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Logistics Factory

From Robot Logistics to the Logistics Factory of the Future

The Logistics Factory was started in October 2009. Its three basic modules are research on currently relevant topics and challenges in industry, giving advice with respect to the automation of logistics processes as well as the transfer of this knowledge into teaching. 

Focus Areas of Research Activities
  • Handling (loading and unloading/order picking)
  • Object recognition/image processing
  • Integrative system technology
  • Identification technologies
  • Factory planning
  • Design of logistics networks
  • Planning, dimensioning and control concepts for complex logistics systems
  • Human-machine interaction
  • Service and contract logistics
  • Courier, express and parcel logistics (CEP)
  • Seaport logistics
  • Air freight logistics
  • Production logistics
Technologies and Methods
  • Automation technology
  • Conveyor technology/Storage technology
  • Kinematics/control technology/sensors
  • Software
  • (Robot )programming
  • Image recognition/image processing
  • Simulation
  • Factory planning (layout, material flow planning)
  • Innovation management and communication

New findings from the development and research projects are deployed in practice in cooperation with companies for the planning and improvement of logistics processes. In addition, the Logistics Factory offers its customers from industry competent advice and seminars.
Our students also take an active part in the research projects and support them in the form of project activities and laboratory tests. Thus research, consulting and teaching are completely integrated in the Logistics Factory.


Wolfgang Echelmeyer

Prof Dr.-Ing. Wolfgang EchelmeyerTechnical Logistics

Office Hours: by appointment - online

ESB profile page
Xing profile
LinkedIn profile

Building LogFabr.
Room Rommelsbach
Phone +49 7121 271 3076
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Teaching projects

  • Merck AG (Darmstadt) – Analysis of logistics processes
  • Proctor & Gamble – Themes relevant for the future in strategic logistics for global activities (reference contribution)
  • Streck – Transshipping company Freiburg – Improvement of inbound processes
  • STIHL –Development of a planning method for milk transportation trains (Tuggertrain, Milkrun)
  • HBG –Implementation of management system for a warehouse
Role and Responsibilities
  • Dean BSc Production Management
Focus of Lectures
  • Technical logistics
  • Material flow design
Current Research Projects

Professor Echelmeyer is the coordinator of “RobLog” (EU# 270350), an EU project that develops robot technology which unloads objects from ship containers cognitively and automatically. The project will result in two demonstration robots: one advanced demonstration robot that is fitted with a low controlled hand and that can unload heterogeneous goods in boxes and deformable structures; and one industrial demonstration robot that is able to unload heavy sacks such as goods weighing up to 70 kg. 


Bonini M, Schuhmacher J, Urru A, Wezel JP, Hummel V, Echelmeyer W. Planning of Available Resources Considering Ergonomics Under Deterministic Highly Variable Demand.  2020 IEEE International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management (IEEM); 14-17 Dec. 2020. 2020. p. 96-102. DOI: 10.1109/IEEM45057.2020.9309890.

Bonini M, Urru A, Echelmeyer W. The Quality Interaction Function Deployment for lean Human-Robot Interaction.  Proceedings of 24th International Conference on Methods and Models in Automation and Robotics (MMAR); 26-29 Aug. 2019: IEEE Publishing; 2019. p. 145-151. DOI: 10.1109/MMAR.2019.8864667.

Bonini M, Urru A, Echelmeyer W. Lean Human-Robot Interaction Design for the Material Supply Process.  Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Informatics in Control, Automation and Robotics - Volume 2: ICINCO: SCITEPRESS. ISSN 978-989-758-380-3; 2019. p. 523–529. DOI: 10.5220/0007966705230529.

Urru A, Bonini M, Engel T, Lenhart TT, Pischzan T, Taebel DT, Wezel JP, Wolfangel S, Echelmeyer W. A heuristic method for developing innovative city logistics concepts.  Proceedings of 4th International Conference on Smart and Sustainable Technologies (SpliTech); 18-21 June 2019: IEEE Publishing; 2019. p. 1-6. DOI: 10.23919/SpliTech.2019.8783090.

Urru, Augusto; Bonini, Marco; Echelmeyer, Wolfgang (2018): Fleet-sizing of multi-load autonomous robots for material supply. In: Proceedings of the 2018 IEEE International Conference on Service Operations and Logistics, and Informatics (SOLI 2018). 31 July-2 August 2018, Singapore. 2018 IEEE International Conference on Service Operations and Logistics, and Informatics (SOLI). Singapore, 7/31/2018 - 8/2/2018. IEEE International Conference on Service Operations and Logistics, and Informatics; Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers; SOLI. Piscataway, NJ: IEEE, S. 244–249. DOI: 10.1109/SOLI.2018.8476790

Urru, Augusto; Bonini, Marco; Echelmeyer, Wolfgang (2018): Planning of a Milk-Run Systems in High Constrained Industrial Scenarios. In: 2018 IEEE 22nd International Conference on Intelligent Engineering Systems (INES). 2018 IEEE 22nd International Conference on Intelligent Engineering Systems (INES). Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 6/21/2018 - 6/23/2018: IEEE, S. 231–238. DOI: 10.1109/INES.2018.8523926

Bonini, Marco; Urru, Augusto; Steinau, Sebastian; Ceylan, Selcuk; Lutz, Matthias; Schuhmacher, Jan, Halfar, Harry; Hummel, Vera; Echelmeyer, Wolfgang et al. (2018): Automation of Intralogistic Processes through Flexibilisation - A Method for the Flexible Configuration and Evaluation of Systems of Systems. In: Kurosh Madani und Oleg Gusikhin (Hg.): ICINCO 2018. Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Informatics in Control, Automation and Robotics : Porto, Portugal, July 29-31, 2018. S. 390–398. DOI: 10.5220/0006878003900398

Bonini, Marco; Echelmeyer, Wolfgang (2018): A Method for the Design of Lean Human-Robot Interaction. In: Adam Bujnowski, Mariusz Kaczmarek und Jacek Rumiński (Hg.): 11th International Conference on Human System Interaction (HSI). Gdańsk University of Technology, Poland, 04-06 July, 2018. S. 457–464. DOI: 10.1109/HSI.2018.8430879

Marco Bonini, Teresa Wesley, Wolfgang Echelmeyer “Risk and quality management in integrated international research projects: the RobLog Plan-Do-Check-Act innovative approach”, extended abstract accepted for presentation to IMRA 2013 (International Management Research Academy)

Echelmeyer, Wolfgang, Bonini, Marco, Rohde, Moritz. ”From Manufacturing to Logistics: Development of a Kinematic for Autonomous Unloading of Containers.“ IMEC 2013

Echelmeyer, W.: Roboterbasierte Entladung in der intralogistik. In: Tagungsband Roboter in der Intralogistik: Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionstechnik und Automatisierung (IPA), Stuttgart (2012)

Marco Bonini, Alice Kirchheim, Wolfgang Echelmeyer, ‘’Challenges in the Application of Autonomous Cognitive Systems within Logistics,’’ in the preceedings of the Robotica conference 2012 – ISBN 978-9729860348

Marco Bonini, Kristina Tishchenko, Alice Kirchheim, Wolfgang Echelmeyer “Application of Cognitive Robotics within Logistics - Approach to the Simplification of Industrial Complexity for the Development of Cognitive Features within Unloading Scenarios”, in the Proceedings of the Austrian Robotic Workshop 2012 – ISBN 978-3851251838

Alice Kirchheim, Wolfgang Echelmeyer, Todor Stoyanov, Athanasia Louloudi, Martin Magnusson, and Achim J. Lilienthal, ‘’Evaluation of 3D Model Accuracy for Automated Unloading of Containers.” RGB-D Workshop on 3D Perception in Robotics at the European Robotics Forum, 2011.

Wolfgang Echelmeyer, Alice Kirchheim, Achim J. Lilienthal, Hülya Akbiyik, and Marco Bonini, “Performance Indicators for Robotics Systems in Logistics Applications.” IROSWorkshop on Metrics and Methodologies for Autonomous Robot Teams in Logistics (MMARTLOG), 2011

Bernd Scholz-Reiter, B., Echelmeyer, W., Halfar, H., Virnich, A.: Automation of logistic processes by means of locating and analysing RFID-transponder data. In: Dynamics in Lostistics: Second International Conference, LDIC 2009, Bremen, Germany, August 2009. Proceedings; Springer Berlin (2011); pp 323 – 327; ISBN-10: 3642119956. Nachweis S. 43

Ann-Katrin Pallasch, Jan Heitkötter, Wolfgang Echelmeyer; Ropeway for marine containers. Innovative transport system for seaport terminals; 2010 annual Conference of the International Association of Maritime Economists, Lisbon 7-9 July (2010)

Kircheim, A, Echelmeyer, W.; Burwinkle, M.: Automation of Logistics Processes by using a universal Control; Solid State Phenomena Vols. 166-167 (2010) pp 241-246; ISBN-13: 978-3-908451-88-4

Kircheim, A; Ahrlich, F., Echelmeyer, W., Scholten, D.: Erkennung von sackförmingen Objekten aus dreidimensionalen Punktewolken, Automation 2009, Baden-Baden (Deutschland), 2009, S.217-221

Lewandowski, M.; Echelmeyer, W.: On the Application of predictive maintenance strategies in logistics: a case study-based procedure model, Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on The Modern Information Technology in the Innovation Processes of the Industrial Enterprises, MITIP 2009, Bergamo September 2009

Burwinkel, M.; Echelmeyer, W.; Scholz-Reiter, B.: DEVELOPMENT OF ROBOTICS SYSTEMS FOR SEAPORTS BY MEANS OF MODULAR APPROACHES, Proceedings of the International Conference on Robotics and Applications- IASTED RA 2009 Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, November 2009

Lewandowski, M.; Morales-Kluge, E.; Gorldt, C.; Echelmeyer, W.: Einsatz von Smart Container Tecnologies für nachhaltige Logistik, Tagungsband der 12. IFF-Wissenschaftstage, Magedeburg, Juni 2009

Echelmeyer, W.; Kirchheim, A.: Contribution to a Fully Automatic Container Terminal as Part of the Logistics Factory of the Future, The International Workshop on Harbour, Maritime & Multimodal Logistics Modelling and Simulation, Italien (2008)

Echelmeyer, W.; Kirchheim, A.: Robotics-Logistics: Challenges for Automation of Logistic Processes, IEEE Conference on Automation and Logistics, China (2008)

Echelmeyer, W.; Wellbrock, E.; Rohde, M.: Development and Optimization of a Robot-based System for Automated Unloading of Packages out of Transport Units and Containers, 6th CIRP ICME '08, Italien (2008)

Scholz-Reiter, B.; Kirchheim, A.; Burwinkel, M.; Echelmeyer, W.; Rohde, M.; Schmidt, K.: „Konzept zur automatischen Entladung von Stückgütern durch ein kognitives Robotersystem“: Industrie-Management 26 (2008) 

Kirchheim, A.; Burwinkel, M.; Echelmeyer, W.: Automatic Unloading of Heavy Sacks from Containers, IEEE Conference on Automation and Logistics, China (2008)

Echelmeyer, W.: Entwicklung einer Hightech-Lösung. In: Hebezeuge und Fördermittel 1-2 (2008) S.36-38

Scholz-Reiter, B.; Echelmeyer, W.; Wellbrock, E.: Development of a robot-based system for automated unloading of variable packages out of transport units and containers, IEEE Conference on Automation and Logistics, China (2008) 
Tank, S.; Echelmeyer, W.: Roboterrevolution im Paketzentrum. In: Logistik Jahrbuch (2006)


Urru, A.; Bonini, M.; Echelmeyer, W. (2018): Planning and dimensioning of a milkrun transportation system considering the actual line consumption. In: IFACPapersOnLine 51 (9), S. 404–409. DOI: 10.1016/j.ifacol.2018.07.066

Current patents, application for patents :
Erfindung: Verfahren und Anordnung zum Aufnehmen von quaderförmigem Stückgut aus einem Container und zur Ablage des Stückgutes; Anmeldung als deutsches Patent 103 49 021 A1 am 13.10.2003; Anmeldung als europäisches Patent EP 1 524 216 A1 am 12.10.2004; Patent erteilt

Erfindung: Verfahren zum selbststeuernden Transport von Stückgütern zum Zwecke der automatisierten Materialflusssteuerung -Kurztitel: selbststeuernder Transport; Anmeldung als deutsches Patent 102005033112.2 am 15.07.2005; Patent erteilt

Erfindung: Pneumatisch betriebenes Greifsystem zur Handhabung logistischer Stückgüter, die nur von einer Seite greifbar sind (Greifer Unigripper D 10500 ) Anmeldung als deutsches Patent Nr. 10 2006 022 278.4 am 11.05.06; Anmeldung liegt beim Patentamt vor

Erfindung: Roboter und Vorrichtung zum Be- und/oder Entladen von Stückgütern und Vorrichtung zum Ein- und Auslagern von Stückgütern mit denselben (Portalroboter D 10463 ); Anmeldung als deutsches Patent 102005047644.9-15 am 23.09.05; Patent erteilt

Erfindung: Vorrichtung zur automatisierten Be- und Entladung eines von wenigstens einer Seite horizontal zugänglichen Transportbehälters (Antriebsloses Fahrgestell D 10295); Anmeldung als deutsches Patent 102004026190.22 am 28.05.04 Anmeldung als europäisches Patent 05008691.7 innerhalb der Prioritätsfrist; Patent erteilt

Erfindung: Be- und Entladehilfe für die manuell Entladung von Stückgütern in Containern und Wechselbrücken (Ladehilfe D 10503); Anmeldung als deutsches Patent 2006025640.9 am 01.06.06;Patent erteilt

Erfindung: RFID basierte vollautomatische Sortier-und Kommissionierung - Kurztitel: "automatische Kommissionierung"; Anmeldung als deutsches Patent Nr. 10 2007 038 837.5-27; Anmeldung liegt beim Patentamt vor

Erfindung: Vorrichtung zum Vereinzeln und lesegerechtem Herrichten von Packstücken auf einer Förderstrecke - Kurztitel: Reading Singulator; Anmeldung als deutsches Patent Nr. 10 2007 038 834.0-27; Anmeldung liegt beim Patentamt vor

Erfindung: Vollautomatische Depalettieranlage - Kurztitel: Roboterzelle light; Anmeldung als deutsches Patent Nr. 10 2006 062 528.5-22 am 29.12.2006; Anmeldung liegt beim Patentamt vor