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Smart digitalisation solution for SMEs

EXPRESSO’s Service & Digital Solutions division has developed a highly flexible IoT solution that enables small and medium-sized companies to get started with digitalisation easily and cost-effectively. It is called EXPRESSO Connect, is extremely customisable, makes the savings potential of intralogistics processes transparent across all plants and is ready for use in record time. In an initial project, the customer was able to put the monitoring of 12 systems into operation in just one day.

The development and manufacture of innovative devices and systems for conveying, transport and handling technology has been one of the core competences of the German company EXPRESSO for decades. Based on the expertise gained in almost all aspects of modern logistics and intralogistics, the specialists in the Service & Digital Solutions division have now realised the EXPRESSO Connect IoT solution. This is a modular gateway that can be adapted to many different requirements and is designed to provide small and medium-sized companies in particular with a particularly simple and cost-effective entry into the digitalisation of their processes and systems. In principle, it is based on the systematic recording and transmission of digital and analogue information from all technical units to a central data portal and their analysis, documentation and visualisation on a dashboard. This can be done independently of existing networks and across factories and plants. “Our system solution can be used for ongoing condition monitoring of all devices and systems involved as part of comprehensive condition monitoring as well as for predictive maintenance. The big advantage is that all data traffic in EXPRESSO Connect runs completely autonomously and independently of the customer’s network – this is a considerable security advantage for the user,” says Jan-Peter Schulz, Head of Service & Digital Solutions. The system is operated from a PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Ideal entry-level solution

The high level of flexibility and its simple structure make this IoT solution made in Germany particularly attractive for SMEs that have previously shied away from digitalisation. The installation effort is minimal, the entire data management is largely automated and the user does not have to familiarise themselves with complex software. All intralogistics system units to be covered by EXPRESSO Connect – for example loading bridges, gates, goods carriers, industrial trucks or transport trolleys – are connected via compact recording modules that transmit all technically relevant operating data via the wireless 4G LTE standard to a central server provided by EXPRESSO. With the evaluation and visualisation software on his desktop or mobile device, the user has direct access at all times. In concrete terms, this means that they can call up, view and analyse information on the current operating status of all devices, systems, vehicles, containers, etc. integrated in EXPRESSO Connect. Typical areas of application that the user can cover are remote monitoring of machines using sensors, control of automated processes in logistics and production, visualisation of special operating and process parameters, visualisation and real-time analysis of condition monitoring data as well as limit value monitoring, status queries and consumption measurements. The data collected in EXPRESSO Connect can then also be used to analyse energy consumption, balance CO² emissions, optimise maintenance cycles, avoid machine failures and reduce downtimes. “In all of this, our digitalisation solution supports the simple connection, installation and commissioning of the EXPRESSO Connect boxes in a plug-and-play process using predefined sensor modules,” emphasises Jan-Peter Schulz.

First projects already underway

One of the first companies to put EXPRESSO Connect into operation is a European food manufacturer. It is using the IoT solution to retroactively digitalise an initial twelve existing systems in various departments and plants. Elsewhere, EXPRESSO Connect was able to prove its efficiency in the digitalisation of logistical loading processes. Jan-Peter Schulz reports: “In addition to the benefits of documenting lorry security, gate utilisation and lorry allocation, our system generated considerable added value by reducing heat losses when loading lorries and swap bodies. After evaluating the recorded data and optimising the loading processes, the door opening times were adjusted so that energy savings of up to 25 percent could be calculated.”

Other obvious application examples for EXPRESSO Connect are in the field of airport logistics for the optimisation of baggage cart handling and in production logistics through the digitalisation of usage data from industrial trucks such as the lift2move from EXPRESSO. However, as the IoT solution is designed as an open system, its use is not tied to specific makes or brands. And because it works with its own complete data transmission, it can also be installed independently and in parallel to existing company networks.

  • smarte-digitalisierungsloesung-mittelstand-1

    The EXPRESSO Connect IoT solution is a modular, adaptable system that makes it easy for small and medium-sized companies in particular to start digitising their processes and systems.
  • smarte-digitalisierungsloesung-mittelstand-2

    EXPRESSO Connect is based on the systematic recording and transmission of digital and analogue information to a central data portal and its analysis, documentation and visualisation on a dashboard on a PC, tablet or mobile phone.
  • smarte-digitalisierungsloesung-mittelstand-3

    Jan-Peter Schulz: “Our EXPRESSO Connect IoT solution can be used to monitor the status of devices and systems as part of condition monitoring and for predictive maintenance.”
  • smarte-digitalisierungsloesung-mittelstand-4

    In EXPRESSO Connect, loading bridges, gates, goods carriers, industrial trucks and other intralogistics systems are connected via compact recording modules that transmit all technically relevant operating data to a central server via the 4G LTE standard.
  • smarte-digitalisierungsloesung-mittelstand-5

    EXPRESSO Connect has already proven its efficiency in the digitalisation of logistical loading processes. The system was able to generate considerable added value by reducing heat losses when loading lorries and swap bodies.

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A logistics classic celebrates its birthday

Few manual transport devices are as widely used in logistics as the EXPRESSO hand truck. As a safe and ergonomic solution for transporting cardboard boxes, beverage crates, barrels or storage boxes, it has proven itself in the supply chains of many industries worldwide. The basis for its development into a product classics and German standard was laid by the entrepreneur August Manss with a patent application in July 1953. Read here how EXPRESSO has managed to reinvent the hand truck as a versatile modular system ever since.

When the engineer and company founder August Manss applied for a patent in July 1953 for “a transport trolley (…) that can be used simultaneously as a hand truck (…) and as a stacking trolley”, he laid the foundation for an exemplary success story in the field of manual handling technology. Today – 70 years later – the EXPRESSO hand truck is not only a globally sought-after piece of transport equipment, but also an established product classics in the company’s portfolio. It is used millions of times and is currently even listed as the German standard in the brands of the century. A decisive factor in the continuing success of the hand truck is its further development into a modular system, from which new customer-, sector- and country-specific hand truck solutions can be generated again and again. “In addition to the high-quality workmanship, durability and reliability, this versatility and adaptability is undoubtedly one of the most important competitive advantages of our hand truck today,” says Karsten Grötecke, who heads the business unit Manual Handling Equipment at EXPRESSO.

Skids for stair transport

Initially, according to the patent specification, it was above all the new, particularly large runners that offered the user a decisive added value and handling advantage. This allowed the hand truck to “slide over stairs during transport”. As early as 1967, the EXPRESSO engineers developed the first aluminum modular system, which has been consistently expanded to this day and now offers design scope for more than 2,000 different hand truck variants. Thanks to this high degree of flexibility, the EXPRESSO hand truck has proven itself in countless applications in the food and beverage industry, for courier and parcel services and in intralogistics. In many vehicle fleets, it is part of the vehicle service equipment. EXPRESSO has also added a wide range of accessories to the modular system, which can be used to quickly adapt any standard hand truck to special handling or transport tasks. For example, a folding water bottle attachment can be used to accommodate round, square and triangular 20-litre bottles, and a height-adjustable hook can be attached to transport returnable KEG drums of different sizes.

Quality Made in Germany

From the very beginning, the EXPRESSO hand truck was designed as a quality product made in Germany. This applies to all aspects of material selection, construction and assembly. As a result, this transport device has been able to assert itself on the market as a durable and sustainable product for seven decades. The spare parts promise that EXPRESSO makes to its customers as a premium manufacturer has played a major part in this: Every single part of the hand truck can be ordered as a spare part – today quickly via the company’s web shop. “With our original spare parts and guidance from the DIY videos on our YouTube channel, users can make even a 30-year-old hand truck fit again,” explains Karsten Grötecke. The worn sliding skids on an EXPRESSO hand truck are also very easy to replace thanks to a clip system. The red strip on the integrated wear indicator shows the right time to do this.

On the road to the future

Expanding the modular system, extending the range of services and continuing the high-quality standard are the three cornerstones for the further development of the EXPRESSO hand truck. Karsten Grötecke leaves no doubt that he and his team will succeed in taking the hand truck into the next decade of its product life cycle: “As we always attach great importance to an intensive exchange with our customers, users and sales partners, we are constantly receiving suggestions for technical optimisations, additional modular modules or new accessories. These innovative impulses and their rapid implementation in our engineering are the guarantee that our hand truck will continue to prove itself as a reliable, versatile and also extremely economical means of transport in the future.”

  • 70Jahre_Sackkarre_01_Pakete

    Cardboard boxes, beverage crates, barrels, storage boxes and much more: EXPRESSO hand trucks have been proving their worth as manual transport equipment in the supply chains of many industries for 70 years now.
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    2,000 variants and more: an important factor in the success of the EXPRESSO hand truck is the further development of the product into a modular system from which customised and industry-specific hand truck solutions can be generated.
  • 70Jahre_Sackkarre_03_Montage

    Material selection, construction, assembly: From the very beginning, the EXPRESSO hand truck was designed as a quality product made in Germany.
  • 70Jahre_Sackkarre_04_Ersatzteile

    Guaranteed: Every single part of an EXPRESSO hand truck can also be ordered as a spare part – for example via the company’s web shop.
  • 70Jahre_Sackkarre_05_MobiBench

    Foldable lifting and lowering system with workbench and hand truck function: the new MobiBench from EXPRESSO.

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