Interroll solutions are in operation in express and postal services, e-commerce, airports, the food and beverage industry, fashion, and automotive sectors, and many other manufacturing industries. Among the company’s end users are leading brands such as Amazon, Bosch, Coca-Cola, DHL, Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, Siemens, Walmart and Zalando.
Hilton Campbell, Managing Director of Interroll Ltd spoke to Warehouse & Logistics News.
Hilton, you have been in your role of Managing Director at Interroll UK just over a year now. How do you think the first year has gone?
We hit the road running. It feels like a 400-metre race, fast paced, a unique strategy with some surprises along the way, it was important to be ‘fit and ready’. In 2019, it was not only myself new to the UK and Ireland market, but we also launched new products, the Modular Pallet Conveyor Platform as well as the EC5000 RollerDrive, both in 24-volt and 48-volt versions. The market has reacted positively to our new products. Interroll Limited was the first globally to sell pallet conveyor products, and we very quickly sold out on the new power supply which we also launched in 2019. Overall, it was a successful year for Interroll Limited.
What does your role involve on a day to day basis?
As a company and considering the market trends, we are adapting to be even faster and more efficient and taking full advantage of the market upswing as it looks to improve. I’m very involved in getting to know customers’ needs, positioning our value proposition that best meets those needs and, of course, looking at ways to improve in all typical dimensions. I’m also preparing Interroll to be more in front of the end customers in our markets, understanding their expectations when it comes to spare products, general after sales support and services. There are many exciting topics right now.
How would you explain the Interroll culture?
As an organisation, we have created a climate of excellence and strive to continuously improve and deliver on our core values. Our brand is known for best-in-class quality and superior performance. Matching this with customer service and excellent technical support is what makes Interroll different from the alternative, and is the cornerstone of the culture.
How does this culture assist your clients’ requirements?
Consistently delivering on core values assists your customers greatly. We are ‘fast and committed’. Our delivery of products like rollers, DC motors and AC motors cannot be easily matched. Our local repair centre for the Interroll Drum Motor has been upgraded and we now have all new models integrated. On the topic of our Climate of Excellence, ‘best-in- class’ positioning and proven solutions, the performance testing on the EC5000 RollerDrive proved to deliver a stable and reliable product from the first launch! Finally, with our long-term thinking value, our customers will witness the evolution of products to higher levels, setting the new benchmark for others to chase.
Do you have direct contact with customers and get involved in developing solutions?
Most definitely—this is our preferred position. It’s when the end customers are educated to see the full value of Interroll product and solutions do we see the best win-win scenario. A good example is when Interroll was asked to do a retrofit project, changing a traditional low-pressure conveyor system into the zero-pressure 24 Volt DC system.
We engaged directly and highlighted the full benefit of the zero-pressure system: lower in energy costs, smart reliable control and diagnostics, less product damage and of course, very importantly, lower maintenance costs. We offered all the products: the RollerDrives, conveyor rollers, MultiControl cards and power supplies. The customer did the work at his leisure with Interroll’s simple plug-and play-concept; however we do provide limited engineering support at the beginning, if needed. There are many examples where Interroll worked closely with system integrators and shared experience on storage, picking, and transporting of goods within typical distribution centres.
Tell us how Interroll is growing in the UK.
Interroll Limited will grow organically. This will be accelerated by the new products coming online. In 2020 we see the DC products gaining even more traction; we are offering daily pallet handling products and with, our Interroll Stacker Crane integrated to pallet flow and other elements, we see high growth potential. We invest now in additional sales and engineering talent to support our existing experts in taking these products successfully to the market.
What makes Interroll unique in your industry?
We are the leading global provider of material handling solutions, with 61 years of history and a proven track record. Our installed base rose significantly, for example we have more than 400 sorters installed worldwide. Our products are best known for quality and performance. Often Interroll Limited is complimented for its high degree of customer service and commitment.
What solutions does Interroll offer customers?
Our solutions cover applications for carton and pallet handling within the internal materials handling sector, where high performance and reliability are uncompromised. Rollers, DC and AC Drives and Controls, conveyors and storage for pallet and carton handling and sortation, all followed up by after-sales support.
What sectors do these clients work in?
Food and beverage, warehousing, Courier Express & Parcel, e-commerce, automotive and general industry.
How can your solutions help?
This depends very much on our customer type. We help end users, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and system integrators. For those designing their conveyors and looking for products, we have amazing software tools to make it easy and reduce the potential for errors. For the AC drives we have the Belt Drive Matchmaker.
For conveyors, we have a computer-aided design (CAD) download centre to download all CAD files to do your own conveyor layout. For some customers, we have also installed our layouter tool; this makes drawing and generating bill of materials or BOM’s easy and simple. For the end user, our solutions are all supported with high availability of global spare parts and service. Interroll is in 33 locations around the world! Some customers carry out their own maintenance or smaller enhancement/retrofit projects; here, too, Interroll supports them with documentation and onsite support.
How future-proof and flexible are your solutions?
This is when we come fully into our own. Our conveyor products are designed to be flexible and modular, making enhancement and changes less disruptive. Our evolution of products are backwards compatible; today, the new EC5000 RollerDrive can be simply exchanged with the former EC310 RollerDrive. A proven example: In 2004 Interroll in South Africa delivered a sorter to end customer Edcon. Today, 16 years later, the machine runs every day, spares are supplied, and the machine availability is above 98 percent. A video on this can be found on our YouTube channel.
What new services/solutions are you offering for 2020?
In 2020, we are going to launch the Interroll High-Performance Crossbelt Sorter or HPCS. In addition, we will invest in the after-sales and support for Interroll UK and Ireland. Together with the pallet-handling solutions, it’s going to be another 400-metre sprint.
What do you see as the biggest opportunities in the coming year for Interroll?
There are no signs that e-commerce is going to slow down anytime soon; this is a major growth area as every retailer evolves into an e-tailer. There will therefore be additional investment in the Courier, Express & Parcel sector. Customers are becoming more tech savvy: They want everything online in their palm. Our Interroll Drum Motors are already delivered with radio frequency identification (RFID) technology for tracking and maintenance traceability. Our predictive maintenance option, today found on the EC5000 Bus Interface product, has been well accepted and demand is ever increasing. Finally, we see production logistics as an interesting avenue.
What are the biggest challenges facing Interroll and your industry?
We see more opportunities than challenges. I’m very excited to upskill young people coming into the workplace, ensuring that we have the right balance of skills to take full advantage of the increasing opportunities that are on the horizon.
Do you cover the whole of the UK?
We cover the UK and Ireland market.
VIDEO LINK on Interroll Sorter at Edcon: youtube.com/watch?v=S_aSmKY0_bI