Around 230 logistics experts from the Volkswagen Group met in Wolfsburg for the Logistics Innovation Day 2016. The event focused on the requirements of modern automobile logistics. Thanks to digitalisation, autonomous systems and changes in mobility, new technical solutions for logistics are possible. New companies are transforming the sector. Where traditional logistics companies used to work, IT companies now play a key role in the further development of logistics processes.
“Growing digitalisation is lifting logistics possibilities to a new level. At this year’s Logistics Innovation Day, we are focusing more strongly on the logistics and IT sector and discussing the latest trends and logistics solutions with external partners. Together, we are looking for smart solutions for the efficient logistics systems of the future. We intend to ensure that appropriate innovations are rolled out rapidly by our brands,” said Thomas Zernechel, Head of VW Group Logistics.
This year, external companies, for example start-ups, presented their innovative solutions at the Logistics Innovation Day. In total, about 130 companies had submitted more than 170 solutions. In a multi-stage selection process, the 18 most appropriate solutions of the partner companies were identified. The experts explained their visions of modern automobile logistics on site. Following the event, the logistics specialists within the Group will be working to evaluate the concepts which offer the greatest potential for their facilities and brands.
At the exhibition, the companies provided the experts with information on the latest innovations such as individual transport robots with autonomous navigation functions. These latest-generation robots ensure flexible, fully automated material flow. The interaction between laser scanners, maps and WLAN ensures that the robots can also avoid unforeseen obstacles. Compared with the linear systems used to date, they represent a safe, stable transport solution.
Digitalisation allows object recognition without costly transponders and scanners. In combination with neuronal networks (deep machine learning), high-resolution cameras identify and localise objects on a real-time basis. The IT solution makes material logistics processes more transparent and efficient.
An intelligent approach for ergonomic, mobile workplaces is the lightweight exoskeleton, an external support structure for the human body. The transmission of forces can be set individually in line with requirements. The wearer’s movements of the wearer are detected by sensors and supported or reinforced by spring packages.
Stefanie Hegels, Head of Logistics Control with VW Group Logistics, said: “The megatrends in the industry, such as growing digitalisation and networking, are having an increasing effect on logistics operations. Smart glasses or virtual learning for error-free order picking processes are our new reality. Other developments that are being gradually rolled out at our locations include fully automated transfer to and from warehouses and autonomous transport systems. Thanks to these developments, we will be able to make our logistics processes significantly slimmer, more transparent and more stable. Apart from data which are error-free, complete and up-to-date, the intelligent processing of logistics information is an essential prerequisite for all digital processes.”