Budget: 8.8 M Euro
Grant: 8 M Euro
Start Date: 1/10/2017
End Date: 31/3/2021

The ambition of L4MS (Logistics for Manufacturing SMEs) is to reduce the installation cost and time of mobile robots by a factor of 10. It will enable inexpensive deployment of small and flexible logistics solutions requiring no infrastructure change, no production downtime and no in-house expertise. The investment in logistics automation will become extremely attractive for European manufacturing SMEs and Mid-Caps. The use of mobile robots will not only automate the logistics (50% of the production cost) but will also provide unprecedented flexibility on the factory floor for batch production.
The L4MS will deliver an open industrial IoT platform called OPIL (Open Platform for Innovations in Logistics) together with a 3D simulator to completely virtualize the intra-factory logistics automation and drastically accelerate the innovation process in this area. The vision is to:

  • Make it fast: OPIL+3D simulator will automate mapping, map calibration, navigation and route planning, resulting in 75% reduction of the installation cost and 90% reduction in the installation time. The new robots will practically self-integrate into the OPIL, logon to the navigation, mapping, localization and other services, receive the tasks and become part of the existing fleet.
  • Make it easy: OPIL will empower SMEs to adopt collaborative mobile robots, where task distribution between the robots and the workers is organised dynamically. SMEs will be able to start with the automation of the simplest tasks, and incrementally invest in automation. The addition of new robots will be simplified, and merely be a task of unpacking and powering it up (plug-and-play robots).
  • Make it cheap: The virtualization (OPIL+3D) will allow offline planning, removing the requirement for interrupting the production process, thus improving the long term productivity. This will represent a significant saving for SMEs reducing the ownership cost and increasing the return on investment.
  • Make it everywhere:  OPIL as a standard integration platform will accelerate the involvement of system integrators and distributors and they can be utilised fully in the sales and implementation of logistics systems. With thousands of system integrators, the mobile robots manufactures can be flooded with orders and system integrators can take role of developing small logistics systems for SMEs which fits perfectly in their business model.

The project will deliver the L4MS marketplace as a one-stop-shop, where European Manufacturing SMEs & Mid-Caps can access the suite of “Smartization services” including technical support, business mentoring, skills and finance. The L4MS will conceive 3 Pilots and 20 cross-border Application Experiment (TRL 6-9) to demonstrate highly autonomous, configurable and hybrid (human-robot) logistics solutions driven by the business needs of the manufacturing SMEs and Mid-Caps. This portfolio of 23 cross-border Application Experiments by 50 SMEs selected through 2 competitive Open Calls, will demonstrate the leveraging of European Structural Funds and private investment in established and emerging Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) across Europe.

The L4MS marketplace will be launched as a spin-off which will continue to support manufacturing SMEs & Mid-Caps achieve digital excellence and global competitiveness through logistics automation beyond the project.