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f+h Intralogistics 3/2014

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f+h Intralogistics 3/2014

Material flow 02

Material flow 02 Adjustable drive segments in active isolation systems, such as the Vision Singulator by Siemens, correct the position and direction of each individual item identification, loading and unloading requires a defined position and direction of the goods to be sorted in relation to each other and in relation to the conveyor. Depending on the technology and strategy used, specific distances are required between these, as well as a defined angle of the longitudinal axis for the parcel in relation to the main conveying direction. In order to solve this issue, separation systems are required, which can be differentiated into active and passive solutions. In the case of active separation (Image 02), the position and direction of each individual item is corrected, depending on the visual arrangement of the goods – using adjustable drive segments – thus generating the desired product flow over a relatively short distance. Passive systems (Image 03) combine various “obstacles” on the conveyor line, which, however, requires a longer route or return trip. The processes described have been established in practice in order to separate the goods arranged on one level – in two dimensions – so that they can be converted into a flow with just one dimension (conveying direction). Thanks to the current developments achieved by logistics service providers, which considerably increase the efficiency of their parcel distribution centers due to the volume increase described in the introduction, complex situations will have to be mastered in the future. High-performance sorting requires effective parcel unloading In order to sort 40,000 to 50,000 parcels per hour, manual unloading technologies for transport vehicles are hardly sufficient. This requires ongoing development work focusing on automatic parcel unloading concepts. For example, parcels that are to be unloaded in a pile come in bulks, whereby the parcels of a load (about 1,000) are arranged arbitrarily in three dimensions with no specific order. In this case, separation is much more difficult and further elements are required for separation. In this respect, interesting solutions have been recently presented. Without being able to judge its general functioning, it is evident that, in the field of general cargo conveying with continuous conveyors, significantly more research needs to be carried out with regard to the behavior of goods during highly dynamic processes, as well as the motion involved. At the Institute of Logistics Engineering of the Graz University of Technology, Austria, research has been conducted on this subject for years. Various approaches have been developed for a practical simulation of general cargo motion during the 03 Adjustable drive segments in active isolation systems, such as the Vision Singulator by Siemens, correct the position and direction of each individual item continuous conveying process. In this case, the challenges lie in the high amount of elements and the resulting exponentially increasing number of contact points, which are to be calculated at each time step during numerical simulation. It is therefore clear that the booming online trade does not only require new and more powerful sorting technologies but also more effective interaction between the upstream processes of parcel unloading and separation. References: [1] N. N.: BIEK – Bundesverband Internationaler Express- und Kurierdienste e. V. (Hrsg.): KEP Studie 2013 [2] Jodin, D.; ten Hompel, M.: Sortier- und Verteilsysteme – Grundlagen, Aufbau, Berechnung und Realisierung (Sorting and distribution systems – Fundamentals, construction, calculation and implementation). Springer Vieweg, 2012. – DOI 9783642312908 [3] Jodin, D.; Fritz, M.: Planungs- und Einsatzkriterien für Sortiersysteme (Planning and operational criteria for sorting systems). Part I: f+h 4/2014, p. 12 – 15; Part II: f+h 5/2014, p. 18 – 21; Part III: f+h 6/2014, p. 12 – 14, Vereinigte Fachverlage GmbH Photos: Lead story Fotolia/Vanderlande Industries, 02 www.siemens.com/press, 03 Fritz www.tugraz.at About ITL The Institute of Logistics Engineering (ITL) at Graz University of Technology in Austria focuses on research and teaching concerning the physical part of logistics. The practice areas include analysis, design and optimization of intralogistic material flow systems like order picking-, sorting-, transport-, handling- and storage systems. Beside selection, dimensioning and configuration of applicable technologies the Institute observes processes, Auto ID and loading equipment. Actual research fields are energy efficiency, availability, computational methods of system design and simulation of goods behavior in highly dynamic conveying processes. A topic that has recently been added to the Institute research activities is urban logistics. E-mobility, distribution and redistribution of goods in cities and last-milelogistics are located in this field. 24 f+h Intralogistics 3/2014

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