Digital Twin - Material Transport Process Overview
The INTRANAV.IO RTLS is used for real-time location tracking of transport racks, loaded or empty, which are on their way from the metal processing plant to the galvanizing plant. The transport racks are carried by driverless transport vehicles (AGVs). The material flow between the fully automated and semi-automated production is tracked in real-time.
The “article number & quantity” details from the corresponding production line in the metal processing area is linked to the INTRANAV.RTLS TAG which is displayed on a monitor, ordered according to the FIFO process in the galvanizing plant. One monitor per material buffer (FIFO line) is installed, which displays the information of the corresponding material buffer.
The information linked to the INTRANAV.RTLS TAG has to be retrievable by an employee at any time. This is enabled by a barcode on the tag which displays the information on a browser app in the company’s internal WLAN via the contractor’s website.
Automatically Integrate Transport Racks
Via virtual zones (geofences), the INTRANAV.RTLS identifies as soon as a transport rack from the production plant reaches one of the loading stations. The transport rack is then clearly assigned to the respective loading station. The system or the machine operator then loads the transport rack.
Associating the Transport and Article Information with RTLS Tags
When a transport rack is loaded and ready for pickup, the article number and total loaded quantity is linked to the INTRANAV.RTLS TAG via the INTRANAV.IO platform. In the case of fully automated production plants, the trigger for updating the information (after completion of the loading process) comes from the plant control system itself. For semi-automated production plants, the trigger is initiated by an employee using an Android, iOS, or Windows device. INTRANAV.IO accesses this data (article number/number of pieces) via an interface and links it to the TAG (the TAG ID) as described above.
Real-Time Location Tracking of Load Carriers
The scaffold manufacturer tracks the transport racks, loaded or empty, in real-time via the Digital Twin platform, INTRANAV.IO, on their way from the metal processing plant to the galvanizing plant. The entire material flow between the fully and partially semi-automated production, which is carried out by driverless transport vehicles, is digitized via the INTRANAV IoT platform.
The IoT platform displays the production progress in real-time with the transport orders of the AGVs and their quantities. In the event of disruptions or bottlenecks, an alarm indicates a deviation in the process alerting employees to intervene immediately.
Dynamic FIFO Process
After transport by AGV, the transport rack is unloaded into one of four material buffers (depending on the contents) at the galvanizing plant. Items are hung up in the galvanizing plant using a conveyor system based on the FIFO principle.
The transport point of the FIFO line must be identified, and the article number and quantity must be displayed on a screen at the FIFO line. Here, the sequence of the transport racks is defined based on the import timestamp into the respective geofence. The real sequence of the transport racks are displayed accordingly on a screen via INTRANAV.IO. The following transport rack in the material buffer lies with its long side directly against the previous transport rack. If the transport rack leaves the material buffer on the output section of the material buffer, the information disappears from the monitor and that of the subsequent transport rack appears. The distance between the input and output sections is at least 3,000 mm (length of the transport rack).
Analysis of Resource Utilization
Through an interface, real-time tracking data is imported in a structured format into industrial analysis software, which analyzes the overall resource utilization of AGVs and transport racks. The examination of the utilization and transit times, such as downtimes or throughput times, helps to identify weak points and improve them for the further course of production.