Swarm thinking in manufacturing halls


Last friday I spent an afternoon with my parents at the Oceanographic in Valencia. We also ate at the restaurant with huge aquarium windows. Thousands of fish were circling around us – all as one collectivism. When a sting-ray appeared they fishs moved syncroniesed together out of the ray’s way. It seems like all of them know exactly what the others were planning to do – a swarm acting and intellegence was visible. This amazing proceedure made me thinking about this could be used in business, later on, I was thinking about swarm intellegence used in logistic management. And of course – there are several different approaches for using the group movement. The following video is not really related to the logistics topic, but it shows what I was thinking to be albe to use.

There are three main problems when a lot of different units try to work togehter:

  • Coordination problems
  • Forecasting problems
  • cooperation problems

In a swarm the communication is somewho accessable for every unit. (like the fishes moving out of the sting-rays way). In my last blog I wrote about the individual robots driving around autonomously and supporting in manufacturing halls. With a system connecting them and bringing them on the same level of current overall happening-knowledge, they can act spontanously and situational. The scientists in the area of Industry 4.0 developed new tecnologies – there are now the procedures for locating and communicating the shuttles among each other as well as the energy concept and management. With the aid of an agent-based software, the vehicles work together autonomously with the lift and coordinate with each other. The overall system is therefore able to adjust its capacities to seasonal or daily fluctuations but also to changed order, customer or article structures as well as to arbitrarily shift output between the storage and transport process and the individual subareas such as the shelf lanes.

With these kind of connecting between the units, processes can be improved rapidly. Traffic lines can be avoided and time can be safed. At the end I want to close this blog entry with another picture related to my former blogs. 🙂 Thank you!

Bildschirmfoto 2017-05-08 um 21.04.55



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