Preparing for robotization in logistics properties is human work

Where speed and efficiency are credo, machines are increasingly taking on repetitive actions. This is certainly true in the logistics world. Robotization and automation have a direct impact on the house, which can work optimally if it is perfectly adapted to the various robots.

“Each robot makes different demands on its environment,” say the experts at project management and real estate consulting Drees & Sommer. “To match the requirements, wishes and opportunities of the owner, end user and contractors, it is necessary to have ongoing coordination. You have to understand what it’s about and what interests are at stake. ”

Robots determine the design
New distribution centers, industrial or production halls are often already design-wise prepared for robotisation – which is a prerequisite for getting installations up and running – but must be tailored to the end user. “The end – user’s automated business process is, in fact, the core of every new logistics hall,” says project manager Bastiaan Muilwijk. We dive into the specific customer’s business process to be able to register exactly which machines are available for which applications and which flows. The robot systems vary in size, can be fixed or flexible and can all require a different construction. If high-quality fully automatic order-picking systems with a lot of steel are used, the construction must of course be prepared for very varying loads. The requirements program for the new building then places additional requirements on the floors to prevent deformation; aspects such as the stiffness of the floor and the location of the piles are important. The requirements program also describes the differences and interfaces separately, as well as the system’s consumption. These are often overlooked, but are essential for the (timely) functioning of a system. If you bring the right supplies with you at an early stage in design and construction, you can save yourself a lot of problems and costs. ”

Tuning is human work
Some coordination is required for the adaptation to the end user; the more comprehensive the level of automation, the more. You must speak the language of the client, the end user and the contractor. “Continuous coordination is essential in every phase of project realization, according to Senior Project Manager Marcel van Erven.” Gaining insight into the gray areas and offering solutions. Developing and realizing remains human work. Areas that are not 100% clear are always there. One says and means something from his own frame of reference and the other sometimes interprets this very differently or does not hear everything. Prerequisites are very dangerous. It is one of the tasks of a good project manager to overcome this and to manage the processes integrated: initiate , ask questions, determine, record and then continuously check if everything has been done in accordance with the requirements program and make adjustments where necessary.All processes in a distribution center that can be performed routinely will eventually be robotized. to create these connections, a human link is really needed. ”

Profit through timely involvement
In logistics properties, new construction process management is pure song: one looks at the processes individually as well as the connection between the processes and ensures that they are seamlessly connected. “Efficiency has the highest priority in the logistics end user’s business process, and robotics plays a significant role in this,” Van Erven continues. “The sooner we get to the table to coordinate the details, the better activities can be organized and planned. For example, the construction routing is also closely related to the planning of the start-up of the robots. And if the end user makes additional demands on the property’s sustainability, then all parties win if they can already be included in the design. ”

International and national expertise
The logistics sector is one of the specific sectors in which Drees & Sommer is active. The agency provides a wide range of services in the logistics area – including purchasing guidance, cost advice, project management and construction management. Muilwijk: “We have international expertise in logistics properties and we know what the current development is. In addition, we know the national laws and regulations and we know what is going on in the market. Drees & Sommer relieves national and internationally operating investors and “Logistics companies with the realization of their homes, for example in the tender process, the permitting process, supervision of the construction process and validation of the interfaces. If you have control of everything from the development stage, you can quickly tick all the boxes afterwards.”

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