GRAND RAPIDS — The firm astride the 500 block on Plymouth NE — then called Rapistan — was already a formidable name in warehousing and conveyor systems when it became famous by salvaging the luggage conveyor mess at Denver International Airport.
Well, the firm — still headquartered on Plymouth — now has two months under its belt as what one might call a full-service logistics provider-plus.
It was on Oct. 1 that Siemens AG, headquartered in Munich, announced that completion of the integration of Siemens Dematic Corp., of Grand Rapids, with Siemens Dematic Postal Automation LP, of Arlington, Texas, and Siemens Dematic Electronic Assembly Systems, of Norcross, Ga.
The combined organization became Siemens Logistics and Assembly Systems Inc. (Siemens L&A).
The consolidated firm consists of four business units:
Airport Logistics — dealing with airport baggage, cargo and security.
Distribution and Industry — dealing with integrated material handling for retail, wholesale, manufacturing, assembly and in-process operations.
Electronics Assembly — pick-and-place technology for the electronics industry.
Postal Automation — managing letter, flats and parcel mail sorting and handling.
According to its CEO, Prashant Ranade, Siemens L&A supplies a full range of products and services, from individual products and systems to complete turnkey facilities as a general contractor.
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In turn, the Siemens L&A Group is a major component of Siemens AG, a global electronics and engineering company that reported international sales of $80.5 billion in fiscal 2003.
Among the challenges which the locally headquartered Siemens L&A says it is exploring are:
- Using transponder technology to track ” target=_self>goods in the food and beverages industries, to buttress security for customers and manufacturers.
- Developing ” target=_self>competence centers for mid-size business, to explore improved returns through retrofitting
- Exploring ” target=_self>RFID for new opportunities in logistics smart labels now on the threshold to the mass market.
- Flexible assembly at Audi Ingolstadt plants.
- The transparent factory, which it terms “a new dimension” in automotive assembly.
- A new automatic mail forwarding system called PARS.
- Developing ” target=_self>e-logistics from the Internet order right through to delivery.
According to Johann Loettner, president of the Logistics and Assembly Systems Group of Siemens AG, Siemens L&A will be better positioned to leverage synergies among other Siemens operating companies. He said the company expects this integration to benefit its customers through increased efficiencies, greater speed and more tailored solutions.
“Logistics automation is a strategic component of Siemens’ industrial business,” Loettner added.
“By merging these companies, we can more effectively leverage our strength as a global market leader to achieve greater economies of scale and innovation to improve our offerings to our customers.”
Ranade said that at Siemens L&A, customers “will continue to receive superior products, service and innovative solutions.
“We know that reliability, efficiency and speed need to be increased in every aspect of our customers’ business to remain competitive.
“Additionally, comprehensive customer service and support are important components of successful logistics and assembly operations.
“To that end,” Ranade added, “we have bundled our service activities globally to offer solutions that are flexible for the unique needs of each of the industries we serve, but also consistent and reliable in terms of quality and efficiency.
“Our goal is to offer our customers the right products and services to ensure the most efficient systems and greatest life cycle return.”