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The way in which automatic transport systems are currently designed, is out of date.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 Tool helps cities to plan electric bus routes, and calculate the benefits
09.01.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Realistic training for extreme flight conditions
28.12.2016 | Technical University of Munich (TUM)

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: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Transport of molecular motors into cilia

28.03.2017 | Life Sciences

A novel hybrid UAV that may change the way people operate drones

28.03.2017 | Information Technology

NASA spacecraft investigate clues in radiation belts

28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>