Wine, World Cup and Warehouse Management

Digital transformation in the 900-year-old small spa town in the Volcanic Eifel hills? For their second conference this year, our colleagues from Intralogistics and Digitalisation had chosen a rather unusual location: Bad Bertrich in the Moselle region ranks among the places where time appears to have stood still. Visitors to the small spa in the Eifel hills come not only to enjoy the thermal springs, but also to luxuriate in some comforting nostalgia. Normally, at least. The participants of the Intralogistics Conference were looking for the precise opposite: new digital worlds instead of the good old days.

Before the conference could actually kick off, there was first another, at least equally exciting event to get through. Since the arrival evening happened to coincide with the World Cup semi-final, the Krones team prepared a joint football evening. During the match against Croatia, the entire group, including two English colleagues, were on the edge of their seats. “Even though England didn’t quite manage to win – happily, the mood at the conference was not clouded by the defeat,” says organiser Kathrin Liebl with a laugh.

The tight conference programme would in any case not have left any time to grieve over missed goal chances. Intralogistical concepts for the future and the present, automation and digital value added chain, predictive and prescriptive maintenance, IoT platforms and connectivity: the speakers covered such a wide range of topics that the conferees never ran out of something to talk about even in the breaks.

The day’s highlights were as always the contributions from our clients: Jürgen Nordmann from the Störtebeker Braumanufaktur described why he had opted for digitalisation of the entire value added chain, why production and logistics have to be closely intermeshed, and what role the company’s steady growth has played. Since many of the participants found his remarks to be strikingly relevant to their own situations, his authentic presentation supplied numerous starting points for further discussions.

How far flexibility is an important yardstick for production and logistics was then explained by Dr. Tina Schieman from the Zimmermann-Graeff & Müller winery (ZGM). Her presentation provided not only a profound insight into the firm’s history; it also explained to the participants the reasons why ZGM had opted for a logistics project with Syskron, and what challenges had to be mastered during its implementation.

The guests were able to see with their own eyes the result of this large-scale project. Following Tina Schieman’s empirical report, a coach took the conferees directly to ZGM’s facility in Zell an der Mosel. The guided tour through the production hall, the high-bay warehouse and the order-picking zone had been splendidly prepared by ZGM, to the visible gratification of the participants. “The fact that the ZGM team readily took so much time for answering the questions, particularly, was incredibly well received,” says a gratified Kathrin Liebl.

The day’s abundance of impressions were afterwards exhaustively and animatedly discussed at a shared barbecue evening in the hotel. No one was in any hurry at all to bring the event to a close, which in Kathrin Liebl’s view was not solely attributable to the perfect summer weather: “I’m sure the delectable selection of wines from ZGM had something to do with it as well.”