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Multi-AGV logistics sorting principle and case analysis

Multi-AGV logistics sorting principle and case analysis

Core Abstract: China's logistics sorting process is still in the stage of manual sorting, which leads to the consumption of a large amount of manpower and material resources in the logistics sorting process. The rapid development of e-commerce and express delivery industry, the efficiency of logistics sorting largely affects the development speed of these industries. In general,...

  China's logistics sorting process is still in the stage of manual sorting, which leads to the consumption of a large amount of manpower and material resources in the logistics sorting process. The rapid development of e-commerce and express delivery industry, the efficiency of logistics sorting largely affects the development speed of these industries. Generally speaking, the manpower required for the logistics sorting process accounts for more than 50% of the manpower of the logistics center, and the required time accounts for more than 40% of the operation time of the logistics center. The required comprehensive cost accounts for 15-20% of the cost of the logistics center.

 
Manual sorting has the disadvantages of high error rate, high labor cost, and low sorting efficiency. Due to the high labor intensity, single action and high work pressure of the sorting operation, the efficiency of manual sorting is affected by the proficiency and mood of the sorting personnel. An important reason for the inefficiency of logistics is that the sorting of warehouses before the issuance of the logistics has delayed a lot of time. The logistics sorting before the logistics is issued not only consumes a lot of time, but also puts a lot of manpower, material and financial resources. The labor sorting workers in the warehouse have high labor intensity, single action repetition, poor working environment, and the workers are monotonously repeated. Under high-intensity work, the error rate of sorting work is also greatly increased.
 
Therefore, replacing manual sorting with automated equipment is the inevitable development of the industry.

First, Traditional sorting methods and problems
 
Currently, a large amount of sorting is done entirely by hand. After the goods to be sorted arrive at the warehouse, the logistics staff scans the barcode on the express parcel to record the logistics information into the system, and then sorts the individual logistics parcels according to the logistics information according to the logistics information. When the quantity of the pile of goods is large, once again Sexually transport this pile of goods to the corresponding warehouse area. The damage rate and error rate of the goods sorted by the logistics sorting are greatly increased due to the mistakes in the stacking of the goods or the damage of the goods due to the operator's operation errors or inattention.
 
In addition to the completely manual sorting method, the mainstream automatic sorting method is cross-belt sorting, and the small-power-driven small fleet moves at a high speed along the circular orbit, and the labeled goods are sorted by scanner reading. Applicable to large and medium-sized venues such as e-commerce, clothing, and express delivery industries. Structurally, the cross-sorting belt is composed of four parts: a control device, a sorting device, a conveying device, and a sorting pass.
 
The cross sorter adopts the traditional mechanical design, the principle is simple, the structure is firm, and the sorting action is soft and accurate. The advantage is that when the order quantity is large enough, the sorting efficiency is the highest, and it is suitable for all kinds of large and medium-sized goods, so it is favored by customers and becomes the mainstream in sorting equipment. However, the shortcomings are also obvious: the floor space is large, and the flatness of the site is high; the cost is high, the transport module is easy to damage, the maintenance cost is high, the booting operation cost is high, and the flexibility is lacking. Traditional automated sorters and solid warehouses have a high degree of automation. The automated sorting system has a large footprint and cannot be changed once built, with poor flexibility and robustness.
 
At present, the mainstream sorting equipment of express delivery companies mainly relies on large-scale logistics sorting equipment. Although it has high logistics sorting efficiency, the large-scale logistics sorting equipment determines the large-scale work place, which is greatly Limit the scope of logistics sorting. The development of automated logistics sorting in China is still in the stage of large-scale, mainly suitable for large-scale warehouses, and automated logistics sorting of large-scale large parcels.
 
With the expansion of sorting demand, small parcels and miniaturized logistics sorting applications are becoming more and more widespread. Because the sorting machine is generally above 20000m2 and the transmission length is above 50m, it is equipped with corresponding mechatronic equipment and control hardware to build a 10-15m high three-dimensional warehouse. The automatic sorting machine is more huge and difficult. Adapt to the current requirements of e-commerce, express miniaturization and sorting.
 
It can be seen that for most small and medium-sized enterprises, the initial investment cost of establishing an automated logistics sorting system is too high, and the high cost greatly restricts the development process of logistics sorting automation.
 
Second, AGV sorting method
 
The AGV is also commonly referred to as an AGV trolley. It is a transport vehicle equipped with electromagnetic or optical traction devices that automatically travels along a designated route, and is generally controlled by a computer. According to the guiding method, AGV can be divided into electromagnetic, magnetic tape, inertia, laser and visual guidance. According to the driving method, AGV can be divided into single-wheel drive, differential drive and omnidirectional drive; according to the transfer mode, AGV can be divided into Forklift, rail, traction, squat, pick and robot.
 
AGV is an automated logistics equipment with the advantages of safety, reliability, high degree of automation and flexible scheduling to meet the requirements of logistics sorting operations. The AGV sorting robot can continuously sort large quantities of goods, with a lower sorting error rate than the cross sorter. The AGV sorting operation can be basically unmanned throughout the sorting process. When there is a fault in one of the intermediate links, only the repair needs to be removed, and other parts can continue to work.
 
Since 2018, Jingdong, Amazon, Alibaba, Shentong, SF and other e-commerce giants and express industry leaders have invested heavily in sorting robots, AGVs, unmanned warehouses, etc., and highly flexible AGV systems are increasingly favored by enterprises.
 
Using AGV robots can save two-thirds of the manpower. The average speed of each AGV is 3.5 m/s. After fully charged, it can run for 4 hours and the charging time is 20 minutes. In September 2018, the rookie and Yuantong Express Super Robot Distribution Center was officially opened in the Yuantong Hangzhou Transit Center. In the 2000 square meters venue, 350 robots work day and night, and can sort over 500,000 parcels per day. The AGV logistics sorting system frees logistics workers from monotonous and repetitive high-intensity work, greatly improving the efficiency and accuracy of logistics sorting.
 
AGV sorting greatly reduces the cost of logistics sorting, which is a tool for reducing the cost and efficiency of the logistics industry and the e-commerce industry.
 
The automated sorting system has several advantages over traditional logistics sorting:
 
1, working hours are not limited, can continue to work continuously, sorting goods in large quantities.
 
2. The sorting error rate is extremely low. Traditional sorting information identification relies on manual use of the naked eye, while repetition and high intensity and continuous work often cause fatigue and high error rates. The identification of information during the automatic sorting process is that the scanner scans the bar code on the express parcel and has a very low sorting error rate.
 
3, sorting work can release most of the labor or only a small number of staff, to minimize the number of staff.
 
4. Greatly reduce the cost of logistics sorting.
 
Third, multiple AGV logistics sorting system example
 
The multi-AGV logistics sorting system is an automated logistics sorting mode that has emerged in recent years and is suitable for sorting small express parcels. The multi-AGV logistics sorting system is highly automated, greatly reducing labor costs, freeing people from heavy and repetitive work, and making up for the shortcomings of traditional automated sorting equipment that are less flexible and less robust.
 
Kiva Robots is a robotic project of Kiva Systems. In 2012, Amazon spent $775 million to acquire Kiva Systems. Kiva Robots focused on the warehousing and sorting of large orders online, changing the “people looking for goods” mode of operation to “looking for goods”. "Work mode, the efficiency is 3 times before.
 
The Kiva robot is an AGV that weighs about 145 kg. Its top lift disc can lift a shelf weighing 340 kg. It has two cameras on its top and bottom. The top camera is used to identify the bottom of the shelf. The dimension code determines that the shelf encoding is correct, the bottom camera identifies the two-dimensional code on the ground and calculates the navigation angle and the encoded value. The Kiva robot controls itself to travel along a fixed route according to the navigation angle, and the position coordinates can be determined according to the uniqueness of the code value of the two-dimensional code. The Kiva robot uses a vision system based on ADI's Blackfin BF548 processor to enable intelligent navigation of the warehouse floor. The Blackfin BF548 processor features high performance, low cost and a wide range of peripheral connectivity, all of which ensure that Kiva robots can navigate dynamically, quickly and efficiently.
 
In the large-scale distribution warehouse, the “people-seeking” distribution model has the disadvantages of inefficiency, high labor and high labor costs. The “goods-to-people” distribution model based on Kiva robot not only improves the efficiency of distribution, Reduced labor costs and increased warehouse utilization.
 
The emergence of Kiva robots has brought new ideas and methods to automated logistics sorting. In 2016, the domestic startup team Dart Robot Company proposed a new automatic sorting mode – multi-AGV logistics sorting system. The multi-AGV logistics sorting system uses 300 express sorting robots to coordinate the handling of parcels from the sorting inlet. To the corresponding sorting outlet, this automated sorting system is used to sort small parcels up to 5KG.
 
Fourth, development countermeasures
 
In the warehousing and logistics process of the manufacturing industry, the loading, transportation and unloading links consume a lot of manpower and material resources. As an automatic handling equipment, AGV plays a key role in optimizing the transportation system structure, improving transportation efficiency and reducing costs. With the advent of the industry 4.0 era, the flexibility and robustness of manufacturing systems are becoming more and more important. Multi-AGV systems, as a key subsystem of modern manufacturing systems, undertake the transportation and supply of materials, effectively improving the flexibility of the entire system. And production efficiency.