Daily press, Trade press, 2016-12-05, 04:12 pm
Truck handling at thyssenkrupp in Duisburg goes digital: Paperless pro-cessing improves efficiency and avoids waiting times – steel division modern-izing plant gates
thyssenkrupp’s steel mill site in the north of Duisburg is like a small town. Steel is produced there on an area covering almost 10 square kilometers with roughly 70 kilometers of roads. Many of the goods movements to and from the steel mill are made by truck, and the number of trips is increasing. Every day more than 2,000 trucks pass through one of the two main gates to the thyssenkrupp site in Duisburg-Beeckerwerth, as well as over 13,000 cars and vans. Processing delivery documents and weighing the inbound and outbound trucks was increasingly leading to congestion and long waiting times. To remedy the situation thyssenkrupp’s steel division has started to modernize the handling processes at the rele-vant gates. This involves a changeover to digital traffic control and automated self-handling by truck drivers as well as extensive structural improvements. “This redesign offers our employees and partner companies a state-of-the-art gate system,” says Ulrike Höffken, head of logistics at thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG. “Processes are significantly faster, safer and more efficient.”
As part of the “Industrial Data Space” initiative, the project to modernize the plant gates will include a connection to the initiative’s planned data room. The Industrial Data Space e.V. initiative currently comprises around 40 industrial companies, the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association (ZVEI) and the Fraunhofer Society. Their joint objective is to create a data room in which companies can network securely, retain absolute control of their data and exchange information easily and quickly via standardized interfaces. “One key element of Industry 4.0 is data exchange between industrial companies,” says Dr. Reinhold Achatz, CTO of thyssenkrupp AG and Chair of Industrial Data Space e.V.
Drivers register by smartphone – dynamic time slots at the loading points
The changeover to digital handling is already being introduced on a step-by-step basis. The gate check sheet with QR code is the “key” to access the site. It forms the link between the physical transport and the digital world and in the future can be produced at special self-service terminals or in advance via a web portal. There will also be a smartphone app. In addition to safety checks and faster handling at the gates, weigh stations and loading points on site, the system will help with the planning and execution of deliveries. To increase flexi-bility for carriers, thyssenkrupp’s steel division is already using time corridors at many points. Further improvements will be made here through defined loading and unloading times, for example through dynamic time slots. The new process control system will provide drivers with advance information on possible congestion and suggest entering via a differ-ent gate as well as providing simplified orientation on the site.
Digital map helps navigation around the site – new truck stop in north Duisburg
Infrastructure measures will include additional lanes, which can be opened as required via traffic signals, and a traffic circle. In addition, a modern traffic control center will be installed and additional automated truck weigh stations built at gates 6 and 7. Digital components will also be deployed here, such as automated vehicle profile recognition, detectors and weigh cells, as well as route guidance via a digital plant map. A key part of the plan is the Hubertusstrasse truck stop not far from the plant. In the future this will serve as a buffer parking area in the event of unforeseen delays at the entrances. The enclosed truck stop will also offer overnight accommodation, for example to allow drivers to stick to the prescribed driving periods. The long-term parking area will offer sanitary facilities, and there may also be a snack bar and a terminal for advance handling. The structural changes are scheduled for completion in fall 2017.
“Our new logistics set-up at the gates will set an example for other industrial sites,” says Ulrike Höffken. “In addition to improving safety and service it will provide carriers with ac-cess to our site without waiting times wherever possible. In the future, we want trucks to be in within five minutes and out again after an hour.”
More information at www.thyssenkrupp-steel.com/gate.