Chronopost

A thousand drive systems move many thousand parcels

Compact distributed drives from NORD Drivesystems are cost-optimized solutions for large-scale plants which require many drive units. Thanks to a flexible functional range, the units can fulfill all standard control tasks in materials handling applications such as assembly plants, airport baggage conveyors or automobile manufacture.

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Chronopost

Customer

Focus on the Customer

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Serving customers around the world, Budde Fördertechnik GmbH supplies conveying systems designed to transport piece goods as well as bulk materials. The company develops, engineers, services and retrofits standard components such as rollers or telescopic and belt conveyors. In addition, Budde can implement completely customized logistics solutions based on a portfolio of modular, scalable system designs. Three plants in Germany employ some 200 staff altogether.

Focus on the Project
Chronopost‘s logistics center south of Paris is one of the topperforming parcel distribution hubs in all of Europe:

  • Up to 30,000 parcels can be processed here per hour.
  • Around 60% of Chronopost's national parcel post in France passes through this facility
  • Budde’s belt conveyor system is equipped with about 1,100 fully integrated NORD drives.

Project

Project Challenge

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The French postal services provider Chronopost operates one of the world‘s largest parcel logistics centers in Chilly-Mazarin near Paris. On average, 450 trucks call at the facility per day; more than 200,000 parcels must be routed to the loading ramps that serve their destinations. Traffi c peaks in the weeks before Christmas, when on some days about 300,000 parcels make their way through the center.

Multi-branch conveying lines. – This distribution hub has more than 100 ramps where parcels are taken in and out. The two-storey complex comprises two fully automated sorting systems, each of which extends over several hundred meters. Incoming shipments are put on belt conveyors. They are promptly registered by digital cameras capable of scanning bar codes on any one the fi ve visible parcel sides. Every parcel arrives at the right ramp for onward delivery within a span of less than three minutes.

Simple handling required. – The extensive belt conveyor system was designed and installed by Budde Fördertechnik GmbH. For a system that was complex enough as is, Budde and Chronopost sought to fi nd a drive solution featuring particularly easy wiring, commissioning, and maintenance. Maximum reliability was also called for in order to minimize malfunctions and downtimes of this very busy distribution center. Finally, in light of the great number of drive units required for this vast facility, there was a clear preference for compact constructions – and, of course, for highly efficient systems designed to optimize operating costs.

Solution

Application Solution

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Budde‘s belt conveyors are fi tted with 1,100 effi cient NORD geared motors featuring helical bevel gears or worm gears. Heavy use and considerable stress notwithstanding, these highly effi cient gears ensure low maintenance requirements and a long service life thanks to their extremely durable, wear-resistant gear teeth. They are combined with motors explicitly designed to handle overloads: this limits the scope of system variants that are needed in this application to a manageable few, despite the great overall number of required drives.

Plug-and-play principle. – Chronopost‘s sophisticated tracking and tracing requirements call for very precise control and synchronization. Each drive system therefore features an integrated frequency inverter in an IP66 enclosure mounted on top of the motor terminal box. These inverters are pluggable – if need be, they can be very easily swapped out. All pre-wired combinations of NORD geared motors and frequency inverters allow for very comfortably installation and commissioning.

Hard and smart. – Featuring up to 400 % starting torque and a typical overload capacity of 200 % for 5 seconds, these drive systems are very robust. Plus, they deliver intelligent performance: the inverters communicate via Profi bus DP with a PLC, which passes data on to the main control system. If a backlog occurs at a specifi c loading ramp, the conveyor line can be slowed in this section, with the belt acting as a parcel buffer until the situation is resolved. This is a very effective measure to prevent a major shutdown.

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Download PDF case study CHRONOPOST here: download | PDF (603 KB)