A small blue box for more security
At Rudolph Logistik every driver has his own transponder. This means that he will “release” his vehicle before he starts work. With Mobile Easykey, the logistical operator from north Hesse has increased the safety and at the same time the cost-effectiveness of his vehicle fleet.
Early in the morning I meet Volker Quirin, the developer and inventor of Mobile Easykey. We have an appointment in Friedrichsdorf near Frankfurt am Main, Domnick + Müller – the company behind the fleet management system. We want to visit a customer of the market leader: the Rudolph Logistik Group – a global player in the logistics business with 5,000 employees and 40 locations worldwide. Soon we are standing in front of the two 140,000 square meters of halls of the Automotive Division of Rudolph Logistik in the rural Volkmarsen – Hesse’s largest covered storage area. Rudolph stores spare parts from automotive manufacturers there and sends them mainly to their central warehouses, worldwide. The parts leave Volkmarsen by truck or over their own railway ramp, with 220 meters one of the largest in Germany. 80 employees are active in up to three shifts at the site.
Against the unauthorized use of forklift trucks
In the meeting room, we meet Hans Christian Sproedt, who was responsible for the introduction of Mobile Easykey at the Volkmarsen site in the automotive division of Rudolph Logistik. “The beginnings with the system have, so to speak, grown historically. Only in the course of time has become clear to us how powerful and helpful Mobile Easykey is, “says Sproedt. Volkmarsen was the first location where the fleet management was used with all its possibilities. All Jungheinrich forklift trucks are equipped with the small blue box, which sends and receives their data via WLAN to the software, Mobile Easykey Manager. The drivers have an individual transponder chip. Further there are also the so-called master- and workshop transponder for testing and releasing after triggered crash alarms and for transfer to the workshop. “Since we implemented Mobile Easykey, the cost of impact damage has been reduced and, of course, the security for our employees
has significantly improved, “explains Steffen Rödger, who is responsible for the quality management and training of the employees in Volkmarsen. He is responsible for fleet management on site, trains employees and monitors the maintenance and testing dates of the forklifts with the Mobile Easykey Manager.
Successful pilot project
After the pilot project at 10 locations, Mobile Easykey is now gradually being rolled out at further locations in Germany for all business areas. The responsibility is now in the hands of Andreas Pfeiffer, who is responsible for the energy and fleet management of the industrial trucks in the Rudolph Group. We meet him in the company center in Baunatal, a half-hour drive from Volkmarsen. In addition to the implementation of Mobile Easykey, Pfeiffer takes care of the structure of the data stock in the software. All costs incurred during the operation of the forklifts are recorded and can thus be exactly allocated to the operating hours. The aim is to obtain a cost-effectiveness analysis, centrally from Baunatal, for each individual forklift at the push of a button, for each location. The Mobile Easykey software makes this possible – as soon as the data has been entered. According to Pfeiffer, it is particularly interesting to know the exact hours of use, an important decision-making aid for future leasing agreements. Andreas Pfeiffer from the Mobile Easykey software draws another, quite unexpected benefit: “In the meantime, we have also recorded all devices subject to mandatory testing, from the telephone to the roller shutter, and filed the maintainace dates. What used to be done in various Excel lists is now accessible at every location and centrally!” Hans Christian Sproedt, the project planner at Rudolph Automotive, has also arrived at the headquarters in Baunatal. In the final talk, he points out the importance of the cooperation between Mobile Easykey and the forklift manufacturers. “Today, when ordering a forklift, we can simply tick the order box to include Mobile Easykey and its interface.”
An interface for the industry
Volker Quirin then explains how it came to the interface. “We had the first contacts with the VDI about three years ago. This is where an interface is developed for the entire industry. In addition, we have developed our own interface in close cooperation with Jungheinrich, Linde and Crown. “In addition to the simplified assembly, the advantage is that the original data from the forklift truck, which would otherwise have to be generated via additional installed hardware, is taken over.
“We should not forget that it is always about the safety of our employees. We would like to be better than industry standard, “Hans Christian Sproedt draws concludes at the end of the conversation. “But of course, it is also about costs. In addition to a drop in impact damages, we also note that the forklift fleet is growing slower than the capacity utilization at our sites, “says Sproedt. Another factor was favored by the introduction of Mobile Easykey: “All data remain with us in the house and do not end up in any cloud.”
INFO How the idea was born
Volker Quirin is the inventor of Mobile Easykey. He describes the development of Mobile Easykey: “The Frankfurt airport was a customer of Domnick+Müller. More and more impact damage has occurred, and these have become increasingly costly. The customer wanted an access control – the nucleus for Mobile Easykey. From pure access control over the last 15 years, a comprehensive kit with patented crash sensor technology and comprehensive possibilities for fleet optimization has been developed. With 70,000 units sold, we are now the market leader in the manufacturer- independent systems.”
Photo: Rudolph Logistik, Location Volkmarsen; from left to right (in the foreground): Steffen Rödger, Hans Christian Sproedt, Volker Quirin
Source: Materialfluss 5/2016