CeMAT Insider

A vision of the future: will intralogistics become more like Tetris?

Posted by CeMAT Team on 12-Jul-2016 16:50:14


CeMAT Australia hosted it’s first keynote with a futuristic presentation from Sascha Schmel, Managing Director, VDMA Materials Handling and Intralogistics.

Sascha takes us into the future of intralogistics and the way in which new autonomous vehicles will interact with new innovative devices to create symphony-like harmony on the warehouse floor.

In the year 2025, people will be able to control technology from small devices such as an earpiece that is integrated with artificial intelligence feeding into wearable technology.

According to Sascha, the year 2025 will take us to a time where new technologies will irrevocably change the way we do everything, but particular within the warehouse.

Autonomously driven vehicles will perform ballet as they move across the warehouse floor. An example Sascha sheds light on are vehicles that will look like huge spheres as they move along the walls.

These spheres will be known as delivery drones. They’ll be able to roll across the warehouse floor effortlessly and they won’t require as much energy as their flying cousins.

Delivery drones will be able to position themselves and find their own route across the warehouse floor, while other vehicles will follow humans while some will chug behind one another like a train, and soon all these vehicles will be stacked with containers in a way that reminds you of a Tetris game. 

All of these visions are what Sascha refers to as Industrie 4.0, he states:

“If you ask me this process is not so much a revolution as it is an evolution. You may not believe me, but some of these technologies were already seen at Hannover, and are on show here [at CeMAT Australia].”

New technologies such as visualization are gaining importance as they assist with warehouse planning by giving businesses a virtual tour before it is built. Picking stations can be tested and changes can be immediately applied.

But before we look to where we are headed, we must first appreciate where we have come from.

According to Sascha, the German intralogistics market produced a volume of 20 billion Euros and this volume is expected to grow by 3%.

The effects of the GFC become evident when you look at figures from 2009 and 2010, which is a period characterized by stagnation. 

But regardless of this fact, intralogistics in Germany is an export success, and it generated a volume 77.6 billion Euros in 2007, and 58.8 billion in 2014.

Overall the market exhibits stable growth at a high level, however, “highly developed industrial nations require highly developed technology”

With all these opportunities, the industry also is facing challenges. Sascha closes his presentation with a positive take on collaboration in the future.

“I have told you about a vision that many logistics managers are working hard to make a reality. Let’s work together and make it happen”

Topics: Intralogistics