Business - Intralogistics - LogiMAT

Statement by Peter Kazander, Exhibition Director of LogiMAT / Position paper on LogiMAT 2012 in Stuttgart

(PresseBox) ( Munich, )
LogiMAT 2012 is a mirror of the economic development and technological trends of a highly diverse sector. The 10th International Trade Fair for Distribution, Materials Handling and Information Flow shows what is currently shaping and moving intralogistics and how it intends to shape and move the future.

Now celebrating the tenth anniversary of its existence, even as it opens LogiMAT can announce a number of new achievements: with 920 exhibitors (+19.3%) from 26 countries and 65,000 square metres (+20%) of exhibition space, the interest of exhibitors from trade and industry and the amount of exhibition space taken up have never been as great as they are today.

The fair’s management is conscious that this is due to a particular situation involving the 2012 exhibition schedule. On the one hand, this year LogiMAT is the only logistics fair of comparable size throughout Europe. On the other, however, high exhibitor demand also reflects the excellent situation particularly in the German economy and above all in intralogistics. With a share of 20 percent of world trade volume, sales of more than 16 billion euros and growth of around ten percent, the German mechanical engineering sector is a key pillar of Germany’s current economic strength – and, in terms of global competition, the economic strength of Europe. Thus, in 2012, LogiMAT will be taking on the roles of industry barometer and showcase for innovation in equal measure.

LogiMAT shows the products and solutions with which European and increasingly also global competitors are positioning themselves in the market. In 2011, the German mechanical engineering sector alone allocated around 13 billion euros for the development of innovations. More than 50 percent of companies offer new or markedly better products each year. 70 percent of firms in the industry are regarded as innovators. This year, many of them are using LogiMAT to introduce their latest developments to the trade audience. At the same time, exhibitors from Turkey, Canada, Australia and the USA are underscoring the high level of international attention LogiMAT now enjoys.

In addition to this, LogiMAT 2012 is a barometer of trends. In a manageable area, it offers a compact overview of current product and development trends in all industry segments of intralogistics in the shortest possible time. As demonstrated by a large number of the products and solutions on show, these are clearly geared toward resource efficiency. They range from specific development approaches in implementing research findings, for instance on collective intelligence, via the consideration of demographic change and optimum use of space and land by means of intelligent plant designs through to the current solutions on offer for entry into green logistics.

Take the example of energy efficiency. In the logistics chain, the share of intralogistics in energy costs, according to current research, is around 25 percent. Of this, approximately half relates to the areas of materials handling, storage and order picking. Just under a further 35 percent is swallowed up by ventilation and heating systems, around 15 percent by lighting. LogiMAT shows how companies identify the relevant potential for rationalisation. The range of solutions for reducing consumption being presented at LogiMAT, for example, shows systems for recovering energy and reducing consumption in drive systems. Other approaches focus on the development and processing of new components and materials or software systems for energy-efficient buildings management, which can be used to reduce the energy consumption levels of entire complexes by 25 to 40 percent. Consequently, at LogiMAT, not only will trade visitors be taking a close look at the latest solutions, but international competitors will also be comparing their products – and inspiring one another to even greater innovation.

The same is true of ground conveyor manufacturers, traditionally regarded as a leading economic indicator. The annual world demand for new ground conveyors is just under one million. Approximately a third of these, between 300,000 and 350,000, are ordered in Europe. In the German market alone, according to expert estimates, a total of around 600,000 to 700,000 ground conveyors are in use. A third are used in warehouses, just under 30 percent assist with rapid transhipment in ports and at least a further 20 percent undertake loading and unloading tasks. The more developed logistics and warehousing structures are, the more use is made of electric stackers. At LogiMAT, more than 30 stacker manufacturers are showing how, via their developments, they are making a contribution towards energy efficiency, safety, high performance, ergonomics and the availability of ground conveyors. Alternative drive and storage battery concepts are important here. Hybrid stackers and lithium-ion batteries, for example, reveal where manufacturers plan to win over customers to their products in future. Via numerous examples, the ground conveyor manufacturers at LogiMAT also underscore the current trend of extending their offerings in adjacent business areas such as storage technology, software, rental and leasing as well as consultancy and services.

In addition, at the Stuttgart Trade Fair Centre up-to-the-minute topics will be discussed and initial applications presented – for example in relation to cloud computing in intralogistics. Here, LogiMAT is offering not simply a succinct overview of the latest developments, it is also fulfilling its own ambition of being a comprehensive information exchange. Among smaller and medium-sized companies especially, which are frequently mentioned as the primary target group for cloud offerings, only ten percent are taking advantage of options for cloud computing. Experts see a clear need for education on possibilities and benefits – which the products and services on offer at LogiMAT 2012 can satisfy.

Intralogistics is a capital goods sector – and the demand for the automation of processes is rising; whether via efficient new plant or the retrofitting of existing structures. Here LogiMAT, as the above examples show, is equally a mirror of economic development as well as a barometer of trends, a contact exchange for forming new networks and a forum for exchanging information at conference level – on an interdisciplinary as well as an international basis. In mechanical and plant engineering, among software developers and in identification and communications technology, the order position continues to remain positive. Production concepts and processes are being optimised, defining standards and innovations developed. LogiMAT offers international exhibitors and trade experts alike an ideal platform to present them and to show what will shape the future of intralogistics.

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