detailed visibility over

available. Android gives our customers

car.1

supply chains and the shop floor. However,

access to a huge eco-system of applications

40 per cent of manufacturers lack visibility

and ensures that devices are intuitive to use.

T

While it’s always been that way,

Moving over into logistics and the challenges

over their extended supply chain. Moving

It can take over 53.6 hours to train each

are similar. With consumers looking for next-

across to the logistics sector, 70 per cent of

operative in a warehouse4 – a figure that

day, and increasingly same-day, delivery,

warehouses plan to increase the volumes of

drops massively when you give them a

logistics firms are under pressure to achieve

lines shipped3 – an increase that demands a

device that they’re intrigued to pick up and

more, more quickly – and flawlessly.

higher degree of process automation.

use in the same way they operate their

2

smartphone. The productivity gains can be Added to these issues is the ever-present

Technology can help. Intuitive mobile

need to keep the lid on costs. Budget

devices, smart sensors, Wi-Fi networks and

pressures are a root cause of why we often

Big Data are merging trends that create the

impressive (see sidebar on the TC8000). The versatility of touch screens means we can also replace a one-size-fits-all keyboard with virtual keyboards that are programmed to roles. And, to help customers embed touch interaction into their operations, we’ve created All-Touch Terminal Emulation software. This uses the greater processing power of today’s devices to convert legacy green-screen apps into modern and touchbased interfaces that simplify workflows. Using an intuitive interface on mobile devices makes people’s jobs easier across a range of applications – including capturing and sharing data from smart sensors.

The Internet of Things Smart labels and sensors, including RFID and barcode tags, can be attached to pretty much anything – people, vehicles, items,

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Opinion

AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE MOBILE COMPUTING

we can use intelligence to predict things. For example, around 70 per cent of trucks on the road today in the US are not full6 – leading to huge revenue leakage. By using spatial awareness apps on mobile devices, which Zebra’s new TC8000 mobile computer.

can capture the space that an item takes up – not just its size – firms will be able to use

pallets, parcels, machines and more.

predictive technology to optimise their loads

Connected over the internet, or via mobile

and make better use of their fleets, reduce

devices, the sensors give things a digital

costs and protect the environment through

voice that provides continual dialogue to

fewer wasted miles.

back office applications on their status or location (see Zatar sidebar). This dialogue delivers Enterprise Asset Intelligence (EAI)

Connect – everywhere

that promises to improve a huge range of

Seeing every sensor everywhere implies the

operations across manufacturing and

availability of reliable connectivity. We

The TC8000: Achieving 20 per cent productivity gains Can new technology ever deliver a stepchange in performance? We believe it can. Take our new TC8000 mobile computer. It offers an all-touch interface built around Android, it’s 33 per cent lighter than traditional gun-style designs and, critically, with a high resolution screen on the top of the handle, it does away with the need to tilt the device to check data every time a scan is made. These factors, especially the ease of use, are cited by DHL Supply Chain as the main reasons why workers at its warehouse in McAllen, Texas, have achieved 14 per cent to 20 per cent productivity gains depending on what’s being picked. These are significant figures on a site that employs 150 people, processing over 1000 orders a day across 3000 lines and 200,000 pieces on one shift.

logistics. For example, it’s possible to

provide this through our rugged, secure, and

intricately track the life of the smallest

easily deployed and monitored Wi-Fi

component: from the moment it’s in transit to

networks. We also offer 4G options in our

a plant, to its receipt and storage at goods-

mobile devices and, as the mobile

in, to its movement to line-side parts, on to

infrastructure is upgraded, ubiquitous

its integration into the main assembly and

broadband – inside and outside the four

See more with Zatar

through into final production. Such visibility –

walls – will knit together the always-on

across every area of a business – provides

connectivity that will enable IoT.

Using our Zatar, Cloud-based solution, logistics firms can easily track and account for the integrity of perishable or temperature-sensitive goods in transit. Low-energy Bluetooth tags are attached to shipments that are monitored by drivers using handheld devices at stipulated times on their journey. All data is recorded in the cloud for audit/compliance purposes and the realtime monitoring raises alarms if the temperature is approaching predefined levels.

the intelligence for people and, increasingly, machines to make more informed and better decisions.

Transform I’m an industry veteran and have seen many

Moving forward, Morgan Stanley predicts

technologies over-hyped. But IoT isn’t one

that 75 billion devices will be talking to the

technology: it’s a confluence of powerful

internet by 2020.5 The more sensors are

trends that I believe promise major change.

attached to things and the more wireless

In fact, it would be unthinkable to manage

networks – both Wi-Fi in facilities and 4G-

the level of complexity our customers now

wide area connectivity beyond the four walls

face without the level of visibility provided by

– become ubiquitous, organisations will have

smart mobile devices, ubiquitous network

the capability to see into every recess of

connectivity and Big Data analytics that

their business.

enable the Internet of Things. It also gives

Making data information

both productivity and efficiency and deliver

organisations the ability to significantly boost better experiences for their customers

The data streamed from people’s devices,

through sensing, analysing and driving

machines, robots, items’ sensors, vehicle

business actions. I’m firmly with the 80 per

telematics and much more can be crunched

cent of those who say that IoT will be the

in real time using the Big Data processing

most strategic technology initiative for their

power available in the cloud. Our customers

organisation in a decade.7 

are already using this data to see and correct inefficient workflows across their operations. But what’s really exciting is how 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

www.zebra.com

Mobility: It’s in our DNA Consumer technology has influenced device design in the enterprise. But any comparisons between the mobility needs of the enterprise and consumers ends there. Business is different and it needs different technology. Technology must be easy to deploy, run and maintain, ultrareliable and secure. We provide a range of tools, apps and utilities to help achieve this. Our portfolio includes Mobility DNA, a suite of apps to make it easy to stage, remotely administer and update devices; a range of ready-to-go productivityenhancing apps designed for the mobile worker; and Mobility Extensions (Mx), which provides enterprise-class security features for Android. And, when it comes to devices, ours are built around highly intuitive interfaces while being the toughest around to be road, warehouse, factory floor and worker ready.

http://ipl-mag.de/scm-daten/390-variantenvielfalt Global Manufacturing Outlook: Performance in the crosshairs KPMG International Building the Smarter Warehouse: Warehousing 2020, Zebra Technologies, 2016 Building the Smarter Warehouse: Warehousing 2020, Zebra Technologies, 2016 http://www.businessinsider.com/75-billion-devices-will-be-connected-to-the-internet-by-2020-2013-10 Visibility that’s Visionary, Zebra report: 2016 Internet-Of-Things Solution Deployment Gains Momentum Among Firms Globally: Improved Customer Experience And Supply Chain Optimisation Are Leading Business Benefits Of IoT Solutions, Forrester

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AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE MOBILE COMPUTING

Opinion

Transforming the tablet landscape: How consumer grade devices are challenging enterprise devices for industry dominance Samsung is one of the first consumer brands that entered the enterprise market with the

By Adam Rockett, managing director, Strike.

release of the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active. As the rugged version of the Galaxy Tab 4, this device is Samsung’s answer to challenge the industry dominance of Panasonic, and Motorola/Zebra’s range of enterprise products. Devices like these are also

he dominance of smartphone

T

becoming popular with small and medium

technology has given rise to an

enterprises (SMEs). The mobility and

entire range of consumer tablet

durability of this tablet device enable SMEs to

devices. This market progression

modernise their business and improve

enabled brands like Samsung and

operations at a much reduced cost.

that have become game-changers for both

The popularity of tablet devices also gave rise

Tablet-and-iPad mount for construction vehicles by Strike Alpha.

consumers and the business sector. As user-

to the use of enterprise grade mobile

we have seen a rise in consumer

adoption for these devices surges, today’s

accessories that is tailored to suit the

manufacturer in the enterprise sector,

workforces in the retail and corporate sectors

industrial standards of a business enterprise.

traditional players still have the advantage

are starting to realize the ease and

Tablet accessories like the LifeProof or

of incumbency and experience.”

convenience of having a tablet device that

OtterBox cases paired with automotive

also serves as a mobile office.

technologies such as Strike Mounts and Strike

“Enterprise/business users insist on

Alpha Cradle, fill the gap to provide much-

reliability in the enterprise environment.

Being a sought-after device in the consumer

needed enterprise-ready solutions for

Whilst traditional manufacturers have been

market, there was and remains, significant

business.

able to achieve this, the difference in price

Apple to release their roster of tablet devices

point of the upgraded consumer device is

speculation as to whether these tablet devices are deemed as truly “enterprise-

The innovative car accessories and

making the consumer device attractive to

ready.” Traditional manufacturers and some

mounting solutions from Strike not only

some users. Traditional manufactures are

users argue that these off-the-shelf tablet

compliments enterprise grade devices but

now at a cross-road. They can either bet on

devices are not built for rigorous enterprise

consumer grade devices as well. Providing

their current quality standards and hope the

use. Some enterprise users require devices

both the mass-market and business industry

consumer grade devices provide too much

that can withstand extreme temperatures,

with an enhanced mobile experience to

of a headache for enterprise customers, or

dust, impact and moisture.

maximise the functionality of their device

they innovate on their own offering by

and suit the fast-paced lifestyle of

creating a ‘consumer like’ user experience

consumers.

and adjust their pricing to prevent consumer grade devices from disrupting their market.

Strike agricultural mount for tablets.

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“As the consumer tablet landscape

Traditional manufactures do have the

continues to penetrate the enterprise grade

experience in this channel, and no doubt

market, we are expecting other brands to

consumer manufacturers have some lessons

follow in the future,” said Chris Ryan, Strike

to learn. Time will tell whether consumer

Group CEO. “This is just the beginning of an

manufacturers can stand the test of time,

imminent market transformation that involves

and whether traditional manufactures can

the announcement of a more competitive

adjust their offering to maintain their industry

series of enterprise-ready tablet devices in

dominance. In my opinion the consumer

the industry. Saying that, industry leading

manufactures are coming hard, and the

brands such as Panasonic and Motorola/

company that rests on its laurels, are bound

Zebra are reacting and producing devices

to be the next Blackberry of the mobile

that match the consumer experience, but

world. No one ever got ahead by not

maintain their traditional advantages. Whilst

changing anything” he added. 

www.logisticsit.com


14% MORE WORK MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE. Introducing the Zebra TC8000 Mobile Computer â&#x20AC;&#x201D; delivering 14% more productivity.* Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an extra hour per worker, per shift. Fully-loaded with more revolutionary-yet-intuitive features, the TC8000 makes

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AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE MOBILE COMPUTING

Opinion

Boosting visibility is the key to future-proofing the supply chain time and accessible information at all stages of

can make their brand stand out. Proof of this

By Jon Hall, chief operating officer, TouchStar.

approach is evident in the numerous ways

the supply chain process in order to prepare for

customers can now make a purchase,

the future and be proactive in situations that

including high street stores, online, phone,

demand quick decisions to be made.

mobile apps and even direct from the warehouse. And of course, where they get it supermarket, or indeed their car parked in the

Technology can meet the challenge

office car park.

Today’s technology has come a long way in

delivered – home, a secure box at the upply chain management is

S

about more than just making sure

terms of giving greater visibility into the

the right product is delivered to

So the whole supply chain, from the pickers

supply chain. From handheld devices used

the right customer on time.

and packers in the warehouse to the drivers

in warehouses to systems used on-board

There’s so many variables

and delivery staff, must now have the ability to

vehicles, as well as the management

involved in the process, it requires an ‘always

handle not just traditional, large pallet storage

systems, there are many ways to achieve

on’ approach to management so that

and shipping operations efficiently, but also

the end result required.

decisions can be made quickly and

integrate complex custom orders and

accurately to improve speed and also adapt

services in the context of an Omni-channel

Of course, no two warehouses are the same

to unforeseen challenges.

supply chain.

and there is always a lot to consider when it

A big piece of the jigsaw is visibility; a lack of

It’s an issue that must be dealt with head-on.

improving visibility. Before looking at the

visibility along the chain can cause problems

Businesses need applications that provide real-

technology available it’s always best to

comes to defining the best method of

for delivery times and warehouse capacity among many other issues. It can inflict an immediate limit on the effectiveness of any supply chain operation. Managing excess inventory to mitigate risk and tracking and reporting on vendor service levels are often the biggest tests within a supply chain. A lack of visibility makes it difficult to overcome this challenge, and it can also lead to extended lead times, longer shipping times and capacity issues just to name a few.

Bottlenecks Supply chains have had to evolve rapidly in recent years to keep up with the pace of change elsewhere. As retail becomes more competitive, so finding ways to make life easier for the customer and in turn, differentiate has become an imperative. Choice has always been the way a marketer

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TouchStar’s TS8000 rugged handheld computer, suitable for use in extreme conditions.

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Opinion

conduct a review of existing processes to

AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE MOBILE COMPUTING

managers to make decisions on the fly.

identify where improvements can be made

• Track inventory.

and how new devices and management

• Offer barcoding capabilities.

systems will fit in.

• Integrate with any existing systems.

years into the future and beyond.

• Support forecasting, and identify Getting the right blend of technology can offer true insight into the warehouse and what’s happening at every level, enabling

system keeps delivering results five to ten

strategies to deal with seasonal fluctuations.

Summary As the supply chain continues to evolve, so

• Schedule and manage resources.

warehouse managers to move their

must the methods used to efficiently and effectively manage it. Visibility is the key,

operations into a place of success.

Choosing the right applications

and the technology available today can help

When reviewing potential supply chain

It’s true that today’s supply chain

also with predicting trends and potential

solutions you should look for systems that

management technology has developed

issues. The insight provided can be the

can:

rapidly in terms of offering supply chain

difference between having a good year and

visibility. But it often requires an

a really great year.

• Offer real-time updates on stock levels,

not only with tracking and scheduling, but

experienced hand to guide the

staff schedules, order status, locations

implementation of the technology so it

As well as improving existing business,

and delivery status.

provides valuable insight where it’s needed

having the right technology in place can

most.

open the door to more business, improve

• Identify potential low stock situation. • Pinpoint bottlenecks and report on how they can be managed. • Provide the level of analysis needed to allow

customer and staff satisfaction and identify As well as short term benefits, a

future trends that can be capitalised on. 

knowledgeable partner can ensure that a

warehouse and logistics

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TouchStar Technologies Ltd, Campus Road, Listerhills Science Park, Bradford BD7 1HR

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AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE MOBILE COMPUTING

Opinion

Logistics in reverse Mike Doyle, country manager UK&I at Datalogic, takes a look at the strains that the returns process has put on the retail supply chain and considers what technologies are available to alleviate some of the pressure. ccording to findings reported by

A

the BBC recently, nearly two thirds of customers who bought clothes online over the past six months returned at least one

item. Other reports outside of fashion indicate that more than half of consumers have returned a least one item that they purchased online over the past six months. The bad news for most retailers is that if they want to remain competitive, they don’t have a lot of choice except to adapt their supply chain to deal with the increasing number of returns generated by e-commerce. There is good news however, as technology – particularly mobile computing and barcode scanning – offers a number of ways to help address this growing challenge. The latest advancements in imaging technology offer a number of benefits that can be leveraged to manage inbound returns. We have already seen wider adoption of 2D imagers at the point of sale, largely

Above: Rugged PDA devices such as Datalogic’s new DL-Axist device could be put into the hands of couriers, enabling them to scan items at the point of collection and even take pictures and obtain a signature from the customer to confirm receipt.

driven by mobile couponing and loyalty schemes, but the

Left: Datalogic’s Falcon X3+ long-range scanning device in action.

advantages that this

computer, workers can

of faulty goods these images can be invaluable

technology offers beyond the

quickly establish if an item

for retailers that need to escalate problems to

store are even greater.

has been returned within

the manufacturer or supplier. The camera

the time allowed by the

function can also be used to capture images of

company’s returns policy.

any paperwork that is sent with the returned

High-level data storage

At the same time it could also contain data

item, eliminating the need for separate

about the item’s location within the warehouse

document scanners and helping to maintain an

For starters, 2D barcode symbologies such as

or distribution centre so that it can be quickly

accurate audit trail.

data matrix codes allow vast amounts of

and accurately rotated back into stock.

information to be stored within them. Returns

For multi-channel organisations, where returns

labels and paperwork printed with these codes

For damaged or faulty goods, camera

may be processed in store, similar principles

can contain information such as the date that

functions embedded within devices enable

and technologies can be utilised to help

the product was originally shipped. Using

users to capture images of the item, which can

manage the return of items back into the supply

rugged cordless imagers such as the

be transferred in real time via the wireless

chain, whether they are retained in store and

Datalogic PowerScan or a rugged mobile

network to back office systems. In the instance

sold or forwarded onto a distribution centre.

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Opinion

AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE MOBILE COMPUTING

Automated processes

Voice technology

Seeking the best solutions

There is also potential to automate some of

Voice technology also has a potential role to

While many retailers may feel nervous about

the reverse logistics process. For example

play. Paired with a mobile computer like the

the implications that returns could have on their

we could start to see RFID technology have

Skorpio X3 with a display, scanner and a

supply chain and ultimately, their operating

more prevalence for its ability to assist with

keyboard rather than just a black box unlocks

costs, there are many ways that technology

apparel returns. Meanwhile, warehousing

more functionality for users and makes it even

can assist. What remains is for organisations to

and logistics supplier Simon Loos in the

easier to confirm the location that items should

work with manufacturers like Datalogic and

Netherlands has realised a 50 per cent cost

be returned to.

their IT partners to find the best solutions to meet their individual requirements. 

saving by using the Datalogic Jade X7 portal scanner to process returns of pre-stocked

Outside the four walls, mobile devices can also

promotional displays.

be used to streamline processes and provide the retailer and customer with additional

In addition to reading barcodes, advanced

visibility of returns. Rugged PDA devices such

sensors integrated within the Jade system

as Datalogicâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new DL-Axist device could be

measure the speed, shape and position of

put into the hands of couriers, enabling them to

the items. Then software inside the device

scan items at the point of collection and even

uses the data captured to help identify the

take pictures and obtain a signature from the

product and can even indicate if items are

customer to confirm receipt.

stacked on top of one another. Some of these same advanced sensors and imagers

Return merchandise authorisation forms

are integrated in Datalogicâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Industrial

confirming the reason for a return could also

Automation solutions which could also be

be completed at the doorstep and the data

leveraged to take automation of the returns

transferred in real time, reducing the workload

process to another level.

imposed on the distribution centre. Datalogicâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s DL-Axist PDA.

DL-AXIST

A new era o f assisted s a les .

www.datalogic.com m

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AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE MOBILE COMPUTING

Opinion

Modern distribution centres require a connected workforce Justine Clark: “When these automated solutions are integrated together and connected to the enterprise, they become the critical link for information about what is actually happening in the business…”

he retail shopping experience is

T

evolving as fewer and fewer people shop in a physical store. And when they are in the store, it’s possibly because they ordered online ahead

of time and are there to pick up the order. Or they might be in the store to view the actual product, before making the purchase on their smartphone to be shipped to their home at a later date. This change in consumer behaviour has had a significant impact on the distribution centre. The ability to quickly and accurately fulfil a multitude of orders via a wide variety of channels is not only a required competency for retailers and manufacturers, it’s a strategic advantage –

Vocollect captures workers’ voice commands via wearable devices and sends them to warehouse management systems for integrated and automated order tracking.

whoever does it best, wins the customer’s loyalty. The omni-channel is nothing new, but

chemical processing, refining and other

“The increasing adoption of sensors, software

many organisations are still struggling to manage

production environments. They can be finely

and connected, mobile devices marks the

it and achieve profitability.

tuned to achieve optimal performance or quickly

emergence of the Industrial Internet of Things

become a complex problem of their own if not

(IIoT) in logistics,” said Justine Clark, marketing

Evolution

well-designed and properly maintained. In the

manager, transportation & logistics, Honeywell

end, it’s all about streamlining the work done in

Sensing and Productivity Solutions. “When these

Distribution centres are currently evolving from

the distribution center to create a positive

automated solutions are integrated together and

paper-based systems with labels and handheld

experience for the worker, and eventually the

connected to the enterprise, they become the

scanners to highly advanced, interconnected

consumer. To that end, there’s a growing need

critical link for information about what is actually

control systems run by intelligent software. These

to connect workers to data in the distribution

happening in the business, enabling

systems are similar to what we’ve seen in

centre.

organisations to better capture operational data, find opportunities to cut costs, increase productivity and improve inventory management.” One example of integrated, connected technology within the distribution centre is the use of RFID for asset control tracking. Mission Foods, one of the world’s leading tortilla producers, implemented Honeywell RFID solutions to track the returnable plastic containers that independent distributors used to deliver packaged products to stores. The tracking solution reduced the costs associated with replacing the reusable containers to the tune of more than US$700,000.

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Opinion

AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE MOBILE COMPUTING

This change in consumer behaviour has had a significant impact on the distribution centre. The ability to quickly and accurately fulfil a multitude of orders via a wide variety of channels is not only a required competency for retailers and manufacturers, it’s a strategic advantage – whoever does it best, wins the customer’s loyalty.

The real strength of technologies such as RFID,

Since 2013, the technology has saved

cent in the facility, while more than doubling

Voice, 2D and long-range scanning in a

companies such as eBay, Fox Racing, Sears

productivity in the each picking area – all with

distribution solution is in their connection to the

and Sony, and even Honeywell itself, millions of

maintaining nearly perfect accuracy at a time

warehouse management system, and their ability

dollars by enabling workers to pick items

when sales have increased dramatically. The

to provide meaningful data and inventory information to the warehouse/DC manager in real time. To deliver customer orders quickly and accurately--when orders received by 2PM need to be out the door the same day, distribution centres need connected technology solutions – not paper and a clipboard.

Real-time process improvements

The increasing adoption of sensors, software and connected, mobile devices marks the emergence of the Industrial Internet of Things in logistics.” – Justine Clark, marketing manager, Honeywell Sensing and Productivity Solutions.

faster, facilitating greater adherence to

Voice system, which paid for itself in less than

In addition, Honeywell’s Vocollect Voice solution

standard operating procedures and producing

six months, saves Seneca Medical $1 million

enables real-time process improvements at

increased accuracy and delivery of products

per year in operating costs.

some of Honeywell’s own plants, as well as by

and services to customers. “Imagine the benefits of having workers

nearly 1 million distribution centre workers worldwide. Vocollect captures workers’ voice

One customer, Seneca Medical is using

audibly guided through their picking order

commands via wearable devices and sends

Honeywell voice-directed workflow solutions in

using data from the WMS, with the ability to

them to warehouse management systems

all six of its distribution centres for bulk

provide hands-free input back to the system,

(WMS) for integrated and automated order

selection and low-unit-of-measure order filling.

all in real time,” said Clark. “It’s this type of

tracking. This eliminates the need for manual

The Voice system directs workers to the

solution that’s driving a real change in the way

data entry and look-up, frees up the mobile

correct items, providing the location and

we look at logistics. By connecting the

worker’s hands and eyes, and essentially gives

quantity of cases to select. Since moving to

workforce directly to information in the

them a direct line to the data flowing through the

Voice for picking its products, Seneca Medical

warehouse, we can optimise procedures and

warehouse.

has improved picking productivity by 25 per

increase productivity.” 

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AUTOMATIC DATA CAPTURE MOBILE COMPUTING

Product news

Harting’s MICA ruggedised computer now available Harting has announced the UK commercial availability of its ruggedised computer, MICA (Modular Industry Computing Architecture). The device was displayed for the first time in the UK at the ‘Drives and Controls’ exhibition in April, and is now fully supported by Harting for commercial use. he Harting MICA ruggedised

T

computer provides a platform for system integrators and software developers who need to deploy bespoke software applications to

manage systems. It uses a LINUX operating system to provide a secure, stand-alone infrastructure needed in industrial and other demanding applications. MICA was installed in the ‘Rinspeed Etos’ concept car displayed on the Harting stand (visited by Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkal and US President, Barack Obama) during the Hannover Messe event in April. The car was also displayed at the Geneva motor show in March to great acclaim. Rinspeed uses a Harting MICA for emissions and status monitoring. The Rinspeed Etos then transmits this data gathered by the MICA device to a neutral third-party (Dekra), for

Ruggedised computers are a key element in delivery of Industry 4.0, and since we showed MICA at ‘Drives and Controls’ we have had a lot of interest in it from companies working on various applications, especially RFID and performance monitoring.” – Gavin Stoppel, Harting UK.

MICA was installed in the ‘Rinspeed Etos’ concept car displayed on the Harting stand during the Hannover Messe event in April.

independent analysis. This illustrates how the Internet of Things (IoT) could be used more widely in the future to monitor and evaluate emissions and performance data in real-world driving conditions. This same technique could also be applied to a range of other industrial and logistical equipment to help monitor

The Harting MICA ruggedised computer uses a LINUX operating system to provide a secure, stand-alone infrastructure needed in industrial and other demanding applications.

performance and maintenance. using ‘Industrial Internet of Things’ networks

we showed MICA at ‘Drives and Controls’ we

Gavin Stoppel, product and applications

and distributed control systems need this type

have had a lot of interest in it from companies

manager at Harting UK, said: “Companies

of device. Ruggedised computers are a key

working on various applications, especially

deploying large scale automation solutions

element in delivery of Industry 4.0, and since

RFID and performance monitoring.” 

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Warehouse Management

I

Success story

Automated solution increases efficiency and accuracy for Recio

D

eep in the heart of Spain, against the backdrop of Salamancaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wealth of historical buildings and monuments, Recio is a perfumery and household products chain with a proud heritage. This stretches back to 1905 when Manuel Recio Sanchez opened a small pharmacy on Avenida Toro in the city. Recio now supplies perfumes and cosmetics to more than 200 stores and 2000 wholesale customers. These products fall into two product types: mass market (perfumes and

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cosmetics, household and drugstore products); and selective market (high-end perfumes), which are supplied from the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s national distribution centre in Salamanca.

Ambition meets innovation Around 15 years ago, Recio decided to increase sales through its network of stores. However, the company needed an order processing system that combined state-ofthe-art technology with traditional methods to facilitate this. In recent years, the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s continued growth meant the system was approaching its peak capacity. Recio had to process 14,000 order lines per day, comprising 54,000 units picked from 15,000 SKUs, so it had been contemplating the need for improvement at its Salamanca site. First, it needed to increase productivity and order picking rates. Secondly, it had to 36

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improve the storage density in its central warehouse. Finally, Recioâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s management knew that automating the order preparation of selective market products would be crucial, but it was flexible in its position towards the ideal solution. â&#x20AC;&#x153;What we needed was a system that gave us easier access to more stock on site, and allowed us to handle goods more efficiently,â&#x20AC;? says Recioâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s warehouse manager JosĂŠ Maria de la Madrid Gonzalez. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The most important aspects for us were to guarantee a faster service, and increase both our picking accuracy and throughput.â&#x20AC;?

A state-of-the-art solution To meet these demands, Vanderlande proposed Adapto, a highly flexible storage, retrieval and transportation system. It provides unrivalled scalability and availability, and enables users to maximise customer service levels. Adapto is a state-of-the-art, 3D solution that comprises: a racking structure with integrated shuttle track system;

multidirectional microshuttles that transport product carriers between rack locations and system exits/entries; and lifts that allow the shuttles to move between rack levels and system exits/entries. In addition, Adapto ensures easy access to products at all times. This is not affected by lift or shuttle unavailability, due to the way in which each shuttle can reach every location â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and therefore any product â&#x20AC;&#x201C; in the system. Maintenance platforms allow quick operator access to all shuttles and rack locations. For Recio, Adapto was an excellent fit, because it makes optimal use of existing space within a warehouse. This means that the unique dimensions of its distribution centre were not a problem, and the configuration could be tailored to fit as required. The specific solution for Recio features six aisles, 10,360 tote positions, 14 shuttles and a continuous tote transport line. Six automated picking stations that can handle up to 32 orders (192 orders per wave) have also been factored in. These stations are able to handle around two or three waves a day.

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Warehouse Management

The power of automation “Vanderlande’s solution has enabled us to do things much faster, and in a shorter operating window,” continued de la Madrid Gonzalez. “We have better control of how our picking is done, and because of the high level of automation we have tighter control of the stock, and more effective management of item availability.”

summer of 2015, and has allowed Recio to surpass its main objectives. “Vanderlande is a reliable partner for us, and everything they have delivered has led to improvements,”

I

Success story

concluded de la Madrid Gonzalez. “Every time they visit, productivity improves and we benefit from the added value they supply.” 

HIGHLIGHTS • Recio is a family-run Spanish business perfumery and household products chain. • The company supplies more than 200 stores and 2,000 wholesale customers. Location • Salamanca, Spain.

The system is performing so well that a saving of two working hours per day has been achieved as well. In addition, store fulfilment is no longer affected by process uncertainties. These have virtually disappeared thanks to the new inventory accuracy and predictable delivery times.

Company size • 960 employees in total (75 based in Salamanca).

Throughput has also been increased, which means the service offering to customers has become faster. Due to the flexibility and scalability of Adapto, further shuttles and lifts can also be added at a later date, meaning Recio can cope with any further growth in – or change to – its business activities.

Solution • Storage and retrieval operations needed to be automated. Vanderlande offered Adapto a highly flexible storage, retrieval and transportation system.

Challenges • Due to growth, the system was nearing its peak capacity . • Certain products were still being handled manually. • Customer service levels had room for improvement. • Warehouse layout made a ‘one-aisle/one-machine’ solution uneconomical. • Storage and retrieval operations needed to be automated.

Results • High order fulfilment accuracy. • Short lead times. • 100 per cent product accessibility. • High stock accuracy.

Vanderlande’s solution went live in the

Reliable partner for value-added warehouse automation

Vanderlande is a major player in the warehouse automation market and specialises in solutions for food retail, fashion, parts and components and e-commerce. It cooperates closely with its customers to optimise their supply chain and enhance the efficiency of the processes in their distribution centres. The company is a one-stop shop for innovative systems, intelligent software and life-cycle support. This integrated approach results in an optimum performance throughout the system‘s lifetime. Curious to find out how your warehouse processes can be optimised? Contact Vanderlande today. Email: info@vanderlande.com. > vanderlande.com


Warehouse Management

I

Success story

Automated storage and retrieval of steel streamlines stockholderâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s business High-performance engineering steel is stored safely and picked more efficiently at Oldburybased Bohler-Uddeholm (UK) since it invested ÂŁ3 million in an automated Kasto Unicompact warehouse and a further ÂŁ1 million in other site improvements.

T

he computer-controlled storage and retrieval system became operational in the first quarter of 2016, having been systematically populated with bar, tube and other long stock that was previously held in conventional cantilever racking. The immediate and future benefits are farreaching. The number of forklift trucks on site has been cut from 15 to 6, reducing overheads, making the working environment safer for personnel and cutting diesel emissions. In addition, warehouse operator costs have been lowered by 15 per cent, with personnel redeployed to other duties. There has been an 80 per cent saving in floor area. The Kasto store has a 1000 m2 footprint, whereas previously 5500 m2 was required to stock 2600 tonnes of material, although the new tower can easily hold double that amount. The freed floor space will be used to increase the number of bandsaws, machining centres and grinders to allow Bohler-Uddeholm (UK) to carry out more added-value processing.

(12"/+2$/01+./)2.,2.0*2#/**10012/&0-$/0.#/)) 21,01+.,%20(12*0-+1

new system has bedded in.

Raising competitiveness Tom Gowans, managing director of BohlerUddeholm (UK), commented: "The automated warehouse has already started to raise our competitiveness and will underpin our planned 50 per cent growth in throughput by 2020, increasing turnover from ÂŁ50 million to ÂŁ75 million. "It will also benefit our customers, as we can now ensure same-day picking and despatch for all orders received before noon. In the past, during busy periods, we could not guarantee that. Average lead-time has consequently halved to one-and-a-half days.

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"The operational savings from investing in the automated warehouse will be further increased by moving from 24/5 working to a double shift pattern later this year when the

"Taking all of the economies into account, return on investment will be within three to five years, depending on the business climate and in particular a recovery in the oil and gas sector, which is an important part of our business." Bohler-Uddeholm is part of the Special Steel Division of voestalpine Stahl AG, which owns specialised mills in Austria, Germany, Sweden and Brazil producing cold and hot work steels, mould and tool steels, high speed steels and various alloys including nickelbased varieties. The Kasto Unicompact 3.5 at Oldbury is the sixth bespoke warehouse manufactured by Kasto in Germany for Bohler-Uddeholm group distribution centres worldwide. The 37-metre long store contains 2377 travelling cassettes

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Warehouse Management

I

Success story

inter-company co-operation between us and Kasto in mechanical design, bespoke IT solutions, installation, training and back up has been excellent." Gowans added: "Part of the strategy for this project was to achieve a culture change within our company and to bring our four divisions closer, with the strapline 'Work Together to Grow Together'. This also perfectly describes the strengthening relationship between our management and operational staff and the Kasto implementation teams both in the UK and Germany." Ernst Wagner, managing director of Kasto in Milton Keynes, commented: "All our products, including sawing machines as well as storage systems, are built in-house by us in our two German factories, ensuring on-time, accurate, trouble-free turnkey handover. (12-1+/0-+2/020(12)-%.#2#-,0+-)2*0/0.-,21 .,%2.,20(12+1&1*0

capable of holding steel bars and tubes up to eight metres long to a maximum weight per location of 3.5 tonnes. Useable width of the cassettes is 620 mm and there are three height variants â&#x20AC;&#x201C;180 mm, 220 mm and 450 mm. The automated storage and retrieval facility is 15 metres high and has been built onto the end of the original warehouse at Oldbury, which is 9 metres high. Exterior parts of the extension have weatherproof cladding, including a 26 metre long end wall and the four sides of the tower that are above the nine-metre roof line.

8 and 2 metres long. (Shorter sections are held in two 9.5-metre Lean Lift towers nearby.) The picking crane has a double cycle capability, picking a new order and returning the previous cassette to the free location, ensuring fast and dynamic delivery. The warehouse is particularly energy efficient, as it does not need lighting or heating, added to which energy recovery and power storage on the downward travel of the picking crane is a standard feature of Kasto warehouse designs.

"We have installed around 1750 systems worldwide in the warehousing sector over the last 25 years and it is noteworthy that they have been bought by around 650 customers. In other words, once a company buys such a system, they often go on to buy two, three, four or more, as the benefits become clear very quickly. "Particularly in the UK, where land and building costs are high, the benefits of 3D storage in towers are massive, freeing up areas for other activities and perhaps even avoiding or delaying the need for the user to relocate. Overlaid on these advantages is a reduction in operational costs through improved logistics." 

Largely paperless working environment An integrated, overhead gantry crane feeds 12 cassette buffer stations, where operators put material away into store and pick orders. Some material is transferred to 17 automatic bandsaws and on to other machine tools, all of which are now close to the store. Previously, material on racking had to be found by the picker and moved through two bays by lift truck for processing. It entailed significant operational cost disadvantages, health & safety risks associated with manual material movement and potential delays in supplying customers.

The Kastologic warehouse control system with ID and password access has been interfaced with the stockholder's SAP administration and inventory system, which includes Idox information management software. It has created a largely paperless working environment, with inventory management and 100 per cent material traceability provided from material purchase to sale. Data input to the system is via barcodes or numeric product coding, or by length and / or weight of material.

The storage system delivers and returns up to 45 cassettes per hour containing a mix of 4500 line items of engineering steel between

Mike Hickman, operations manager at BohlerUddeholm (UK), said: "Throughout the installation of the automated warehouse, the

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Printing & Labelling

Success story

Brother portable scanners "#$%  &$&$#&$" !" &$& orth West based Kenley Warehousing and Distribution, which transports goods around the UK, is reaping the benefits of using Brotherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s scanners as part of a complete proof of delivery (POD) solution.

the jobs had been carried out. We knew that we had to update the system to streamline processes and speed up payments.â&#x20AC;?

â&#x20AC;&#x153;This technology has dramatically reduced admin time and means that customers can see their PODs straight away, enabling them to notify us of shortages or damages at much earlier dateâ&#x20AC;?, Lesley added.

Technology means faster payments

Paper proof of delivery meant invoicing delays

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Drivers can now scan the PODs on the Brother DS-820W as soon as the goods hit

Campbell Elliott, Kenleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s transport manager said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The scanner itself is superb and really easy to use. The picture quality is excellent and it only produces a small file so they arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t memory heavy but even so, it comes with a

N

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our drivers used to set off at 4am on a Monday morning, travelling round the country for drop offs and pick-ups and rarely came back to the office. The customers would sign a POD at the destination and the drivers would return them at the end of the week. We would then post out the invoices,â&#x20AC;? said Lesley Walker, Kenleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s financial director. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The delay meant that we werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t able to issue invoices until up to two weeks after



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!%&"%& "%&" & & $&#"%# &$!&%&!$&$##&$!&#" $!&$&%$#&"%&!%#%&$&!%&#$&&       their destination. This automatically updates our system and means that we can email invoices out immediately.

huge memory card which can store up to 200 documents. The drivers can now get the paperwork back seconds after delivery.â&#x20AC;? 

$"$% "$#%$"$%  "%#$!# % % $""%""!!%$"$%!# #!%  $#%

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Printing & Labelling

Product news

Brotherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s portable printers $#&!%& &"& nformation, communication and technology services provider Brother UK offers a range of portable printers for supply chain workers who need to print important documents while on the move.

I

The PJ700 range â&#x20AC;&#x201C; claimed to be the smallest, most technologically advanced A4/A5 mobile thermal printer series on the market today â&#x20AC;&#x201C; is made up of six models, all offering fast (8ppm) reliable high-quality A4 printing from any location. Brotherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new portable printers have a robust design, a longer battery life* and fast print speeds. They are the ideal option for busy supply chain workers who need to work efficiently from different sites.

Free your mobile workforce to finish the task

Field sales repr e re esentatives, Firre service, Plumbers, Builders, Surveyors, Ro oad assist, Mechanics, Courierr, Admissions Events, Customer Service, Strategic Pl anning, Envirro onmentta al Engineerr, Boiler Engineerr, Civil Engineerr, Drilling Engineerr, Firre Prro otection Engineerr, Health and Safet y, Envirro onmental Engineerr.

#!$#%  %#! "$%#!$#%!%"$%##!%

The range allows users to print from any location, whether in a patientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s home whether in a warehouse or on the road. Users can print directly from mobile devices via a range of simple connectivity options including Google Cloud print and Brotherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tailored iPrint & Scan app. The flagship PJ-763MFi model also offers a bespoke Bluetooth connection, and the PJ-773 is claimed to be the only portable printer on the market that offers Apple AirPrint; meaning users can print directly from their iPad or iPhones. With its range of accessories and free software development kit, Brother has designed its portable printers so that they can be adapted and modified to suit individual needs and easily integrated with existing systems. The printers offer a variety of power and image quality settings, with no inks or toners to replace and a simple setup, meaning operating them while in the field is as straight-forward as possible. *optional accessory

The worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ďŹ rst AirPrintt enabled mobile direct thermal printers.

PJ-773

www.brotherr.co . .uk /mobile Now Avvailable at:

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Supply Chain

Success story

Mapa Spontex improves the visibility and control of its supply chain worldwide with DynaSys solutions

M

apa Spontex, headquartered in Colombes (France), develops, manufactures and sells a wide range of home care and hand protection products (gloves, sponges, cloths and brooms) for the general public and professionals.

of the Jarden Home & Family division belonging to the American Jarden Group (with a turnover of $6 billion in 2010 and more than 25,000 employees worldwide). • Fundamentally, the company is dedicated to fostering innovation in order to benefit consumers. The company by-line: ambition and challenge.

The company operates in 19 countries worldwide, through production facilities and sales offices and employs approximately 4000 people. Mapa Spontex is at the cutting edge of innovation, it has set up an integrated Research & Development department, with three centres located in France, Germany and Malaysia.

The challenge: Standardising and enhancing supply chain planning globally

History Key dates in the history of Mapa and Spontex: • 1932 – Founding of Spontex, a combination of “SPONge” and “TEXtile”. Manufacture of the first cellulose sponge. • 1948 – Founding of Mapa with the production of the first natural latex dipped glove. • MAPA merged with the Hutchinson group in 1972 and with Spontex in 1982. • 2010 – Mapa Spontex becomes a brand

In 2007, Mapa Spontex began a detailed review of its supply chain with the objective of becoming more collaborative, efficient, reliable and structured. The key drivers for this were the demands of a market where competition was becoming increasingly keen.

Functional scope The functional scope included: • Demand planning, from sales forecast to product lifecycle management, including promotion management. • Calculation of requirement, inventory and deployment policy. • Production planning: Optimisation and monitoring of the Sales and Operations Plan (S&OP).

This process, associated with the S&OP approach being deployed for each product line in the company aims to reconcile the medium-term sales plan with Mapa Spontex’s production capability. The company considers the collaborative process to be a priority. “A common sales forecasting process for all of Europe is essential,” explained Crnjanski. “It is a way for us to obtain single-source, reliable and validated data, whatever the site or product. This allows our managers to refine their control and set business goals accordingly. Centralising our calculations to better manage procurement and inventory is also a prerequisite.” The Supply Chain has to become a ‘solution finder’ for all the departments at Mapa Spontex.

The Solution: Compliance with specification, user-friendliness, flexibility and scalability Market research was conducted for a year with the assistance of an external consultant. Mapa Spontex left nothing to chance thoroughly investigating: the technology, business knowledge and industry expertise of each provider, followed by visits to their existing customers. At the end of 2008, the company opted to deploy the DynaSys solution for Demand Planning – sales forecasts, DynaSys Distribution Planning – multi-site central planning and DynaSys Production Planning – production site finite capacity planning. “DynaSys was the only Supply Chain solution provider able to present a complete project to us, that had been implemented by other companies” confirmed Crnjanski. “In addition, their team was ready to invest its time and effort with us and demonstrated by accompanying us throughout the process of selection, their professional expertise and

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Success story

there to be seen. The first is a result which might prove unusual for this type of project! Compliance with implementation lead times. The project was planned to begin in September 2008 and end in June 2009.

Significant gains Significant gains were: • More reliable sales forecasts: +15 points for Retail and +38 points for the Professional market. • A service level increase of 4 points up for professional products and stable in the other sector. • Inventory levels reduced by 17 per cent in value and 30 per cent in coverage/days. seamless knowledge of our industry sector. A huge advantage for us.” The key differentiators of the DynaSys solution which resulted in Mapa Spontex selecting the tool were: • The user-friendliness and ease of use of the tool. • Simple integration into the Mapa Spontex ERP software (Minos). • Extensive capabilities for finite capacity planning and detailed promotion management. • The ability to develop multiple ‘what if’ scenarios. • Advanced collaborative technology (Single Click Collaboration). • Rapid implementation timescales. • Cost-effective licensing. For Crnjanski: “DynaSys offered a business solution, proven in the market and in our industry. It conforms to our expectations, there were no grey areas, whether it concerned performance or implementation”. The primary goal of Mapa Spontex, improving visibility and the control of its supply chain at the global level, has become a reality.

In addition to these benefits, the company supply chain teams enjoyed greater flexibility in their everyday work. Mapa Spontex has also benefitted from better inventory visibility, user specific dashboards, a single common database. Inter-site inventory planning has improved; a single view in DynaSys enables the company to control all the flows across their supply chain. To make all this possible, Mapa Spontex developed a true change management policy including not only the supply chain department, but also IT management and sales & marketing services. Further changes included: • Move from a monthly bucket to a weekly bucket. • Implementation of a frozen period for the Production Plan (between 2 and 4 weeks). • Centralisation of procurement management.

Supply Chain

• Establishment of inventory control for a common sales forecast process at the European level. “None of this would have been possible without rigorous management of our demand planning, distribution planning and production planning processes through the DynaSys tool. These are truly collaborative solutions,” confirmed Crnjanski.

The future: Development of a collaborative approach and deployment across central Europe Further refinement of the S&OP process will be one of the priorities at Mapa Spontex. Integrating the Malaysian factories into the central Production Plan is also now underway. “First we have to integrate them into the ERP solution and then into the supply chain,” indicated Crnjanski. Finally, there is another major task: Deployment of the supply chain solution across Central Europe. “We expect our teams to get their skills ‘up and running’ he continues. “Today, our existing DynaSys users are already a valuable source of knowledge regarding the continuous improvement of our tools. Equally the research and development department at DynaSys is very responsive to our requests for additional functionality.” Crnjanski concluded: “The future will inevitably involve collaborative processes across our business. We now have the right technology available to deal with any challenge and ensure that our results are on a par with our ambitions.” 

The benefits: Gains in terms of figures and results = a definite winner “It is always difficult to establish a reliable return on investment and for us, that’s not the most important thing” explained Richard Crnjanski. “Structuring our process and ensuring the reliability of our data is already a noteworthy return on our investment. It is the basis required to set up an S&OP process.” Nevertheless, the impacts and results are

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Supply Chain

Event

Managing innovation in the Cloud Manufacturing & Logistics IT attended Oracleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Modern Supply Chain Experience event in London recently to find out about Oracleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s views on innovation management software developments and strategies. Democratising ideation An R&D departmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s contribution to new ideas may be rather limited. Because of this, Singla maintains that the ideation process should be open to not only all departments within the company, but also beyond the four walls. He adds that the democratisation of ideation is critically important in order to embed a culture of innovation and to ensure fresh opportunities are identified and exploited ahead of the competition. ("%* (&!%* %'*($*&)) ) *($*%& (&&#%'(#&*$$')*'%'*($*%!)*'#*"#( )*') "('*!))!*#*($((!('*(&*#" )"*#" #"%&($%'(#&$*%& *')("*$'%)#! )"$*'#*%) (*%& *))'()*"# '* )($(#&$*%& *'# %)*')*)$'*#$$(!)*()*%$*'#*)')" ')("*"# '* ))!#)&'*%& * *")() ($*!()!*'#*)*$)$$!*%& *%!)*'#* )!()"*% ## *")'"&*#&*(&)$')&'*

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t Oracleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s two-day Modern Supply Chain Experience event staged at the Intercontinental London â&#x20AC;&#x201C; The O2 recently, 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 supply chainrelated topics. One of these themes was innovation management. Vikram Singla, product innovation and supply chain apps leader, Oracle UK, commented at the event: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The end goal of most manufacturers involved in product development is to be able to come up with innovative ideas that will have a strong commercial appeal â&#x20AC;&#x201C; while also being able quickly to determine those development concepts that are less likely to have a major impact on the market.â&#x20AC;? 44

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Fail safe, fail frugal Many organisations are averse to any type of failure. However, Singla stresses that failure does not have to be expensive, and time spent on the ideation process can reap major rewards when the right ideas come to the fore. Neither should a sound ideation methodology result in career risk, believes Singla, who adds that the best innovators encourage innovation time among all employees; some even consider rewarding â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;near-missâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; ideas that had potential but didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t quite make the cut. According to Singla, the best ideation environment is one in which creative people are given the freedom to experiment and where finance staff can utilise agreed metrics in order to best ensure that a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;fail safe, fail frugalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; environment strengthens the innovation culture within the organisation.

Portfolio approach Singlaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s view is that innovation is not just about disruptive change. Regular breakthroughs, even if small, are important to keep the momentum and balance risk. Along with new disruptive products, line extensions to current products, functional improvements etc. are required. The ideas, related to each category, must be able to move through their lifecycle

swiftly in order to home-in on the most promising ideas and ensure they receive the required level of support â&#x20AC;&#x201C; both operationally and financially. Singla refers to the process of harvesting a number of ideas across different categories as the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;portfolio approachâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;.

Bridging the ideas and execution gap So, how can companies put in place and manage such an efficient innovation management methodology? At the Oracle event, the point was made that many companies still rely on spreadsheets and other basic forms of data management, which is not the most integrated or effective means of optimising the product value chain, from initial inspiration through to development and launch to market. There are, of course, many product lifecycle management (PLM) software packages available that aim to help companies to manage their product design, development, and commercialisation processes in a more integrated, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;joined-upâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; way. However, Oracle explains that once the process of design has begun, plenty of hard cash may have already been sunk. It is extremely important to take control of the so-called fuzzy front end and manage the translation of ideas into design concepts taking into consideration a host of factors such as financial viability and alignment with market trends. Oracle explains that failure to do so could result in an unsuccessful product that has a highly injurious effect on your bottom line. Oracle believes what is needed to facilitate the most efficient and successful innovation methodology is an IT solution that is able to support innovation by successfully bridging the gap between innovative ideas and execution. In

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Event

Supply Chain

The Oracle solution allows organisations to manage many different product development projects within their portfolio. And since the solution is integrated with Oracle’s development, project execution and commercialisation solution, the company made the point that the whole process from initial design concept right through to development and launch to market is made a lot easier.

Cloud advantage

essence, Oracle believes companies that are serious about their R&D and product innovation regime should take their supportive innovation management IT solution just as seriously. According to Oracle, the requirement is for a system that can help companies to invest time, money and resources in ideas that stand the best chance of success. Oracle believes in order to achieve this the system needs to be able to help ideation throughout the organisation, with customers/partners/suppliers and even regularly monitor a host of different data sources, such as social media (tweets, blogs, consumer discussion sites etc.) and Big Data repositories to identify current product trends/customer preferences etc. Strategically, Oracle’s view is that the innovation management system of choice should be able to optimise communication over the entire product development network, so that stakeholder participation and involvement is maximised and the ideas and decision-making process is optimised. As part of this process, Oracle maintains that the system should also be able to analyse the most likely financial impact before, during and after investment decisions have been made, and be able to determine the best commercialisation opportunities for the company. Oracle believes the solution of choice should be capable of managing product changes to improve time to market and to reduce the amount of necessary reworking, or even scrapping, of ideas – additionally, it should be able to maintain or accelerate the pace of innovation by proactively reusing existing parts and designs.

Global picture Similarly, Oracle considers that the system should also be able to manage the whole design, manufacturing and supply chain process across global plants; ensuring the organisation’s manufacturing and supply chain partners worldwide know its plans and are able to act and prepare accordingly. Moreover, Oracle believes the system should be able to manage all manufacturing-related changes made across plants and organisations worldwide. As part of managing this stakeholder collaboration process during all stages of product development through to manufacture, Oracle maintains that the system should be able to securely manage data in terms of items, bills of materials (BOMs), documents and AML (anti-money laundering) controls, while also securing IP with extended control across globally outsourced design and manufacturing organisations, suppliers and partners.

Full visibility and involvement Oracle’s own Cloud-based Innovation Management solution looks at the innovation process from all angles in a fully integrated fashion. All stakeholders can be involved at every stage of the product development. Also, through having visibility of financial analysis related to each stage of product investment, joined-up decision making is made a much smoother and unified process, with no one being left out of the loop.

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Because the system is Cloud-based, Oracle points out that the system can be up and running considerably faster than on-premise alternatives, and can also be more easily accessed by stakeholders and partners locally or around the world as and when required. From a cost perspective, Oracle explains that the Cloud model means users do not need to commit any up-front capital expenditure to the solution; instead paying a monthly subscription fee, which also covers full support from Oracle’s service team. Oracle added that the system’s high level of flexibility means it can quickly be integrated within an organisation’s existing suite of IT solutions; whether they be on-premise or in the Cloud.

Conclusion Singla commented: “What is needed is an innovation system that is able to provide the right level of visibility in order for organisations and their stakeholders to make quick and effective product decisions, and to have the best possible view as to whether their product development and R&D regime is likely to be successful and able to deliver a good return on investment. With Oracle’s product life-cycle management solutions, organisations have the means to accelerate the product decision lifecycle by clearly recognising opportunities for improvement at each stage of the process and by ensuring maximum stakeholder engagement – locally or globally – which in turn helps to optimise productivity throughout the entire product network. He concluded: “Oracle’s Innovation Management solution can bridge the gap between an organisation’s innovative ideas and successful execution, which can result in a greater volume of successful new products being brought to market. In this way, the company can not only boost its profitability but also satisfy market demand for more innovative products. It’s a win-win.” 

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Supply Chain

Product news

Aspen Technology announces aspenONE Engineering and aspenONE Manufacturing and Supply Chain Version 9 software

A

spen Technology, Inc., provider of software and services to the process industries, has announced the general availability of aspenONE Engineering and aspenONE Manufacturing and Supply Chain Version 9 software. The latest release gives firms in the Oil, Gas, Refining, Chemicals, Engineering & Construction and other process industries the integrated, streamlined workflows that help them save millions of dollars. Innovations in the aspenONE V9 release help push the limits of asset performance, empowering users to design and troubleshoot with confidence, improve reliability by enabling greater insights into process constraints, onboard new users faster and make process safety consistent and continuous throughout the entire asset lifecycle. AspenTech's latest software release continues to provide a holistic foundation for operational excellence by giving manufacturers:

Improved analysis capabilities Insight into key processes enables better, faster and more profitable problem solving. • Distillation columns are notoriously hard to operate optimally, resulting in losses in product and quality, and increased OPEX. With the new Column Analysis technology in Aspen Hysys and Aspen Plus, engineers can readily analyse hydraulic performance and test operating parameters, resulting in up to 20 per cent improvements in energy savings, and millions of potential dollars in improved product quality and throughput. • In an emergency, lives and billions of dollars' worth of assets are at stake. Over 400 projects have used Blowdown Technology, now part of Aspen Hysys, to save significant CAPEX on oil, gas and LNG projects. Better model-based decision support. Consistent, rigorous models drive process improvements that improve margins and 46

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reduce capital and operating costs. • Improved integration and workflow in the new aspenONE refinery planning model update enables process engineers to update planning models, so planners can increase profit with easy, accurate refinery-wide profit margin analysis – by as much as 10 per cent, or $20 million annually per refinery site. • Sulsim Sulfur Recovery in Aspen Hysys ensures compliance with environmental regulations, reduces costs, and meets product specifications under changing feed and operating conditions, while simultaneously debottlenecking the gas plant. • The latest Custom Modelling innovations enable process engineers to simplify the incorporation of custom models into Aspen Plus, reducing time-to-market for specialty chemicals producers by speeding up modelling of key processes. • Schlumberger and AspenTech have collaborated to provide the latest link between OLGA software and Aspen Hysys, expanding asset-wide modelling to maximise production without compromising safety in the upstream. In addition, new mercury partitioning capabilities in Aspen Hysys track and reduce hazardous contaminants, increasing equipment reliability and lowering maintenance costs. Streamlined APC application workflows with an intuitive, ribbon based user interface. The aspenONE Manufacturing and Supply Chain V9 updates include the new Aspen DMC3 Builder that can increase efficiency up to 30 per cent by building and deploying all AspenTech APC controllers from start to finish on one intuitive tool. The workflow oriented design builds controllers faster and enables more engineers, preserving process knowledge and increasing APC project efficiency. Extension of scheduling beyond the refinery gate. Meeting fuel demand while minimizing costs and maximising margins is made possible with the ability to evaluate and optimize supply

chain tradeoffs. The new Map Monitor in Aspen Fleet Optimiser (AFO) improves scheduler visualisation with an interactive web-based mapping application, providing real-time, accurate information that streamlines fuel distribution. The V9 release of aspenONE Engineering and Manufacturing & Supply Chain software is available immediately. Customers on the aspenONE Licensing Model can upgrade to the new version for no additional cost. Josh Fredberg, senior vice president, products & marketing, AspenTech, said: “The aspenONE V9 software release is a continuation of AspenTech's commitment to transform process manufacturing with innovative technology that drives the highest possible returns across the entire asset lifecycle. We are pleased to deliver the latest release of the integrated aspenONE software system that enables sustainable operational excellence to drive profitable outcomes.” Benito Caamaňo Nieves, technologist, Repsol Technology Centre, said: “We have used the Acid Gas Cleaning and Column Analysis technology in Aspen Hysys V9 to optimise acid gas treating process specifications and costs in our units, while simultaneously evaluating the impact of process changes on column hydraulics. Repsol intends to introduce the hydraulic plots now available in the latest version of aspenONE Engineering into our standard amine reports as a best practice for monitoring and improving the performance of columns.” Harendra Singh, engineering manager, NPCC, commented: “The new Blowdown functionality within Aspen Hysys offers a one stop solution for facilities blowdown and minimum temperature studies. It's a step in right direction from conventional de-pressuring utility as it uses the industry benchmark Imperial College correlations for estimation of minimum metal temperatures.” 

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Product news

Supply Chain

Manhattan Associates connects the call centre to modern shopper expectations Manhattan Associates, Inc. has announced key enhancements to its Omni-Channel Customer Service Solution. The solution provides call centre customer service representatives (CSRs) with a single application and single interface for servicing multibrand, multi-currency, multi-country sales across channels.

F

or today's consumers, a great experience has no boundaries. If they see a product online anywhere in the world, they should be able to buy it, have it shipped and return it anywhere, anytime and with any currency. These consumers are pushing brands into new global markets, forcing the retail enterprise to expand its offerings, grow regionally and offer best-in-class customer service across channels. This new opportunity can provide infrastructure challenges for call centres and CSRs.

Typically, a single call centre supports one brand that operates across many countries, with each country requiring its own application. Or, a call centre supports many brands across many countries with varying currencies, requiring CSRs to navigate different screens and interfaces. In the omnichannel era, CSRs must deliver a quick, seamless and positive experience without the time drag of logging in and out of multiple customer service applications. "One of the biggest opportunities for brands to grow right now is in global markets, especially through expansion of their ecommerce capabilities. However, while it's relatively easy to set up a digital presence in a new region, brands need a lot more than a site to be successful," said Nikki Baird, managing partner at Retail Systems Research. "Part of the value of a brand is in delivering a consistent customer experience, no matter where or how consumers choose to engage. Customer service and contact centre support have historically been overlooked as part of that consistent experience. The industry needs solutions that can address this gap."

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Specific configuration

customers in just one call, reducing call time.

Using Manhattan's Omni-Channel Customer Service application, enterprises are able to configure settings specific to a brand and country. This includes pricing, promotions,

"Many enterprises see growing complexity associated with running a multi-brand, multichannel, multi-region retail operation," said Brian Kinsella, vice president of product

â&#x20AC;&#x153;

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One of the biggest opportunities for brands to grow right now is in global markets, especially through expansion of their e-commerce capabilities. However, while it's relatively easy to set up a digital presence in a new region, brands need a lot more than a site to be successful." â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Nikki Baird, Retail Systems Research. payment terms, currencies and shipping rules. Such granularity provides a powerful application that CSRs can leverage to switch between brands or geographies at the click of a button while effectively communicating with

management at Manhattan Associates. "We recognise the challenges associated with these initiatives and are equipping our customers for success in an increasingly complicated marketplace." 

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\\\ Manufacturing \\\

Insight

Frost & Sullivan backs autonomous device networks as a model for industrial IoT connectivity The Internet of Things (IoT) for Industries is transforming both the consumer and the business landscape, offering tremendous opportunities for agile suppliers. However, businesses founded on connectivity across devices, geographies, applications and services require diversity in business models, reports Frost & Sullivan. ach industry and company will

E

need a customised approach to connectivity based on its unique requirement. As a result, the existing â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;massive IoTâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; approach of

having a common monolithic connectivity solution must be relooked to accommodate the diverse possibilities of connectivity requirements in the future. In this regard, a decentralised and self-organising device network is a more economical, reliable, and scalable approach towards connectivity. Within the Industrial Internet paradigm in particular, an autonomous device network offers significant benefits. Essentially, the choice of connectivity solutions in business models

While the wide area approach to connectivity is

intelligence in a connected enterprise is not

should steer technical developments in

relevant for many business applications, a de-

one of primary concern,â&#x20AC;? adds Frost & Sullivan

Industrial IoT (IIoT) as opposed to a one-size-

centralised and autonomous device network

industrial automation & process control

fits-all standard.

should be the automatic choice for connectivity

program manager, Karthik Sundaram.

when scalability is a critical parameter for

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Whether it is centralised somewhere deep in

Successful transitioning

success.

the system or located in an anonymous

In its latest research, Frost & Sullivan, along

â&#x20AC;&#x153;From an availability point of view,

networks can only be achieved through a de-

with research partner Wirepas, explores the

autonomous device networks with de-

centralised intelligence framework.â&#x20AC;?

suitability of autonomous device networks as a

centralised architecture offer the best

base for the IoT model. The White Paper, The

availability,â&#x20AC;? argues Jussi Numminen, head of

location, real value for autonomous device

â&#x20AC;&#x153;

From an operational standpoint, the seat of intelligence in a connected enterprise is not one of primary concern. Whether it is centralised somewhere deep in the system or located in an anonymous location, real value for autonomous device networks can only be achieved through a de-centralised intelligence framework.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Karthik Sundaram, Frost & Sullivan.

Single biggest opportunity With IoT becoming the single biggest opportunity for industrial suppliers to adopt and promote their solutions and services, the focus should be on adopting the best communication approach to optimise prospects. "We believe that business systems and models work best if they are kept simple and

Rise of Autonomous Device Networks, maps

radio strategy and IPR at Wirepas and co-

optimised rather than made complicated,â&#x20AC;?

this idea against select emerging IIoT

author of the White Paper. "When applicable,

concludes Numminen. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Therefore, simplicity

applications such as Smart Cities, Smart

the data should be stored, analysed and used

should be a key goal in design and

Meters, logistics, asset tracking, and the

locally to optimise availability."

unnecessary complexity should be avoided.

Industrial Internet, highlighting the key business requirements for successful transitioning.

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This applies also to device connectivity in IoT â&#x20AC;&#x153;From an operational standpoint, the seat of

applications.â&#x20AC;? 

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Company news

\\\ Manufacturing \\\

   to accelerate Epicor ERP deployments and expand cloud offerings

E

picor Software Corporation, provider of industry-specific enterprise software to promote business growth, has acquired its UK-based partner Dot Net IT.

Under the terms of the acquisition, all of Dot Net IT's outstanding equity has been acquired. The acquisition is expected to strengthen the Epicor sales, services and support team globally, and brings Cloud-based, add-on solutions that extend the company's enterprise resource planning (ERP) portfolio. Dot Net IT is an established business solutions provider and certified Epicor alliance and channel partner specialising in Epicor ERP implementation services, support and development of add-on

has a track record of quickly and effectively

Epicor and Dot Net IT customer with a

solutions. This acquisition expands the

resolving issues to keep their businesses

successful turnaround story that won a

Epicor implementation bench to support

running smoothly.â&#x20AC;?

Customer Excellence Award in 2015 for Business Transformation. Keith Herring,

customer implementations, migrations and â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are pleased to join Epicor and bring the

head of IT, Hayward Tyler, commented: â&#x20AC;&#x153;In

in the Cloud or on-premises. Dot Net IT also

expertise weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve honed selling, implementing

2013, we were close to going out of

has a dedicated team of developers

and developing solutions for Epicor ERP as

business. We had almost ÂŁ1 million in

delivering solutions such as the Data

an alliance and channel partner,â&#x20AC;? said Gary

warranty claims and in some cases were

Management Tool (DMT) currently used by

Parfrey, managing partner, Dot Net IT. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The

over 170 days late delivering customer

Epicor customers and integration partners

team consists of experts in extending Epicor

orders. However, through a dedicated

worldwide to reduce the complexities of

ERP functionality, and designing solutions to

turnaround team who galvanised the whole

data management for faster, more efficient

save customers time and maximise their

company and introduced systems to

implementation projects.

technology investment, so they can focus on

succeed and deliver for our customers, the

business growth.â&#x20AC;?

turnaround was immediate.â&#x20AC;?

upgrades to the latest version of Epicor ERP

Epicor and Dot Net IT have been working

Consistently strong Epicor partner

collaboratively for a number of years with

Herring continued: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Among other initiatives,

joint customers in the manufacturing and

the turnaround team created the

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dot Net IT has been a consistently strong

services industries, such as Dorner, Fasse

environment for Continuous Improvement,

Epicor partner, aligned with our core values

Valves, Hayward Tyler, Marshall of

cleansed our ERP source data and 'Leaned

and focus on customer experience and

Cambridge Aerospace, and St Ives Group,

Out' our processes, most importantly we

business growth,â&#x20AC;? said Sabby Gill, executive

to name a few.

engaged the whole workforce. We also upgraded our Epicor software to match our

vice president, Epicor International. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This

new methods of working. We saved jobs

acquisition brings valuable knowledge and experience into the fold, as Dot Net IT

Immediate turnaround

and allowed the business to grow and expand, celebrating our 200th anniversary in

serves numerous Epicor customers worldwide with implementation, Cloud

Hayward Tyler Ltd., one of the oldest

2015, and remaining in a successful position

migration and IT infrastructure support, and

engineering companies in the UK, is a joint

in 2016.â&#x20AC;? 

www.logisticsit.com

IT

MANUFACTURING

June 2016

&LOGISTICS

49


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Manufacturing and Logistics IT - June 2016  

The European magazine promoting the effective use of IT in supply chain applications

Manufacturing and Logistics IT - June 2016  

The European magazine promoting the effective use of IT in supply chain applications