Industry 4.0: UniWare networks with third-party control systems

The system integrator Unitechnik has further developed its warehouse management system UniWare: The newly integrated XML interface allows the flexible integration of third-party control systems. The barrier-free exchange of information between the warehouse management system and the individual machine components can now be handled in real-time, and is now very much in the spirit of Industry 4.0. Further advantages of the new version are the intuitive handling and detailed representation of status changes in the visualization. Thanks to the new replay function, malfunctions can be retraced visually for a period of one to two weeks.

By opening the warehouse management system, Unitechnik provides an important basis for the implementation of Industry 4.0. The goal is to network automated machinery and their controls even more closely with the warehouse management system. This is possible on a company-wide level with flexible interfaces, and it is what makes the systems ready for Industry 4.0. In addition to the OPC-UA format, the XML format is particularly suited for implementation: It is used as a standard language on the Internet and is also compatible with systems that do not support OPC. The continued development of the visualization module complements the real-time communication between the warehouse management system UniWare and the machine components in the warehouse.

All sensors and actuators in the logistics center that are connected to the warehouse management system UniWare on the control level are represented in the new warehouse management system module. The information from the control system is combined with the data from the warehouse management and the material flow computer. Users ultimately benefit from a comprehensive view of the entire logistics system, including the connected external systems.

System visualization offers even more functions for an even more concise representation of the warehouse processes: the continuous zoom function takes the center stage. The user can use a slider or 2 finger gesture - depending on whether a PC or portable terminal is used - to go from an overview to the detailed view. A click on an item automatically displays a 100% magnification of the presentation and centers the image. The visualization is compatible with all types of monitors. Process-specific adjustments of the hardware are not necessary.

The detailed presentation of all transport units in real time is also very user-friendly. The system displays status changes to users, e.g. visually by using animated graphics. This significantly increases transparency in the logistics center. The replay function is another added value: users can play back recorded data with an adjustable time lapse feature. The history can be researched in case of a malfunction and error sources can be excluded. Malfunctions can be visually retraced for a period of up to two weeks. Comprehensive malfunction and notification reports round off the tool box for preventive maintenance.

UniWare - mobile control center for the complete logistics center