A guide to production logistics

Modern manufacturers of goods and commodities depend on effective production logistics. Only if you succeed in optimizing all internal transport and logistics processes will your business be able to meet the challenges of the market in the future.

production logistics

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The Digital Revolution: Industry 4.0 Production
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Production logistics is not yet optimized

The original concept of logistics includes the transportation of raw materials to the manufacturing plant and the removal of finished products to distributors. However, even within the manufacturing plant, steps occur during production that require logistical solutions. Here are a few examples:

  • How does the material get to the production plant?

  • How is the transport between two production lines carried out?

  • How are semi-finished products forwarded?

  • How does the final product get from the machine to the dispatch warehouse?

Many of these tasks were performed manually by employees or solved by simple transport systems such as forklifts and pallet trucks. But is this really the optimal solution?

To ensure that complex internal manufacturing processes and transport tasks can be carried out safely and efficiently in the shortest possible time, modern companies need an intelligent solution. This is where smart systems in the area of production logistics help to master the enormous challenges of Industry 4.0 in the future.

What is production logistics - important processes in your company?

Production logistics is a significant factor within the entire value chain of the manufacturing and distribution process. In a manufacturing company, this area of logistics includes the planning, management and control of all tasks relating to:

  • Raw materials

  • Operating materials

  • Auxiliary materials

  • Semi-finished goods

  • Finished products

  • Spare parts

In this context, activities such as:

  • Conveying

  • Storage

  • Handling

which have to be carried out in a timely, intelligent, and cost-effective manner. If possible, the entire manufacturing process should be carried out as efficiently and safely as possible so that incoming customer orders can be completed immediately. Another goal of logistics in a production plant is to reduce operating costs and make optimum use of the available production space through intelligent processes.

Short routes within your production plant

Intelligent logistics systems are able to independently find the shortest route within your company with the help of sophisticated sensor technology. This allows them to maneuver safely and accident-free through the production hall and reach their destination quickly. At the same time, a unit of the Intralogistics 4.0 generation knows exactly when it should be in the right place for the next transport task.

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Best possible efficiency within the production processes

The second important task of modern transport units within the production process is the forwarding of the goods to be produced. Here, it is the task of production logistics to always deliver raw materials and materials to the start of the production line at the right time:

  • To deliver raw materials and material to the start of the production line

  • To supply semi-finished products to the next production step

  • To bring finished products immediately to the warehouse for removal

A standstill within production due to missing raw materials or uncollected finished goods is fatal for the production result and causes an additional expenditure of time.

Planning / organization - what are the requirements and how can an efficient solution be created?

In order to adapt your business to the requirements of Intralogistics 4.0 in the best possible way, planning and analysis of the challenges is the first step to success. The first step is to define the future benefits of your production logistics:

  • Reduced inventories

  • Increased turnover speed in production

  • Lower production costs

  • Improve product quality standards

  • Reduce storage costs

  • Saving of personnel costs

  • Increase production output

  • Reduce error rates

  • Flexibility in production

  • Optimize control functions

Once the goals for your operation have been identified, the next step is to find the most effective system for your transportation logistics needs.

Organization is about installing intelligent systems that are precisely tailored to the needs of your company. In addition to suitable solutions for transport between the production facilities and the material and removal warehouse, it is crucial to install the best system for demanding transport tasks in assembly automation. This is the only way to flexibly link individual production steps and combine them into an efficient process.

Optimize production logistics with an effective monorail system

Transport time is often lost in the manufacturing process. An intelligently set up system of individual shuttles on a monorail is an efficient alternative here. You can individually design the number of seperate shuttles according to your needs. With sophisticated sensor technology, each shuttle can detect dangers in advance. This enables the shock-free transport of sensitive products even in curves and over several floors

The special feature of the system is that during transport it is possible to process the workpieces and supply them with energy in order to carry out production steps during the actual transport.

Coordination - how do you get a coordinated system?

It often happens in production that uncollected parts lead to a queue or idle time at machines because the material is missing. Modern production logistics must be able to absorb all operations without adding value to the manufacturing company. This requires the coordination of all machines, technical equipment and transport solutions located in the production area into a perfectly functioning unit. Under the term lean logistics, all partners involved in the processes are initially equipped with sensors and microchips.

Networking all units as the basis for success

In a second step, it is crucial that all units involved in the production process are digitally networked with each other. This step requires powerful software. Intelligent production units, machines, and transport solutions should be able to communicate directly with each other and mutually exchange information

In addition to the production units, the material and removal warehouse must also be digitally integrated into all processes at the same time. A well-functioning overall solution can potentially reduce stock levels for just-in-time delivery. If your coordination within your production facilities is successful, a reduction in manufacturing costs can result in a positive side effect of efficient production logistics.

Control - the Internet of Things (IoT) as the key to success

For a smooth flow of all processes within the scope of production logistics in a modern factory, control and monitoring are constantly repeating and complementary processes. Today, the Internet of Things in a modern production hall replaces the manual control station of earlier days

Whereas back then, reported information had to be evaluated manually to come to conclusions in the event of malfunctions and errors, the modern smart factory under the sign of Industry 4.0 reacts to every problem independently and without delay. With the fast mobile communications standard 5G, response times in production logistics will be significantly reduced once again.

This is only possible because all units involved in the production process permanently receive information and can pass it on at the same time. For example:

  • Material warehouse

  • Transport vehicles

  • Conveyor systems in the shuttle system

  • Machines

  • Technical plants

  • Production lines

  • Transport warehouse

communicate with each other at any time and know exactly in which phase individual production steps are or where material and transport solutions are located at that moment.

This system works with foresight and is not only able to avoid possible hazards; it is also able to detect problems before they occur. As a result, errors or incidents in production logistics can be prevented and ensure a smooth process.

Conclusion

To ensure that goods and commodities are produced cost-effectively and efficiently in the modern factory of the future, smart solutions for production logistics are indispensable. Under the standard Intralogistics 4.0, products are provided that are tailored to the needs of your company. These include, among other things, high-performance transport systems that improve production processes between manufacturing sites while optimizing process interlinking. Monorail systems such as the monorail system from montratec can be used flexibly and fire up the processes in your company.