24 May 2024

Customised automation solutions

ek robotics Magnesita Transport Robot

At the LogiMAT trade fair in Stuttgart, ek robotics says it impressed visitors with its extensive solution expertise and diverse application possibilities with AGV & AMR technologies.

The company says in discussions with customers, the central importance of customised automation solutions for handling complex intralogistics processes was once again highlighted – these must be optimally tailored to the specific needs and environmental requirements of the user to guarantee the desired efficiency and safety. The high availability and intelligent networking of the vehicles with the entire production process offer great potential for significantly improving a company’s profitability.

ek robotics says many users, including international customers such as Miele, Gerolsteiner, RHI Magnesita and many more, rely on its customised transport solutions, which are individually tailored to the specific requirements and environmental conditions, from comprehensive consulting to targeted design and implementation. The driverless transport systems can be used worldwide and in any industry. To date, ek robotics says it has installed over 12.500 systems and delivered more than 1.500 driverless transport vehicles that meet customer requirements.

The international partners and customers of ek robotics range from East Asia to Europe and South America and are just as diverse in terms of their industry affiliation and company size as the individual transportation requirements that ek robotics has to manage.

At RHI Magnesita’s production site in Radenthein, Austria, high-quality refractory products for special industrial applications are manufactured in several processes. Since 2021, a driverless transport system from ek robotics with twelve automated guided vehicles in 24-hour operation has been responsible for continuous and safe transport processes in the production and logistics of refractory materials. The transport solution is integrated into the entire production chain and links pressing stations, furnaces, finishing, storage and dispatch areas. The decision to automate a large part of the intralogistics resulted from the many challenges posed by manual material transports and set-up changes of the production machines with forklifts. Long search times and increased product damage due to the high product variety were the driving factors. The complexity of the system and a wide range of transport requirements were analysed using several simulation models to calculate the optimum route layout and the optimum number of vehicles for maximum throughput. The full-service package from ek robotics offers RHI Magnesita individual spare parts stocking on site, proactive and corrective maintenance measures as well as a 24/7-hotline for fast and individually tailored response times for all service measures. This ensures long-term and highly available use of the AGV system.

The Arla Foods production site in Aylesbury, UK, is one of the largest fresh milk production facilities in the world. To maximise the efficiency of transport processes, ek robotics says it has supplied 90 custom-made transport robots that serve over 10.000 storage locations in the cold store with up to 300 transport orders simultaneously. A special feature is the continuous route optimisation through the ‘Dynamic Weighting of Transport Route’. If a traffic jam occurs on the planned route, a new, free route is calculated by the control system and subsequent vehicles are rerouted. Since 2014, the 90 transport robots have been in operation 24/7, 365 days a year at an ambient temperature of 2°C.

The company says whether for narrow-aisle warehouses, mobile racking systems, assembly lines or combined indoor and outdoor transport for connecting several production halls on a factory site: The variety of solutions with highly complex automation processes knows almost no limits.

“One effect of driverless transport systems always remains the same,” emphasises Ronald Kretschmer, Chief Sales Officer at ek robotics.

“AGV users benefit from transparent material flows, reliable and safe material transportation, increased efficiency and a very long system service life”.

The ongoing shortage of skilled workers has also become an influencing factor for the introduction of automated guided vehicles: Automated transportation solutions enable available skilled workers to be deployed more efficiently. In addition, transport robots can take over heavy, dangerous and monotonous tasks.

“Automated guided vehicles are a key technology in intralogistics and a significant driver of efficiency in innovative processes,” says Kretschmer.

“We are certain that the general trend towards automation will continue to accelerate. We will continue to develop our diverse solution and production portfolio in the coming years.”

 

Company info: ek robotics