Company Base Data
Company Name: cellumation
No. of Employees: 78
Headquarter: Bremen, Germany
Operating Markets: Europe, Israel, South Korea, Singapur
Founders: Dr. Hendrik Thamer & Claudio Uriarte
Reference Customers: DHL, SSI Schäfer, Vector Conveyors, FS Solutions, Grünfuchs Logistik GmbH, Verdnatura and many more
E-Mail Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
No. of Employees
Coming from the high performing German automotive market, we are constantly expanding our markets also internationally
Dr. Wolfgang Hackenberg (CEO)
Dr. Lennart Bochmann (CPO)
Tobias Gagern (CTO)
Today, we have the opportunity to interview Dr. Hendrik Thamer, CEO and co-founder of cellumation.
Hendrik, can you give us a brief description of what cellumation does?
Cellumation is a pioneer for innovative robotic solutions in Intralogistics and production processes with high vertical integration. We developed a unique, powerful, patented, reliable and infinitely scalable conveying technology: celluveyor (short for cellular conveyor).
The idea behind the celluveyor is a modular conveying and positioning system that is fundamentally based on a single component – the cell. The hexagonal design of the cell promises flexible layout options. In combination with three omnidirectional wheels, complex material flow movements are possible with minimal space requirements. For this purpose, our intelligent and self-learning software brings the cells to life and individually controls the wheels, so that objects can be aligned or even rotated as desired. The principle is simple: The hardware remains the same, the software defines the function.
When and how did this all start?
In 2017, Claudio Uriarte and I founded the company cellumation, with which we continue to develop the celluveyor. The bright idea is based on soccer robots that, standing on their heads and bolted together as a team, are no longer used to move themselves, but to convey objects on their surface.
Tell us about the people behind cellumation.
The team is not only responsible for producing the hardware, but also for the development of the artificial intelligence behind it, business development and sales.
Claudio Uriarte with his know-how as inventor of the celluveyor technology and as a patent engineer and I with a PhD in artificial intelligence have led cellumation to become one of the most innovative start-ups in Europe. In 2020, this was recognized by the EU’s European Innovation Council (EIC) out of over 1000 applicants. The funding from the EIC has contributed to the further development of the technology until 2022.
Our team’s ambitious goal: In the future, every object delivered worldwide should have touched a cellumation cell.
Let’s pick it up there and get to the core of what your doing: what is the exact problem you’re solving with cellumation?
There is a lot of technology behind every material flow. Intralogistics faces a wide range of challenges:
1) Lack of space & uncertain investment prospects: In Europe, fewer and fewer new logistics centers are being built for greenfield developments due to a lack of space and unclear investment prospects. For this reason, attempts are being made to make existing logistics centers more efficient. For this purpose, celluveyor technology is ideal owing to its flexible and modular design: It can perform complex automated conveying movements on up to 95% less space.
2) Skilled labor shortage: It is becoming increasingly difficult to find personnel for simple tasks. This hampers effectiveness and speed. And in logistics, time is money. For this reason, manual activities are increasingly automated.
3) Changing traffic: Newer and newer traffic and logistics concepts are needed to respond to urban development, environmental conditions and the economic flow of goods. In order to meet the challenges of tomorrow today, it is worthwhile to rely on a new technological principle.
What would you describe as your core competence or USP?
All of us at cellumation love our celluveyor.
We are a deep technology provider. Our heart beats for truly efficient flows of goods, technology that makes complex movements seem simple, that uses the latest developments from many fields of engineering to get the best out of our celluveyor. We want the celluveyor in every logistics center and we work hand in hand to achieve this goal.
How do you see yourself positioned in the realm of intralogistics automation? To which kind of solutions are the Cellumation applications complementary?
We make the impossible possible. For over 100 years, many suppliers have been incrementally developing the same technology principle – the roller conveyor – through technical tricks. We rely on a completely new principle and use the achievements of the digital age.
We deal with the pressure points in the internal material flow and can untangle and simplify complex junctions. In addition, we can make kilometers of straight roller conveyors obsolete with the celluveyor and new possibilities to create layouts. You can build entire conveyor layouts from two components: Roller conveyors & the celluveyor. We also empower people to maintain or repair a celluveyor without prior technical knowledge by replacing a celluveyor cell in under 5 minutes with a screwdriver. Intuitive operation via a digital user interface is a matter of course.
We have no direct market competitor. We compete for the function or application. With the celluveyor we offer a powerful, space-saving and uncomplicated new solution. Let’s take the cv.DEPAL: There we create a layer separation system on less than 3m² – conventional conveying technology requires floor space of about 60 m².
Can you describe your target customers for that and maybe even provide some reference customers?
Our target customers are system integrators, end users or logistics consultants who want to realize state-of-the-art, efficient and high-performance material flows.
The first celluveyor in use is a picking workstation at Arvato, which we implemented together with SSI Schäfer.
The largest celluveyor in use is a cv.CROSSDOCK with over 400 cells and 10 synchronized cameras, which moves packages in the correct order to 34 bidirectional in/out points at the florist Verdnatura in Spain. Vector Conveyors has integrated there. A favorite project is the cv.CROSSDOCK 2:2 in use as a cross switch at DHL in Greven. And our first CMILE sorting system for the last mile is at Grünfuchs Logistik in Göttingen.
Can you walk us through a typical onboarding process with a customer? What are the key requirements on the customer side to install one of your products?
The celluveyor communicates seamlessly with the surrounding conveyor technology via standard interfaces. The omnidirectional wheels are controlled by our own software via an industrial PC. Therefore, there are no communication difficulties. Celluveyors are delivered in such a way that they can be set up and integrated in a very short time.
The quickest way to get a celluveyor solution is to send an e-mail to email@example.com describing your challenge, and within a very short time a member of the sales team will get back to you and select the right solution for the process from our applications. If you are generally interested, we are also happy to provide product training so that you can be prepared for future challenges.
Thank you, Hendrik, for the insights! Anything else you want to share?
We are growing into Asia, starting in Singapore and South Korea. There we are supported by Melchers. We are happy about every contact point there on site.
We are always looking for people who are interested in the most modern form of conveyor technology. We are hiring! And of course as every startup, we are currently fundraising and searching for interested investors.
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