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2. 3. 2020

The TAL 2020 conference: Digitalisation strictly with people and for people

The 20th Trends in Automotive Logistics (TAL) conference brought in almost 300 participants, as well as domestic and international speakers that included Marco Prüglmeier from the BMW Group and Jiří Cee from Škoda Auto. Aimtec organised this conference in cooperation with IHK Regensburg. Everyone agreed that people are the answer to TAL 2020’s key question – “who is the driver in digitalisation?” Machines and robots will never fully replace us, although we do need to keep pace with constantly advancing technologies, and thus we must know how to fully use their potential.

Filip Dřímalka: Anyone can be an innovator – just surround yourself with the right people

In his introductory presentation, corporate digitalisation expert Filip Dřímalka emphasised the importance of digital skills, as well as the ongoing shift in the perception of demands on employees. Work with information and the ability to cooperate, communicate and solve problems are key in his opinion. It’s no longer enough to just be a great professional; innovation and leadership skills are needed as well. Dřímalka says that anyone can be an innovator if they surround themselves with other innovators.

Marco Prüglmeier: The goal is to give people helpful machines

Marco Prüglmeier from BMW Group spoke about the BMW Logistics Next strategy. He emphasised the necessity of cooperation as well. An automaker’s goal is not – in his words – to have people-free factories, but rather factories where people will have access to every possible tool to make them faster, more effective, and more efficient. Prüglmeier also emphasised the need for rules for autonomous vehicles, and the rise of the VDA 5050 standard that addresses precisely this topic.

Jiří Cee: Logistics is a simple field where team cooperation is the key

Another main speaker, Jiří Cee from Škoda Auto, echoed the need for a team approach in digitalisation. He stated that people are the most important link in the logistics chain, no matter how advanced and digitalised it becomes. He also touched on the subject of green logistics. Škoda Auto uses a tool named KALOGEMIS within its environmental protection activities. This is a logistics emissions calculator that makes it easy to calculate CO2 emissions and thus to compare transport concepts in terms of their environmental impacts. Cee also unofficially parted ways here with his career as Škoda’s Head of Logistics and announced his successor: David Strnad.

Case studies: A focus on efficiency and critical thinking

A large portion of the program was dedicated to case studies and technologies. Attendees heard the digitalisation and automation experiences of a variety of firms, such as Hella Innenleuchten-Systeme Bratislava, Webasto Roof & Components Czech Republic, Autoneum CZ and Fehrer Bohemia. Most of these cases illustrated how technologies must be accompanied by critical thinking and enormous willpower among implementation teams. This was yet another confirmation of the need for humans’ role in the automation of logistics and manufacturing processes. Faouzi Grebici from the robotisation manufacturer OMRON spoke about the future of automation technology. His presentation’s attendees could also see an OMRON autonomous intelligent vehicle live in action.

Celebrating 20 years and cross-border cooperation

The TAL 2020 conference was also exceptional in that this was the 20th conference in this series – a great reason to celebrate during the evening get-together. Aimtec representatives, along with IHK Regensburg and Beratungsbüro Oberpfalz, emphasised the importance and helpfulness of cross-border regional cooperation and showed appreciation for the role of TAL, which provides important support for the transfer of experience. Aimtec’s chairman of the board Roman Žák has this to say about his overall impression from the conference: “This year’s TAL conference bested all the ones before it: in everything from the charged atmosphere to the attendance levels to the quality of the speakers. These speakers came from several countries, and we received a superb response from everyone on the event’s principal idea – “Who is the driver?” – and the conference’s organisation and professionalism. We are confident that, in part thanks to TAL, managers will begin to find the courage to launch new digitalisation projects – and that they will take home inspiration and shared experience regarding how to bring these projects to their successful conclusions."

Richard Brunner, Karla Stánková-IHK Regensburg, Lucie Valentová, Michael Zankl-Bezirk Oberpfalz, Roman Žák, Marie Nováková, Jaroslav Follprecht - Aimtec

TAL 2020’s main partners were Zebra Technologies and Deloitte. Dominika Radil, Channel Account Manager CZ&SK at Zebra Technologies has this to say about the event: “TAL 2020 was one of the best events of the last year, with a wealth of useful information on automotive logistics. At this conference, attendees could meet with field experts who passed on innovative visions and the future direction for this industry.”

This year’s conference partners were: Bayern Innovativ, Beratungsbüro Oberpfalz,, the South Bohemian Chamber of Commerce, LINTECH, OMRON, the Pilsen Region, SAP and ZF OPENMATICS. Media partners: AIMagazine, Automobil Industrie, Automa, IT Systems, Logistika, Svět průmyslu and Systémy Logistiky.


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