Robot Control: Robots Manage Manufacturing And Logistics

Rosina Geiger

Meet RAY and EVE. RAY parks cars for drivers. Meanwhile, EVE works in a factory, where she moves goods from the assembly line to the shipping warehouse. RAY and EVE are smart. They’re dedicated. They work well with others. And they’re always up on the latest technology.

And yet, there is one thing that sets them far apart from their fellow co-workers. RAY and EVE, you see, are both industrial robots – the brainchild of Germany-based startup Serva Transport Systems.

Revolution solution

RAY, the patented robotic system, takes over vehicle parking and makes parking fast, easy, and safe. In the meantime, EVE, the automated guided vehicle (AGV), moves everything from cars and boats to pharmaceuticals across a modern, streamlined manufacturing process. Together, the robots provide a fully automated alternative to the tugger train, forklift, and assembly line of the past.

The fleet of smart robots is managed by the Serva platform SKY, a central tool that controls and monitors intelligent hardware networks and software components. From the receipt of goods, assembly, and every step in between, SKY tightly integrates individual robot movements and activities across the entire supply chain.

Digital rethink

Armed with this innovation, companies of every stripe are free to completely rethink the way they create designs, source parts, and build products across the digital supply chain:

  • Bridging the gap between warehouse and manufacturing. In the classic manufacturing plant, forklift operators move pallets of parts, components, and goods manually between the warehouse and the assembly line, delivering them at just the right time. Serva’s robots and software solutions change all of that. The automated forklift eliminates the traditional gap between the warehouse and manufacturing and accelerates innovation.
  • Modular production. The rigid, fixed assembly lines of the past can no longer keep up with consumers’ hunger for customized products in numerous styles, colors, and features. SKY eliminates the need to follow specific process steps in a pre-determined order. Automobile OEMs, for example, can add new product options almost overnight, as well as instantly change or improve existing cars. They can even simultaneously build completely different models in real time.
  • Faster time to market. Once the traditional assembly line disappears, so does the traditional plant. Fluid, dynamic manufacturing scenarios are drastically reducing the time it takes to design and build a plant design and construction times. Consider the biopharmaceutical industry. In the past, it could take three to seven years to build a conventional plant. With modular manufacturing and robots, a plant for new medicines can become fully operational in 12 months.

An autonomous future

As innovative companies like Serva TS grow and expand operations, organized networks of robots are quickly becoming the norm for a digital global supply chain that is economical and efficient.

“Serva is giving manufacturers an almost unlimited opportunity to delight their customers with the personalized products they want, when they want,” says Serva TS co-founder Rupert Koch. “It’s more than a new world. It’s a world we haven’t even imagined yet.”

Serva TS is part of the SAP Startup Accelerator for Digital Supply Chain.

Rosina Geiger

About Rosina Geiger

Rosina Geiger is the Director of Startup Engagement at SAP. She has worked at the Hasso Plattner Institute before joining SAP in 2016 to establish the SAP Startup Accelerator for Digital Supply Chain in Berlin and Palo Alto.