Material Guidance system for SAP
You won’t find a vacant plot of land here: the extensive company of Flensburger Fahrzeugbau GmbH (FFG) are surrounded by neighboring companies, roads and water. Without any prospect of spatial expansion, the manufacturer of armored tracked and wheeled vehicles reached its capacity limits in 2016 after years of growth. FFG was therefore looking for efficient solutions to make better use of the available space. The internal material flow offered a central starting point here: The entire Material Guidance System (transport control system) was previously controlled “on call” and coordinated by an external gatekeeper service.
Centralized instead of decentralized
As a result, FFG decided to introduce a Material Guidance System in order to optimize the complete material flow within the plant. In addition to material traceability, this was primarily intended to increase transparency.
In this way, the porter was to be relieved, empty runs avoided and storage capacities better utilized. In short: The Material Guidance System should increase productivity and reduce costs. We were looking for a SAP® integrable software solution for the central Control of all industrial trucks. The FlexGuide Material Guidance System of the SAP partner Flexus AG in Würzburg quickly attracted attention. NIn addition to the good references, it was above all the direct integration of the software into SAP®. After defining the future transport processes with SAP®, the required software modules were implemented in the test system. In addition, all delivery points and storage zones were provided with barcodes and the forklifts with touch-capable forklift terminals.
Checking at the control station
The transport orders can now be created with a few clicks on various PCs between goods receipt and goods issue with SAP®. A barcode label is printed simultaneously with each order and attached to the pallets to be transported.
Once the transport orders have been scheduled on the basis of the priorities and optimized for the route, they appear directly on the corresponding forklift terminal. They can be processed quickly and error-free afterwards. To do that, the drivers have a mobile scanner at their disposal. Scanning the barcodes on the pallet and the affected storage zones ensures that the right pallet gets transported to the right place. In addition, managers now have the option of controlling the material flow at any time using their own forklift control station, the so-called TGS Cockpit.
The FlexGuide Material Guidance System for SAP® can not only be used for dispatching the internal forklifts. Another field of application for other customers is the control of all other resources within the material flow: This includes tugger trains, employees with mobile end devices, in-house truck traffic and high-rack warehouses. The solution thus guarantees cross-departmental control and tracking of the material flow, while empty runs are reduced to a minimum. Numerous modules and extensions guarantee optimal adaptation to customer requirements.
The benefit of the Material Guidance System for FFG are clearly visible, since now every pallet can be tracked in the TGS Cockpit over the entire plant-internal transport process. Before the introduction of the FlexGuide Material Guidance System, this material traceability was not available, which resulted in long search times and in some cases in new orders for an untraceable item. Another big advantage of the central and route- optimized material flow control is the significantly higher utilization of the forklifts and their drivers. They are now much faster at their destination, which in the end increases employee satisfaction – including the porter, who has been significantly relieved and can now concentrate on his actual tasks again.
The Flensburger Fahrzeugbau GmbH is convinced of the advantages of the system conversion in the internal material flow: “The time spent today with the introduction of a transport and forklift guidance system is saved twice tomorrow,” as summed up by logistics manager Detlef Vogel.
Flensburger Fahrzeugbau is internationally active in the civil and defense technology sectors. FFG’s core competencies include the development, production, conversion and optimization of tracked and wheeled armored vehicles, including security concepts to protect occupants against mines and ballistic threats.