The Czech Republic’s Biggest Logistics Innovations of 2018

Zdeňka Linková Aimtec
4. 7. 2019 | 4 minutes reading

Every year, the renowned media house Economia organises Zóna logistika, a conference at which it presents awards for the best logistics innovations. This year robots, augmented reality and a fish processing centre fought for the top spots in this competition. Aimtec came home with the award named Impuls Logistika Top Logistics Product – Software. The winners in the other categories were Škoda Auto, HOPI and MiR.

Logistika magazine and their publisher, the media house Economia, founded Impuls logistika so as to provide media support for the arrival of innovative projects and products in logistics. This competition has four categories: Top Logistics Project, Service, Hardware Product, and Software Product. In each assessment, the jury – made up of academics, trade-press journalists, and field experts – primarily consider an idea’s innovativeness, its use of new approaches or devices in practice and its overall benefit for the company using it. This year, Škoda Auto received an award for their deployment of autonomous part conveyance at their Vrchlabí plant, as did Mobile Industrial Robots for their autonomous MIR500 mobile robot, able to bear loads of up to 500 kilograms. Meanwhile, the HOPI concern’s centre for ocean fish and seafood processing and logistics was recognised as providing the top logistics service. In the software section, the jury was captivated by Aimtec AR Quality Check (ARQ), an application for performing augmented-reality quality control on standardised products.

Tablet-assisted Quality Control

This application for performing quality control with support from augmented reality (AR) was born as a pilot project for a major supplier of door panels in passenger automobiles. The best manufacturing products for putting AR to work in quality control are those that are standardised in their shape, dimensions and other parameters, while also having a number of variants. Even though products are typically checked on receipt by trained and experienced operators, they too are only human. Our goal was to provide them with a tool that enables them to evaluate situations quickly, simply, and the same way every time.

Tablet-assisted quality control
Tablet-assisted quality control. Photo: Aimtec

Benefits of AR for quality control

  • reduction to the time needed per inspection;
  • elimination of errors;
  • easy process training;
  • increase in information quality thanks to precise and unambiguous records;
  • digitalisation of the process – including the elimination of written records’ paper consumption.

The process for AR-assisted quality control

During each output inspection, the quality-control worker first uses their tablet to check the barcode of the part they’re inspecting, and then aims its camera so that the whole part fits onto its screen. The system automatically monitors the product’s inspection points and assesses whether the part is complete. It then lets the worker photograph the product and record the output inspection value. The data paired with the specific product is sent off to the MES, where it is stored for later use and traceability. AR thus helps to automate the whole quality control process, and above all to unify the outputs from all of the control stations.

The benefits were the motivation

The first version of the ARQ application was developed within the AimtecLab R&D platform. A specialised team of developers seeking practical applications for new technologies is now working to transform it into a commercial product. During the development of this AR-based quality control tool, a large role was played by its benefits – the reduction to the time needed per inspection; the elimination of errors; easy process training; the increase in information quality thanks to precise and unambiguous records; and the digitalisation of the process – including the elimination of written records’ paper consumption.

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