Drive Your Facility’s Logistics Automation with the Latest Hardware

March 14, 2022

Sponsored Story

Drive Your Facility’s Logistics Automation with the Latest Hardware

Logistics automation is the straightforward act of applying industry standards to the operation of a factory or warehouse to simplify its operation and organize it in ways that are not possible through more manual methods.

It is also the handling of an entire production flow of a good or service to maximize quality, delivery, customer experience, and profitability. In some circles, logistics automation is used interchangeably with supply-chain management.


Getting a handle on logistics automaton in your facility can be a game changer. The result is better production and lower costs (and happier customers).

Unfortunately, there is nothing simple about logistics automation. Quite the contrary. Even though we have a plethora of technologies at our fingertips, arranging the technologies in such a way that can benefit that factory or warehouse is harder (way harder) than it sounds.

There’s More to Logistics Automation, Much More

Logistics automation refers to the handling of the entire production flow, from the time the raw materials enter the manufacturing facility until the time that the finished good depart. And in many cases, it goes beyond that time, tracking goods even after they’ve been deployed in the field and dealing with maintenance issues and upgrades. Because a manufacturer creates a network of suppliers (“links” in the chain) to move the product along from the suppliers of raw materials to those organizations that deal directly with users, there are many potential points of failure or breakdown.

Those points could also include organizing the activities needed to accept those raw materials, manufacturing the product, testing for quality at various stages, packaging the product for shipping, and scheduling delivery. Then, you’ll need to coordinate customer orders, dispatch loads, invoice customers, and receive and record payments.

Lots of the functions described here are handled by the manufacturing facility’s logistics automation software. That would include things like inventory control, predictive analytics, data entry (captured by various means), and so on. It’s important that the software allow for upgrades and future-proofing, as the technology on both the hardware and software sides of the equation is evolving at a rapid pace.

Following the Industry Standard

It should be noted that the Industry 4.0 standard contains many of the guidelines that can be helpful when implementing logistics automation. It has areas that refer to Industrial IoT (IIoT) and smart manufacturing, and how the equipment needs to operate with interconnectivity, automation, machine learning, and real-time data. Industry 4.0 is far from a new standard, and that’s both good and bad. On the plus side, the number of compliant deployments is quite high, so most of the potential issues have been worked though. On the down side, many new technologies have emerged since the standard was published, so it can appear to be long in the tooth.

Knowing all this, it’s vital that you start with the right foundation. As stated, that foundation consists of both hardware and software. On the hardware side, a great starting point is GIGAIPC’s QBiX-Pro family of embedded systems, which consists of a fanless design housed in an aluminum enclosure to maximize performance and simplify maintenance.  In addition, the platforms can withstand shocks up to 50G and vibrations up to 5rms.

Address It with the Right Hardware

For example, the QBiP-1165G7B is a 3.5-in. subcompact embedded computer board that harnesses Intel’s 11th Generation Core i7-1165G7 microprocessor and integrated graphics processor, utilizing Intel’s UHD graphics. Other features include dual-channel DDR4 memory, four serial (COM) ports, one 6-Gbit/s SATA interface, and a host of USB ports serving all the popular generations. Dual HDMI ports can operate multiple simultaneous displays.

The GIGAIPC QBiP-1115G4EB embedded computer has enough horsepower and I/O to drive most logistics automation applications, starting with an 11th Generation Intel Core i3-1115G4E CPU.

Beyond that platform, GIGAIPC offers its QBiP-1135G7B and QBiP-1115G4EB embedded computers. They are designed with the 11th Generation Intel Core i5-1135G7 microprocessor and 11th Generation Intel Core i3-1115G4E processor, respectively. All three platforms boast an operating temperature of 0°C to +60°C.

While you can go out and source custom hardware and software for your logistics automation application, that is likely not the best route. It could leave you falling flat when it comes time to upgrade or if there’s a technical issue down the road. Going with a standard, proven platform has all the advantages of the custom solution, and then some. Especially when you’re working with a proven supplier like GIGAIPC.