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ek robotics transport robot VARIO MOVE impresses in practice

Four years after its product launch, the VARIO MOVE transport robot is not only performing at the LogiMAT trade fair with impressive load cycles: The series of automated guided vehicles (AGV) has also established itself in many industries and different company sizes with its versatility and reliability.


At LogiMAT 2024, visitors from ek robotics were able to see the VARIO MOVE L and VARIO MOVE CB transport robots in action at booth 05 in hall 6. "We have noticed a great interest in both vehicles", reports Ronald Kretschmer, Chief Sales Officer at ek robotics. "Our visitors were particularly enthusiastic about the many possible applications with the VARIO MOVE." Depending on the application profile, the transport robot series can be equipped with different chassis, load handling devices and a variety of navigation technologies. Whether as a high-lift pallet stacker with different straddles, as a counterbalance forklift or equipped with active conveyor elements: The proven basic of the VARIO MOVE always remains the same. The modular system consists of five defined lift masts, with which transfer heights of up to 5 meters can be achieved. At the same time, the high-lift transport robot has a high load capacity of up to 1,600 kg. This results a large number of possible combinations, including individual, customer-specific adaptations depending on the application. One of the strengths of the Infinite Colors of Transport from ek robotics is the ability to create a tailor-made solution for every transport task. 


The VARIO MOVE is used in various industries and solves a wide range of transportation tasks in 24-hour operation. The sinit Group (an expert in plastic parts and assemblies made of thermoplastics) produces high-quality plastic components for the electrical and food industries at its Bad Schwalbach site. For years, sinit has consistently relied on automation and has been using an automated guided vehicle system with three VARIO MOVE L transport robots for the automatic supply and disposal of the 29 injection molding machines in 3-shift operation. The result of this transport solution is increased delivery performance and continuous, safe transport processes between the functional areas. 


In the new logistics center of the sports equipment manufacturer FitShop (formerly Sport-Tiedje), nine VARIO MOVE L are responsible for linking the incoming goods, picking and outgoing goods areas. The transport robot fleet also ensures continuous pallet transfers to the high-bay warehouse, which is operated automatically by additional transport robots from ek robotics. Overall, the automation solution contributes to an efficient material flow between the areas in the 51,000 m² hall. "The AGV from ek robotics supports the staff on site and significantly improves the processes in the central warehouse," says Christian Grau, Managing Director of FitShop (formerly Sport-Tiedje).



VARIO MOVE transport robots are also an integral part of modern intralogistics processes in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries. For the company F. Hoffmann - La Roche AG, ek robotics is replacing an existing AGV system at the Kaiseraugst site near Basel and is responsible for the automated transportation of high-quality pharmaceuticals with 17 VARIO MOVE. On a route network with a track length of approx. 1,000 meters, 16 VARIO MOVE TU (equipped with lifting table and telescopic forks) take over the internal transport between the production and storage areas. A VARIO MOVE CB (Counter Balance) with counterweights and adjustable forks is responsible for transporting cryovessels to the deep-freeze warehouse. The portable jacketed, stainless steel freeze-thaw vessel are filled with liquid ingredients in temperature ranges from -20 to -40 degrees and have a transport weight of up to 1,200 kg. "Thanks to the high performance of the VARIO MOVE transport robots, we will be able to optimize plant performance with a smaller number of vehicles than before. This meets the requirements of our planned site development and convinced us just as much as the competent advice and many years of experience of ek robotics," says Mario Dobler, project manager at Roche.



VARIO MOVE: High performance, excellent design

The VARIO MOVE has been designed for the sustainable optimization of transport and material flows and meets all transport requirements. The modular concept, maximum availability, maintenance-friendly design and an exceptionally long life cycle are just as convincing features as its design. When developing the VARIO MOVE, the designers at ek robotics deliberately focused on a friendly appearance. From the outset, people should experience the transport robot as a work partner and not as a disruptive factor. With success: the driverless transport vehicle has received three design awards to date. "As a high-tech transport robot, the VARIO MOVE combines power and performance with a compact but friendly appearance and helps to minimize the fear of contact between humans and robots," adds Ronald Kretschmer.

At LogiMAT 2024, visitors to ek robotics were able to experience the multi-award-winning VARIO MOVE L transport robot in action under real-life conditions.

The modular system of the vehicle series consists of five defined lift masts, with which transfer heights of up to 5 meters can be achieved. At the same time, the high-lift transport robot has a high load capacity of up to 1,600 kg.

Also at LogiMAT: the VARIO MOVE CB, an automatic counterweight transport robot with self-supporting forks and a high load capacity of up to 1,600 kg

The special design of the VARIO MOVE TU is equipped with a telescopic table for lateral load transfers. 16 VARIO MOVEs with telescopic forks will be responsible for in-house transportation between the production and storage areas at the Swiss pharmaceutical company La Roche.