For the first time, the VDA Logistics Award has gone to two companies this year: Robert Bosch GmbH received a prize for a networked intralogistics solution for manufacturing plants and MAN Truck & Bus AG took the prize for its innovative and transport-cost-optimising software “ConMa”, for empties disposition.
Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) (pictured), said at the award ceremony of the Automotive Logistics Forum in Frankfurt: “The concepts awarded today show the enormous innovative power of our industry. Networking and digitisation will not only make tomorrow’s traffic smoother and safer, they will also enable intelligent logistics solutions and new factory concepts. German companies are also pacesetters in this future field.”
Bosch successfully combines self-developed solutions such as “ProCon” for production control and in-house transport. This includes logistics processes from customer requirements through scheduling on machines and plants to the control of classic and autonomous means of transport.
In more than 50 plants, synchronous data exchange and the networking of digital process steps can be used to automatically automate bookings, reordering and, for example, adjustments of Kanbank cycles in real time. Inventories and manual activities are reduced. As a result, employees have more time for value-adding activities, which in turn increases productivity.
“Bosch expects great potential from digital networking. This makes logistics chains more efficient, safer and more flexible – both in intralogistics and in our global value creation networks,” said Andreas Reutter, Member of the Executive Board of the Central Purchasing and Logistics Department of Robert Bosch GmbH.
The “ConMa” software, which was developed in just eight months to optimise empties dispatching, has been in use since October 2016 in the MAN Truck & Bus AG plant network. In total, more than 6 million containers have already been planned and sent via the software.
“ConMa” also has a very positive effect on all supply chain partners. The software maps the complete disposition process in one application and thus ensures cross-plant standardisation of the processes. Intelligent algorithms ensure better transport utilisation and a high degree of automation. This has helped to increase delivery reliability and productivity, reduce transport costs and minimise CO 2 emissions.
“With ConMa, the container management at MAN was rethought,” said the two project managers. Matthias Conze and Fabian Maier. “We are proud to have introduced the software in all our locations in such a short time and to have gained such wide acceptance. This was only possible by integrating users into an agile development process right from the start.”