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Enabling flexible material flow for smart warehouses and smart factories

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - Celluveyor (Enabling flexible material flow for smart warehouses and smart factories)

Período documentado: 2021-05-01 hasta 2022-04-30

Conveyor technology in distribution centres and manufacturing plants has not changed much over the past decades; yet exponential growth in e-commerce and product variety as well as consumer demand for rapid and customised delivery mean that logistics need to be faster and more flexible at reduced costs. This trend has been supported by the ongoing pandemic situation around the world.
cellumation has invented the celluveyor, a modular, omni-directional conveyor technology, which is a completely new approach to material flow. With the celluveyor, we will revolutionize material flow in the same way that robots revolutionized production back in the 1980s: instead of the rigid and inflexible conveyors currently available, we offer a modular, Lego-like system that takes up to 95% less space and enables any number of objects to be moved in any direction and independently from each other. This is only possible through software-driven conveying. The celluveyor system is our core product: optimizing it for a wide range of logistics functions and customer types is the core of our strategy. The work to be carried out during the EIC project included a reduction in the cost of cells and expanded software functionality, which enabled us to sell the system profitably and at scale for all functionalities. Furthermore, during the EIC project a new business opportunity using the celluveyor as enabling technology for urban microhubs has come up and we have further developed our product to fit in an optimal way to the adapted business strategy.“
Within the project cellumation was able to make significant progress in various areas of operation. This included hardware development, software development and creation of a new business model. The cell hardware has been optimized mechanically as well as electrically. Different designs have been developed, tested, and evaluated. External labs certified the reliability of the cell hardware. The software has been extended and enhanced in various aspects, e.g. regarding performance, reliability and added features. New machines have been designed based on new control algorithms. Those have been tested internally as well as externally with clients. On an organizational level the business models and use cases have been refined and extended based on the results and objectives of the EIC project. cellumation will now additionally to the former business cases use its technology to enable new ways for sustainable, green last mile deliveries in cities. New investors could be convinced, and first prototypes have been set up.
The following progress has been achieved: On hardware level, the environment conditions, in which the cells can operate have been extended and tested thoroughly and a higher IP protection class (IP54) was confirmed by an external test institution. On the software level, e.g. the motion control was optimized, which leads to even reduced noise levels and increased ergonomics. This has a noticeable impact on the working conditions for personnel. Vision algorithms have been enhanced for more robust operation. Business models have been extended to specifically target requirements that have been exacerbated by the pandemic situation. Since the new business model will change the way last mile postal delivery is organized in cities, it will change and increase life quality of whole cities’ population.
Current cell design including Hardware and firmware upgrades
Exemplary functionality - Palletizing / Depalletizing system; top view
Exemplary functionality - Palletizing / Depalletizing system; side view
cv.DEPAL system developed during project runtime
cv.BULKSORT system developed during the EIC project runtime