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f+h Intralogistics 4/2014

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f+h Intralogistics 4/2014

02 On-shore container

02 On-shore container transport using automated guided vehicles trial truck drivers to ensure they handle their vehicles responsibly. However, in many cases, they only complete simple tasks, for instance transporting loads between a few, individual loading points. And even then, backlogs or delays are caused by loading units that have not been picked up on time or by material that has not been provided at the right time. In this context and on the basis of the increasing personnel costs, driverless industrial truck systems are gaining more and more significance. Said systems can be implemented with various levels of automation, be it operators specifying destinations on vehicle control panels or fully integrated, automatic systems operated by IT management systems. The vehicles are available as low-cost versions, as retrospectively automated series units, or as individually engineered vehicles. The required output defines the number of vehicles. Navigation without guiding lines enables a high degree of routing flexibility and the system can always adapt to new requirements. As a consequence, systems with driverless industrial trucks demonstrate all the qualities required as part of automated production material flow. 2013 already say a significant rise in system installations featuring driverless industrial trucks in China. In China, the automotive industry is once again living up to its pioneering role for which it is known throughout Europe. A considerable amount of installations were implemented by European manufacturers. Following acceptance of the scope of delivery and services, clients must be almost completely and independently able to maintain unrestricted system operation at maximum output capacity. For this reason, goods acceptance represents such a vital part for clients. Preparations for successful goods acceptance are already undertaken when contracts are drawn up, by defining all acceptance details and target values. This may range from functional tests to performance or availability tests. Robotics replace employees Robotics automation solutions are designed to replace monotonous, exhausting, and hazardous tasks. This group of tasks is implemented by robots as well as systems with driverless industrial trucks (Images 01 and 02), commonly known as automated guided systems. They are fast, reliable, and always maintain an equally high level of process quality. In China, both the political elite and the economy recognized the importance of industrial automation. As a consequence, the Chinese government has defined the automation of production and logistics as a development goal. Government funding is fostering the development of automatic and automated production, most of all in key industries, such as the automotive sector, but also in the aerospace, railways, and electronics industries. This results in great opportunities for Europe‘s industrialized nations. For instance, take German industrial robot manufacturer Kuka: the company has been prioritizing the Chinese market for many years. Today, 20 percent of Kuka‘s business is already conducted in China and there are no signs for a halt in growth. The significance of the Chinese market is also underlined by the Customized automation is required fact that Kuka has opened industrial robot production facilities in China to be closer to customers. According to figures from the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), China will already become the most important market for robotics this year. The IFR report also explains that the driving factors in this development are cost pressure within HR and increasingly stricter quality requirements. In China, the annual figures for damage to machines, buildings and products caused by industrial truck drivers top the figures in industrial countries. Additionally, companies are forced to invest in training indus- Outlook Only companies with highly qualified management staff and specialists, as well as excellently trained workers will be able to meet the requirements of the structural transition in China and set the foundations the future is built on. We are already experiencing a high demand for specialists that can boost efficiency and save costs. Balanced steps towards industrial automation are required. The concepts must be very robust and their complexity must remain as simple as possible. Specialist expertise must be intensively developed to draw the necessary conclusions from any gained experiences. However, the assumption that today‘s staff is able to correctly operate the systems as engineers is an illusion and customized automation is required. The approach to „keep it simple“ is not entirely wrong. An excessive level of speed and complexity as part of automation may cause some hick-ups with regard to efficiency. Internal material flow is predestined as the first area to implement automation. Keywords, such as racking storage and retrieval vehicles, sorting systems, pallet systems, gantry and articulated robots, as well as systems with driverless industrial trucks represent the multitude of available solutions. However, it is more than clear that China‘s future lies in automation. We can already say today that, in the medium term, industrial automation will spark a revolution across China‘s logistics operations. China will become a further, serious competitor for industrial nations with regard to complex products and services. Photos: Lead photo: Fotolia, viastore systems/ processing: VFV Grafik, 01 Kuka, 02 HHLA www.pslt.uni-hannover.de 14 f+h Intralogistics 4/2014

CeMAT Asia 2014 27 – 30 October Hall W2 · Booth B2 – 3 Increase your warehouse capacity Buildings cannot always be extended at will to provide additional storage space. Increasing storage density to release areas for production is often difficult. When those situations exist, one should think about mobile racking. With modern control concepts and well founded planning anything is possible. If you are planning to build a new storage installation or to restructure an existing one, please check the following system characteristics: ► 85% increase of storage capacity over the same surface area. ► 60% decrease in building volume if you are planning to build new. ► 40% increase in available space, without having to build a new facility. Visit us at CeMAT Asia, we can help you with the planning and will find the most economic solution for your logistic needs. SSI Schaefer Systems International (Kunshan) Co, Ltd shanghai@ssi-schaefer.cn · www.ssi-schaefer.cn

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