The Traffic Control System (TCS) is the interface between a system that creates orders (e.g. ERP system) and automated guided vehicles (AGVs) that process the orders. There are multiple ways to create orders in the system. The TCS assigns these orders to individual AGVs according to different criteria and makes sure that there are no collisions between them. Our long-term experience in this field, allowed us to implement numerous logics and processes into the standard functionality of the system which can easily be extended via standardized interfaces. Moreover, our software does not depend on any specific type of AGV but can communicate with all AGVs equipped with an interface complying with the VDA 5050 standard. Finally, the core software also includes extensive analysis and statistics tools.
Oncoming traffic and dead ends can be directly recognized and appropriately taken into account during the creation of routes. Therefore, the danger of deadlock situations is eliminated.
Layouts can be spread over several floors which may be connected by an elevator. An automatic change of the map to the correct floor is integrated into the software.
The state of a storage space is administrated in a database. This includes information about whether it is empty or occupied and about the identification number of the load that is placed there. Therefore, it is possible to do the complete warehouse management via the TCS.
Storage lanes are interrelated places within the layout that can be used for storing palettes. They can either be arranged in a row or side by side. The TCS supports the collection and delivery of palettes from storage lanes without defining a dedicated collection or delivery place. The system is automatically locating the closest palette or empty space within these dedicated areas and automatically processes the orders.
The layout editor is equipped with numerous functions facilitating the creation of layouts, like automatic alignment or simultaneous relocation and copying of multiple elements.
Since the interaction of the TCS with other systems is an important consideration for the realization of projects in the area of unmanned transport vehicles, the Synchronics TCS offers a variety of interfacing options. Firstly, the system offers a REST-API which enables a supervisory system to create transport orders and request the status of the system. This interface is also provided via MQTT with the same functionality. A further possibility is the use of digital I/Os which can also be integrated via REST, MQTT or OPC-UA. These signals can be used for simple communication tasks with the infrastructure of the facility. Therefore, it is possible to lock certain areas via digital inputs or open automatic doors via digital outputs. For more complex tasks, like customer-specific order processing, it is possible to use a specially designed Script-API. This API enables the programmer to use Python scripts to communicate directly with the TCS and to override the standard functionality according to the need of the specific project. Synchronics offers turnkey solutions and also provides detailed documentation of the interfaces. This enables the customers to adapt the TCS to their needs.
To enable full, decentralized control of the system, we offer a web application, that enables the user to create orders via mobile equipment like smartphones or tablets. In order to satisfy customer needs in the best way possible, we also offer the development of customer-specific web applications. Moreover, our specially designed modular system allows for a very short development time.
We also offer a simulator for automated guided vehicles (AGVs). The software simulates AGVs on a network level. This allows testing of realworld installations without requiring an actual AGV. The simulation can happen either in real-time or in time-lapse. With the simulator, facility designs can be analyzed much faster than with a real AGV. Moreover, all status information, like the battery level, can be stimulated to enable the analysis of special cases like a low battery error of the AGV.