Digitalisation in logistics: more process transparency through IoT

Barely perceptible from the outside, Internet of Things (IoT) technology hides great potential for logistical processes at Nagel-Group.

Physical objects can be digitally networked with each other in the Internet of Things. Tiny integrated sensors or machine-sensing processes ensure that almost all physical objects will be connected with each other in the future. Potential applications range from self-optimising production to automatic fleet management.

Successful warehouse logistics through the Internet of Things

The Reichenbach logistics centre has now introduced the first IoT system together with its customer Ritter Sport. Equipment sensors monitor and analyse processes to ensure that they operate within required tolerances.

The IoT sensors used by our partner Enerthing draw their power from the environment. The lighting in the warehouse provides a sufficient source of energy for the sensors. This eliminates the need for batteries that regularly need replacing and also reduces the burden on the environment.

“The sensors on the equipment are primarily used to gain information about the process flows in order to control them more effectively in a second step,” says Sascha Mikleusevic, Reichenbach branch.

The first step in this is to record all relevant data. Sensors collect this, such as the downtime of a machine, from their environment. In the next step, this collected data is shared via the available network connection so that it can be centrally compiled and processed in the cloud. Meaningful knowledge can now be gained from the mass of data collected.

“The IoT solution we have introduced means we are able to achieve higher productivity from the equipment and make process flows more efficient. For example, equipment downtimes are automatically recorded and documented. The information collected enables predictive maintenance of the equipment and reduces downtime,” says Florian Seffert, Head of IT Innovation.

Real-time IoT dashboards provide shift managers with all key performance indicators at a glance, meaning they can recommend actions more quickly. Machine learning-based algorithms can identify and predict equipment anomalies. Warnings sent automatically to the machine operators ensure that sufficient packaging material is always available to fill the machine.

Transparent and smart supply chain management

The Internet of Things makes supply chain management more transparent and smarter. Beyond that, of course, it is also about becoming faster and more efficient. This in turn benefits all parties: manufacturers, transport service providers, retailers and recipients.

“In conjunction with the Reichenbach site, we are currently already working on supporting further work processes with IoT technology. In future, it may even be possible to carry out automatic counts of goods movements,” says Florian Seffert.