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WORLD OF INDUSTRIES - INA 2/2017

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  • Industrial
  • Automation
WORLD OF INDUSTRIES - INA 2/2017

Stable logistics thanks

Stable logistics thanks to permanent network monitoring The mail order sector creates a broad range of comfortable opportunities in the previously catalogue-based trade while massively increasing the requirements in logistics for short delivery cycles and drop-off times. One of the most successful companies in this field is Baur, a part of the Otto Group. To ensure trouble-free processes, central monitoring of the implemented systems is entrusted to a monitoring software from Indu-Sol. Author: Christian Wiesel, Marketing, Indu-Sol GmbH, Schmölln In 1925, Friedrich Baur founded the first German shoe mail-order retail company in the Upper Franconia town of Burgkunstadt. Today, not only the portfolio has been expanded by jewellery, furniture and fashion, also Baur has become part of the Otto Group and operates several subsidiaries. Regarding the business locations, the growth of the corporation is immense : In Altenkunstadt, there is a high bay warehouse that primarily contains items that are in great demand, i.e. merchandise with a high turnover. Since 2002, a main trade basis – a kind of “lorry hub” – has been built to ensure the speedy delivery to the point of destination. In combination with the multi-layered storages which are located in Burgkunstadt and Weismain due to capacity reasons there is a total of a half a million standard box spaces to be managed – an enormous logistical achievement by any standard. “From the outside, you can hardly imagine all the things happening from the time you press the ‘Order’ button until the merchandise is delivered,” says Harald Fiedler with a grin. Working together with his 25 colleagues in a three-shift operation at Baur Versand GmbH & Co. KG in Altenkunstadt, he makes sure that all items and pack- INDUSTRIAL COMMUNICATION The combination of the main trade base and warehouse at one location as in Altenkunstadt, Germany is a unique selling feature of Baur Versand GmbH & Co. KG and ensures speedy processing WORLD OF INDUSTRIES – INDUSTRIAL AUTOMATION 2/2017

01 The Profinet Inspektor NT shows the current network overall status on the display and supplies initial diagnosis notifications 02 Promanage NT provides the operator with all important information at a glance ages leave the warehouse on time. In an area of about 125,000 m 2 , a 13 km long labyrinth of conveyor belts and sorting systems called “sorters” transports on average 200,000 items per day for dispatch. “A downtime of ten minutes can hardly be compensated within a day,” explains Fiedler regarding the high requirements for logistics. Why permanent monitoring became necessary Due to the continuous expansion of the facility different technologies are in action simultaneously. Their operation and maintenance require the observance of individual peculiarities. Whereas the emphasis in the 1990s and early 2000s was still based on fieldbus technology (Profibus and CAN), the implementation of Profinet at Baur has been mandated for new systems since 2010. Back then as well as today, the ASi bus is also used. From practical experience it became clear that a monitoring system is necessary. “In 2001, we put the loading sorter into operation. This has priority 1 – if it is at standstill, the whole company will come to a stop in the foreseeable future,” said Fiedler, describing an actual case. Sporadic malfunctions and even failures occurred from time to time which soon became unbearable for daily business. In 2008, the decision was made to have the installed Profibus network inspected by Indu- Sol (see panel). The possibilities for the analysis during measurement were so impressive that the Profibus Inspektor from Indu- Sol GmbH was purchased as an analysis tool. It permanently and passively monitors the logical data traffic in the Profibus and alerts the operator at the earliest indications before visible or noticeable disturbances of the operational proceedings occur. “Silent monitors” in the control cabinets Based on these positive experiences, over time the other systems were equipped with the appropriate Inspektors from Indu-Sol for the respective network. There are currently a total of 33 of these measuring and analysis devices for Profibus, Profinet and ASi installed as “silent monitors” in the control cabinets (Figure 1). They monitor the network for quality parameters such as telegram repetitions and bus cycle times (Profibus) or network load, update times, or delayed or lost telegrams (Profinet). The systems engineering team faced the challenge of consolidating the diagnosis information of the individual devices, to maintain an overview and to evaluate the overall condition of all networks. This is where the central network management software Promanage NT comes into play. It collects the events of all fieldbuses and networks centrally onto one server, visualises the results and provides numerous options for analysis – in light of all the branches at Baur, this is quite convenient. The employees who are responsible for systems engineering for example, can review the archived and current condition of the entire system using the network status graph at any time and across the whole network (Figure 2). Even when no retrofitting measures are planned, those in the logistics centre in Altenkunstadt constantly monitor the data traffic in the network in order to be notified promptly in case there are any changes in quality. Especially convenient is the alarm function by e-mail as soon as there is an incident. A further advantage of Promanage NT in this constellation is that the user can see immediately which of the installed Inspektors has triggered an alarm. Thus the technical personnel can react quickly and to the point. Be save in the future Looking into the future, the focus is on conveying technology where some components are already more than 25 years old. In this regard, Profinet technology will be used for any new systems. Furthermore, the company wishes to remain at the current status for the own analysis tools because the challenges for maintenance are constantly increasing in the light of the steadily expanding networks – keyword: Industry 4.0. The Profinet Inspektors NT from Indu-Sol are currently replacing their predecessor versions step-bystep because they further facilitate the monitoring of the network with several innovations and contribute to better reliability. A display makes it possible to view initial diagnosis information directly at the device and to receive notifications on the network status – therefore the laptop does not always need to be carried along. The presence of unknown devices is also reported immediately and also detected and documented by Promanage NT. Photographs: lead Baur Versand, 01 and 02 Indu-Sol GmbH www.indu-sol.com About Indu-Sol In order to ensure the continuous function of automated systems, the company developed a complete system solution for Permanent Network Monitoring (PNM) with the goal of sending a warning before a system is down. As a key partner in practical application, Indu-Sol also supports its customers in all areas from planning and commissioning to maintenance and troubleshooting. To achieve these goals, a comprehensive range of measuring and diagnostic tools, software, and infrastructure components is available. WORLD OF INDUSTRIES – INDUSTRIAL AUTOMATION 2/2017