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Purpose and intention of this document is to determine and standardise a communication protocol between network layers in an automated material flow system within warehouses. Each layer in the stack of material flow communication partners may use different hardware and software components where the protocol is implemented for, that make a protocol definition even more essential to ensure a proper handshake between layers and communication endpoints. The communication protocol defined in this document aimed to be used between layers according to the Transport Management System (TMS). All affected layers and communication partners are described in detail in chapter 3.

Constraints and Boundaries

This document does not describe any protocols or handshake procedures used outside TMS.

Target Audience

Engineers who implement TMS logic and those who want to understand how a particular project uses this protocol definition to implement a material flow system and control the physical transportation balancing and routing.


Terms and Definitions




Transport Management System. Is the leading system that controls the material flow. In this document the TMS is a software component that is implemented in a higher programming language and that contains programmable logic to control the material flow of the overall warehouse. It is indirectly controlled by upper layers.


An Industrial PC offers features different from consumer PCs in terms of reliability, compatibility, expansion options and long-term supply. It varies in its form factor from usual PC.


A Material Flow Controller is the leading master in a material flow system that coordinates the material flow. Strategies for routing and load balancing is implemented in there.


Programmable Logic Controller is a microcomputer that has actuators and sensors connected and runs software to control the state of an actuator depending on the state of input ports.

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