AI, Blockchain and cognitive systems were some of the major themes highlighted at LogiMAT, the international fair for intralogistics solutions and process management that took place in Stuttgart a few weeks ago. We chose to focus on 3 new products. Here is our selection.
An RFID System Using Blockchain Tech
“Blockchain is the new magic word in logistics” wrote the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (IPMS) in a press release prior to the show. And it could enhance data management in supply chain automation and logistics processes. At the fair, the German institute showcased their wireless RFID sensor system that can be integrated into a blockchain network within the supply chain. When goods or raw materials are equipped with Fraunhofer IPMS RFID transponders, all sorts of information (temperature, location, moisture) is made available as the goods move through the supply chain. And it is the management of this information that blockchain technology is going to improve. Blockchain technology makes the whole supply chain transparent, allowing for a reliable, traceable and secure source of product information. In a blockchain, data is stored in different blocks and distributed only to the network members via an encrypted system. Applied to the supply chain, this means the information about the goods can be securely exchanged between the participants of the supply chain network, making it easier to operate. This kind of system also accelerates transport and shipping and could help better prevent fraud and errors.
An AI-Powered Butler for End-to-End Supply Chain Automation
Robotics company GreyOrange wants to take supply chains to the next level. At the German fair, the company launched its new goods-to-person Butler XL designed for automated inventory storage, picking and combining orders in fulfilment houses and manufacturing facilities. Butler XL is able to handle different loads (finished goods and raw materials) for a maximum payload of 1,600 kg and can autonomously navigate inside a facility. Powered by artificial intelligence, it can adapt in real time to changes in inventory orders. Minimal supervision is needed as the robotic system uses an in-house software platform that connects people, processes and technology through AI for more efficient warehouse operations.
Machines That See and Think
Image processing has become essential in automation today as machine vision systems control production lines and autonomous vehicles navigate inside factories thanks to 3D image processing technologies. Imaging specialist FRAMOS presented new cognitive systems powered by Intel RealSense that give intelligence and sensing ability to machines. When integrated into a device, the RealSense components allow it to understand and interact with its environment. Equipped with a camera that provides 3D depth sensing capabilities, the machine has a more realistic view of the environment and can therefore better map and navigate the world. Drones, robots and other autonomous mobile products navigating inside factories for logistics purposes could harness this 3D sensing technology.