Determination of the optimal time for retrofit measures for intralogistics systems

Operators of intralogistics systems focus on the highest possible system availability combined with low total cost of ownership. The economical usage of these systems depends on the functionality of individual system components. Automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS) are often part of retrofit projects and significantly influence the throughput of the intralogistics system. Thus a retrofit of these intralogistics systems contributes significantly to the optimization of the overall system. For this reason, ensuring long-term functionality is of these technical systems is key. In addition to the usual maintenance activities, modernization is  an alternative to prolong the lifecycle of ASRS. In contrast to plant operators, implementers have the necessary experience to evaluate the positive effects of retrofits or to assess the technical condition. This lack of knowledge prevents operators from recognizing the necessity and urgency of modernization. Although explicitly visible partial aspects, such as maintenance and repair costs, are taken into account, serious consequences due to unplanned breakdowns need to be considered increasingly. Especially unknown risk of default and associated consequences may delay the implementation of retrofits. With potential outdated plants comes decreasing system availability, rising operating and downtime costs as well as a higher risk of discontinuation of spare parts. These factors reduce the economic efficiency of the plants, whereby the operators of the plants can get into economic difficulties.

Within this project a methodology to enable preparation and implementation of retrofit projects in order to ensure economic efficiency of retrofits für ASRS. This includes solutions to address weak spots in the retrofit process and to create a framework for successful modernization.

The research project consists of six work packages. In WP 1 the ACTUAL process of retrofit projects for storage and retrieval machines is examined in order to identify the triggers for retrofits, relevant components or necessary measures. These findings are taken into account in WP 2 in order to highlight potential for optimization. Subsequently, a first concept for improving the retrofit process is developed, which is concretized in the following work packages. Activities in WP 3 focus on raising awareness, e.g. by developing a web-based information system to inform operators or through  publications. In WP 4, a concept is developed that supports plant operators in the monetary evaluation of an upcoming retrofit. WP 5 includes the anaylsis of which measures and support will facilitate the implementation of modernization measures in advance.  Finally, the results from WP 3 to WP 5 are summarized, tested and then evaluated.

  • IGZ Ingenieursgesellschaft für logistische Informationssysteme mbH
  • Weissenborn Logistik Consulting
  • MIAS Group
  • Witron Logistik + Informatik GmbH
  • SSI Schäfer Noell GmbH
  • Swisslog AG
  • TGW Logistics Group
  • Schenker Deutschland AG (Eching)
  • LTW Intralogistik GmbH
  • Gebhardt Fördertechnik GmbH

The IGF project 20157 N/1 of the Forschungsgemeinschaft Intralogistik / Fördertechnik und Logistiksysteme (IFL) e.V., Lyoner Straße 18, 60528 Frankfurt am Main, was funded by the AiF within the programme for the promotion of joint industrial research (IGF) of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy on the basis of a resolution of the German Bundestag.