The ink under the cooperation agreement is not quite dry yet, so the cooperation partners META Regalbau and MotionMiners are already starting with an impressive pilot project at the well-known production liaison dealer Blumenbecker from Beckum.
Blumenbecker Industriebedarf GmbH is a classic full-range supplier with a number of specialised departments. The ultra-modern 3,500 square metre logistics centre in Beckum has a range of up to 100,000 articles from the industrial trade, ranging from power tools, welding technology and transport equipment to cleaning equipment and spare parts. Not only Blumenbecker locations, but also e-commerce orders are processed here. Blumenbecker also guarantees delivery within 24 hours for 40,000 items from the catalogue.
Blumenbecker and META-Regalbau have been working together successfully for years. META was therefore able to win the wholesaler Blumenbecker for a comprehensive pilot project or a so-called use case in cooperation with the start-up MotionMiners for the automatic analysis of the manual processes in the Beckum logistics centre. With the help of sensors and machine learning algorithms, reliable data on ergonomics and efficiency are collected - and thus clear potential for improvement is uncovered.
The cooperation between META and MotionMiners has just been contractually concluded, so that both companies can now make full use of their synergies. This cooperation is the first result of the work at the Digital Hub Logistics in Dortmund. "META accepted the challenge of digital transformation and thought about new ways to change, expand or supplement the business. explains Kerstin Herdtle of META, Digital Manager at Digital Hub Logistics. "The cooperation with the MotionMiners is an opportunity to offer our customers innovative solutions in addition to the classic META (services). This is a clear signal to our customers that META is working in a forward-looking manner and that the needs of its customers are in the foreground."
This cooperation is also an absolute gain for the award-winning start-up MotionMiners. "META opens its sales channel for us to medium-sized companies," explains Hauke Pahl, Project Manager for the MotionMiners pilot project. "For us as a start-up, this is a unique opportunity."
The pilot project was completed in just two months from start to presentation of results. For the so-called Motion-Mining®, an automated measurement and analysis of manual activities, four employees took part in the study per shift, two docking stations were used, 106 so-called beacons were positioned, 85 relevant areas were defined and tracked per employee up to 5.5 km mileage as well as 1,000 bending movements per shift over one working week.
Tracking is carried out with the aid of mobile sensors worn by the employee on his belt and wrist. The position is recorded by the beacons and a mobile device and stored and uploaded to a docking station at the end of the shift. The raw data is then analyzed with the help of a proprietary deep learning algorithm developed by MotionMiners.
All picking areas at Blumenbecker such as the preparation of the picking trolleys, shelving (incl. multi-storey system), pallet racks, hazardous goods, bulky goods and the office were part of this recording. In addition, the special areas of pallet replenishment, catalogues, printers, delivery areas, incoming goods, team leader office, return area and purchasing were also included in the comprehensive analysis.
An important and sensitive point in the collection of this transaction data is data protection. The measurement methodology developed by MotionMiners ensures that the data is recorded and evaluated absolutely anonymously. An allocation to individual persons is therefore not possible at any time. In addition, the entire project was carried out in close consultation and agreement with Blumenbecker's works council. This and also the simple handling of the measuring devices led to a very good acceptance among the employees involved.
In the course of a final presentation, MotionMiners and META presented the results to Sebastian Rustige, Strategic Manager of Central Logistics, and Matthias Frisse, Logistics Manager at the central warehouse, from project partner Blumenbecker. Using heat maps to illustrate the movements in the warehouse and box-plot diagrams to display the time shares of the activities on the picking tours, impressive optimisation possibilities with regard to efficiency and ergonomics were demonstrated. Possible increases in efficiency of up to 40% in individual areas and recommendations for a significant reduction in bending movements are the results of this analysis. Thanks to the comprehensive Motion-Mining®, the start-up MotionMiners was able to directly name recommendations for action that were to be implemented either in the short, medium or long term - detailed with the investment to be made and the ROI to be expected.
Sebastian Rustige, Strategic Manager of Central Logistics at Blumenbecker, on this pilot project: "As a medium-sized company, we find it difficult to find the right start-up and place our trust in it. Thanks to the recommendation of META as a long-standing partner, this was no longer an issue for Blumenbecker, so we are grateful for the recommendation.
Sebastian Rustige draws an absolutely positive conclusion from this project: "We are enthusiastic about the very professional cooperation and the acceptance by our works council and employees. The impressive results give us a very good guideline for optimizing our processes. A real competitive advantage, because we can now leverage untapped potential and increase our efficiency by up to 40%. We are now also able to substantiate the number of potential improvements that have already been identified but not yet implemented".
Finally, Mr. Rustige added: "Let's see in which areas we will also use this tool in the future".