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Potential of current digital technologies in the intralogistics sector for SMEs

  • The level of automation in intralogistics has steadily increased over recent years. For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), however, the associated digital change is a major challenge. Since most SMEs are facing increasing sales volumes (e.g. due to e-commerce and good overall economy) in combination with decreasing lot sizes due to the market demand for individualized products, SMEs have to find innovative solutions to cope with these challenges in production as well as in logistics. Innovative technologies, like 3D printing technologies for the production for small lot sizes and future-oriented intralogistics technologies can serve as enablers in logistics to realize flexible logistic processes for increasing market requiremments. Considering that, this paper examines innovative and future-oriented technologies for intralogistics such as smart containers, driverless forklift systems, data glasses, smart shelves and smart pallets regarding their potential for SMEs. This explorative research paper shows that digital technologies are already suitable and available for SMEs.However, challenges are still seen in areas like the identification and digitalization potential and the financing of these new projects. The primary reason escpecially for SMEs for this is that they have to make investments based on an economically feasible payback period and less based on prestigious reasons like digitalization flagship projecs done by large corporations. In addition, the identification of feasible starting points for digitalization within intralogistic systems embedded in specific factory processes is a major challenge not only for SMEs.

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Author of HS ReutlingenVogt, Raphael; Hummel, Vera; Schuhmacher, Jan
Erschienen in:Journal of engineering, management and operations
Place of publication:Wien
Document Type:Article
Year of Publication:2018
Page Number:17
First Page:79
Last Page:95
Tats├Ąchlich erschienen 2019
PPN:Im Katalog der Hochschule Reutlingen ansehen
DDC classes:330 Wirtschaft
Open Access?:Nein