The film about this demonstrator is here available.
This demonstrator illustrates the logistical processes which take place within and between the terminals operated by the automobile logistics service provider E.H.Harms. The scenario was developed in collaboration with subproject A1 “Foundation Studies” (Windt). The automobile terminals are equipped for the technical processing, storage and transhipment of vehicles. For this demonstrator an appropriate transport network with nodes (processing stations at the terminals) and edges (road network) has been marked out on the BIBA testing floor. The transport of automobiles between the terminals is here demonstrated with remote-controlled models of car transporters modelled on E.H.Harms’ freight liners. The intelligence of both the car transporters as well as that of the vehicles to be transported is realised by means of PDAs with appropriate software.
During the unfolding scenario, the automobiles transmit transport and processing requests which are received and processed by the transporters and the processing stations at the respective terminals. The processing stations and transporters check whether they have sufficient capacity and whether they are suitably located to allow them to accept the assignment.
It is characteristic for E.H.Harms’ processes to combine components of production logistics with aspects of transport logistics, so that beside the pure transport of automobiles their processing contributes important added value. This was incorporated into the demonstration scenario by integrating selected processing steps such as waxing/dewaxing, spraying and technical installation. The task of the automobiles is to undergo all required processing steps within a given timeframe, so as to be completed and put into intermediate storage to await onward transportation. The transporters must try to avoid empty loads and low capacity utilisation.
The availability of information on states, locations, capacities, surrounding conditions, and the correlation between these pieces of information are essential for the realisation of autonomous processes within automobile logistics. In this environment RFID technology can establish a relationship between an object and the context it is in. The locality of automobiles and transporters determined at the processing stations and important route sections is achieved by linking this information with the physical logistical object within the demonstrator. Besides IDs, the RFID tags also store information on the sequence, number and type of processing steps, as well as on due dates for individual automobiles. A UHF system is used to obtain greater read/write distances, and thus increased flexibility of the RFID system.