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AI, robotics, 5G: new technologies drive intralogistics

30 Jul 2021

AI, robotics, 5G: new technologies drive intralogistics

E-commerce, the trend towards customisable products and the demand for ever shorter delivery times require more and more flexibility and efficiency in intralogistics. Businesses have adapted to this, and nowadays nothing moves without intelligent storage, conveyor and transport systems. Cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics and 5G are now driving automation and networking even further.

Artificial intelligence (AI) holds significant potential for internal logistics. The self-learning algorithms are able to evaluate large amounts of data, recognise patterns and use them to make predictions. The more they are "fed" with relevant operational data, the more they learn. Based on this, computer-generated models of the logistics system can be created. Assuming an appropriate level of automation, learning AI systems can optimise and accelerate all warehouse logistics processes from goods receipt to stock transfer to commissioning and goods issue: for example, in inventory management, in the selection of the most suitable storage location, in the early detection and sorting out of rejects or in batch picking. AI can also be used to identify maintenance work that needs to be done or potential improvements in the material flow, predict order peaks and improve the cooperation between humans and robots.

Robotics and driverless transport

Robots and autonomous vehicles have long been in use in intralogistics. Supported by learning AI, virtual reality and 3D modulation, robots can adapt, for example, to carry out certain hand movements during order picking as precisely and delicately as a human colleague. With the help of artificial intelligence and various navigation and safety technologies, driverless transport systems (AGVs) such as pallet trucks and forklifts or even drones can be guided by radio over the company premises, through production halls and warehouses, thus contributing to the automation of material flows in intralogistics. Thanks to learning AI, the performance of AGV systems can be improved further and further.

Automation booster 5G

For smooth operation, intelligent intralogistics systems like AGVs as well as fully automated warehouse and conveyor technology require high computing power for real-time data analysis, secure, powerful solutions for communication and networking and, last but not least, a stable network. Here, the new mobile communications standard 5G with its data transmission rate of up to 20 gigabits per second offers enormous potential: for accelerated, energy-efficient communication, for the use of augmented and virtual reality as well as for the highly precise and secure control of entire fleets of autonomous means of transport. With good reason, 5G is considered a key technology for the expansion of digitalisation and automation - comparable to the step from horse-drawn carriages to aeroplanes.

Learn more about 5G and innovative applications such as robotics, AI and the Internet of Things at the INTERNATIONAL HARDWARE FAIR . Visit our 5G special show, experience the modular production line "Factory in a Box" live in action and benefit from presentations with new insights into intralogistics.