Artificial Intelligence / OPTIKON
Smart logistics help
The OPTIKON app calculates the ideal placement of pallets of various sizes in freight containers
lmost everyone knows about the classic computer game Tetris, in which the aim is to fit various differently shaped elements in a given space as compactly as possible. Logisticians face the same task all the time when a freight container has to be loaded. There are innumerable ways to fit differently sized pallets into a container. Additionally, their dimensions vary day by day, complicating the process even more. OPTIKON, an app jointly developed by ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab, IT and Logistics, provides a solution to this problem with AI technologies: It calculates the optimal location of the relevant items to be shipped in order to make use of the container’s loading capacity in the best way possible. “OPTIKON demonstrates how we can apply Industry 4.0 technologies and artificial intelligence using them to further increase the carmaker efficiency. The app includes 400 types and dimensions of pallets to calculate the maximum load of containers. Additionally, the technology takes into account the proper load distribution in the container and the timeliness of the material shipment”, adds Klaus Blüm, head of FI – Information Technology.
The app’s name comes from the OPTImisation of the use of CONtainers, and Brand Logistics has been using it since November 2019 – mainly for loading the containers that it sends to Nizhny Novgorod. Apart from car body components, parts and production materials that are not both made and assembled locally, such as air conditioning, steering wheels and lights, are also shipped to Russia from the production plant in Mladá Boleslav. During the first six months of 2020, ŠKODA AUTO saved 151 container shipments thanks to this loading process, which corresponds to saving 80 tonnes of CO2 emissions generated during transport. “OPTIKON represents a significant development step on our way to digitising logistics and workflows. The project simplifies the warehouse staff work while saving transport costs and reducing CO2 emissions. Consequently, it also has a positive impact on the environmental strategy of Green Future”, says David Strnad, head of PL – Brand Logistics. ED
The app uses methods of mathematical combinatorial analysis to find various solutions to the so-called backpack problem. The aim is to optimally fit certain objects into a limited space. While the classic backpack problem considers only the weight and value of packaged items, OPTIKON also considers the floor area, the volume of the transported item and the timeliness of dispatch.