Discussions, networking, inspiration – were all on offer at the BÖWE SYSTEC Exclusive Days, with the event’s focus being on automation and smart industry. The company’s Augsburg headquarters attracted some 300 visitors, who discovered what makes BÖWE SYSTEC solutions so special through a series of live demonstrations and talks.
Time is money and that is why one of BÖWE SYSTEC’s goals is to develop and manufacture high-speed machines. Speed, however, is only one side of the coin. Intelligence is the other. BÖWE SYSTEC therefore offers smart automation solutions that deliver decisive competitive advantages for the customer. BÖWE SYSTEC sees itself as a partner for its customers and puts its know-how at their service, whatever their industry.
New developments and an extensive portfolio
But who are the people behind the smart machines and system solutions? Visitors to this year’s Exclusive Days were offered an insight into the company and the chance to meet its employees. Naturally, its extensive portfolio of European made machines was also on show. Whether it be inserting systems for classic transactional applications, card distribution solutions, letter or parcel sorting systems for modern mail processing centers, intralogistic automation solutions or pharma serialization, there was something for everyone and much that was new to discover.
There were a number of particularly interesting new developments, such as a faster version of the Fusion Cross inserting machine that can run at 24,000 envelopes per hour. The outstanding feature of this system is its use of the Flow-Principle to slow the filling speed down by a factor of 4.5 in order to allow more time for the actual filling process. At the same time, this makes it possible to handle a greater variety of envelope formats and even to process complex enclosures up to 1 kg and 15 mm thickness – and all without stops. Geert Beuving, team manager at the Dutch tax office, talked about just how effective this concept is at a vivid user presentation.
One of the event’s highlights was undoubtedly the world premiere of what Joachim Koschier, the Managing Director of BÖWE SYSTEC, described as the ‘fastest inserting system in the world’. The Fusion Speed is based on the same principle as the Fusion Cross but it is able to run at up to 30,000 envelopes per hour.
Software as a driving force
BÖWE SYSTEC systems are controlled by intuitive and flexible app-based software solutions. BÖWE’s Cockpit control app handles overall control of the inserting systems and operators are full of praise for the clarity and simplicity of the control software. Not only does this maintain motivation, it also shortens changeover time and simplifies production.
Visitors to the Exclusive Days were also highly impressed by BÖWE SYSTEC’s answer to the smaller and smaller batches that they are having to handle: its Small–Batch-Processing software. It is a software solution that is designed to enable small batches to be processed reliably and profitably by bundling multiple small jobs together on a single roll without having to interrupt the print stream. The system automatically recognizes when a new job begins and makes the necessary adjustments fully automatically.
Sorting solutions from A to Z
New letter sorting developments were also on display. The Simex Flexi sorting machine featuring integrated scales was presented for the first time. Capable of dealing with incoming or outgoing mail, postcards or polywrapped mailings, not only can this mixed mail sorter handle an enormous bandwidth of products it also offers outstanding OCR read rates.
There was also an impressive demonstration of order handling in a warehouse. As a ‘one-stop-shop’ for parcel sorting and warehousing, BÖWE SYSTEC has solutions for automating the entire process chain, from goods in through sorting to goods out.
The OptiSorter was put through its paces and processed a wide range of different items from business cards up to the largest packages, weighing up to 31.5 kg – and all at a speed of up to 18,000 items per hour. The system uses a special Push-Tray principle in which items are gently pushed from their trays into the right destination and not even heavy or bulky items bring it to a stop.
The new Bomb-Bay/Split-Tray sorter module, which has been developed for e-commerce customers, was another real eye-catcher. But where would a parcel sorting system be without the right Warehouse Management System (WMS) and Warehouse Control System (WCS)? Visitors were also able to see for themselves the benefits of using these solutions to manage stocks. They significantly improve warehouse processes and cost savings of up 20% can be achieved, as Alan Wilcockson explained during an impressive product demonstration.
A pick-to-light system for paperless picking integrates perfectly into the automation chain. The system scans a sorted item after the output process and lamps light up to show the operator where to route the item to or where to bundle the order together.
Building confidence to overcome obstacles
Building fast, smart machines is not enough for this ambitious company. For BÖWE SYSTEC it is important to build confidence in the quality of the cooperation. Geert Beuving and Michael Ulbrich made it clear in their talks just how successful the global company has been in doing so.
Geert Beuving, team manager at the Dutch tax service, spoke about how the production hall had been built from scratch in seven months. The service opted for a Fusion Cross and four 9G inserters after Beuving had argued for the purchase of BÖWE SYSTEC machines. It paid off: on May 9, 2019 a record 982,000 envelopes were processed. Michael Ulbrich, Managing Director of MEDIA Logistik GmbH also had to struggle against internal resistance initially. In his talk, “If a project doesn’t run entirely to plan”, he explained that he had been confident of the quality of the cooperation right from the outset and in the end the success of the project proved him right. Although the company had long resisted sorting technology, it decided to move from hand sorting to machines following the introduction of the minimum wage in 2014. But why BÖWE SYSTEC solutions? “I wanted a supplier who could meet all my requirements and at the time only BÖWE SYSTEC had a solution for large letter processing in the form of the Simex Flexi”, explained Michael Ulbrich.
Technological know-how delivers success
Of course, customer satisfaction has its consequences. According to Joachim Koschier, BÖWE SYSTEC has grown by 50 per cent over the last five years. This growth has been achieved through inserting, a segment the company moved into ten years ago. On top of that, BÖWE SYSTEC is investing in growing markets, such as the parcel sorting segment. “It is important for us”, explained Koschier, “that parcel customers recognize that we have considerable technological know-how in this area. BÖWE SYSTEC wants to use this know-how for the benefit and success of its customers whatever industry they are in.”