Episode 427: Digital Twins in warehousing with Meta Logic
Welcome to a brand-new episode of The New Warehouse Podcast as we welcome Michael Santora, CEO of Meta Logic. Meta Logic is revolutionizing the warehouse landscape by creating a metaverse focused on digital twin technology and then translating that to their robotic solution, like their Logic Palette. We met at an ABCO event recently, so be sure to tune in as we dive into Meta Logic’s fresh approach to automation in warehousing.
Understanding the Power of Digital Twins in Warehousing with Meta Logic
According to Michael, a digital twin is “a virtual representation of a space… an exact, highly accurate 3D environment of a space and the equipment within that space.” The digital twin is a virtual replica of the physical world, capturing critical data that can influence operational decisions.
Meta Logic’s digital twin technology goes beyond mere representation; it integrates physical properties like the weight a robot is carrying, the type of floor it’s driving on, or the temperature and humidity levels in the space. This allows for a simulation-controlled environment that is highly predictive. Michael elaborates: “What we’re doing with our system is we are controlling through simulation…we are integrating into that digital twin [the physical properties] to predict how something is going to behave.”
The use of digital twins in warehousing generally revolves around optimizing workflows, facilitating real-time monitoring, and minimizing errors. Where Meta Logic disrupts the norm is in how it leverages its digital twin technology to control robotic operations. “We’re using this digital twin to get the best of both worlds to create a robust, inexpensive mobile robot that can move without the limitations of fixed infrastructure within the facility,” says Michael.
By fusing the capabilities of traditional AGVs (Automated Guided Vehicles) and cutting-edge AMRs (Autonomous Mobile Robots), Meta Logic’s digital twin technology facilitates a new breed of robotic solutions. These are neither restricted by fixed infrastructure like AGVs nor limited by the high costs associated with the sensory and perception systems of AMRs. The result is a more agile, cost-effective, and highly adaptable robotic system that promises to redefine automation in warehousing.
Revolutionizing the Supply Chain Through Digital Twins and Mobile Robots
Michael explains that the concept involves creating a digital twin that supplements the hardware typically found in robots. This strategy dramatically reduces the costs and increases the flexibility of deploying a fleet of robots. The result is an innovative approach to supply chain automation, making it accessible not just to giants like Amazon and Walmart but also to companies that don’t have enormous capital expenditure budgets.
Meta Logic’s digital twins allow these robots to operate with far less onboard infrastructure, thus reducing setup and operational costs. The robots look and function much like Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs), but without the hefty price tag of building an entire infrastructure for them to run on. These mobile robots also possess the unique ability to go on and off vehicles, paving the way for new automation sectors within the supply chain. The approach alleviates common bottlenecks like truck waiting times at loading docks, thereby increasing the efficiency of the entire supply chain process.
Multi-Warehouse Operations and Workflow
When dealing with multiple warehouses not under a single controlling entity, Meta Logic still offers a seamless workflow. The system accommodates manual and automatic control, employing technology like Bluetooth “follow me” modes and digital joysticks for remote control. These features are helpful when products move between partner facilities not part of the Meta Logic network. Built-in weight sensors on the pallets help verify loads, enhancing the reliability of the shipping process.
The system’s mission planner coordinates the robots’ activities upon their arrival at a warehouse under Meta Logic control. This advanced system considers factors like box size, weight, and stacking order to optimize the operation. In this way, Meta Logic serves as a highly adaptive layer that integrates smoothly with existing Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. The end goal is simple: to convert what would have been human tasks into automated, robotic ones, thereby streamlining operations and reducing costs.
The End of Traditional Pallet Racking: Embracing Intelligent Space Utilization
The traditional warehouse storage notion has long relied on pallet racking systems to organize and manage goods. However, innovative advances in warehouse technology have begun to challenge this approach. “I don’t think you’ll need the racks anymore,” says Michael. Integrating AI and automated systems has increased density that outperforms conventional methods. For example, intelligent systems allow workflows to manage up to “six levels of warehouses on a single floor,” greatly maximizing space and throughput.
What sets this new system apart is its focus on urban logistics, bringing warehouses closer to dense population centers instead of being located “a hundred miles away because that’s where we found space for it.” This shift doesn’t just benefit storage density and can revolutionize transportation logistics, solving issues like the last mile and enabling greener transportation methods for short trips. This intelligent system can map and adapt to any space, making it perfect for non-traditional warehouses with challenging conditions. “Our AI figures out workflows that you wouldn’t be able to see yourself by looking at,” highlighting the way forward for what could very well be the future of logistics and warehousing.
- Meta Logic’s digital twin technology goes beyond merely replicating a warehouse space, integrating physical factors like weight and temperature to predict behavior.
- By fusing traditional AGVs and cutting-edge AMRs, Meta Logic’s system delivers a new, cost-effective breed of mobile robots not restricted by fixed infrastructure.
- The company’s approach maximizes warehouse space and brings operations closer to urban centers, revolutionizing storage and transport logistics.
EP 427: Digital Twins in Warehousing with Meta Logic