Scientists at the Bremen Institute for Production and Logistics GmbH (BIBA) at the University of Bremen already know from the results of their market study RoboScan'07 that there is a strong interest in individual robot solutions, which may be implemented in logistic processes.
This is verified by the high number of visitors at the BIBA stand at the CeMAT Intralogistics Fare. For a long time now BIBA scientists have investigated this particular field and are currently in the process of planning a new project. After successfully developing and marketing the ParcelRobot which automatically unloads standardised goods from containers, they plan to develop a system that automatically loads goods onto movable containers. They will make use of their presence at the International Intralogistic Fare CeMAT, from the 27 to the 31 of May in over (BIBA stand: Hall 27, stand D12/1), in order to promote their new development.
Together with its industrial partner ThyssenKrupp Krause GmbH the Bremen Research Institute is reacting to direct requests from the industrial sector. The new system will automatically recognize, grip and place loose standardized goods into movable containers. It has the ability to grip various parcels at the same time; sensor technology verifies the stacking position inside the movable container and deposits the parcels in a suitable place. Planned for this system is the implementation of an articulated arm industrial robot. The standardised parcels will have the approximate dimensions of a shoe box and a weight of roughly 5Kg.
Leading on from the development of the ParcelRobot, the research team already has a specific idea of how the automatic loading of movable containers will work. The scientists are already able to draw conclusions on the efficiency of the planned system: "The system developed for the loading of standardised parcels will definitely be more efficient than the system for unloading goods", says project leader Dr.Eng.Wolfgang Echelmeyer, who works for the BIBA division "Intelligent Production and Logistic Systems" (IPS). However, the condition is that all parcels are of equal size, he explains; "Efficiency depends on the degree of standardisation".
From development, adjustment and market studies to the final communication of innovations
The BIBA team will approach the new development and creation of this system in collaboration with the company ThyssenKrupp Krause GmbH. The support of the Bremen systems manufacturer has already proved successful in the development of the ParcelRobot. The company ThyssenKrupp Krause Technologies operates globally and is a specialist for high-tech systems; at the Bremen site alone they employ around nine hundred people and are considered to be a pacesetter for new technological solutions.
The internet shipment pharmacy Apo-Discount was included in the planning of the system from an early stage. The company, based in Leipzig, operates internationally and plans to implement the system in the final quarter of this year. An advantage would be the easy integration into the existing automated systems which were designed for standardised parcels; they explain: "A timely shipment depends on the fast loading of goods. Not only reductions in time but also financial reductions are possible with the implementation of this system. These are savings our customers can profit from", says Johannes Rothe, division manager at Apo Discount.
"In future the system shall be available on the market as a standardised product", says Dr. Eng. Echelmeyer. We are already thinking about the next steps, for example the loading of swap trailers or containers. Dispatchers of mass standardized products would be ideal partners. The fair is the perfect platform for the search of further partners. "We want to find companies that we can include in the development phase and adjust the system to meet their individual needs", he explains.
During the CeMAT forum regarding robotic-logistics the scientist has introduced among other things the planned strategies and possibilities of the required development co-operations. Market studies shall also be conducted to find out about the implementation possibilities and profitability of the robot system, says Dr. Eng. Echelmeyer. As with previous projects, BIBA is planning to communicate their innovation comprehensively. "In this way we want to help our development take the leap to market", says Economist Nicole Pfeffermann, scientist for strategic communication at BIBA.
Contacts:Dr.-Eng. Wolfgang Echelmeyer (BIBA, Head of Department),
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