By Guo Jingyuan
"In the mass production of machinery manufacturing enterprises, the average handling volume for processing 1 ton of product is up to 60 tons or more, and the workers engaged in the handling and storage accounts for 15 percent to 20 percent of all the workers. While in the logistics chain, the value-added activities accounts for only around 5 percent of the total production and operation activities." At the Intelligent Logistics and Robotics Application Forum of World Robotics Conference held on October 22, Zhai Changsong, vice general manager of Guangzhou Yonegy Logistics Automation Equipment Technology Co., Ltd., calculated to the reporter. He believes that the traditional logistics pattern has expended enterprises a lot of waiting time which has become a "stumbling block" to reduce operating costs.
At present, China's logistics industry is actively transforming from a labor-intensive one to technology-intensive one. The intelligent technology and equipment are continuing to promote the optimization and upgrading of the traditional mode. How to make the logistics more "wisdom" has become the focus of attention of the conference guests.
Ding Junfa, chief adviser of China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing, said that smart logistics should be placed in the priority of urban development. The city's production and construction and people's lives cannot be separated from the logistics. The non-standard logistics market and dispersing logistics operation leads to high logistics costs, resulting in traffic congestion and a decline in quality of life.
The rapid development of e-commerce has great lift the logistics business volume. With China’s demographic dividend disappearing and the cost of land and labor rapidly rising, the advantages of intelligent logistics robot with the functions of handling, palletizing and sorting in the aspects of standardizing the warehouse management and improving logistics efficiency have become increasingly prominent and are increasingly favored by the enterprises.
"As of June this year, the warehouse area of Jingdong has reached 5.2 million square meters, and the number of workers engaging in warehousing and distribution has been more than 100 thousand which are still increasing in double. The traditional logistics depend on human work have become unsustainable," said Wang Yinxue, deputy director of expert committee of China E-commerce Logistics Enterprise Alliance and director of Jingdong "Asia No.1" project.
The application of robot technology in the field of intelligent logistics is gradually popularized. There is the birth of Petty G, an end distribution robot developed by Alibaba Rookie ET logistics laboratory, walking ahead and followed by the first unmanned express delivery vehicle in China independently developed by Jingdong having entered into the stage of road test. At the same time, the operation of Jingdong automatic sorting machine has become normal, "a set of automation equipment can save the labor cost of more than 300 workers, and the intelligent logistics can also make the enterprise transporting with lower energy consumption and more accurate operation".
As the support technology of advanced manufacturing industry and the emerging industry of the information society, intelligent robots will also become the main bearer of warehouse management. Tang Yizhi, senior vice president of vip.com, believes that the "by releasing tasks through the decision system and completing the work relying on intelligent equipment, the simple and repetitive work in storage can be done undoubtedly by a robot rather than a man, and the integrated logistics warehouse management can be realized by increasingly improving the automation equipment and robot technology".
The robot will allow the intelligent logistics flowing into not only the factory workshop, but also the countryside. Zhang Lei, CEO of Xunyi Network Technology Co., Ltd., said that recently China Post and Xunyi Network have jointly opened a postal route from Hanggai Town to Qiguan Village, Anji County of Zhejiang Province for test running. As Qiguan village being located in mountainous areas, the daily mail volume through this route is not large, but the cost for a single mail delivery is very high. Driving from the town to the village in the past takes more than half an hour. If the UAV can be used to complete the cargo flight over the total length of 10.5 kilometers, it only needs less than 15 minutes.
"In the beginning, the UAV cannot clearly identify the house number plate only through GPS positioning. Its angle of view is come down from the sky that needs to consider a variety of weather conditions including glare and cloudy. Only after repeated tests and visual positioning adjustments, can the UAV independently find safe landing area for the completion of delivery." Talking about the difficulties of product development, Zhang Lei thought it still fresh in his memories.
Today, this UAV logistics product with a fat body has been able to meet the requirements of heavy load. The power management system it carried can improve the energy efficiency and break through the space barrier to bring people more convenience. "The economic and social value of air transportation within 100 kilometers of human society is very great. Through intelligent technology, we can explore great potentials," said Zhang Lei.