Adaptive Logistics: Logistics in Industry 4.0

At a glance

Adaptive logistics is a concept that takes advantage of the diversity of information in modern logistics and industrial IoT systems to enable flexible, automated concepts for logistics. In real time, data is collected, processed and forwarded to machines and equipment for further processing. The aim is not only to automize as many work steps as possible, but also to make them flexibly compatible with each other. Individual systems should be able to react to each other. Ideally, adaptive logistics systems should ensure that the value chain optimizes itself as far as possible, e.g. when unforeseen events or bottlenecks occur. Logistics 4.0 should reduce delays and interruptions to a minimum and thus work more efficiently than ever before.

Connected Logistic

Connected Logistics is a collective term that describes the networking of applications, devices and technologies in adaptive logistics. The aim is to connect the devices and information involved in such a way that all available data and resources work together optimally. The systems should be able to work intelligently and with foresight in order to find an appropriate solution quickly and independently in most situations. People should only have to intervene in the system in exceptional situations. The prerequisite is not only that technology such as networked sensors is used extensively: The exact and exhaustive definition of business processes is also crucial to enable intelligent systems to work efficiently and correctly. Production and logistics are no longer considered in isolation, but as part of an overall system.

Adaptive Logistics and the Internet of Things

As already mentioned, adaptive logistics is based on the fact that all participating devices can communicate with each other in order to be able to perform their tasks optimally. The Internet of Things forms the basis for these systems: The concept makes it possible to merge the virtual world of machines, robots and data with the real world by optimally combining a variety of real-time data from sensors and devices, pre-programmed processes and stored data. This enables not only efficient decisions in the workflow, but also purely virtual simulations that can be used, for example, for the continuous optimization of processes or the identification of bottlenecks.

Outlook: cognitive logistics

The next step after adaptive logistics is cognitive logistics. Here, all processes should function completely without human intervention. The systems should be capable of learning in such a way that they can deal with all challenges and independently approach new solutions.