Warehouse management systems as part of system competence

The Beumer Group rigorously gears the development of its equipment and systems towards providing customers with single-source, sustainable solutions for all their applications. To control, coordinate and visually represent these processes, the specialist company from Beckum, Germany includes warehouse management systems (WMS) in its range of products. Beumer tailors these system solutions to the individual requirements of customers.

For companies in widely differing industries, such as the building materials industry, the subject of safety during the transportation and storage of products stacked on pallets is becoming increasingly important. Products have to be reliably filled, palletized and securely packaged to ensure undamaged delivery to customers. As an intra-logistics specialist, Beumer has expanded its product portfolio to include the Beumer fillpac filling machine, thus becoming a full-range supplier of equipment and systems for complete packaging lines. The fillpac can be flexibly integrated into existing packaging lines, ensuring optimal adaptation of the machine to the situation at the customer’s plant.

For palletizing systems, Beumer provides a graded and comprehensive range of high performance layering palletizers. These produce secure loading units. The geometric accuracy and stability of the palletized stacks allow easy storage and ensure safe transportation to the downstream packaging line. These units and systems, together with the conveyors that are also included in the Beumer range of products, are carefully matched and achieve extremely long service lives. They are perfectly adapted to the customer’s requirements, such as machine capacities, production output rates or storage area.

To control all these processes reliably and efficiently, Beumer additionally provides Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), which can also be tailored to the individual needs of users. It is a web server application enabling optimal control and coordination of the entire packaging process, as well as product storage and shipping preparation. The material flow control, warehouse management and the interface to the higher-level ERP system of the customer are all integrated into the Beumer WMS. All the data from the packaging line, labelling, storage, and shipment are brought together here. This ensures full and complete transparency of all products and processes throughout manufacturing.

Everybody involved in the production process – from materials requirements planners to warehouse employees or forklift drivers – can access the system. The system’s functionality and graphical user interface can be configured to suit the customer’s specific needs. Overall, the Beumer WMS ensures that processes are cost-effective, makes the flow of goods more transparent and shortens the delivery times.

When the ERP system receives a picking order, it sends the information to a distributed control system and to the WMS. The distributed control system monitors and controls the flow of ­material from the silo, controls the product quantities, the bagging, the palletizing and the load securing. The packaged unit loads are then provided with a barcode. The WMS performs these functions in constant data interchange with the ERP system.

When the loading units are delivered by the conveyor, the palletising system stacks the boxes, bags or trays safely and space-savingly on pallets. These pallets are then transported on roller conveyors to the Beumer stretch hood high-performance packaging machine. The hood stretching unit wraps the loaded pallets in special transparent foil. This ex­tremely sturdy and weather-resistant packaging ensures the safety of the goods during storage and shipment. The packages are finally provided with a barcode.

The WMS additionally includes a forklift control system. This system ensures that the palletized and packaged goods are loaded for despatch without long interim storage. The WMS also checks whether the pallet is available for pickup at the belt conveyor, reads the barcode, assigns the pallet to a storage space and controls the respective forklift truck. These functions are also performed by the Beumer WMS in constant communication with the ERP system.

Thus, the WMS avoids errors that can occur between production, storage and shipping and time-consuming searches are prevented. The time definition of all processes enables automatic material reservation and delivery in a time- and need-oriented manner. The controlled storage and supply process also makes production significantly faster and more efficient.

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