At SPS 2022, Sigmatek will show hardware-independent software products for the automation of intralogistics. The SIGMATEK Traffic Control System (TCS) enables the integration of autonomous mobile robots (AMR), regardless of their make, into common automated guided vehicles (AGV) and their connection to the surrounding IT and automation systems. Sigmatek SlamLoc revolutionises the way AMR deal with changes in their environment with contour-based navigation. Both together give AGVs top scores in flexibility as well as in reliability and efficiency.
Automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) play key roles in making production processes more flexible in order to implement adaptive production strategies. They are usually controlled by means of proprietary systems from their manufacturers or through individual programming. At SPS 2022 in Nuremberg, Sigmatek will show that there is another way. There, the Austrian manufacturer of innovative automation systems will present its newly developed, manufacturer-independent software products for AGVs and AMR for the first time.
TCS (Traffic Control System) is a vehicle manufacturer-independent, open AGV fleet management system that uses the standardised VDA 5050 interface for communication between the vehicle and the control system. This enables the integration of AMR from different manufacturers. TCS takes care of route planning, taking into account special features of the possible routes, such as one-way streets, permanent or temporary obstacles or user-definable restrictions. Like a taxi control centre, the guidance system sends an available vehicle to the pick-up location and then to the delivery address. Sigmatek TCS can be easily integrated into merchandise management and warehouse management systems as well as automation solutions, but can also be used completely independently of them.
Safety through simulation and analysis
Sigmatek TCS offers the possibility to check the processes in advance in the computer simulation. This simulation is up to 720 times faster than the real process; thus, an entire day can be completely mapped in two minutes. The web-based visualisation can also be used with mobile devices. During operation, it shows all vehicle movements in real time with location, direction and speed of movement as well as the battery charge levels of the individual vehicles. Heat maps allow conclusions to be drawn about traffic jams and other traffic conditions. An analysis module makes it possible to investigate the causes of errors.
Ongoing adaptation to reality
Hall plans often do not match reality and only represent the empty rooms without fixtures, furniture or movable objects. This is why Sigmatek TCS offers the option of importing real data to adapt the map to the actual conditions. These can be recorded by AMRs in the course of navigation with the contour-guided SLAM method (Synchronous localising and mapping).
Also debuting at SPS 2022, the newly developed Sigmatek SlamLoc real-time location software revolutionises the way AMRs deal with changes in their environment during contour-based navigation. During the initial teaching run, SlamLoc creates the map of the environment as the basis for route planning. With each subsequent run, this map is supplemented with newly added or moved objects. This allowsSigmatek TCS to react immediately and determine the best possible route, taking into account the new conditions. The system also offers the option of avoiding obstacles or taking alternative routes.
Uncompromisingly precise SLAM navigation
Sigmatek SlamLoc enables uncompromisingly precise contour-based navigation even when the view of known contours is obstructed, e.g. by stacks of pallets. Real-time SLAM enables the exact location of the vehicles on restart without time-consuming initialisation. Above all, the software allows fully dynamic navigation in areas that are subject to strong changes. By deliberately foregoing the use of known contours, buffer zones, incoming goods or dispatch, for example, can also be integrated into an AGV for the first time with SlamLoc.
Sigmatek SlamLoc is available as a software-only solution or pre-installed on an industrial-grade, rugged box PC suitable for in-vehicle use. The web-based, optional Slam Client enables the visualisation of actual driving movements and dynamic mapping as well as their processing. With TCS and SlamLoc, the Austrian automation specialist offers new, innovative solution approaches for the automation of intralogistics. These enable more flexibility and efficiency and at the same time increase the precision and reliability of automated guided vehicles.