With 155,000 square meters of logistics space, 800 good employees and 55 million pieces of goods issued annually, Fiege Mega Center Ibbenbüren is one of the largest logistics centers in Europe.
Many customers on the site are steadily growing, the space required is increasing, and the distances for picking orders are sometimes longer. In order to support employees in the long-term and effectively at work, the family company Fiege has been using AI-based AI since June 2022 exoskeleton Cray X from German Bionic.
Small and light, the electric suit can be strapped like a backpack and is multitalented: the smart exoskeleton provides up to 30kg of support per lift at manual workstations, supports active walking, and is also integrated into digital workflows via an integrated German Bionic IO platform. . This should allow people and machines to interact smoothly and intuitively.
Select robots, push-box sorters and sorting systems are already in use on-site, “but there is a whole host of repetitive tasks that cannot be solved by just automation,” explains Detlev Hornhues, branch manager at the Fiege site in Ebbenborn.
Once the Cray X is up and running, it connects to Germany’s Bionic IO platform via LTE or Wifi and begins its mission: to make physically demanding and repetitive tasks for employees less stressful and more comfortable. To do this, the AI-based Cray X provides wearers with additional external energy for their activities – and learns new things every day.
Most of the features are possible because the active exoskeleton is fully networked via the German Bionic IO system platform. says Armin G. Schmidt, co-founder and CEO of German Bionic.
The system integrates manual workstations into the digital workflow of the respective company, so that an interoperable data exchange is established between the various systems of the company. In addition to improving occupational safety, this has the advantage that Fiege can create its own assessment basis in order to identify bottlenecks at an early stage, improve operations and eliminate disruptions in workflow.
The convenient AI-based Smart Safety Companion early warning system also prevents signs of fatigue, poor posture and incorrect lifting techniques on the part of employees, thus preventing errors and injuries from overuse. Comprehensive reporting functions provide instant overviews of the effectiveness of occupational safety measures. This opens up new possibilities for occupational safety and corporate performance.
Automation has been a topic of logistics provider Fiege for many years. In close coordination with the LEAN management and engineering team, they examine how to make operations more efficient – eg through the use of innovative technology. However, it’s not about replacing people, Hornhos says. “On the contrary: the goal is to relieve our employees of cliched and repetitive tasks as much as possible so that we can use them in value-adding processes that are more enjoyable on the one hand and indispensable to human skills on the other.”
With this in mind, the technology starts from the German company Bionic as full automation or robotic systems reach their limits. “The many areas of work that will remain dependent on people’s creative problem-solving skills will continue,” says Norma Stiller, CPO at German Bionic. “Using AI-based Cray X is not about replacing people with robots, it is about human augmentation and inclusion combined with measurable process improvement.”
“Total coffee aficionado. Travel buff. Music ninja. Bacon nerd. Beeraholic.”