International software and consulting company Implico has expanded its automation software OpenTAS to include a fundamental functional area.
Going forward, the system will support packaged products logistics in addition to the shipment of liquid substances.
Implico developed the new functionality in close collaboration with a leading bitumen manufacturer. The customer ships its products from the refinery either by tank truck or as packaged products, depending on the nature of the goods.
Previously, OpenTAS was an industry solution specialised in the management of liquid products. Now the system offers all customers entirely new possibilities for inventory and the shipping of pallets, blocks, gas cylinders and other general cargo.
"OpenTAS now allows packaging units to be freely defined," explained Thomas Fahland, solution manager oil and gas at Implico.
The interrelationships of the packaging units can also be configured independently. "Users can specify, for instance, that a pallet has bitumen blocks comprising five layers with eight 20 kilogram blocks each, the wooden pallet on its own weighs eleven kilograms and the plastic wrapping one kilogram."
Through parallel inventory control of the weight of the products, the volume, and the associated packaging components, OpenTAS enables full quantity accounting across all types of storage and packaging.
This means that in addition to the management of stocks in tanks, management of packaged products at the storage locations is now possible as well. Corresponding evaluations and reports are available at all times.
The system manages the conversion between the different packaging units and simplifies production planning. Using OpenTAS, refineries can calculate the quantity of packaged goods, for example bitumen blocks or gas cylinders, that the volume of liquid or gaseous products will yield.
Implico has developed a state-of-the-art, clearly structured graphical user interface to make the software as intuitive and easy to use as possible. The GUI was also developed in close collaboration with the customer and therefore meets all practical requirements.
"Our solution gives companies significantly more possible applications for OpenTAS than before, for instance in gas farms," Thomas Fahland said.
"What is more, OpenTAS can now also benefit companies whose business is partially or entirely run on the basis of general cargo."