With the rise of e-commerce and an increase in consumer demands, the need for cold storage has grown to ensure food quality and reduce losses. However, in the low-temperature environment of cold storage, workers are unable to operate in cold storage or low-temperature environments for long time due to the limitations of human physiology, which restricts operational activities, affecting production and logistics efficiency.
In response to these industry challenges and customer needs, Multiway Robotics has launched a groundbreaking solution for unmanned forklifts tailored for cold storage facilities.
1. Project Background
The customer is a modern enterprise engaged in the production of meat products and owns a large cold storage facility with a capacity of tens of thousands of tons. In order to ensure a strong and stable supply of raw materials, they have partnered with Multiway Robotics to integrate traditional food processing techniques with modern logistics technology. This integration aims to achieve an upgrade in intelligent logistics automation for their cold storage facility.
2. Project Challenges
Due to the unique environment of the cold storage facility, there are challenges such as icy floors that can lead to tire slipping. The area around the cold storage doors is particularly prone to icing, and the reflective surfaces on the walls caused by the ice create difficulties in navigation accuracy.
To address these issues, Multiway Robotics has developed an unmanned forklift system tailored for cold storage environments. This system includes the vehicle body, sensor solutions, algorithms, and overall system design to match the unmanned handling and storage requirements within the cold storage facility.
Furthermore, this food warehouse employs manual management and ground stacking methods, resulting in low handling efficiency and significant space wastage. Additionally, the warehouse stores a large number of different products, making inventory management challenging and leading to difficulties in locating items and conducting efficient stocktaking.
In response to these challenges, the enterprise has put forth a requirement for high-density vertical storage. Guided by the objective of addressing the client's pain points, Multiway Robotics has provided an integrated solution for unmanned forklifts in the cold storage facility, encompassing both hardware products and software systems.
The project area comprises three sections: the shipping area, finished product storage area, and temporary storage area for incoming goods. There are a total of three cold storage entrances and exits, with one used for incoming finished products and the remaining two for outgoing finished products.
The solution involves introducing an unmanned forklift solution with the "Reach Truck MW-R16" as the primary hardware products. This not only fulfills the automated handling needs within the cold storage environment but also allows for high-position operations, increasing the warehouse capacity by over 30% and enabling high-density storage within limited space.
By combining the Warehouse Management System (WMS), the Robot Control System (RCS), and the Warehouse Control System (WCS), the solution achieves seamless integration of hardware products and software systems, effectively linking the entire equipment and information flow. The self-developed WCS system centrally manages upstream and downstream equipment, ensuring swift task responsiveness. The RCS scheduling system autonomously plans the optimal paths, facilitating efficient collaboration among multiple vehicles and meeting the continuous 24-hour production requirements on-site.
4. Project Achievements
Reduced Goods Damage: The automated handling and storage mode improves cold chain logistics efficiency, leading to decreased goods damage.
Unmanned Operations: 24/7 unmanned operations decrease operational and management costs, enhancing overall business efficiency.
Lean Management: Lean management of cold storage operations fosters efficient and orderly processes, elevating the company's competitiveness.
Traceable Data: Dynamic monitoring of goods throughout the entire process ensures transparent and traceable information data management.