DematicThe Future in Boxes

The inauguration of the DEMATIC IMAGINATION CENTRE takes place twelve months after the first customer workshop: a brand experience all about storage, sorting, picking and packaging.

The briefTo develop and realise a Brand Experience Centre for DEMATIC – the world leader in supply chain solutions – at the company’s site in Heusenstamm near Frankfurt am Main on the top floor of a warehouse with adjacent Tech Centre.

The challengeTo communicate abstract subjects such as service, software, speed, system intelligence and flexibility, coupled with the live configuration of a specific solution for the customer’s warehouse. The assignment also involved creating versatile meeting and presentation areas and integrating all exhibits and rooms into one overall dramaturgy.

The ideaFrom the first industrial revolution to the “Internet of Everything” – revolutionary solutions for materials management have triggered profound changes in production and distribution processes.

An historic panorama, the company today and future possibilities are behind the principles with which DEMATIC prepares its customers for the future: SMART, RAPID and FLEXIBLE. The “Solution Composer” demonstrates the possibilities offered by Dematic’s supply chains of the future. Customised warehouse solutions are configured together with the customer, before the impressive Tech Centre is introduced.

The 1,000 m²-large hall is designed so as to create work and exploration areas with lounge, kitchen, bar and functional areas as well as two acoustically decoupled meeting rooms.

The implentationAccess to the hall along a narrow, low corridor is like passing through a tunnel in time. The company’s eventful 200-year development with the industrial revolutions is told in entertaining stories. Even in the early days, Dematic was a pioneer. With innovative solutions, successful mergers, and backed by human willpower and bright minds, the company has propelled revolutions and its own success story.

In the entrance area, wall graphics provide an overview of the company’s activities today and the challenges it faces in the near future – the “Internet of Everything”, and the way this will shape production and logistics in the future – intelligent and self-optimising.

Three core elements of the DEMATIC universe are presented here: the “theme islands” SMART, RAPID and FLEXIBLE. Multimedia hands-on exhibits create an optical analogy to the distribution world. The exhibits allow visitors to experience Dematic’s technologies in a playful way. They can interact with theme boxes containing short animations and explanatory films, which present the respective theme.

Each of the three theme islands recalls technologies from DEMATIC’s range of solutions.

SMART brings visitors the theme boxes along a conveyor belt based on a cross-belt sorter.

RAPID recalls the Dematic Multishuttle, one of the company’s core technologies.

FLEXIBLE uses the logics of pick-by-light/put-by-light solutions, which facilitate the work of warehouse staff with light signals.

The Solution Composer allows DEMATIC staff to configure customised, complex warehouse systems with customers. All current DEMATIC solutions are stored in a dynamic database and can be explored, selected and compiled via gesture commands on the impressive Solution Composer Wall. Visitors can experience these processes from the comfort of the lounge between the bar and panorama window.

Once their personal warehouse solution has been configured, visitors experience the highlight of the tour through the floor-to-ceiling Priva-Lite panorama window: the Tech Centre. This is where Dematic shows most of the technologies and solutions in real time. During a guided tour, visitors can watch the nimble Dematic Multishuttle or impressive AMCAP in action as they pass along the endlessly tall warehouse shelves.

The function rooms are concentrated in the right-hand side of the hall. One particularly difficult challenge was to create a second storey despite only a limited ceiling height. Thanks to a lean design and clever negotiations with fire protection authorities, it was possible to realise the ambitious concept. A 70-m²-large meeting room for 25 persons is now available on the ground floor, and a 45-m²-large meeting room for 15 persons on the top floor. The ground floor also houses a bar, kitchen and wardrobe. The equipment room and chair store are located in a nearby block.

The facts
Area: 1,000 m²
Project duration: 1 year
Construction time: 6 months
Concept and design: simple GmbH, Köln
Design of buildings and experience: simple GmbH, Cologne
Realisation of media: Uideation GmbH & Co. KG, Cologne
Construction work: Ambrosius Germany GmbH, Frankfurt am Main
Ralisation of exhibits: Expotec GmbH, Mainz
Media technology: MT Thomas, Siegen / simple GmbH, Cologne
Project management: simple GmbH, Cologne

Photos: Annika Feuss, Cologne