German logistics specialists Agility Fairs & Events and Danzas Messen have worked together to deliver a state-of-the-art printing solution to Messe Frankfurt (Frankfurt Fairgrounds) using the latest printing technology from Citizen Systems Europe.
In 2007, the Frankfurt Fairgrounds chose to work solely with Agility and Danzas Messen, a subsidiary of DHL, to manage the setting up and dismantling of the exhibition booths on-site. This was intended to offer exhibitors and booth construction companies an efficient and integrated solution and also to reduce the volume of traffic on the fairgrounds.
Ralf Chmielewski, Agilitys manager of Fairs & Events at Frankfurt explained, Messe Frankfurt wanted to take a completely new approach to trade fair logistics. They were looking to create a simpler, more clearly structured, and service-oriented solution that conserved resources and could be carried out in accordance with best practices.
Agility and Danzas Messen were faced with the challenge of developing a solution for managing all the orders on a centralised system through the newly established Cargo Centre, making the best possible use of its resources. Ralf Chmielewski continued, In a short period of time we needed to develop a shared IT solution strategy that would allow all three partners, Messe Frankfurt, Agility and Danzas, to simultaneously access all the information on each order, so that all orders could be processed in collaboration.
To achieve this efficiently an electronic solution was needed. All employees would be given a mobile handheld device so they could communicate information on orders, changes and performance-related data in real time, and also feed new information into the system.
A need for printed receipts
According to Olaf Bosse, Production Manager for Germany at Danzas Messen, Many customers were still asking for some form of printed evidence for their files to prove that services had actually been provided. Therefore, we had to make sure all employees were equipped with a mobile printer that would work together with the handheld device to produce a physical receipt. When it came to finding a printer there simply wasnt time to conduct our own feasibility tests, so we decided to rely on the positive experiences that Deutsche Post [part of the Danzas Group] had with mobile printing devices from Citizen Systems Europe.
An order was placed for a total of 200 PD24 mobile printers. Thanks to the high-speed thermal head, the printer is very fast; capable of printing a 6 inch receipt in just 3 seconds. Furthermore, it features a shoulder strap making it easy to carry, can be operated using one hand, and allows a paper roll to be loaded in just a few seconds. The printer is easily connected to the handheld device using a Bluetooth interface as standard.
Development under pressure
Olaf Bosse added, We only had six months to develop a completely new logistics programme. Parusel und Sthlen, Citizens sales partner based in Darmstadt, supplied us with the 200 printers we needed, in addition to spare rechargeable batteries to ensure 24 hour operation, although even more powerful batteries had been installed at our request. Their communication and attention to our needs really convinced us wed made the right choice.
In addition, CLP-521 label printers from Citizen were also purchased for printing delivery labels at the Cargo Centre, where shipments from overseas are stored. Thanks to the CLP-521s metal Hi-Lift mechanism, the print head can be raised vertically, which makes it much easier to install media or ribbons. This also results in less downtime and helps to avoid mistakes. Using the printers, shipments can be recorded when they arrive at Incoming Goods and a label applied to them that contains all the necessary data, such as exhibition, exhibitor, hall, booth number and desired time of delivery.
A proven solution
This logistics solution has now been in use since December 2007. Olaf Bosse commented, In terms of the technology, we are extremely satisfied with the hardware we selected, because both the handheld devices and the printers have really proven themselves. For instance, although weve already been using them for 12 months, we havent seen any breakdowns in our printing equipment.
Ralf Chmielewski added, Frankfurt is currently the only fairground in Germany that uses such a transparent logistics system. All three partners involved are able to provide information on every shipment that has been processed and entered into the system. This makes it possible to complete the procedures on our grounds in a more efficient and well-planned manner. In addition, there is considerably less traffic on the fairgrounds and we avoid having to make repeat trips. In summary, weve really succeeded in meeting Messe Frankfurts requirements.
Citizen Systems Europe
Citizen Systems Europe operates from locations throughout Europe covering the EMEA region. It offers a wide range of printers for industrial, retail, healthcare and mobile applications specialising in label, barcode, portable and point-of-sale printers. In each case, the companys products are sold and supported by a network of specialised partners.