Intelligent logistics is the key to improving productivity
- Mobile robots and universal control systems are key to Smart Factory and beyond
- Billy Birch, Sales Manager Intralogistics at Grenzebach Corporation, explains why
- Further information material "White paper: What does a universal control system do?" can be downloaded for free
The (intra)logistics market is growing rapidly. The pandemic has given this development an additional boost. Almost all major players in industry and e-commerce are experiencing increases in sales and orders. Therefore, companies want to automate, accelerate and make their own logistics processes more flexible and safer, and adapt them to increased demands on dynamics and variability.
This requires automated guided vehicles and suitable, high-performing software – like the L1200S Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) and Fleet Manager from Grenzebach – that intelligently link various areas such as incoming goods, production, storage, and shipping.
Billy Birch, Senior Sales Manager Intralogistics at Grenzebach Corporation, a holistic system provider in intralogistics, reveals why only the combination of independent, mobile robots and universal control systems will equip logistics for Industry 4.0 and beyond.
How do mobile robots embrace Smart Factory?
Birch: AGVs are replacing traditional conveying technology and move goods quickly and reliably to the desired locations. They perform tasks that are impossible for other transport systems. Such as the omnidirectional, uniform movement and positioning of loads to their designated targets. The latest-evolution mobile robots provide a high degree of safety for workers and the operational environment, while fully supporting Industry 4.0.
What does a universal control system do?
Birch: Every manufacturer of AGVs has its own software. The integration of different software is time-consuming and costly. A universal control system is a central software that controls AGVs independently of manufacturer and type. It collects, coordinates, and optimizes order picking and transport orders, which are usually transmitted by the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or Warehouse Management System (WMS).
What are the most important advantages of a universal control system?
Birch: There are three key advantages:
- Overview: you get an overall view of the entire logistics process and efficient management of "routes" as an important resource in production and logistics.
- Reduced complexity: by using an overarching coordination level for all transport vehicles and vehicle types, you reduce the complexity in management.
- One-off connection: a universal control system networks all existing systems (WMS, ERP, alarm systems, interfaces to peripheral devices, etc.) in one single platform.
Are such universal control systems already successfully in operation?
Birch: Yes, for example, Grenzebach’s Fleet Manager. Intelligently organizing complex processes is one of our strengths. As an experienced automation specialist, Grenzebach has developed a universal control system that encompasses all advantages and more to improve productivity of (intra)logistic companies for more than ten years.
Our Fleet Manager System coordinates all transportation and handling tasks of the robotic AGVs. Distances and cooperation of the fleet are continuously optimized. From transport orders and vehicle selection to vehicle energy management – everything is clear, easy to integrate, largely automated and, above all, manufactured-independent.
Do you have any recommendations for choosing a suitable provider?
Birch: Before selecting a provider, check the service. (Intra)logistics is a complex process that should not be considered in isolation. That is why it is important to choose a provider – or better a reliable partner – who keeps an eye on your needs along the whole lifecycle of your solution – from development and planning to execution and utilization. With a trustworthy, innovative journey partner like Grenzebach that offers holistic hardware and software solutions tailored to your needs, you allow your company to grow and remain competitive in a changing technological and social environment.