Industrial automation is experiencing high-speed growth, and many companies are switching to automated solutions in warehousing, manufacturing, automotive, and other sectors. A wide range of AGVs and AMRs available on the market provides promising perspectives but also creates interoperability issues, as combining vehicles from different manufacturers into the same system can be challenging. VDA5050 interface addresses the interoperability issue and allows coordinating AGVs and AMRs from various manufacturers in the same fleet via universal master control.
In this article, we will talk about:
WHAT IS VDA 5050?
VDA 5050 is a standardized communication interface between the master control and an AGV.
VDA 5050 was defined by VDA (German Association of the Automotive Industry) and VDMA (German Association for Materials Handling and Intralogistics). The main goal of the standard is to create a universally applicable interface for driverless transport systems. VDA 5050 allows managing vehicles with proprietary AGV controls from different vendors directly via a standardized Interface (VDA5050) with a Universal Master Control (fleet control).
The latest version is VDA 5050 2.0, published in January 2022. The standard is based on JSON messages over MQTT protocol. It uses one server – a broker, and multiple clients – AGVs and AMRs. The interface should be configured on both ends – AGVs and the fleet management software. VDA5050 specifies the standardized interface to connect fleet control and AGVs.
WHAT IS THE BENEFIT OF VDA 5050?
Generally, each AGV and AMR supplier provides two types of software to control the vehicles – proprietary on-robot navigation software and a fleet management system for operating these robots. Combining vehicles from different manufacturers will result in interoperability issues because operating these AGVs is not possible without universal fleet management software.
With the growing importance of automation and the diversity of tasks and associated vehicles, it’s becoming crucial to standardize processes and combine different AGVs into the same multipurpose fleet. VDA 5050 can solve the interoperability issue and boost the automation efficiency of a mixed fleet. For example, creating a fully automated factory with vehicles from different vendors becomes possible, even if navigation and positioning are proprietary on each machine.
With VDA 5050, you can create a highly effective fleet with completely different vehicles, even if some of them follow predefined routes and others navigate freely around the area.
Navitec has already relevant experience in customer installations with VDA 5050 and is offering Universal Master Control (Fleet-Control). Meaning, Navitec fleet-control can manage AGVs from multiple suppliers in one system together. Also, adding extra vehicles from any vendor to an existing fleet is possible by switching to Navitec Fleet Control.
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