Du betrachtest gerade MODEX und LogiMAT 2024: Was gibt’s zu sehen?

MODEX und LogiMAT 2024: Was gibt’s zu sehen?

Die MODEX ist gerade zu Ende gegangen, die LogiMAT beginnt nächste Woche. Wie immer rühren die Aussteller – die Branche ist nahezu vollständig vertreten – kräftig die Werbetrommel und buhlen um die Aufmerksamkeit der Besucher. Was gab es bei der MODEX , was gibt es für Besucher bei der LogiMAT zu sehen?

In einem kurzen Video habe ich meine Sicht auf die Dinge dargestellt. Wer mir nicht zuhören will, kann das editierte Transkript lesen, das unter dem Video zu finden ist.

The Warehouse Engineering Podcast #3


Has Warehouse Automation Technology Reached a Plateau?

MODEX in Atlanta, one of the world’s largest trade fairs for logistics technology, has just come to an end. And next week LogiMAT will take place in Stuttgart, which is perhaps even bigger than MODEX. I haven’t been to MODEX, but I will be at LogiMAT, and I’m really looking forward to it, because it always feels like a class reunion. I get to see a lot of friends and former colleagues that I usually only see on my screen throughout the year, if at all.

So I mainly go there to talk to people, not so much for the technology. Because when it comes to technology, I’m not sure I get to see anything really new. In fact, I think we’ve reached a technological plateau when it comes to warehouse automation. Maybe I’m wrong, I will find out next week, but I don’t think that’s the case.

What I expect are incremental improvements on the existing technologies that we already have. I don’t expect anything revolutionary. When I look at the announcements that companies make about their latest technologies at LogiMAT or MODEX, almost everything is some kind of improved version of what they already had or what someone else already had. So maybe some of the things we can see at the show are a little bit better than what we had before, but I don’t think there will be any game changers.

For a technology to be a „game changer“, it must either do something completely different from, and better than, what has been done before. Or that it is significantly cheaper than what has been done before. And if that’s not the case, we only see things that are different, perhaps a little better, but they don’t make an awful lot of difference.

So we’ll see some goods-to-person technologies with different storage systems, we’ll see a lot of piece picking robots that can pick a little bit faster and are a little bit more versatile than the previous generation of robots. We’ll see a lot of AGVs which have been around for 40 years, so maybe they’ve become useful in the meantime. But that’s not what really excites me.

You know, AutoStore was invented some 25 years ago and started changing the landscape of storage technology about 10 years ago. The interesting thing about AutoStore is that it works very differently than other technologies that were around at the time, such as mini-load stacker cranes, single-level shuttles, or multi-level shuttles.

Now that AutoStore exists, we see many improvements to the original technology of AutoStore coming from the AutoStore company itself, we see derivatives of AutoStore, improved versions of the original concept coming from companies like Volume, IntelliStore, Gridstore and the like.

I think the only goods-to-person technology that has emerged in the last few years that really does things very differently might be Instock from California. Instock has this fascinating concept of little vehicles that drive around inside the storage cube, and these little vehicles can drive up the walls, they can drive under the ceiling, so it looks technologically complex, but it does something very different, I’m not sure if it does things better, I don’t know, I think it’s very complicated to judge, but it’s different, so maybe it turns out to be as revolutionary a technology as AutoStore once was; maybe in 10 years it’ll be forgotten, we don’t know.

Anyway, I’m really looking forward to LogiMAT next week. I hope to see many of you there. And do let me know if you present that revolutionary piece of technology at your stand that the world needs to know about.