Live and In Color—the World of Material Handling 2022

A complete overview of the innovations in the intralogistics industry. An efficient interplay of the latest products and solutions. A chance to try out innovations for yourself. Expert, eye-to-eye discussions on current and emerging challenges: That’s what the World of Material Handling (WoMH) is all about. Across 17,000 square meters of exhibition space, the industry event—hosted by the KION brand Linde Material Handling—features many practical examples to demonstrate first-hand just how efficient intralogistics can be in the 21st century.

“We love Material Handling” appears in huge letters on one wall of the Mannheim May Market. And that phrase is to be taken literally, as there is no escaping the sheer passion for intralogistics at the event in Mannheim. The World of Material Handling is an industry event like no other. The idea is that, guests don’t just come for a whistle-stop tour of the exhibitors’ stands, like at other trade fairs. Instead, this unique trade fair gives visitors the opportunity to experience the products and solutions all day long in realistic application scenarios – live and in action. This year, a total of 22 companies are presenting their product and solution portfolios at WoMH. “It is fantastic to be back here meeting people and spending the whole day together,” says Stefan Prokosch, Senior Vice President Brand Management at the host company Linde Material Handling, “and we really do need all that time to share all the messages we want to share at WoMH.”

“YOUR WAY IS OUR WAY”: Hands-On Intralogistics

The motto of the 2022 event is “YOUR WAY IS OUR WAY”. This puts the client at the heart of everything. In other words, “Your requirements are our requirements, your challenge is our challenge,” explains Prokosch. The framework conditions in intralogistics have changed significantly over the past few years, partly due to the demand for more automation and digitalization, the increase in energy prices, the lack of specialist personnel, even more stringent work safety requirements, and the search for more sustainable solutions. One point that Prokosch is particularly keen to highlight is that “energy and alternative drives are the topics of the decade.” And you might say that Linde Material Handling is perfectly equipped for that, with an extensive portfolio of industrial trucks with innumerable types of drive for the customer to choose from. Alongside classic IC trucks such as diesel forklifts, customers also have the option of lead-acid and modern lithium-ion batteries, as well as cutting-edge fuel cell technology. Deciding which drive is best suited to each customer and each region is easy with the help of a handy consultation tool, the Linde Energy Navigator. According to Prokosch, the sheer breadth of options available reflects the fundamental approach of Linde Material Handling, which aims to offer exactly the right solution for each individual customer.

Several thousands of visitors are expected to attend the WoMH in Mannheim, which is held across a total of nine days. And the idea is not just for them to watch and listen, but to actively participate in the event themselves. With this in mind, the outdoor area features more than 100 different forklift trucks for visitors to test drive. And this hands-on approach also extends to the main hall of the fair, where a complete goods flow scenario has been constructed, demonstrating the real-life set-up that exists in many customers’ warehouses, or that they might expect in the future. All the work flows, from goods receipt through to storage, order picking and production, all the way to last mile delivery, are demonstrated live and in action.

The message here is clear: All these work steps can be carried out efficiently, safely, ergonomically, and sustainably with the right products and solutions. The so-called ‘control center’, which demonstrates the advantages of networking and digitalization, shows that these processes can also be monitored, controlled and optimized in real time. For example, the ‘connect’ fleet management system allows the user to see the location of all trucks in the fleet at all times via a screen, as well as who is operating each truck, the current state of charge (in the case of electric forklifts), and which routes the trucks are traveling. Every new Linde truck also has a digital doppelgänger— a virtual twin, which makes industry 4.0 applications such as truck health management, remote diagnostics, and predictive maintenance a reality.

Linde Material Handling Presents a Broad Portfolio of Services and Solutions

“In the past, Linde Material Handling has been viewed primarily as a product manufacturer,” says SVP Brand Management Stefan Prokosch. Although, as Prokosch says, strong products are still key to a company’s success, the Linde brand has progressed considerably in recent years. “Over time, we have evolved into a provider of comprehensive intralogistics solutions,” explains Prokosch. In fact, there are several themed stands throughout the exhibition space, showcasing everything Linde has to offer, which is much more than just individual trucks! For example, visitors can peruse the extensive portfolio of assistance systems like Linde Safety Guard, the variety of energy systems, configuration and optimization tools, as well as a whole range of options for automation.

Speaking of automation, it is in this groundbreaking segment that Linde Material Handling has three new products to show off: the driverless tow tractor Linde P-MATIC with automatic tugger train trailers, the second generation of the R-MATIC automated reach truck, and autonomous mobile robots with transport platforms for supplying conveyor belts. But even here the WoMH is not so concerned with the products themselves, but rather how these products can be integrated into efficient work flows. It also aims to answer typical (customer) questions like these: Which work steps can be viably automated? How can we support employees with partial automation? What software do we need in order to manage processes transparently and efficiently?

Facing the Future with Partners You Can Count On – Dematic & ifesca

As KION brand Dematic aims to demonstrate as a partner of both Linde Material Handling and the World of Material Handling, the KION Group is able to combine solutions from its various brands in order to provide a fully automated supply chain. “Together, Dematic and Linde Material Handling are able to cover a huge proportion of intralogistical application requirements from one source,” says Thomas Meyer-Jander, Director Marketing & Communications EMEA at Dematic. This has many benefits for the customer, making things simpler, shortening lead times, and increasing safety and productivity. “The WoMH demonstrates these advantages to all visitors,” Meyer-Jander continues. From the partial automation of individual work steps to fully automated warehouses, together Linde and Dematic are able to offer a huge range of solutions.

Dematic is using WoMH as an opportunity to show how, with the aid of the ‘AutoStore’ automated small parts storage system, high-density storage makes especially efficient use of space and surface area. Another impressive solution is the Dematic Touchtable, a high-resolution interface which provides a comprehensive overview of processes and is an outstanding addition to the company’s data analysis tools. Of course, the experts from Dematic will be around on-site to discuss all the other products and solutions, too. After all, that’s the whole idea of the WoMH: Giving visitors the opportunity to have face-to-face discussions with the experts about current and emerging challenges in the intralogistics industry.

There is also another WoMH partner attracting attention at the Mannheim event—specifically in the field of energy management. The technology company ifesca, in which KION is a stakeholder, supplies software modules that are breaking ground in the optimization of energy utilization. With its AI-based solutions, ifesca has made it possible to schedule charging times with perfect precision for industrial trucks with lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries. This allows the user to predict energy peaks, plan demand forecasts and calculate costs more efficiently—an advantage that fits perfectly with the overall ethos of the WoMH. After all, as Linde expert Stefan Prokosch points out, energy is the key issue of this decade.

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Europe’s largest intralogistics trade fair is once again open to visitors