L4MS will provide complete virtualization of logistics automation (Open Platform for Innovations in Logistics [OPIL] + 3D simulator) to enable cost effective deployment of exceptionally small and flexible logistics solutions requiring no infrastructure change, no production downtime and no in-house expertise, while making investment in logistics automation extremely attractive for manufacturing SMEs. Using OPIL 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.

OPIL is an enabling technology for quick experimentation and delivery of innovations to the market. Existing and proven components can be easily upgraded, adapted or replaced with more advanced components as new technological inventions become available. Combined with 3D simulation, innovators and system integrators can design, develop and select the best solution within no time. The OPIL architecture consists of 3 layers: top layer is the Software System; intermediate layer is the Cyber-Physical Middleware and bottom layer that includes the IoT Agents Nodes.

Architecture of OPIL

The focus of L4M is to foster the uptake of logistics automation by SMEs. Traditional automation solutions have not been widely taken up by SMEs as they are often considered to be capital-intensive and best suited for large-volume production. Indicatively, advanced digital technologies –including robotics- are used by less than 2% of the European SMEs . European industry risks falling behind when it comes to building the very foundations of its digital future.

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.

 

Detailed comparison between the current cost of the logistics system installation process and process enabled by L4MS