Economically and ecologically effective
14. November 2011 Economically and ecologically effective Resource efficiency combines economy with the requirements of Green Logistics. Applications demonstrated at Schäfers 2010 intra-logistics forum showed: Solutions for access to Green Logistics range from retrofits in manual warehouses via drive concepts in the conveyor system to extensive material flow solutions.
Sustainability is currently one of the most important aspects of logistics. Construction services and plant engineering experts, as well as logistic systems operators agree that the rapid development of information technology, including material and system development, primarily in the intra-logistics sector, offer excellent prospects for achieving a balance between economy and ecology. Green Logistics is the keyword that links intra-logistics with the economy and/or process safety via cutbacks such as optimizing time, space, employee, energy and materials-utilization. This requirement for resource efficiency applies during implementation of new systems as well as during retrofits, and/or the modernization of system and plant components. The 2010 intra-logistics forum organized by SSI Schäfer, Giebelstadt at the end of September spelled out the options of the plant engineers and operators in the disputed area between economy and ecology. The introduction of various projects and presentations regarding new developments were part of this forum. Users as well as experts of the Fraunhofer Institute presented practical examples, the latest trends and innovative solutions. More than 170 representatives from 89 companies and 27 countries used this event to exchange information presenting proven solutions and the latest technological developments. The focus: increase added value using aspects of effective Green Logistics….with striking results.
Gerhard Lohmeiter, environmental consultant at Hellmann Worldwide Logistics, presented real-time initiatives of the company implementing the requirements of Green Logistics. Logistics service provider Hellmann is specifically concentrating on the reduction, respectively neutralization of CO2-emissions ocurring during transport, storage and commissioning. Sample calculations indicated how the daily CO2-emissions can be reduced by around 50,000 kilograms by relocating 300 swap trailers from the street to the train. Hellmann used different route planning and emission calculation tools for that.
In addition to the transport carriers and the introduction of CO2-neutral transports, Hellmann targeted the processes of the entire value added chain - especially their energy consumption. The steps taken range from the utilization of regenreative energies via subsequent utilization of energy-efficient lamps including insulation of the buildings. Hellmann identified the utilization of energy-efficient conveyor and lifting technologies as another important goal.
For conveyor and lifting technology particularly significant progress has been made in the last few years using plant engineering regarding resource efficiency. SSI Schäfer summarized one topic titled „Green Crane Technology“. Following consistent improvements in the mechanics using measures such as effectiveness-optimized drives, lightweight construction and rolling resistance-low material combinations between wheel and rail, possible energy savings are decisive for the new and future developments of the systems. Up to 50 percent of the energy consumption can be reduced by the integration of power recovery systems - depending on superior system and order structures. Resulting in an ROI for modern technology utilization of less than three years. The same applies to the models of a wear reducing, low-load operation (20 percent saving, ROI less than 1 year), the DC-link connections (12 %, < 1 year), an intelligent drive cycle control (8 %, < 1 year) or energy-efficient, efficiency-optimized drives (4-8 %, 8-15 years).
The more these approaches are used, the larger the possible savings. This is documented for a small parts storage and retrieval system (MiniLoad) with draft cycles using a comparative calculation presented on the Intra-logistics forum in Giebelstadt. The energy consumption is reduced when using a power recovery system from around 71 Watt/h to around 54 Watt/h. Using a power recovery system in combination with a low-load operation or using a power recovery system with low-load operation and intelligent driving cycle control reduces the energy consumption up to 45 Watt/h – resulting in an energy savings of more than 35 percent. An SSI Schäfer system using the latest developments which are based on intelligent drive cycle controls with axis-overall energy exchange instead of refeed, already available in the standard version, result in possible savings between 20 and 25 percent.
Similar results can be achieved when utilizing energy-efficient motors in the conveyor system. Here, especially developed drive synchronous motors are characterized by highest energy efficiency (efficiency class 4). As innovator and leading plant manufacturer, SSI Schäfer faces the responsibility for implementing comprehensive resource efficiency in intra-logistics, especially for conveyor systems and in the development of new systems. This begins with planning and layout and ranges from efficiency-optimized drives to actual consumption points to stressing awareness for responsible power consumption.
Economy and ecology do not have to be in conflict with each other. This is supported by examples where up to 50 percent energy savings are possible with longitudinal and lateral transports using modern conveyor systems compared to conventional systems. These energy savings can be achieved with careful system planning focused on energy efficiency. Other aspects such as pallet lifters with counter-weights using the load weight when lowered, on-site reduced stand-by-consumption or the energy-saving process optimization using parallel storage and retrieval certainly contribute to that.
Effective, value added processes in intra-logistics are the main focus of development work at SSI Schäfer. This is done with the awareness that avoiding waste and the installation of efficient processes can increase the competitive capability which meets the requirements of „Green Logistics“. However: Useless resource consumption has to first be identified as useless. Efficiency loss from overstocking and stockout, multiple handling of items, insufficient warehouse and commissioning strategies, missing replenishment processes, time-consuming voucher systems and lacking transparency are often identified too late. The requirements for intra-logistics increase parallel, especially regarding performance, flexibility, on-demand-reaction, ergonomics and environmental compatibility.
In fact, dynamic systems from SSI Schäfer such as the Schäfer Carousel System (SCS), the SQS, the Schäfer Case Picking (SCP) or the mobile racking systems are the most important components for the design of system solutions incorporating ecologic aspects of profitable land and building utilization. Combined with a high-performance Warehouse Management System (WMS) the processes can be designed both inhouse and company-wide under the aspects of sustainability - for example by optimization of the loading order or design of multimodal transports.
Stephan Stucky from the Swiss logistics provider Coop clarified during the Intra-Logistics Forum which capabilities for resource efficiency can already be developed using the correct commissioning process. Coop controls the processes in 16 regional and national distribution centers with SSI Schäfer’s IT-systems, SSI Schäfer WAMAS and SAP as the superimposed system. Controlled by the WMS-system WAMAS it is commissioned, in addition to the main procedure, with Pick-by-Voice with a forklift terminal (whole pallets), manual terminals (small amounts) and Pick-by-Light (deep-freeze area). This results in flexible, transparent processes with optimum efficiency, respective savings, of the existing resources. The implementation of the high-performance and homogeneous logistics system of SSI Schäfer led to a significant decrease of process interface and reduction in complexity at the reference Valora project as presented by Stefan Gächter (area manager logistics Valora). In addition to the standardization and safety of processes, Valora can show a reduction of logistics costs of 14 percent.
Efficiency and responsible handling with available resources do not have to contradict. This is demonstrated using the examples as well as by the presentations and reports from the Intra-logistics forum. Beginning with the construction planning concept integrating high-quality, environmental building materials which reduce energy demand via the Green Crane Technology to modern dynamic systems and ergonomically designed work stations, SSI Schäfer has an extensive product portfolio which is similarly designed for resource efficiency and economy.
The newest products which will be presented to trade experts at CeMAT 2011 prove that SSI Schäfer is not yet satisfied with their results. The resource efficiency is apparent from all systems and components. New material flow systems such as the Schäfer AutoCruiser save up to 80 percent energy compared to conventional systems. Even more: SSI Schäfer as innovation leader is continuously involved in numerous research projects. Results directly influence product development. Newest example: cooperation in energy-efficiency studies for small-parts storage and retrieval machines at the institute for logistics and material flow engineering at the
University Magdeburg. These studies deal with recording energy consumption and recovery for drive axles. SSI Schäfer as research partner provides a one-aisle warehouse with a Schäfer Miniload Crane (SMC) and supports the analysis, data evaluation and their integration into new developments.
If the challenges of sustainable, environmental logistics are subsequently integrated in the development of innovative solutions, proccess optimization for resource efficiency, and the implementation of Green Logistics, they can then be economically combined with each other. With its range of products and services, SSI Schäfer covers the entire spectrum. In the future, SSI Schäfer will continue to play a significant role in the research and development of new technologies and information systems that further the implementation of Green Logistics and sustainability. Resulting innovations will provide companies with considerable room for improvement in their in-house value added chain, especially in intra-logistics. Concerning intra-logistics, this became apparent during the Intra-logistics forum 2010 in Giebelstadt. The high standards of Green Logistics can be aligned with economic requirements of modern business strategies. Investments that are well worth it. It is up to corporate decision makes to utilize these options.