Intralogistics is a Critical Component of Digital Factory Vision
THE GLOBAL WORLD OF MANUFACTURING
has been adopting digital technologies for decades.
This digital adoption accelerates as the digital tsunami transforms entire industries.
Over 65% of commercial service robotics projects
achieved payback in under two years.
IDC Industry Spotlight.
Over 70% of commercial service robotics
projects delivered a double digit ROI
IDC Industry Spotlight.
FOR SMART INTRALOGISTICS
Intralogistics is a significant part of industrial value chain affected by labour shortages, operational hazards and obsolete, inefficient technology. Automation of intralogistics has to be efficient, but also flexible. Product personalisation and unpredictable fluctuations of production volumes become important aspects of modern manufacturing challenging traditional intralogistics solutions.
FROM SMART INTRALOGISTICS
AMR BASED AGILITY
The key capability of SMART INTRALOGISTICS is to quickly and cheaply introduce changes in material flow, to enable changing requirements of manufacturing or warehousing processes. Naturally the flexibility must not compromise fundamental productivity of operations and its cost efficiency. In discrete manufacturing and warehousing the most mature technology that delivers this capability is represented by Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs), the most advanced segment of AGVs (Automated Guided Vehicles).
This is the capability of executing intralogistics tasks (pickup, transport, handover of materials, components and goods) without human intervention or process related navigational “hard” infrastructure. Human intelligence creates benefits when applied to process optimisation, not to execution of mundane tasks related to transport of material. The “zero infrastructure” requirement is another important enabler of process agility. Autonomous units which are fully self reliant in executing transport assignments, can adopt to changes in intralogistics processes in real-time, without the need for costly and time consuming reconfiguration of beacons, guiding lines etc. In an industrial environment a fundamental requirement for this capability is reliable performance. It is not enough that autonomy works “most of the time”. From the perspective of master process (manufacturing or warehouse management) the reliability and performance of smart intralogistics solution has to match the reliability of all other process automation solutions.
The shop floor is a living environment, with many participants of daily traffic, changing floor layouts and traffic patterns. The autonomous components of intralogistics solution have to cope well with unpredictable behaviour of other traffic participants, enabling undisturbed execution of manufacturing operations. Also, they need to provide uncompromised compliance with industrial standards related to health and safety. Finally – as any digital solution – SMART INTRALOGISTICS requires mature approach to cybersecurity in deployment and operations.
This is the capability of simulating and predicting key performance aspects of intralogistics process configuration (such as throughput, cycle times, asset utilisation, energy consumption) without costly, and potentially disruptive experiments on the actual shop floor. This capability is the key to developing and maintaining a positive business case of investment in SMART INTRALOGISTICS solution based on AMRs.
MODULARITY AND INTEROPERABILITY
Truly effective SMART INTRALOGISTICS solution takes more than deployment of smart robots. Essential components of the solution include AMR fleet coordination software (Mulit Robotic System – MRS), simulation environment, and seamless integration with systems governing shop floor operations (MES/WMS/ERP). Well designed SMART INTRALOGISTICS platform enables factory managers to view the intra-logistics as a “Plug-N-Play” process component of their manufacturing operations. Such capability simplifies management and improves the organisations potential for comprehensive digital transformation.
Case for Smart Intralogistics
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