Till Zupancic, Director Corporate and Business Development FATH GmbH; Managing Director Flowsort BV
The Flowsort portfolio is aimed at intralogistics system integrators and conveyor builders. That is new. How does Flowsort fit into the FATH Ecosystem?
Our goal is to offer customers around the world state-of-the-art solutions that bring more efficiency to industrial processes – SOLUTIONS FOR INDUSTRIAL ECOSYSTEMS. To achieve this, we take a close look at the markets and the prevailing environmental conditions. We have already achieved a great deal in this respect on the industrial shopfloor. Now we want to make our solutions accessible to other sectors as well. For us, Flowsort is the perfect entry into the rapidly growing intralogistics sector – and customers can benefit from the full range of the FATH Ecosystem.
The exciting thing is that several megatrends are currently emerging in intralogistics, which confront system integrators and technology users with completely new challenges. Rapidly growing online trade and other factors such as urbanization, globalization, individualization and the ever-increasing performance expectations of end customers require new automation technologies with scaled-down, more flexible and uncomplicated solutions to address these challenges.
What exactly are these challenges?
Millions of small, individually prepared packages, for example, have to be sorted every day and sent to countless different destinations. Recipients in metropolitan areas expect lightning-fast deliveries, which requires local logistics centers. At the same time, however, space for these is becoming increasingly limited - and more expensive, especially in urban areas. Furthermore, in today's VUCA world, business processes are changing faster and faster, which means that the underlying processes in distribution centers and warehouse facilities need to be adapted more and more frequently. With Flowsort's modular sorting modules, we meet the demand for maximum flexibility and overcome many other challenges.
Why did FATH choose Flowsort?
The exciting thing about Flowsort is that we take an “open interface” approach. This means that the connection of the Flowsort modules works plug&play with all other surrounding technologies. The approach is radically different from that taken by competitors. They often try to bring more integrated systems to the market. As in the field of aluminium profile components, FATH also pursues the idea with Flowsort that integrators and users should be as free as possible to decide which systems and technologies they want to combine to create their optimum solution.
What are the specific benefits of Flowsort?
The portfolio consists of three different types of standard modules: Single Line Diverter, Double Line Diverter and ZigZag Diverter. The smart modular concept enables system integrators to offer their customers ideal sorting solutions for a wide range of applications. In a nutshell: Flowsort is quick and easy to install. The system integrator is delighted. Flowsort is flexible and highly scalable, it offers a wide range of features and only requires a small initial investment. That’s good news for the technology user.
What about the software?
Simplicity doesn't just apply to the hardware – it also applies to the software. The Flowsort modules are equipped with control cards commonly used in intralogistics automation. They can be directly connected to the control system's PLC. Plug & Play. It couldn't be any easier. Planning and installation work is minimal. Even a retrofit of systems that have not previously been automated is possible with the modules - simply remove a few rolls from the conveyor and insert the sorting modules. That's lean!
What do end users appreciate most about Flowsort?
Modularity and flexibility! Systems with Flowsort modules can be reconfigured and adapted with little effort. Users can begin with just a few modules and then expand their system quickly and easily when needs change. The "Flow" also offers a decisive advantage: The blue rollers gently deflect the material to be sorted without abrupt braking or the risk of mechanical collision. This is important for fragile products.
What synergies result from the interaction of Flowsort with other FATH solutions?
The need for flexible design and rapid adaptation of automated intralogistics processes is leading to the increasing use of aluminum profile systems in this sector. In addition, modern intralogistics facilities are designed for maximum efficiency and minimum waste. Here's where our LEAN 4.0 solutions, such as process visualization, come into play. Flowsort is the perfect bridge for FATH into intralogistics. Perfectly matched, we offer the customer innovative automation technology using system components and LEAN from a single source. This corresponds to the FATH Mission: integrated solutions that are so flexible that they fit seamlessly into almost any industrial system environment. Flowsort therefore fits perfectly into the FATH Ecosystem.