Linux is Poised to Dominate Warehouse and Industrial Automation Software

Jennifer Maloney
May 2, 2018

In 1991 Finnish student, Linus Torvald, had a vision: to create a new free operating system and Linux was born. If you include the millions of computer systems and embedded devices running its little brother Android, from phones, printers, home appliances, and mobile hand-held computers, Linux is now the world’s #1 operation system. In 1999, Numina Group made at the time, a bold decision to re-write our Real-time Distribution Software, RDS™ Warehouse Control System, (WCS) and move from Microsoft to Linux. We made the decision for all the right reasons: speed of execution, stability, scalability, open source development tools/ databases, and industry standard communication interfaces.

This year’s Modex material handling and supply chain show in Atlanta was very successful for Numina Group, we broke all of our past trade booth visitor records. People came to our booth repeatedly asking two critical questions. The first, can they have a candy bar, reassuring us that people in logistics field are both hungry and polite! Of course we said “please take some so we don’t eat it ourselves!”

Linux: Warehouse and Industrial Automation Software for Pre-developed Interfaces

The second question most asked: Can Numina Group’s warehouse automation technologies integrate with their existing WMS or ERP System? Once we finished explaining the modularity and scalability story of RDS™ software and discussed its ten plus pre-developed industrial automation software interface tools, managers and engineers understood the huge benefit RDS™ WES/WCS provides. Linux has enabled RDS™ with readily available host interface software communication tools, such as web services, direct database connectors, file transfer, and pre-developed interfaces from SAP and IBM. These tools allow our customers to directly bolt on the latest advancements in voice pickingprint and apply labeling, and conveyor and sorting systems to their existing business systems.

RDS™ provides all of the automation functionality that is lacking in the majority of WMS and ERP Systems. It directly integrates cartonization logic, order release, and pick and travel path optimization using voice directed pick, pack, and ship process automation. RDS™ as a native Linux application, lowers the cost of ownership and brings the benefit of true-real-time control to material handling control applications such as robots, high speed print and apply labeling, order fulfillment and high-speed shipping sorter control tasks. Implementing real-time controls is complex and difficult, we simplify the process with bolt-on RDS™ pre-developed modules run by Linux.

Numina Group’s 20+ years of expertise in Linux based industrial automation software development and warehouse automation allows us to extend the performance of RDS™, making it an industry leading Warehouse Execution and Control System. Using Linux allows us to add new capabilities and functionality faster and more reliably, using software application tools readily available from IBM and other open source contributing firms available from the Linux development community. An excellent example of this is RDS’s latest Web interface. We used Googles Angular, Node, and open source JavaScript to develop our web based user interface and reporting functionality. By using the Google environment, we were able to quickly create a new, fast, highly reliable, and scalable web based interface that can operate on virtually every available browser that works on computers, phones, and tablets – all possible without writing any code!

Numina Group is excited to see the accelerating growth and adaption of Linux throughout the industrial control and automation field. Several leading control system vendors have released Linux based programmable logic control, PLCs and software development tools supporting the latest IEC 61131 programming environment, operating on controllers and computers. Even Microsoft has acknowledged Linux is better suited for embedded control requirements, announcing that the family of internet control computers for its Internet of Things, (IoT) initiative will be Linux based.

Linux is quickly becoming the dominant industrial automation software OS in warehouse and factory automation. It’s the de-facto choice for the Internet of Things device monitoring, collection and cloud based information management. For further information on 8 Ways Linux Is Taking Over the World, check out the link to the article below. It highlights organizations around the world and Linux deployments in demanding automation and information management applications.

Learn more about the capabilities of Numina Group’s RDS™ Linux based warehouse automation by visiting our case study, Schumacher Triples Throughput in Existing DCs, Gains a Scalable Solution for Continued Growth.

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