AUTOMATIC MIXED-PALLETIZING FOR CROSS-DOCKING LOGISTICS CENTERS
Demand for increasingly customized consumer goods and the abundance of small local shops, with little to none storage space, poses significant challenges to logistics. Therefore, forecastled supply-chains are being pressured to transform into responsive demand-driven supply-chains. Logistic centers and their hardware and software suppliers have achieved some technological progress in terms of automation, but are still distant from the requisites of emergent logistic concepts. The backbone of the majority of available solutions functions with fixed static storage space and robots which either manipulate packs or individual parcels. This approach neglects the advantages associated with a disruptive concept, namely, cross-docking, a strategy to dispatch parcels with little to none storage between logistic nodes. The materialization of this concept implies significant technical and scientific challenges, which the ? Cross Log - Automatic Mixed-Palletizing for Cross-Docking Logistics Centers? project addresses in its 4 main dimensions, including software and hardware: ? Receiving, identification and distribution station. ? Dynamic accumulation station. ? Mobile palletizing unit. ? Pallet forming station. The Cross Log consortium intends to address the technical and scientific uncertainties posed by the concept of cross-docking with automated mixed pallet construction, and is constituted by JPM and three departments of INESC TEC: CESE (Enterprise Systems Engineering), CRIIS (Robotics in Industry and Intelligent Systems) e CEGI (Industrial Engineering and Management).