VisionNav: Your Safeguard for High-rise Warehousing
Other - Put-away and Picking
As the height of shelves continues to rise during high-level storage access, the level of safety risk and complexity escalates. Autonomous forklifts handling goods on these high shelves face potential safety hazards, and any collision can result in severe accidents. These accidents may range from minor incidents like shelf collapses and goods damage to more severe cases involving injuries or even fatalities. Therefore, it is crucial to implement comprehensive safety measures to ensure that autonomous forklifts handle high-level storage access securely at every step, minimizing the risk of accidents.
VisionNav x SICK
VisionNav has joined forces with SICK, a prominent provider of sensors and sensor solutions for industrial automation applications, to develop safety solutions for autonomous forklifts. Together, they address a series of challenges faced during autonomous forklift operations in complex environments. These challenges encompass aspects like vehicle guidance, safety protection, effective obstacle avoidance, and shelf recognition.
In collaboration with SICK, VisionNav's autonomous forklifts have successfully completed rigorous testing, adhering to the Machinery Directive (MD) and the Radio Equipment Directive (RED) standards. They have obtained the European Union's "CE" safety certification, which is based on ISO 3691-4 safety standards, specifically focusing on the safety of autonomous industrial vehicles and their systems.
During high-level storage access, autonomous forklifts may encounter various risks and issues. For example, deviations in fork lifting height can lead to imprecise fork placement and incorrect goods positioning during retrieval. When depositing goods, discrepancies in detecting available placement space can result in collisions and shelf collapse incidents. VisionNav has meticulously considered each detail in the high-level storage access process, conducting extensive research and testing. They have implemented a dual approach, enhancing both the vehicle's hardware protection and software algorithms, improving the precision of perception and servo control. This enables the forklifts to accurately gather data on shelf heights, loaded goods' positions, forkhole space dimensions, and storage space dimensions, ensuring secure retrieval and precise depositing of goods.
VisionNav has meticulously considered every detail in the process of high-level storage access, undergoing numerous rounds of research and testing. In terms of goods retrieval and placement, as well as fork lifting, they have employed a dual approach of enhancing both the vehicle's hardware protection and software algorithms. This combination has improved the precision of autonomous forklift perception and servo control, enabling the forklift to accurately gather data on shelf heights, the position of loaded goods, forkhole space dimensions, and storage space dimensions. This precision control ensures that goods are safely placed during retrieval and smoothly deposited when needed.
Autonomous forklifts are equipped with safety collision-avoidance sensors at the front, utilizing SICK's obstacle-avoidance laser system while navigating narrow storage aisles and during turns. These systems continuously monitor the vehicle's front-end safety. The forklift's load-carrying fork follows precise paths, calculating the necessary safety spaces when making right-angle turns, managing turning angles and speeds, and ensuring safe navigation when carrying goods.
3D Obstacle Avoidance
VisionNav has developed a dedicated safety PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) control processing unit to monitor vehicle safety. This unit cross-references parameters like speed limits, vehicle speed, and data from the safety laser systems. In the event of anomalies, the safety PLC control processing unit takes control, slowing down or stopping the vehicle to ensure the safety of both the vehicle and personnel.
New Materials Industry
The project was implemented at a warehouse within the customer's manufacturing base, which handles a substantial volume of finished goods materials daily for inbound and outbound processes. The warehouse features high-level shelves exceeding 6 meters in height. VisionNav introduced the VNR25 forward-moving autonomous forklift along with the RCS 2.0 central control scheduling system, automating inbound and outbound tasks for finished goods. This setup integrates with the customer's Warehouse Management System (WMS) and synchronizes logistics and material information in real-time, achieving internal logistics automation.
With over 300 successful project cases, including high-level storage access applications reaching heights of up to 11 meters, VisionNav continues to expand the boundaries of autonomous forklift applications while prioritizing safety. They are committed to ensuring that customers can use their products and services with increased peace of mind and confidence in a sustainable workflow.