Holistic approach in intralogistics and optimized empty container management
For the first time, this year’s VDA Logistics Award goes to two companies. Robert Bosch GmbH is honored for a connected intralogistics solution for production plants, and MAN Truck & Bus AG receives the prize for its innovative, cost-saving “ConMa” software for managing empty containers.
Speaking at the award ceremony held at the Forum Automotive Logistics in Frankfurt, President Matthias Wissmann of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) stressed, “The concepts honored today exemplify the enormous drive for innovation in our industry. Connectivity and digitization will not only help tomorrow’s traffic to flow more easily and safely – they also pave the way for intelligent logistics solutions and new types of factories. German companies act as pacemakers in this pioneering field.”
The technology and service company Bosch successfully combines its own solutions such as “ProCon” for production management and in-house transport. This includes logistics workflows – from customer needs and the planning of systems and machinery, all the way to steering both classical and autonomous means of transport.
In over 50 plants, synchronous exchange of data and connected digital process steps enable such things as bookings, follow-on orders and adaptations of kanban cycles to be carried out automatically in real time. Warehouse stocks and manual activities can be reduced. So employees have more time for activities that generate added value, and overall productivity increases.
“Bosch sees huge potential benefits from digital connectivity. Logistics chains will become more efficient, safer and more flexible – both in intralogistics and in our worldwide value-added networks,” says Andreas Reutter, member of the executive management of the corporate purchasing and logistics sector at Robert Bosch GmbH.
At MAN Truck & Bus, the “ConMa” software that was developed in just eight months for optimizing the management of empty containers has been used in the corporate network since October 2016. The software has already been used to plan and dispatch a total of over 6 million containers.
“ConMa” has a very positive impact on all supply chain partners. The program maps the complete planning process in an application and thus ensures that the processes are standardized across all plants. Intelligent algorithms enable better transport capacity utilization and a high level of automation. This makes deliveries more reliable, enhances productivity, brings transport costs down and minimizes CO2 emissions.
“‘ConMa’ reinvents container management at MAN,” according to Dr. Matthias Conze and Fabian Maier, the two project leaders. “We are proud that we have introduced the software at all our facilities in such a short space of time and that it has been so well accepted. This was only possible by involving the users closely in an agile development process right from the outset.”