Software Components of an AGV Transport System
AIC – AGV Interface Controller
The AGV Interface Controller translates the material flow of the production management system (ERP/MES) into AGV transport assignments in order to supply the production machines. The transport requests are extracted out of a database (e.g. Oracle, MS SQL) and are updated periodically with the actual transport status.The control of the aAGVs is implemented using the ARCL-Prococol (Advanced Robotics Command Language).
The actual AIC-Status is stored in a local SQL-database and can be accessed from various clients to be used for evaluation or visualization.
The AGV interface controller gathers the oncoming transport requests and assigns them to the vehicles. The AIC considers several factors like the vehicle’s distance from the requesting machine, the battery status, the assignment priority etc.
The transport assignments can be generated with different tools, for example with SAP, with web interfaces at the working station, with photoelectric sensors, with bar code scanners or other sensors. A REST-API is the standard interface between the generated assignments and the AIC.
Besides that, the AIC supervises the battery charging status and sends them to the charging station when it gets below a certain limit.
The AGV database saves all the important AIC data. This makes it possible to extract parameters like travel time, idle time, efficiency or number of trips per path for statistical analysis.
Fleet Management Server (FMS)
The fleet management server organizes the communication with all vehicles. The AGVs send their status (charging level, WLAN connection, localization) as well as their current position and planned path to this server.
The FMS also saves and controls the map of the environment the vehicles drive in. It ensures that all vehicles are provided with the most current version of the map at all times.
Fleet Management GUI
The fleet management GUI is used to interact with the FMS components remote, for example when a map of the hall gets scanned or modified. Targets, dips and charging stations can be specified. To control the traffic, no-go areas, one-way streets and maximal speed can be specified in the map.
The GUI can also be used to detect the status of the transport robots. Therefore it is one of the most important tools for maintenance of the pro ANT Systems.
AGV Core and AGV SPS
Both AGV components AGV Core and AGV SPS run on each vehicle. The AGV core software runs on a fanless PC and organizes the communication with the FMS, as well as the localization and the route scheduling. It supervises and controls different hardware components in the vehicles (motor, lights, sensors).
Optional: Web Visualization
A web visualization can help to keep track of the vehicles and show their status and detect their position. It is then shown on a big screen in the control center. This allows a quick and simple surveillance of vehicles‘ status at all points in time.