Compressor storage with smartglasses solution

Hanel Lean-Lifts® used for MAN Intralogistics Solution

Futuristic order picking with the Hänel Lean-Lift®

In addition to gas and steam turbines, MAN Diesel & Turbo SE also develops and manufactures axial and process gas screw compressors as well as expanders at the company site in Oberhausen, Germany.

Two Hänel Lean-Lifts® are located at the center of the manufacturing facility for the central storage of small parts. The vertical lifts have a height of some nine meters and are equipped with 160 Hänel multifunction containers that provide more than 6,000 storage positions. The height-optimized storage in the Hänel Lean-Lift® has enough capacity to hold more than 9,000 small items needed for manufacturing and the shipping of products worldwide.

The intralogistics solution is connected to the SAP ERP system through interfaces integrated in the Hänel MP 12 N-HostWeb controller. The lift cluster is managed and controlled directly in SAP via the SOAP protocol without the need for additional middleware.

What’s more, there is a really new feature in this solution: Lift operators wear smartglasses that support order picking with the Hänel Lean-Lift®. The smartglasses communicate with SAP using a special app implemented by MAN.

SAP sends transport commands via SOAP protocol directly to the Hänel lift controller. The innovative concept also includes a glove with an integrated scanner worn by employees so that both hands are free during order picking. This augmented reality application makes working with the Hänel lifts easier. The smartglasses are operated by touching a sensor module integrated in the device – this controls the Hänel lifts without any additional input to the controller. When SAP sends a transport command to a Hänel lift, the system brings the requisite storage container to the access point. A pick slip is printed at the same time. 

The employee uses the glove scanner to record data from the pick slip and then scans the barcode in the storage compartment. This scanning confirms the retrieval transaction in SAP and the inventory status is automatically updated. When the pick is confirmed by touching the sensor in the smartglasses, the Lean-Lift® automatically transports a new container to the access point – no other input is required.

MAN Diesel & Turbo SE uses a priority-based system in SAP to ensure maximum performance and fast response times. Thus even orders with a low priority are efficiently processed at just the right time.

Every order item is processed according to a time-optimized schedule. In other words, when a component from the first lift is being picked and packed, the second lift system is already bringing another container with the next item to the access point. Hänel Lean-Lifts® in the High-Speed Generation also boost picking performance dramatically.

The MAN intralogistics solution is also unique when it comes to the ergonomic requirements of employees. All items are weighed before being placed in the storage system. A ‘traffic light’ system shows where components of various weights should be placed on the containers. 

This is helpful for employees with disabilities. The City of Oberhausen even provided some funding for this solution from budgets earmarked for workers with special needs.

The integration of the SOAP protocol in the Hänel controller supports direct communication channels to various ERP systems. The MP 12 N controller then serves as the terminal for the host system!

'Controlling Hänel Lean-Lifts® through smartglasses via dedicated SAP app is a ground-breaking industry innovation.

The smartglasses do more than just display all pick and put transactions: They also generate transport commands for the Hänel Lean-Lifts® via the SOAP interface.'

Malte Sietz
Head of Intralogistics