An independent jury of scholars and journalists reviewed 77 submissions and chose three winners that fully live up to the name of BEST PRODUCT as outstanding manifestations of the award criteria: They enhance productivity, reduce costs, and streamline operations. The award-winning companies, through their products, are helping to make processes more stable yet flexible in adapting to changes. By improving efficiency, they are ultimately boosting the productivity of the logistics industry. The BEST PRODUCT award was presented to the winners during the gala opening ceremony on the first morning of the LogiMAT trade show. Presenting the awards was Prof. Johannes Fottner, Chair of the Institute for Materials Handling, Material Flow, Logistics at the Technical University of Munich.
In the category of “Order Picking, Conveying, Lifting, and Storing Technology,” the award went to French robotics startup EXOTEC Solutions SAS (East Entrance, Booth EO30) for its Skypod system – the world’s first complete “goods-to-person” solution based on mobile 3D robots.
The Skypod system is a complete “goods-to-person” solution for retailers and e-commerce merchants. Skypod is the world’s first order management system to use mobile 3D robots, which use AI to navigate in all directions, including up and down – a genuine three-dimensional solution. The autonomous robots remove containers of goods weighing up to 30 kg from shelves up to 10 meters high, then bring them to the pickers. The robots raise the bar on existing technology, moving four times as fast and climbing five times as high as otherwise comparable transport systems. The increased height range lets warehouse operators make better use of their valuable floor space. Hour for hour, the Skypods process twice as many orders as conventional robots. This eliminates up to 15 km a day that human warehouse workers would otherwise have to cover on foot. The system satisfies the need for constant adaptations to an ever-changing market while making it possible to prepare and ship thousands of orders a day within just a few hours.
In the category of “Identification, Packaging and Loading Technology, Load Securing,” the award went to VITRONIC Dr.-Ing. Stein Bildverarbeitungssysteme GmbH (Hall 3, Booth D10) for its VIPAC SMALLS SORT smart sorting system.
The auto ID solutions from VITRONIC are deployed in logistics centers around the world to efficiently capture and integrate shipment data. VITRONIC has now expanded its product portfolio with VIPAC SMALLS SORT, making it the only provider to offer an end-to-end solution for package logistics. The smart modular system is an end-to-end solution combining data capture with automatic small-package sorting. It can run as a standalone solution in small hubs and depots or be integrated into large hubs within the sorting processes. Each shipment passes through four sections – infeed, encoding, outfeed, sorting – before being automatically discharged at the desired point. Specialized software controls all the processes and provides real-time data visualization. VIPAC SMALLS SORT is tailored to the precise needs of customers and even works well with very small or bulky packages in cross-border trade, e-commerce, and more. In the encoding section, VITRONIC auto ID systems capture all the shipment data, take high-resolution images, and record the length, width, and height of all shipments. The system reads and processes barcodes and other 2D formats and uses OCR to read plain text. Together, this produces a “digital fingerprint” for each shipment. All the data is automatically saved to an archive system and provides valuable insights for accelerating distribution center processes and driving down costs in next-gen industrial automation.
In the category of “Software, Communications, IT,” the award went to Heureka Business Solutions GmbH (Hall 8, Booth C15) for its warehouse optimization software LOS.
The self-learning software LOS uses artificial intelligence to efficiently and economically manage same-day delivery concepts for products of increasing diversity manufactured in smaller, more highly customized batches. Manufacturing throughput time in intralogistics can be reduced by over 30 percent. The generic solution enhances any warehouse management system and can reduce operating and middle management costs by more than 25 percent. Every movement of goods and several hundred factors that affect intralogistics are analyzed in real time to ensure the most efficient flow of goods at all times. LOS automatically adjusts to any changes in market conditions or customer specifications, saving in-house IT personnel from time-consuming manual adjustments and protecting dispatchers from misapplying obsolete instructions. The software ensures a highly transparent material flow chain that makes it possible to predict daily workloads up to 72 hours in advance. Predictive algorithms alert users to irregularities through the LOS app on their mobile phones, giving them the opportunity to be proactive rather than reactive.
The three products awarded BEST PRODUCT 2019 represent all 1,600+ exhibitors from around the world at LogiMAT 2019 who are presenting their innovations to industry professionals across 120,000 square meters of exhibit space in 10 halls. The International Trade Show for Intralogistics Solutions and Process Management, the largest of its kind worldwide, continues through February 21 at the Messe Stuttgart convention center.
For more information, please visit: www.logimat-messe.de
The BEST PRODUCT award was initiated 16 years ago by the organizers of LogiMAT in order to draw attention to the outstanding achievements of the exhibitors, many of whom are small or medium-sized businesses. Since that time, the award has honored innovative products that have made a significant contribution to streamlining processes, cutting costs, and enhancing productivity in the internal logistics of businesses. The BEST PRODUCT award is presented in three categories:
- Software, communications, IT
- Order picking, conveying, lifting, and storing technology
- Identification, packaging and loading technology, load securing
In the run-up to LogiMAT, an independent jury of scholars and journalists critically evaluates the submissions based on the aforementioned criteria, then selects the winners. The award has since been recognized as one of the most coveted distinctions in the intralogistics industry. Winners are presented with a certificate and a medal during the gala opening ceremony of LogiMAT.
Members of the BEST PRODUCT award jury:
Prof. Johannes Fottner (Dr.-Ing.), Chair of the Institute for Materials Handling, Material Flow, Logistics at the Technical University of Munich (Jury President)
Jan Kaulfuhs-Berger from the industry journal Hebezeuge Fördermittel / Technische Logistik
Prof. Rolf Jansen (Dr.-Ing.), Institute for Distribution and Retail Logistics (IDH) at the Society for the Promotion of Innovation in Logistics (VVL e.V.)
Matthias Pieringer from the industry journal LOGISTIK HEUTE
Prof. Wolf-Michael Scheid (Dr.-Ing.), Association of German Engineers, Society for Production and Logistics (VDI-GPL)
Tobias Schweikl from the industry journal LOGISTRA
Prof. Karl-Heinz Wehking (Dr.-Ing.), Institute for Conveyance Technology and Logistics (IFT), University of Stuttgart
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