We provide turnkey AGV solutions for almost all industries, whether in assembly, production supply or disposal, order picking, warehousing or area linking. With more than 50 years of experience in the field of automation, we offer intelligent logistic solutions ranging from standardized AGV up to to 100% customer-specific transport robots based on industry-proven components.
Automated Material Transport Systems (ATS) are important logistics applications used in hospital logistics. In ATS, transport robots take over the automated supply and removal for all areas, for example in hospitals and care facilities. There, the stations are supplied with material or food over several floors and at the same time unnecessary items, such as dishes, laundry or waste, are transported to the respective disposal areas. In near future, transport robots will take on more tasks in this area, such as transporting beds to the hospital room and providing individual care for individual patients.
11 vehicles of the CUSTOM MOVE series supply and dispose of the station areas of the facility in the Italian Hospital Pistoia. The vehicles are characterised by a hygiene-friendly design made of stainless steel.
The containers which contain food, operting materials or waste for disposal are collected by the vehicle with a lifting table and moved safely in the public area.
Here we present AGV solutions for floor-level storage and self-supporting block storage using examples from the beverage and food industries. The transport robot stores stackable goods without racking or other devices above and next to each other in blocks. Block storage is suitable for goods with medium to high inventory per article. Block stacking is very flexible as block storage can be changed at any time. It is also inexpensive, as there are no additional costs for racking installations. The space requirement is relatively small with good clarity, and therefore block storage is suitable both for goods with low access frequency and with high withdrawal quantities. Block storage is particularly practical when no individual access to a particular good is required. Hybrid navigation is often used to navigate in block storage because laser or contour navigation is often not possible in the storage rows and an alternative type of navigation such as magnetic point navigation is used.
Reference example 1
In 9,000 m² chill store, operating at a temperature of 2 degrees Celsius, 90 transport robots fetch stillages from the filling lines in the world's largest milk factory of the company ARLA in England, storing them in the floor-level intermediate storage and supply the loading ramps at the goods despatch, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Transport robots support employees in internal order picking processes. The transport robots assemble certain partial quantities on the basis of shipping or production orders. The vehicle is called picking AGV, picker or gripper. Here it is possible to have particularly routine or time-consuming transports carried out by transport robots. In the future, efficiency will be further optimised, for example by allowing goods to be sorted while they are still in transit.
Since 2008, 15 Compact 300 vehicles from the CUSTOM MOVE product group have been supplying prefabricated components to a renowned truck and bus manufacturer in Germany's axle production department. The picking racks are transported by drive-under vehicles with lifting rams.
Transport platforms for workpiece assembly and transport between workstations. The transport robots can be equipped with a variety of active or passive load handling devices (LAM) and serve as a platform or workbench, which, guided by work orders, moves the work stations. With this solution, non-stop availability can be ensured by inductive battery charging during travel. Here it is also possible to support the employees with robots and automation devices on the vehicle.
In the production of vehicle engines, the 105 transport vehicles of the product group CUSTOM MOVE serve as workbenches and drive off the assembly workstations with the car engine to be produced. The rigid platform has a passive holding device for holding and fixing the workpiece. At the same time, the inductive track guidance ensures intermediate charging of the battery and thus 24/7 availability of the assembly vehicles.
Where manual transport "across the yard" was previously necessary, an outdoor AGV now reliably travels between production halls or warehouses "across the yard" and closes process chains as well as material and goods flows. The vehicles navigate autonomously across the factory premises, cross railway tracks, open gates and doors and navigate to the transfer stations of production, the warehouse or the shipping department. It is important here to protect the transported goods from the effects of the weather and to ensure that AGVs are available at all times, regardless of the weather. EK AUTOMATION's transport robotics concepts for outdoor applications can be implemented with both special vehicles and automated series production industrial trucks. The AGVs are particularly reliable automation solutions designed for continuous 24/7 operation thanks to their robust design, the use of proven navigation systems, durable drive concepts and state-of-the-art personal protection equipment.
In a German tobacco factory of Japan Tobacco Industries, the CUSTOM MOVE transport vehicles each take 6 material containers from roller conveyors and deliver them via the factory premises to the next production plant. They open the factory gates automatically and guarantee transport protected from the weather by roller shutter doors. Other technical features include automatic battery charging via contacts in the factory floor, a WLAN with alarm function, outdoor-approved IR transmitters, fully automatic communication with the hall gates and a device to ensure that there is no snow or ice outdoors even at low temperatures.
The transport robots stack the goods to be transported in block, row or on support arms. The transport robots feed and empty block or row storage. The design of the storage racks depends on influencing factors such as the goods to be transported, intended use, load capacity, turnover frequency, storage principle, space availability and whether the storage system is static or dynamic. The particular challenge here is to achieve the highest possible speed of the work processes.
The factory and warehouse corridors of a global manufacturer of fast moving consumer goods in the UK are not classified as hazardous but some products contain volatile materials that could pose an explosion risk. It was therefore necessary to tailor the design and installation of two Driverless Transport Systems (AGVs) to replace conventional forklift trucks for transporting loaded pallets between two factory areas and a warehouse.
Driverless tractors with trailers for transport over long distances. Tractors pull driveless trailers. These are manually or automatically coupled and uncoupled. The trailers either carry out an active load transfer or present a passive load handling device depending upon their configuration. This AGV type is capable of carrying a large load volume as the number of trolleys attached is variable.
The 7 tractors of the SMART MOVE series are used by a renowned truck and bus manufacturer in Austria to link areas and supply working areas.
Vehicle systems for narrow aisles and applications in high-bay warehouses. Transport robots with telescopic forks are often at home in high-bay or narrow-aisle warehouses up to 14 m long. When navigating in very confined spaces, the use of swivel forks is recommended. The aim is to achieve the highest possible speed of the operations.
At Gerolsteiner Brunnen, a modified Linde-A operates a narrow-aisle warehouse.
Transport vehicles in various designs for the internal transport of heavy loads. Autonomous transport vehicles which move loads of 50 T. and more safely and with full mobility both indoors and on the factory premises. The transport robots can also be equipped with forks, lifting tables, roller conveyors or special load handling devices such as clamps or tongs for heavy loads.
At a premium aircraft supplier in Europe, the CUSTOM MOVE Vario 800 transports large aircraft fuselage parts with a special mounting frame from the production area to the painting chamber.
We manufacture project and customer-specific autonomous transport vehicles made to measure. The vehicles are designed for special environments and requirements such as extreme temperatures, hazardous materials, outdoor use, heavy loads and the highest hygienic requirements. Here we create for you unique specimens with a service life of several decades.
5 vehicles of the type CUSTOM MOVE Vario 700 are used by the company Dr. Oetker to link areas.
EK AUTOMATION offers you intelligent, efficient and cost-effective solutions with independent system components. Based on 50 years of know-how, we configure the ideal AGV according to your requirements and sustainably increase your productivity.
The EK AUTOMATION vehicle types differ according to criteria such as the design and the corresponding load range. In the design phase, the selected vehicle type is then combined with the appropriate load handling equipment. We are not limited by the number of vehicles in the system. And of course it is essential to match the vehicle selection and the system to the customer's requirements. We will be happy to advise you at any time!
Series floor conveyor vehicles as driverless
For more than 20 years EK AUTOMATION has been automating production vehicles of well-known manufacturers of industrial trucks. We equip these production vehicles with navigation and control systems and adapt the entire system to customer requirements. Since these systems work with prepared modules, we can offer a cost-effective entry into the technology of automated guided vehicle systems for many applications in different industries. Other advantages of series production vehicles include short design and commissioning times, fast deliveries and flexible adaptation options. In addition, the vehicles can still be operated manually - e.g. for special tasks. We offer EK series equipment as tractors, low-lift trucks or high-lift trucks.
The driverless HEAVY carrier vehicle can be equipped with any load handling device, regardless of whether you use roller conveyors, chain conveyors, passive racks or shelves. Due to the existing and proven basic design of the carrier vehicle, only the load handling attachment is adapted. The HEAVY MOVE is designed as a modular system for high lift up to 12 m, for medium-heavy loads and surface-mounted trolleys. This means for you: a driverless transport vehicle with tailor-made technology, cost-effective and without risk.
The integrated lifting device of the CUSTOM MOVE is specially designed for trolleys. This makes it an ideal vehicle for use on narrow transport routes, especially in hospitals.
The advantages at a glance:
Driverless transport systems (AGVSs) are automatically controlled, overhead conveyors that have their own drive and are guided without contact. The main task of AGVSs is internal material transport - both indoors and outdoors. Driverless transport systems are also referred to as Autonomous Transport Robots (ATR).
Industry 4.0 stands for the fourth industrial revolution. After mechanisation (Industry 1.0), mass production (Industry 2.0) and automation Industry 3.0), the Internet of Things and Services is now moving into production. This is where production intermeshes with state-of-the-art information and communication technology. In this way, products can be manufactured according to individual customer requirements. The technical basis for this is intelligent, digitally networked systems and production processes. Industry 4.0 determines the entire life cycle of a product: from the idea to development, production, use, maintenance and recycling.
Industry 4.0 technologies offer outstanding growth opportunities and a competitive advantage for Germany as a business location. Forecasts assume that companies can significantly increase their productivity using Industry 4.0. However, other areas will also change fundamentally. Dangerous jobs and laborious activities will disappear and new occupations and jobs will be created. Just as during Industry 3.0, society will strive for full employment in the fourth industrial revolution and, as is currently the case in Germany, will experience it.
Industry 4.0 technologies offer outstanding growth opportunities and a competitive advantage for the EU as a business location. Forecasts assume that companies can significantly increase their productivity using Industry 4.0. However, other areas will also change fundamentally. Dangerous jobs and laborious activities will disappear and new occupations and jobs will be created. Just as during Industry 3.0, society will strive for full employment in the fourth industrial revolution and, as is currently the case in the European Union, will experience it.
Is an essential function of the transport robot and controls the direction and speed of travel in real time on the basis of position and destination. Based on the transport task and your general conditions, we select the type of navigation best suited to your application. Our multisensor-capable control basis enables hybrid systems and thus the most varied types of control. Our flexible systems are easy to change and expand. Therefore EK Navigation is a long-term safe innovation.
When recording the requirements and environmental conditions for our customers' plants, important criteria in addition to the costs are the environmental requirements (e.g. flooring), the degree of flexibility required and the type of application.
Our PLC and PC-based control systems are based on a software kernel that has been tried and tested over many years and is continuously developed further and adapted to the latest requirements.
As a platform for material flow control, we also offer our customers our production management system MES-CON, which is frequently used to control production processes or internal logistics processes, such as driverless transport systems.
MES-CON OS helps the user with the handling of material flow and warehouse management. The driverless transport system software controls your modules process-oriented - from the control system over area control up to driverless transport systems. Thus, MES-CON is a modular, process-oriented operating production management system (MES), which connects the company management level (ERP) with the production level. The software integrates driverless transport systems as well as all production equipment involved in the material flow. This approach enables the holistic control of all processes. Based on the recorded process key figures, individual optimisation potentials are determined and weak points are identified.