Hot tips: Make better decisions with heat maps from SYNAOS Real-time Localization

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How intralogistics uses heat maps to determine what is slowing down manually operated vehicles, and how it optimizes transport routes relying more on data and less on intuition.

Author: Dr. Timo Bänziger

With the powerful software from SYNAOS, logistics companies can optimize their processes through AI-supported analysis automations and make themselves fit for the digital future. Position information from transport vehicles recorded in real time serves as valuable initial data for them. They receive this data from autonomous vehicles anyway. With the retrofittable sensor kit of SYNAOS Real-time Localization, they now even integrate manually controlled forklifts into the digital fleet management. This improves the basis for decision-making considerably. At the push of a button, a descriptive heat map reveals previously overlooked disruptive factors in the complex processes of the operation. The following practical application shows the many advantages this brings and how little new technology is needed.

When the unexpected is always one step ahead

Without real-time localization, it is nearly impossible to always remain aware of the exact position and all incidents along the route plan of a manually guided vehicle (MGV). If no one knows exactly where the forklifts are, it will take at least a time-consuming radio call to the operating personnel to determine which last-minute pending order can be handled using the shortest possible route.

In a planning approach largely based on experience and intuition, variables such as unforeseen obstacles, detours, empty trips or accidentally unbalanced fleet utilization are difficult to control. Inevitably, the unexpected element of planning is always one step ahead.

In contrast, a decision basis relying heavily on data can drastically improve the transparency of warehouse operations and substantially increase efficiency.

How a heat map shows optimization potential

With SYNAOS Real-time Localization, logistics companies can add digital position detection to their manually operated transport vehicles: cost-effective, easy and without risk to data.

Everything they need fits in a sturdy box that can be placed on any common forklift model or in other MGVs thanks to its compact dimensions. This box contains a sensor kit consisting of a stereo camera and an acceleration sensor. A powerful computer converts the images into metadata directly in the box. It does not store any images of the warehouse or personnel and does not send them to the cloud.

The system transfers the position data over a wireless network to the SYNAOS control software in a format that is compliant with VDA 5050 and thus universally compatible. The control software processes the measurement values statistically and outputs them on a clearly arranged user interface as an easily understandable graphic, for instance in the form of a heat map.

The heat map uses color codes to visually portray areas of the warehouse that the MGVs pass through either particularly often or infrequently, and where they travel at encouragingly fast or conspicuously slow speeds. In addition, it displays the average pace and where the fleet often comes to a standstill. In this way, for example, obstacle areas that cause congestion can be precisely identified and then eliminated.

Furthermore, the SYNAOS software combines the detected position data and additionally stored order data with other typical performance indicators. For example, this includes the automatically measured distance. In this way, the mileage can be documented much more precisely than with a manual journey log. The advantage: Thanks to improved knowledge about the vehicle status, predictive maintenance is much easier and more cost-effective. Furthermore, the system from SYNAOS makes it possible to record and visualize empty trips, which provides valuable insight into fleet efficiency. Last but not least, information about the average, shortest and longest order execution or delay help to optimize operating processes.

Measurably achieve greater efficiency with SYNAOS

Using SYNAOS Vehicle Localization and the accompanying options for analysis has measurable benefits. This is because it allows logistics companies to manage manually operated forklifts almost as transparently and flexibly as autonomous transport vehicles.

Combined with the SYNAOS Intralogistics Management Platform, this localization solution reduces delays across the entire fleet by up to 60 percent. This is possible because it detects anticipated delays at an early stage using the position data and replans routes in good time. Vehicles that are optimally coordinated in this way have up to 30% higher capacity utilization. As a result, the SYNAOS system enables intralogistics to fulfill more transport orders in a shorter time.

The software thus offers advantages at all decisive operational levels: At the same time, it helps to reduce risks, improve productivity and increase growth. And all this is achieved with low investment costs, easy installation and flexible scaling. With a digital solution for "analog" technology, the SYNAOS Real-time Localization is paving a particularly innovative path to secure a strong position among competitors in global efficiency even for the future.

Dr. Timo Bänziger
Dr. Timo Bänziger
Technical Entrepreneur
Dr. Timo Bänziger

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