ThyssenKrupp has automated its internal transport with an automated guided vehicle system (AGV-S). It moves rail parts for stair lifts between the various work stations. Optimum flexibility and minimum space requirements were the key factors for this choice.
ThyssenKrupp produces rails for stair lifts in their Dutch plant in Krimpen an der Issel. The rail production department searched for a flexible, high-performance solution for internal movement of materials to optimise production processes.
The objective was to synchronise work processes and minimise errors through automation whilst relieving the load on employees by eradicating interruptions in work due to internal transport. The restricted space should be taken into account as well as the option to trace the materials within the production process.
Automated transportation of materials between the individual production steps was the desired aim - whilst being as flexible as possible.
“Automation also covered internal transport. The main requirement was maintaining flexibility with regard to both the routes and space requirements.”
The rail production department has six different production clusters for processing pipes and rack profiles. Each of these is responsible for a specific processing stage. As a result, the materials visit each of these stations.
To remain as flexible as possible, they decided on an automated guided vehicle system (AGV-S). A monorail and a fixed conveyor belt would not be flexible enough to handle changes in the production layout. A single AGV-S is sufficient as several rail parts are bundled together for transportation. Should the required capacity have to be increased in the future, it will be a simple procedure to integrate additional AGV-Ss into the system.
ThyssenKrupp decided on our automated guided vehicle system for a pioneering and expanded logistics solution, consisting of an electric tiller operated powered pallet truck and a connection to the host system.
The ERC 215a is an automatically controlled truck based on a standard Jungheinrich fork lift truck. Due to laser navigation and triangulation, the unmanned pedestrian stacker serves 28 sites in the plant and transports up to eight pipes and rack profiles at the same time. The logistics software monitors the sequence of orders that are processed autonomously. In order to avoid injury or damage, the forklift truck is equipped with a number of safety sensors. It stops immediately if an obstacle blocks its path. Once its route is free again, the AGV-S automatically continues on its way.
Nowadays efficiency and value are much more important within production, pallets can be traced within individual production steps, and ThyssenKrupp staff are considerably less burdened.