L4MS - Smart Logistics for Manufacturing
For many small and medium-sized manufacturers, traditional indoor logistics solutions are too capital-intensive and unsuited for their production volumes. This is probably why less than 2% of European SMEs use more agile, advanced technologies such as robotics and Artificial Intelligence, even though factory-floor logistics accounts for half of their manufacturing cost. With SMEs representing 98% of the manufacturers, a large part of the European manufacturing industry is in danger of falling behind in productivity and competitiveness on the global market.
Launched in October 2017, the L4MS (Logistics for Manufacturing SMEs) initiative supported by the European Commission will accelerate the automation of intra-factory logistics of SMEs. L4MS aims to completely digitalize logistics automation in factories allowing automation suppliers to develop and deploy logistics solutions 10 times faster and cheaper compared to the current price. L4MS is looking for small and medium-sized (SMEs) manufacturers to implement robotics and other advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence and virtualization to their factories.
What does L4MS provide?
Smartization services for businesses
As part of the acceleration program, L4MS Marketplace will act as one-stop-shop for manufacturing SME's gathering a ‘Catalogue of Services’ offered by the L4MS Network: Competence Centres, Business Accelerators, Training and the rest of
the partners. Marketplace connects manufacturing SME's and mid-caps with automation solution providers. European manufacturing SMEs and mid‐caps will be able to access and receive technological support for the automation of their process and expert support in adopting an innovative business and/or service models, access to finance and access to advanced training to-reskill staff among other services.
Complete virtualization of factories
Using OPIL (Open Platform for Innovations in Logistics) and 3D Simulations, the Application Experiments will conceive highly autonomous, configurable and hybrid (human-robot) logistics solutions driven by the business needs of the manufacturing SMEs. The L4MS platform OPIL targets specifically this dilemma by providing technology for easy plug-and-play integration of new technology in existing systems. This is tackled by the flexible and adaptive nature of the OPIL, involving self-organization, navigation or localization. L4MS targets to make advanced ICT technologies for logistics automation in production more applicable especially for SMEs by greatly reducing the initial investment time and effort of such systems. The Figure below compares the current installation process with the new one, facilitated by the AGVs, OPIL and 3D simulation tools resulting in nearly 10 folds reduction in time and cost
A detailed comparison between the current cost of the logistics system installation process and process enabled by L4MS