High transport capacities, fast-cycle filling intervals, and demanding environmental conditions are requirements and specifications that must be taken into account when designing and implementing intralogistics solutions in the beverage industry. The stacking of beverage pallets also presents a major challenge.
For safe and precise storage, ek robotics equips its automated transport robots with innovative 3D object detection. During operation, the vehicle moves to the defined target position, creates a 3D point cloud at the transfer position, analyzes it in real time and adjusts the fork position to pick up the targeted pallets with precision. The software developed by ek robotics is able to classify and simultaneously measure a wide range of pallet and load types. In the beverage industry, this technology allows an automated operation of a block storage system with 10,000 pallets on 6,400m² storage area, where beverage pallets can be stacked safely up to the 4th level at a height of about 5.2 meters. The wide range of different load handling devices completes the portfolio of ek robotics.
Continuous use in all weather conditions
Since 10 years, five transport robots of the CUSTOM MOVE series from ek robotics are in operation at Gerolsteiner in the outdoor area. They are equipped with a weatherproof chassis with roller door as well as roller conveyors that provide space for up to six pallets. With a payload of up to 6,000 kg, the beverage pallets are transported between the production lines and the warehouse in all weather conditions. Even in outdoor areas, the personal protection is always active and prevents collisions in mixed operation.
Fast charging technology ensures uninterrupted operation
At Arla Foods, the world's largest fresh milk dairy, 90 CUSTOM MOVE transport roll containers loaded with filled milk canisters weighing up to 500kg. In the 9,000 m² block storage facility, the customized fleet of transport robots serves 11,000 ground-level storage locations and transports around one billion liters of milk per year - at an environmental temperature of just 2° Celsius. Two systems from ek robotics are responsible for the daily coordination of 20,000 transports. The transport manager (TPM) ensures safe navigation of the transport robots to their destinations, while the integrated database system provides optimum warehouse management. For safety in the cold store, all transport vehicles in the Arla fleet are equipped with a personal protection scanner.
The AGVs are equipped with maintenance-free lithium-ion batteries, the fully automatic fast charging technology is part of the standard equipment. The intelligent battery management of ek robotics is responsible for the optimal and uninterrupted operation of the fleet. To ensure fast responsiveness of the transport robots for new orders, the charging stations in the cold store are positioned at selected positions in the driving course area.
Before planning and designing an automated guided vehicle system, ek robotics creates 2D and 3D simulations, which are used especially in industries with high performance requirements, such as the beverage industry, to illustrate the best possible AGV deployment for operation. After commissioning, ek robotics' comprehensive service offering ensures seamless operation and maintenance of the system.