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Samsung introduces shipping sorter 02/12/2019

Avancon has helped build a sorting system for a Samsung DC in Korea which handles small units - like the new Galaxy Note 10 - and larger boxes and other products as well.

The requirements for the sorting and distribution system included a very short delivery time, fitting into a relatively small existing area, and fast enough while handling goods gently. The system also had to be safe for operators and economical.

Avancon conveyor systems and OTU (Omnidirectional Transfer Units) provide the basis for the sorting and distribution system.

The Avancon team were under intense pressure as this complex sorting system had to be produced within four weeks.

The question was how the system could be accommodated in the existing space and how 30,000 cartons per day could be quickly distributed to 28 destinations. They discussed different layouts and visited Hanmi Pharmaceutics which had an Avancon order picking system in operation for more than a year.

The decision-makers and employees of Samsung were able to see how it could work for them.

There was not much room between the 28 electronically controlled chutes. The plug-in concept and the simplicity of the control system based on the famous ASi fieldbus enabled Avancon and Asetec to meet Samsung's requirements.

Of course, during the trial period, there were several other issues that Avancon was not responsible for. The barcode reader, the communication to the higher- level IT system and the coordination between the order picking and the Avancon-controlled sorters with the roller-conveyor-chutes. Thanks to Asetec and Samsung, everything went on time.

When Samsung began shipping the new Galaxy Note 10, everything worked well.

The Avancon concept proved more economical, quieter and of superior design compared to other existing solutions such as the cross-belt sorters, shoe and tilt tray sorting system.

Watch the full system video.

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New concept for a safe conveyor technology 03/09/2019

This modern conveyor system is produced and marketed by Avancon SA, Switzerland and was developed by Dieter Specht, the co-founder of the Interroll Group. The sophisticated full system is first and foremost focused on safety.

The American Administration for Occupation, Safety and Health (OSHA) reported 25 serious accidents involving roller and belt conveyors in 2017, of which 2 were fatal. Certainly, there are different safety regulations for safety in all countries. But even if a life roller conveyor driven by round belts or poly-V belts or other drives is provided with a safeguard so as not to interfere with your finger from the outside, there is no protection from below.

As reported here: A young woman with frizzy hair carries some small objects and passes along a driven roller conveyor. Suddenly, something falls down and rolls under the driven roller track. She bends down under the conveyor in order to pick it up from the rear part. Then, at that moment, her frizzy hair engages from below into the drive mechanism. Her head is pulled up and completely torn off with the scalp. She screams terribly. Colleagues rush up, immediately push the emergency stop and pull the injured woman from under the roller conveyor with blood all over. A horrible sight!

But this cannot happen anymore with the new avancon ZPC-Conveyor system.

"Such a video-clip I saw a few years ago in a TV health broadcast, which was about hair transplantation with former injured people," explains Dieter Specht.

“I couldn't get it out of my mind. I thought, how can a conveyor system be so unsafe, still today? - I decided to develop a new conveying concept, which has all drive elements installed inside the closed frames to become absolutely safe – even if somebody grasp from below.”

This secure and progressive conveyor system is for the internal transport of boxes, trays, work carriers, luggage, packages, bags, just of about 80% of all goods which have to be transported daily, million times, in the internal logistics in postal distribution and e-commerce companies worldwide. But this avant-garde system is different and revolutionary. It offers a significant improvement over all other unit handling conveyors systems.

Here, not only new rollers were developed, not just a new profile system or a different drive system, not only an intelligent electronic control system. This is really a remarkable futuristic, self-contained concept.

Dieter Specht, the co-founder of the Interroll Group, did not want to develop everything in and around the rollers as he had done before.

He explains: "The drive head was directly connected to the roller. At that time, we were a roller manufacturer. We left the responsibility to the conveyor manufacturer; how safe he designed his conveyors. Today rollers with connected drive heads are obsolete."

The new modern conveyor system is an integrated concept for universal applications for the internal logistic and distribution centres.

The inside mounted distinguished drive concept, the clever control concept and the refined roller concept are harmonised to a stunning aesthetical conveyor system, which is flexible, works autonomously, safely and reliably. Nothing is visible from outside, it is clean and suitable to fit to modern machine centres and modern architecture." This avant-garde "ZPC" system (Zone Powered Conveyor), is strict constructed into zones and reduces energy up to 84 %.

It is patented worldwide as a new platform and creates a unique experience. Everything is installed inside: the complete drive system via toothed belts or "2-V-belt" in curves. The control system based on the field bus "ASinterface" is able to interact with each higher bus or IT infrastructure.

There is the closed frame system, made of natural anodized aluminum profiles, from which nothing sticks out, no screws, no rods, no cable connectors, no power-supply boxes at which one can be injured by walking alongside the conveyor, - and it feels like silk. Various roller-combinations are possible - very economical. The pitch of the rollers can be down to 38 mm, so that nobody can put his finger anymore between the rollers.

See here this Avancon Conveyors, installed at the security checkpoints in various airports in USA. People can walk alongside the conveyors – nothing sticks out, not even a screw-head. You can touch it everywhere, even from underneath. It is absolutely safe. Of course, there are curves, diverters, up-and-down-transport as well as special versions for the transport of sensitive goods.

The extrusion process of the patented aluminum profiles has been designed with ribs inside, in which all elements are simply snapped in, as the ball bearing housings, the controls, the photo sensors, the cables and soon a new flat motor. This means that everything is very fast and easy assembled and simple to maintain. The two profile shells are held together at the end just by a T-head bolt, which simultaneously serves to secure the foot-stands.

“We assume that this modern and modular conveyor system can compete with any other system, when it is installed and put into operation,” says CEO Christian Dürst.

“This futuristic material handling system will exceed all expectations and additionally, it creates emotions. Sure, the heart of each manager of a logistic centre will beat faster, if he imagines such a modern and avant-garde system in his modern distribution centre.”

For more information visit www.avancon.com

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Supporting rapid growth for pharma supplier 21/02/2019

Pharma firm meets growing demand with an Avancon conveyor system.

Fast-growing Korean firm Hanmi Pharmaceutical Co supplies B2B eCommerce customers such as chemists and wholesalers. Hanmi was growing but the order processing and picking lines were too slow to handle the orders in time. Its 10 years old equipment had to be replaced and the system integrator SMCORE proposed them the Avancon ZPC-Conveyor concept. 

The logistics centre in Paltan, South Korea, operating by subsidiary Online-Pharm Co handles more than 10,000 orders / 13,000 boxes during Peak. SMCORE installed shelving and the pick-to-light system and a new picking zone concept using the Avancon Conveyor system. With this new solution, the bottleneck was eliminated.

The Avancon ZPC (Zone Powered Conveyor) System provides more dynamic buffer space with its ZPC-function. In addition, the new solution includes a looping system. When a certain picking zone is full, the next box goes automatically around the loop and tries to enter the same zone later, when the free space is available. Avancon OTUs, the Omni-directional Transfer Units, provide smooth and fast transfer where the box has to be diverted or transferred to another conveyor line or around a corner. Thanks to these most modern materials handling systems the entire line speed – including the existing area – has been increased by 17% including the picking performance.

The modular ZPC-System can be easily extended. So three more zone conveyors were installed. The client liked that the conveyors were safe. Everything protected inside the conveyor frame – including the drive system and the control system. Nothing sticks out – not even a screw-head. Now operatives freely work around the Avancon conveyors.

Avancon was able to manage the project within the required time thanks to its “plug-in” concept. All modules were pre-assembled, pre-programmed and tested before shipping from the factory in Switzerland. It also provides more vertical space because there is no more cable ducts underneath. This is a great advantage for those who have to follow the global GMP regulation because now they can clean the space underneath the conveyor very easily.

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Autonomous conveyor technology 19/11/2018

Avancon has launched a conveyor system, which allows customers to save costs for controlling and programming.

It controls itself, even very part of large and complex material handling systems in logistics centres. The key economic advantages are that a control cabinet or cable ducts are not necessary. The firm says integration into a higher bus / IT topology is incredibly easy for the system, which operators as a ZPC (zone powered conveyor) concept. 

"We want to save our customers work and costs. That's why we're building this ZPC concept, a zoned propulsion system. The advantages are obvious, both for the conveyor manufacturer and for the system integrator. This concerns the planning, the realisation, the maintenance and last but not least the energy savings. It is very simple and controls itself, and so it works completely autonomously,” says Dr Daniele Gambetta, the technical manager of Avancon.

“Generally speaking, a huge ZPC-conveyor system can be operated, without a higher bus or IT infrastructure. It does not cost more, because these ZPC systems are already pre-programmed. This means that no further programming effort and no central control cabinet, as well as no cable ducts on the construction site are necessary. However, the ZPC controller can communicate with almost any higher bus/IT architecture,” he adds.

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Versatile conveying system 03/10/2018

Avancon has released a component that allows users build a variety of switches, diverters, crossings, corners, x-double-crossings and even sorters for complex and large conveyor systems.

These systems can be used to handle boxes and cartons of any size throughout the DC. This patented element is called OTU (Omnidirectional Transfer Unit), produced and delivered by Avancon, Switzerland.

The technology is said to be versatile and universally usable in these systems. It can be deployed for transporting nearly all kind of goods into any desired direction. It can be used in most industries and fits into almost all conveyor constructions by the use of aluminum profiles underneath. It comes assembled to OTU-tables, which are equipped with a power supply, BLDC-motors and the necessary controls and programmed for your application. 

Application examples include:

  • A Corner-Solution and a Transfer-Solution installed in a picking line, at a big pharmaceutical producer and distributor in Korea, where on two lines a circle for the two typical picking lines were installed. 

  • A new developed Airport Security Line for hand baggage with modern CT scanning. It will be installed in many Airports worldwide by the CT-X-ray producer. 

  • A warehouse application that is fast enough to meet the sequences of stacker-cranes in high bay storage to distribute 10,000 packages per hour to 8 destinations. 

  • This sorter shows the advantage of the OTU-diverter, which transports the goods directly in a curved way to the right and/or left. In this case directly to the straight chutes. It is installed at one of the largest distributors for Car and Motorcycle parts in India by Bastian Solutions. 
  • Another application is this Xdouble crossing, which is able to transfer whether straight-in-line or crosswise from one line to a parallel line. With a flat construction, two lines can be installed one above the other.

  • As a transfer from one lane to the other, OTU transfer tables can be used, where an inclining- and declining conveyor can discharge boxes on any floor of the building.

  • Instead of installing a long line of rollers diagonally, which is complicated to build and expensive, these OTU-bricks solve the problem. In this case the direction is fixed. The application is used before barcode readers, when boxes or cartons have different dimensions.

The OTU tables can be used in many more cases, as for picking in front of a high bay storage or for moving goods into the straight direction or to move goods around corners or to move goods just out of a powered line for inspection.

The OTUs are designed to carry a load 10kg each and to move with a speed up to 1.5 m/s into any direction (360°).

http://www.avancon.com/otu.html

http://www.avancon.com/conveyor-system-videos.html

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Self-controlled conveyor system launched 11/03/2018

The Swiss company Avancon SA has launched a conveyor system, which allows customers to save costs for controlling and programming.

It controls itself, even very large and complex material handling systems in logistics centres. The key economic advantages are that a control cabinet or cable ducts are not necessary. Integration into a higher bus / IT topology is said to be easy with the new ZPC system from Avancon.

“We want to save our customers work and costs. That's why we're building this ZPC concept, a zoned propulsion system. The advantages are obvious, both for the conveyor manufacturer and for the system integrator. This concerns the planning, the realisation, the maintenance and last but not least the energy savings. It is very simple and controls itself, so it works completely autonomously,” says Dr Daniele Gambetta, the technical manager of Avancon SA.

“Generally speaking, a huge ZPC-conveyor system can be operated, without a higher bus or IT infrastructure. Since we only use this concept, it does not cost more, because these ZPC systems are already pre-programmed. This means that no further programming effort and no central control cabinet, as well as no cable ducts on the construction site are necessary. However, the ZPC controller can communicate with almost any higher bus/IT architecture.”

Externally everything is smooth, closed and with a modern design. You don’t see whether a motor nor a control system or cables. Everything is hidden, safe and clean installed within the profile frame, even the power supply and in the future also the brushless DC motors. 

However, if one still wants to intervene into the system, make processes visible or wants to receive a warning signal when an element fails out or a motor is overloaded, Avancon has a ready made solution for this. 

But not only, if further devices such as lifts, stacker-cranes and retrieval machines, packaging and palletising machines or robots have to be integrated, this is also possible, provided that other bus systems for this purpose have already been foreseen.

"OK, that's easy," says Denis Ratz, CEO of Avancon SA, "Our control system is equipped with the necessary intelligence and is able to communicate with nearly any higher bus and IT architecture. That can be done very easily and without big expenses, too. That's our advantage. For large systems we are usually very economical, provided that the integrator has understood the system philosophy and follows our guidelines."

From a mechanical point of view, all control elements can be mounted without tools, without screws and without cable fixings. This simplifies the assembly and also the maintenance can be carried out quickly and at very low cost.

For the customer, everything in the firmware is already pre-programmed, even for crossings and switches and sorting lines. In the lower level, the globally known and hard-coded AS- interface fieldbus is used, which already performs many functions. You can visit the website ‘www.as-interface.net’ and download the user manual to your mobile phone.

Apart from that, there are no DIP-switches to operate and no commands for stopping and starting need to be programmed. A maximum of 31 zones of the ZPC system are controlled and monitored by an AS-interface master.

If required, the internal ZPC network can also be equipped with an MCC (Main Control Centre), which has a preprogrammed processing unit (PLC) and a modular gateway to almost all higher bus/IT systems. Generally, Avancon recommends the MCC for larger and more complex systems. It can also take on a lot of other features. Mostly several AS-interface masters are necessary, but they can communicate with each other in the ZPC network, so that there are no limits to the size of a material flow system.

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Omnidirectional transfer units 10/10/2017

With the new and versatile OTU (Omnidirectional Transfer Unit) from Avancon, all goods are guided in different directions by moving in line of a natural curve or a crossing with the OTU.

Key elements allow easy construction of any sized crossing or diverter in a conveyor systems using versatile OTU-bricks. It is also possible to build crossover transport, sideways movements or sorters.

The OTU component moves goods in almost any direction and can be used for purposes such as infeeds, switches, diverters, crossing, transfers, sorters and so on. The OTUs can be universally combined to 'OTU tables' in any length and width, adjusted respectively to the largest product to be conveyed (cardboard boxes, plastic boxes or, indeed, anything else with a flat base).

The single element, which consists of several detailed parts made of strong techno-polymers, measures 75 x 75 x 133mm in size and is assembled with the belt and combined with a toothed rack, which enables movement of the rollers in any direction (nearly 360°). For instance, in a diverter/switch the transporting rollers build a natural curve to transport the goods into the right or left direction. Transport can be carried out smoothly and at speed, but uses less space.

The wheels have PU (Polyurethane) tyres and are powered via bevel gear system within each element. This cannot be seen from outside.

The concept is to drive and move everything electrically directly with the standard DC gear-motors of 48V and 40W. The whole construction can be built to a very small height, saving time and money.

Avancon offers also a complete control system, based on the field bus AS-interface. This guarantees a smooth, fast movement. It is also able to communicate with other bus or higher IT-topology.

Producers of conveyor systems can buy the OTU element as individual parts for self-assembly or as the fully assembled OTU table including motors and control units to be mounted under or between any type of conveyor frame construction.

3-in-1 power supply

Together with the well known producer of transformers and power supplies, the Puls-Group, the start-up Avancon has developed a universal power supply unit for the field-bus AS-interface of about 30V and for up to 20 DC-Motors of 24V or 48V – combined and built in a crossbeam of a conveyor frame construction – which is invisible from outside. The system is called “3-in-1” Power Supply.

Avancon says it is a long-standing frustration to have boxes and cabinets fixed to the conveyor lines, or to have expensive cable channels running from central installation cabinets.

“One should make them invisible,” says Dieter Specht, the founder of the Interroll Group and the inventor of the Avancon ZPC-Conveyor system. “So I got the idea to incorporate the power supplies completely inside a crossbeam. Because each conveyor section – whether of 1 metre or 3 metre length needs two crossbeams in order to get a rigid construction. Of these we could use one, specially modified to get room inside for the two different power-supplies. The solution is not only economical but also remarkably easy and aesthetically pleasing.”

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New conveying firm launches 06/03/2017

Swiss startup Avancon SA aims to revolutionise unit handling systems in distribution and logistics centres.

The company offers what it calls a modern and very innovative conveying system, which will be distributed worldwide by manufacturers of conveyor systems and logistic system integrators. The system has been developed by Dieter Specht, the founder of the Interroll Group.

Originally, Dieter Specht had developed this system or Interroll but it didn’t fit their philosophy. So he found two enthusiastic entrepreneurs, Denis Ratz, he has a bachelor of science in business informatics and Dr. Daniele Gambetta, who has a PhD in electric machines. They established Avancon SA (from Avant-garde and Conveyor) in Ticino, Switzerland.

“Of course, we wanted to see the reactions to our completely new and very modern designed conveyor concept,” says Denis Ratz. “Most were positively impressed about the outstanding design. I could answer all their questions about the functions and requirements of the market. After these meetings with CEOs and technical managers of big and well-known companies I was highly motivated.

“Now we are ready. Everything is finished and tested. We can deliver. Several potential customers will visit our large test facility here in Ticino. We believe that the functions and the many advantages of this innovative system will convince them.”

Avancon SA invested heavily into development, in machines, in moulds, patents and in the production. A clever marketing concept enables an exclusive group of conveyor manufacturers and system integrators worldwide to promote the system under their own label/brand and house colour to the final market, the operators of logistics and distribution centre. 

Denis explains: “We want to offer something avant-garde to the manufacturers of conveyors and intralogistics systems. But we don’t want to interfere with the market of our customers and we will not offer to distribution- and logistics-systems directly to operating companies. Even though this modern system will catch the eye of every manager of this industry.”  

The partner and head of technique, Daniele, is an experienced specialist for electronic control and DC-motors. He has patents of completely new DC-motors, which will also be integrated in the future in the Avancon Conveyor System.

“Today – in the digital age of industry-4.0 – the electronic connectivity is of enormous importance. I was very fascinated by the ideas of Dieter Specht, so I have joined this young start-up,” says Daniele. “I have never seen such a convincing new concept in the conveyor industry. Everything is completely different, new, safer and much better. We believe that about 80% of all goods up to 50kg weight can be handled with this new system.”

Meanwhile, the design has been awarded by the internationally well-known Red-Dot price in Germany and also by the very coveted throughout Asia, “Good-Design” award in Japan.

The two partners have shown a lot of courage to break into such an established market today.

Denis says: “|We are very positive about the future. We have just moved into a newly built modern factory, which corresponds to our DNA. Here we have a daily capacity production of up to 400 meters conveyor tracks of our new ZPC- system. Anyone who builds conveyor systems by himself can obtain all individual elements from us and so use the patents free of charge. Several customers want to exhibit the new system at one of their upcoming trade fairs. Last but not least, the system is not as expensive as it looks.”

ZPC system means Zone Powered Conveyor system, in which each zone is controlled and driven separately. The system is flexible, capable of slow or fast transporting in any desired line and, where necessary, can accumulate without pressure. The system can also communicate with higher IT or Bus system very easily and at significantly reduced installation cost. It transports into any direction with all functions.

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