Intelligent interfaces in versatile supply chains

Theme
Industry 4.0
Project title Intelligent interfaces in versatile supply chains (ISI-WALK)
Project duration 01.07.2010 – 30.06.2013
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Press release
In the project ISI-WALK methods and technologies for efficient design and economical operation of adaptable supply chains are developed. The focus is on the design of transport and storage systems, the design of IT systems in the supply chain as well as on methods for planning and evaluation of mutability in supply chains. Based on the cognitive abilities of people and the resulting high adaptability, transport and storage systems are able to recognize their surroundings and communicate relevant information.

Publications about the project

This article shows how the known human capabilities for flexibility and adaptation to changing environmental conditions, which are reflected in the cognitive characteristics of people, can be transferred to forklift trucks in intralogistics. As examples for the implementation of Industry 4.0 in intralogistics, technologies are introduced that allow forklift trucks to recognize their surroundings, to communicate information, to conclude and therefore act autonomously, to make decisions, to learn or to plan. These capabilities are realized by an optical positioning system, a camera-based storage and retrieval support system, tire integrated sensors and new interaction concepts for forklift trucks in the form of speech and gesture.

forklift truck, gesture control, speech control, 3D-camera, optical positioning system

In the context of industry 4.0 cognitive technical systems are systems that can adapt functionality flexibly and completely personalized to the specific needs of an operator or a product. Due to a wide range of intelligent sensors technical systems have the cognitive ability. In this presentation, examples of cognitive system from the intralogistics are shown.

intralogistics, cognitive system, sensor technology, industry 4.0

When designing supply chains two opposing principles must be weighed. Supply chains are either rigid and allow a high throughput, e.g. belt conveyors, or they are flexible and only allow a lower throughput,e.g. forklift trucks. Versatile supply chains, which goes beyond the flexibility present both principles with new technical and economic challenges. In the project ISI-WALK (intelligent interfaces in versatile supply chains) methods and technologies for efficient design of versatile supply chains have been developed. Based on the cognitive abilities of people and the resulting high mutability, industrial trucks should be able to recognize their surroundings, to communicate information, to conclude, learn or plan. To achieve these goals an assistance system for industrial trucks based on 3D cameras to support the store and release from stock was developed, as well as an optical positioning system for navigation.

optical positioning, active infrastructure, data transmission, signal processing, image processing

In this article, a novel approach for an optical tracking system is presented, which is used in addition to the positioning of industrial trucks in particular the tracking and storage of the position data of carriers in intralogistics. The locating system consists of an active optical infrastructure and a receiving unit .

optical positioning system, indoor navigation

Indoor positioning is the backbone of many advanced intra-logistic applications. As opposed to unified outdoor satellite positioning systems, there are many different technical approaches to indoor positioning. Depending on the application, there are different trade-offs between accuracy, range, and costs. In this paper we present a new concept for a 4-degree-of-freedom (4-DOF) positioning system to be used for vehicle tracing in a logistic facility. The system employs optical data transmission between active infrastructure and receiver devices. Compared to existing systems, these optical technologies promise to achieve better accuracy at lower costs. We will introduce the positioning algorithm and an experimental setup of the system.

optical indoor positioning, data transmission, signal processing, image processing, flexible warehou

This paper describes methods and solutions for transferring cognitive abilities such as recognition, communication, orientation, learning and planning to transport systems. The implementation of these abilities is carried out by means of optical technologies as shown in application examples. Small scalable conveyor modules can be applied in the field of warehousing to specific nodes of the material handling system to enhance the spectrum of feasible logistic operations, as well as to increase the overall system flexibility. 3D camera systems integrated in the forks of an industrial truck can acquire an image of the front end of the forks. Custom algorithms then detect the position of pallets and storage locations. Thus, assistance can be given during the loading/unloading procedure. Additionally, the vehicle determines its position using optically networked beacons. Positioning enables tracking and tracing of loading units and on-board navigation. Cognitive abilities, supported by optical technologies, can be transferred to other aspects of transport systems. Decentralized networking modules allow a continuous information flow between distinct transport systems. Thus, other cognitive abilities such as decentralized routing of products can be effectively

cognitive transportsystem, optical technology, optical position determination

Logistics is an essential part of the value chain. Therefore, sustainable logistics systems are a decisive competitive and success factor for companies. Through individual customer requirements, shorter innovation cycles and an increasing variety of product types, the requirements have become increasingly complex in the material handling engineering sectors. To meet these requirements and to allow a continuous increase in efficiency of logistics systems, the development of innovative systems is necessary. A key to the design of such systems is the use of optical technologies. Using a simplified scenario the possibilities of optical technologies in intralogistics are represented in this paper.

materials handling, optical communication, optics, intralogistics

In the research project ISI-WALK methods and technologies for the efficient design and economical operation of supply chains have been developed. These methods and technologies are helping to enable logistic systems to adept to different materials and information flows. On the basis of the the human cognitive abilities and the resulting high mutability logistic systems shall be enabled to recognize their surroundings, to communicate relevant information and to learn or plan autonomously. The technical results are divided into four sub-goals: a system based on 3D camera technology assistance system for trucks, a system for optical position detection in industrial environments, a versatile coordinate-based warehouse management system and a method for planning and evaluation of the major driving forces. The research project was funded within the framework concept "Research for the industry of tomorrow" by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

optical positioning, active infrastructure, data transmission, signal processing, image processing

Indoor positioning is an enabling technology for advanced intra-logistic applications that employ tracking and tracing of goods and vehicles. For these applications, a positioning technology must otTer a sufficient trade-off between accuracy, range, and costs. In this paper we present a novel positioning system based on optical technologies that is designed for tracing vehicles in a logistic environment. The major innovations of the system are an active optical infrastructure allowing absolute positioning without any other data source, and, on the receiver side, a hybrid data processing approach that combines signal and image processing. Using these optical technologies, a high accuracy can be achieved at lower costs compared to other approaches. The static positioning error is below 0.1 m. The active optical positioning approach joins signal and image processing technologies to a low-cost and high accuracy system. While designed for intra-logistic applications the technology can be adopted other fields such as building and shop-floor navigation.

active infrastructure, data transmission, signal processing, image processing

Indoor positioning is an enabling technology for advanced intra-logistic applications that employ tracking and tracing of goods and vehicles. For these applications, a positioning technology must offer a sufficient trade-off between accuracy, range, and costs. Based on optical technologieswe a novel 4-degree-of-freedom (4-DOF) positioning system is presented that is designed for tracing vehicles in a logistic environment. The major innovations of the system are an active optical infrastructure allowing absolute positioning without any other data source, and, on the receiver side, a hybrid data processing approach that combines signal and image processing. Using these optical technologies, a high accuracy can be achieved at lower costs compared to other approaches.

optical positioning, active infrastructure, data transmission, signal processing, image processing

Transport and storage systems have become extremely efficient because of a high degree of automation. Unfortunately flexibility is lost, because modifications of the systems are very complex. This discrepancy should be resolved in the research project "ISI-WALK". Logistic systems will be designed flexibly and efficiently with use of intelligent interfaces.

logistics, flexibility, interfaces

Manufacturing companies are now more than ever surrounded by a turbulent market environment. At the same time, the importance of networks and value-added networks. In theory and practice over and above the classical flexibility beyond mutability is seen as a precondition to be able to survive in this environment. Unfortunately, many companies are contrary to a number of technological and organizational change barriers in achieving versatile factory and network structures. This article gives an overview of the state of research and the development needs of the mutability of supply chains. In addition, requirements and potential solutions are presented, by what technologies and methods in the future the versatility can be improved and conversion barriers can be dismantled. The conversion-design of transport, storage and IT systems as well as planning and evaluation of the adaptability in supply chains are described mainly.

mutability, supply, factory and network structures, technological and organizational change barriers

Sponsor

This research and development project was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the Framework Concept Research for Tomorrow’s Production (02PR2000) and managed by the Project Management Agency Projektträger Karlsruhe, Production and Manufacturing Technologies Division (PTKA-PFT).

Your contact person

Benjamin Küster
M.Sc.

Manager production automation

Christian Böning
Dipl.-Wirtsch.-Ing.

Manager logistics

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