The TAL 2021 Conference: Logistics Digitalisation Must Come with Balance
Fourteen speakers from throughout Europe assembled in Pilsen on 21 September for the Trends in Automotive Logistics (TAL) conference, organised by Aimtec in cooperation with IHK Regensburg and DTIHK. The automotive logistics experts appearing on the conference stage included Marco Prüglmeier from i2market and Michael Schneider from idealworks. The topic of establishing the right balance regarding logistics digitalisation accompanied the entire programme. And the conclusion? Constant balancing, the seeking of new paths and evaluation of individual solutions’ pros and cons is, the speakers say, what is most likely to guarantee success for both small projects and cross-company transformations. TAL 2021’s participants found confirmations of this in the majority of the conference presentations.
Digitalisation as a catalyst of change
“Innovation in automotive logistics is developing rapidly. If you don’t jump on today, you may never catch up. Take a step towards making your logistics digital as soon as possible,” appealed opening speaker Marco Prüglmeier, who founded his own consulting company i2market last year after many years with BMW Group. He also presented his book on innovation in logistics, which primarily explores the integration of modern technologies into warehouse processes and the effective utilisation of AI and robots in logistics.
Michael Schneider and Dylan Sheppard from idealworks – a BMW Group subsidiary founded at the end of 2020, and one of the main TAL partners – then took a look under the hood of tomorrow’s technology. One part of their Digital First approach is virtual optimisation, with simulations being their main tool for the development of autonomous mobile robots. “Simulations let us adapt to customers’ requirements. We are living in times where we are able to develop a product based solely on simulated data,” is one choice quote from their presentation.
The team at International Automotive Components Group is also seeking the right balance in IT and logistics. “A standardised ERP environment is both a challenge and a benefit, but there is a need to sensitively balance flexibility and standardisation,” believes Tolga Özkundakci, who presented his company’s progress in deploying a standardised ERP system along with a logistics and production solution throughout its European branches.
Tomáš Vondrák, Plant Manager of Continental Automotive’s plants in Brandýs and Labem, Czech Republic, stressed the importance of teamwork in digital processes: “People and their purposeful development should continue to be the heart of the Digital Factory concept. Thanks to digitalisation, we can move up to a culture that’s high-performance, and also superbly well-working.”
A balanced digital transformation is the foundation
Partners such as Robert Bosch, SEAT:CODE and Weland Solutions presented their experience with digitalisation and automation as well. The common denominator was a balanced approach to the digital transformation. Discussions concerned the benefits of full or partial automation, the division of labour between machines and humans, the degree of flexibility in corporate IT standards and more. Ivan Marinec from AIM PARTNERS then wrapped up the speaking programme, using an example of process digitalisation in transport services to demonstrate how goods transport costs – which are among the largest logistics costs – can be saved via mathematical algorithms.
TAL connects people and technology
The TAL conference has always had a social side as well. This year, the bountiful side programme included a speech by photographer Markéta Navrátilová on the logistics of photographing cyclists at the Tour de France and a presentation on the latest logistics trends through the eyes of partner companies Deloitte and Lintech. Throughout the day, attendees could visit #AimtecLab for a live look at the latest technologies such as Location Based Services, real-time reporting and Digital Twins. A celebratory toast on the 25th anniversary of Aimtec’s founding was another part of the day.
We are very glad that, this year, we could once again use TAL to connect experts from several countries and strengthen the sharing of specific experiences and innovations. Automotive logistics companies can thus move forward much more quickly and use best practices from the leaders in the field
Aimtec, IHK Regensburg and the German-Czech Chamber of Industry and Commerce
The main conference partners alongside idealworks were VertiFlex and Zebra Technologies. “It’s great to see real proof of how technologies that enable logistics automation are already becoming a standard,” says Pavel Kraus, Managing Director of VertiFlex. “This year has once again shown that TAL is a place where the best in our field come to meet and jointly find the solutions that will shape the future of automotive logistics,” added Marek Písečný, Channel Account Manager CZ & SK of Zebra Technologies.
Main conference partners: idealworks, VertiFlex and Zebra Technologies
Conference partners: Asprova, Bayern Innovativ, Beratungsbüro Oberpfalz, Deloitte, DESSEQ, Emprover, FANUC, the South Bohemian Chamber of Commerce, LINTECH, the Pilsen Region, SKLAD (the Association of Competent Logisticians and Suppliers) and STILL
Media partners: AIMagazine, Automa, IT Systems, Logistika, Reliant Group and Systémy Logistiky
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