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In times of Industry 4.0, AGVs (Automated Guided Vehicles) are more and more being utilized as mobile robots. Highly flexible man-machine collaborations play an increasingly important role in the Factory of Tomorrow.
L1200S from Grenzebach - strong, maneuverable and safe
The Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) L1200S from Grenzebach has become indispensable for Industry 4.0: The vehicle transports up to 4 times its weight, up to 1.2 tons with the load oriented in either direction and can rotate on the spot, all completely safe to personnel. Due to its low construction height the L1200S can move beneath most load carrying devices (tables, trolleys, racks, shelves) and is able to lift and transport them towards the respective destination. The Grenzebach Fleet Manager determines the route the AGV takes and the vehicle follows the assigned path using two certified laser scanners. The L1200S can be safely operated in all production environments. The featured contour navigation and personal safety eliminate the necessity for protected areas, which saves lots of space and allows for integration into existing environments with lifts, robot cells, conveying and strapping systems. This makes Grenzebach’s L1200S solution ideally suited for the plant-internal "taxi service" and the man-robot cooperation.
Man-Robot cooperation at Nolte Küchen
Automated Guided Vehicles from Grenzebach not only transport standardized goods carriers, but can also be developed in close coordination with the customer to perform special features or functions. In the Lower Saxony City of Melle, Nolte Küchen constructed a new commissioning warehouse with 22,000 picking stations and 20,000 picks per day. For this special application, Grenzebach has developed AGVs as standardized front end transporters. The economic effect when using 12 driverless transport vehicles is obvious: Reduction of the error rate, improved ergonomics, as well as significantly increased productivity during front picking.
How order picking of kitchen modules is done today: The AGV autonomously drives to pick up a front end transport cart to then continue to the warehouse where it is received by a Nolte staff member. From here on the AGV and the staff member work as a Man-Machine Team. The AGV is programmed to automatically stop at the intended picking location within the order picking aisle and signals with its laser light which front the employee should pick from the rack (pick-to-light procedure). Further information about the front will be displayed on the AGV screen. The put-to-light procedure tells the employee where exactly to deposit the front on the transport cart. The whole commissioning process is laid out to where it follows the sequence in which the front will be needed in the final installation of the kitchen. The built-in printer creates the matching label which the employee sticks onto the kitchen front. Once the picking order is complete, the AGV leaves the warehouse driving towards the transfer location to deposit the front end transport cart which then continues through the next steps in the assembly workshop.
"Loading methods and individual customer requirements significantly influence the AGV solutions. With our portfolio of Automated Guided Vehicles we can offer different navigation options, load handling types and energy concepts", says Erwin Herre, Product Manager Intralogistics at Grenzebach. "The AGVs allow automation of transport tasks and intelligent networking of production, warehousing and shipping".
Brand-new Mobile Robot MR10S
The brand-new Mobile Robot MR10S completes the Grenzebach Logistics Fleet. It is a combination of the reliable automated guided vehicle L1200S and a collaborative robot, completely safe for the man-robot collaboration. "Mobile robots are independent of the location and therefore highly flexible to handle all kinds of challenges the Factory of Tomorrow might hold", explains Erwin Herre. The mobile robot assists the employee and eliminates exhausting and ergonomically unfavorable work steps. When the MR10S is in man-robot mode, it is 100% safe to surrounding personnel; switching over to operating mode in the protected zone, meaning not directly accompanied by people, it releases its energy for highly precise and quick work. The robot handles up to 10 kg and works with a reach of 1,300 mm at very high positioning accuracy. Energy is provided to the robot contact-free with inductive transfer, appropriately and lifetime optimized. The Grenzebach Fleet Manager, one of the multiple Apps of the Grenzebach Application Server (GAS), coordinates all transportation handling tasks completely autonomously allowing for safe cooperation between different mobile robot types in the same environment.
Grenzebach Application Server for the Factory of Tomorrow
The Grenzebach Application Server, a.k.a. "GAS", the innovative and modular central unit, manages Grenzebach and third-party equipment. The GAS controls all sequences in production and integrates equipment components and devices of all manufacturers. "With this framework the customer already possesses all capacities necessary for the implementation of Industry 4.0. The very simple and most reasonable use of Apps allows to extend the system's configuration", says Roland Jenning, Head of Innovation at Grenzebach.
Mobile robotics and human-machine cooperation are among the number one topics when it comes to digitization of production industry and the change towards the Smart Factory. The sequences are directed by man. Process chains, which can be automated, are executed with the help of robots. However, the human being can intervene at any time and directly communicate with the Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) and Mobile Robots.