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Internet of Things at Schnellecke

In a pilot project, containers are equipped with transmitters and can thus be located at any time.

With the commissioning of the first Internet of Thing (IoT) pilot, Schnellecke has taken an important strategic step in the digitalization of logistics processes in just three months. This makes it possible to precisely determine the container locations for a customer project and thus optimize the transports.

The containers are equipped with smart transmitters, so-called beacons, which transmit their location at short intervals. This means that JIS containers can be tracked continuously on their way from order picking to customer assembly.

In the past, there were always situations in which the customer ran out of containers and requested new ones from Schnellecke. This led to a time-consuming search for possible locations of unused containers on the customer's premises. Real-time container circulation planning was not possible in this way.

That's history now. The beacons attached to the containers send their location information to IPS (Indoor Positioning System) gateways positioned along the path of the containers. All movements are transmitted online, evaluated in real time and then sent to Schnellecke's SAP Cloud Platform. There they are stored and processed. The exact (GPS) position is not relevant, but rather the stay in a predefined zone in which the containers log on or off.

For this purpose, the site at Schnellecke and at the customer's site was divided into five zones:

  • Zone I comprises the goods issue, the picking zone and the empties area of the goods at Schnellecke.
  • Zone II is the hall for delivery to the customer including the pre-storage areas.
  • Zone III consists of the product preparation area, which is divided into three modules with storage and pre-storage areas.
  • Zone IV comprises the production of the units, also with three modules and corresponding storage and pre-storage areas.
  • Virtual Transport Zone: A zone for transport between Schnellecke and the customer, which is currently still automatically calculated by the system but will actively track the containers along the entire transport route in the future.

The order data is transferred from the Schnellecke JIT system to the cloud and linked to the existing container locations. This allows real-time monitoring of the processing status of orders and containers - not only from Schnellecke, but also from the customer who also uses the system.

The advantages are obvious: In addition to the time-consuming search for containers, manual registration at goods receipt by the driver is no longer necessary. There is always an overview of the location of the containers at the customer's site, which can also respond better to foreseeable bottlenecks in this way.

Dr. Abaid Goda, Senior Manager IT Schnellecke Logistics

"This project lays the foundation for our strategic goal of digitizing and automating processes by enabling us to track movements digitally," emphasizes Dr. Abaid Goda, who heads the corporate IT operation at Schnellecke. "With the knowledge gained, existing processes can be redesigned and optimized. The solution with the Beacons, for example, can be used everywhere and quickly and does not require a fixed infrastructure".

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