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Bottleneck eliminated 25/03/2019

When growth at Korean firm Hanmi Pharmaceutical Co meant order processing and picking lines were too slow to handle the orders in time, system integrator SMCORE proposed the Avancon ZPC-Conveyor concept.

The logistics centre in Paltan, South Korea, operated by subsidiary Online-Pharm Co, handles more than 10,000 orders during peak times. SMCORE installed shelving, a pick-to-light system and a new picking zone concept using the Avancon Conveyor system, eliminating the bottleneck.

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 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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New ideas for materials handling 26/02/2017

With a goal to revolutionise unit handling systems in distribution and logistics centres, Swiss startup Avancon SA is offering a modern and innovative conveying system. ZPC-system is to be distributed worldwide by manufacturers of conveyor systems and logistic system integrators, it has been developed by Dieter Specht, the founder of the Interroll Group.

The car industry, the computer industry and even the machine industry present every few years new and modern designed models. Why? To be able to attack new markets and new customers. However, it is hard to see something new in the conveyor industry. Most of the unit conveyor systems were developed 15, 20 or even 50 years ago and are still sold today in a construction, which remembers on the patents of the British toy manufacturer Frank Hornby, who has already registered his patent of a “Meccano” kit in 1901.

Now, the two young founders of the start-up Avancon SA are ready to revolutionise the conveyor industry with this new and streamlined concept. It’s full of innovative and functional ideas and has been patented worldwide.

Originally, Dieter Specht had developed the system for Interroll, but it didn’t fit the company's philosophy, so he found two enthusiastic entrepreneurs: Denis Ratz, who has a bachelor of science in business informatics and Dr. Daniele Gambetta, who has a PhD in electric machines, and they established Avancon SA (from Avant-garde and Conveyor).

“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 color to the final market, the operators of logistics and distribution centres.

Denis Ratz 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, Dr. Daniele Gambetta, 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’ – 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 Dr. Daniele Gambetta. “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, which have to be transported millions of times worldwide every day, 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 a lot of courage to break into such an established market today. But who would not want to offer their customers something very aesthetic, even revolutionising, which differs to all previous designs?

Why aesthetic? Well, ask yourself: would you buy today a machine, which is not modern covered? Now you can offer your customers something extraordinary that combines innovation with emotions.

Denis Ratz 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 400m conveyor tracks for 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. That’s fantastic!"

‘ZPC’ system means "Zone Powered Conveyor" system, in which each zone is controlled and driven separately. The system is extremely flexible and adaptable. It is 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 in any direction with all functions. Last but not least it seems to be much cheaper than it looks.

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