Topas measurement technology for virus and aerosol research – high demand for expertise
Six Hänel Lean-Lift systems with nine access points on two floors enable flexible production. For some 30 years now Topas GmbH in Dresden, Germany, has been developing and manufacturing measurement technology devices and systems for use worldwide. The company is known for innovation and quality when it comes to particle and aerosol technology. The main focus is on the development and production of solutions for creating, measuring and diluting aerosols.
The product portfolio also includes complex equipment for testing filters, filter material and separators. This expertise is currently in high demand due to the global coronavirus pandemic – incoming orders have skyrocketed. With its innovative expertise and original hardware solutions, Topas is contributing to research about how viruses spread [position paper from the German Association for Aerosol Research] in addition to making equipment and systems for testing masks and respirator filters, along with solutions for testing parameters of relevance to filter media.
When planning a new production building, managers included centralized Hänel small parts storage right from the start. Six Hänel Lean-Lift systems are installed vertically through two production floors. Nine access points give employees access to the complete inventory of production components. The high-speed door enables parallel item picking at all access points.
Authorized employees use their own personal RFID transmitters to authenticate their identity at the Hänel system control unit. The user management functions in HänelSoft-N determine who gains access to specified areas of the parts inventory. Warehouse processes are allocated to specific users by name. Precise monitoring and logging of each process step ensure high levels of inventory security.
Seamless integration of customer’s ERP system with HänelSoft-N
Topas developed its own ERP software for use throughout the enterprise. This ERP system and HänelSoft-N are seamlessly integrated through a software interface. Data about inventory levels and stock movements in the Hänel Lean-Lift systems are synchronized with the ERP system. This software interface is important for optimizing production processes. For example, when parts in stock reach minimum levels, replenishments are automatically ordered. Information of relevance to the flow of material is available throughout the company.
Employees can retrieve production parts and components from the Hänel lift systems at any time. It goes without saying that several items can be picked as batch orders for specified steps in the manufacturing process.
Efficient picking with precise identification of storage positions
An employee only needs to set up a batch order in the ERP system. This batch order is transmitted to HänelSoft-N and is available to users at every Hänel control unit. The Hänel Lean-Lift then brings the first item on the order to the access point at the touch of a button. The Hänel compartment and sub-level indicators show employees where items are stored on the multifunction container. The controller also displays an image of the container along with the number of items to be picked. Item retrieval is confirmed directly on the controller. HänelSoft-N then displays the next item on the pick list.
Flexible and neat small parts organization with the Hänel multifunction container
Hänel multifunction containers are optimal for the well-organized storage of diverse small items. What’s more, Hänel and Topas also cooperated to develop a special solution for storing cable reels in the Hänel Lean-Lift. The Hänel Lean-Lift systems are centrally located in the open manufacturing area, and they have a special finish based on Topas corporate identity. The colours are a visual highlight in the modern production facility and bolster the Topas brand.
“The efficient linkage of two production floors based on an automated small parts storage solution is a key benefit for Topas, in addition to the flexible software interface, performance and reliability of the Hänel intralogistics solution.”
Dr. Andreas Rudolph,
Topas General Manager