AMR/AGV transport platform demonstrated at LogiMAT 2024

AMR/AGV transport platform demonstrated at LogiMAT 2024

Business news |
By Jean-Pierre Joosting

With the unique ability to combine dual functionality in one vehicle, the X MOVE transport platform from ek robotics can be used as an Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) or Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR). It was demonstrated live at LogiMAT 2024.

Depending on the application, X MOVE can be equipped with various load handling attachments and navigation technologies for automated goods transportation. Three of a total of five models can be used in either an AGV or AMR system, two are pure AMR vehicles. An Automated Guided Vehicle moves along a predefined route. It uses orientation aids such as laser reflectors, environmental contours or barcodes to navigate its programmed route. In contrast, autonomous mobile robots can be deployed more quickly. They move freely in a defined zone and do not follow a predefined route. This eliminates much of the time-consuming and labor-intensive commissioning required for an AGV system.

“With the X MOVE, we launched a driverless transport vehicle in 2022 that makes it possible for the first time to use a transport platform in both AMR and AGV modes. As an autonomous mobile robot, the X MOVE series enables fast entry into transport robotics and as a virtually guided vehicle, the X MOVE becomes part of a more complex system. This is a capability that has never existed before, but is already convincing,” says Ronald Kretschmer, Chief Sales Officer at ek robotics.

The transport platform won the Best of Industry Award 2023 in the conveyor technology category for this 2-in-1 function. With its compact dimensions, high transport performance is possible in confined spaces with payloads of 150 kg to 1,900 kg.


Applications in practice

A leading company in the pharmaceutical industry has opted for a transport system from ek robotics in order to sustainably optimize intralogistics processes at a Swiss site. The challenge at the pharmaceutical company in integrating the driverless transport system was to ensure an optimally synchronized material flow on occasional narrow route areas and at the same time integrate prioritized transports of refrigerated goods into the new automation process. Twelve high-performance mobile transport robots take over the safe and efficient transportation of pallets with high-quality pharmaceuticals between the production areas in a 2-shift operation. Used as an AGV, each X MOVE 1200 is equipped with a roller conveyor. The AGVs handle around 90 transports per hour and are responsible for picking up and dropping off loads at 22 conveyor technology stations between the production and storage areas.

Another application scenario can be found in a new spare parts center of an agricultural technology and commercial vehicle manufacturer. Here, the transport system ensures high performance and an optimally timed material flow in a 2-shift operation in confined spaces. Here too, several MOVE 1200 are used as automated guided vehicles. Ten vehicles are responsible for the transport processes between the transfer stations of the automated high-bay warehouse with around 21,600 storage locations as well as the supply and disposal of the picking and consolidation areas. They are equipped with a lifting beam body with a load capacity of up to 1,200 kg for the daily transportation of pallets and pallet cages.


Safety and efficiency

The safety laser scanners dynamically activate its protective fields by detecting the speed and steering angle information. The enables the transport robot to reach maximum speed not only on a straight line, but also to perform optimally on bends — with maximum safety. The X MOVE AMR/AGV transport platform also supports the standardized VDA 5050 communication interface for driverless transport systems, which enables it to be used in mixed fleets with different manufacturers.

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