Inno­va­tions in logistics

Innovationen in der Logistik-ILM

Inno­va­tions are an important driver for a suc­cessful company. In the course of the logistics projects we have carried out, we have been able to implement many types of inno­va­tions in the form of automation, mod­ern­ization and opti­mization within ware­house logistics together with our cus­tomers. In our blog “Inno­va­tions in Logistics” we would like to discuss the impor­tance of the topics “Intel­ligent Picking, Robotics, Smart Factory and 3D Ware­house Planning”.
Intel­ligent order picking

In the goods-to-man and man-to-goods area, new tech­nologies and inno­va­tions have created new pos­si­bil­ities. In the goods-to-man area, these are for example the auto store, shuttle solu­tions or multi-level shuttles. These solu­tions allow long-term cost reduc­tions and enormous increases in effi­ciency. Often it is not nec­essary to automate the entire ware­house at once, since even a partial automation often brings a certain success.

It is also pos­sible to optimize picking in the man-to-goods area by means of Pick-by-Light, Pick-by-Vision, Pick-by-Voice or other inno­v­ative tech­nologies. IT-con­trolled systems provide support here. For any automation in the field of logistics, an appro­priate IT system land­scape is nec­essary. This should def­i­nitely be con­sidered and, if nec­essary, adapted in the course of planning and opti­mizing such systems.

Nowadays, col­lab­o­ration between humans and robots is playing an increas­ingly important role as robots take on more and more tasks in logistics and are used to support, relieve or automate, e.g. as dri­verless transport systems (AGV), in pack­aging, labelling, pal­letising or as sep­a­ration robots. The latest tech­nologies, such as picking robots, now allow for problem-free hand-in-hand work by humans and robots. Thanks to the sensor tech­nology built into the robot, coop­er­ation between man and machine is pos­sible without com­pro­mising safety. Sen­sibly used robotics helps to optimize costs, effi­ciency and cus­tomer sat­is­faction in the long term through improved processes and thus, for example, sig­nif­i­cantly shorten delivery times.
Smart Factory

Logistics is increas­ingly devel­oping into an inte­grally net­worked unit. Machines of all kinds, transport, storage and mer­chandise man­agement systems com­mu­nicate with each other, so that less human inter­vention is required. The result is a logistics envi­ronment that orga­nizes itself, a Smart Factory.

In the age of Industry 4.0, which focuses on intel­ligent products, pro­ce­dures and processes (Smart Pro­duction), the Smart Factory is an essential com­ponent. The Smart Factory reg­u­lates the increasing com­plexity and increases effi­ciency in pro­duction. Com­mu­ni­cation from “machine to machine” (Internet of Things) is the core element.

Cyber­physical systems, modern and pow­erful infor­mation and com­mu­ni­cation tech­nologies as well as big-data tech­nologies com­prise the control and mon­i­toring of a Smart Factory.

The Smart Factory approach guar­antees high quality and sus­tain­ability of the processes. In the future, humans will act within the systems in a process-con­trolling and non-oper­a­tional manner.
3D ware­house planning

Virtual reality or aug­mented reality is becoming increas­ingly inter­esting. However, the use of these tech­niques first requires a virtual envi­ronment, which has to be created. Espe­cially for the field of logistics we use a 3D ware­house planning tool and can, for example, transform an empty ware­house into a fully func­tional, auto­mated logistics facility. Our cus­tomer can thus move vir­tually through his new ware­house even before project imple­men­tation. The processes are traceable and invest­ments can be planned more easily.

The inter­active 3D model is also pre­des­tined for the imple­men­tation of trainings and courses in the context of famil­iar­ization or exer­cises of new processes. Through the virtual practice room, employees can be instructed in their tasks and mem­orize process sequences better.

The 3D ware­house planning allows the per­for­mance and pos­sible bot­tle­necks of the ware­house to be ana­lyzed. High costs resulting from sub­se­quent process cor­rec­tions are avoided. 3D layouts can be used as planning aids by indus­trial architects.