Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Automatic Transport Systems Need Different Approach

16.12.2004


The way in which automatic transport systems are currently designed, is out of date. That is one of the conclusions of PhD student Corné Versteegt, who will defend his thesis on 15 December at TU Delft. This is important information for the transport sector, which will become more automated in the future.



An example of transport automation is the future Ondergronds Logistieke Systeem Schiphol (Underground Logistic System Schiphol, or OLS Schiphol), that will connect the airport with the flower auction complex in Aalsmeer and a future rail terminal in Hoofddorp.
The OLS Schiphol will use so-called Automatically Guided Vehicles (AGVs). These are vehicles that do not need a driver. This greatly reduces the cost of labour and also allows the system to be active 24 hours per day.

Automated transport systems potentially have many advantages, but researcher Versteegt also sees a number of shortcomings in current design practice. To much work is done ad hoc, there is too little cooperation and too little early testing. ‘A number of factors contribute to this. This is a relatively new, technically complex and dynamic field, and many different parties are involved; all with their own, conflicting, interests.’



Versteegt has also found that when the choice for an operating system is made, one of two extremes is usually chosen: either a centrally controlled hierarchical system, or a decentralised system, where all ‘power’ is distributed among the separate parts. According to Versteegt, neither strategy is fruitful. Hierarchical structures are clumsy and inflexible and can only be used in small systems. A weakness of decentralised systems is that they are vulnerable and unpredictable in crisis situations.

Versteegt: ‘I argue for a compromise, the so-called holonic approach. In this approach, as much control as possible is decentralised, but central controls can still be used. In crisis situations, for example in case of fire, accidents or delayed planes, the system can be controlled more centrally.’ This approach was successfully implemented in the plans for the OLSS Schiphol. A combination of computer models and physical prototypes was used for testing. ‘Kind of like a child playing trains, but in this case, much larger and more expensive ones.’

Exactly when the OLS Schiphol system is expected is not yet clear. ‘But if it is built, it will make use of an holonic operating system. This approach is slowly growing in popularity. It has already been implemented in other transport systems and in industrial production processes, for example. My research has contributed to the acceptance of the holonic control system approach in the corporate sector.’ The Netherlands is, according to Versteegt, a world leader in the automation of transport systems.

Maarten van der Sanden | alfa
Further information:
http://www.tudelft.nl

More articles from Transportation and Logistics:

nachricht Laser rescue system for serious accidents
29.11.2016 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.

nachricht Bremen University students reach the final at robotics competition with parcel delivery robot
19.10.2016 | BIBA - Bremer Institut für Produktion und Logistik

All articles from Transportation and Logistics >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Simple processing technique could cut cost of organic PV and wearable electronics

06.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

3-D printed kidney phantoms aid nuclear medicine dosing calibration

06.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Robot on demand: Mobile machining of aircraft components with high precision

06.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>