Industry 4.0 in intralogistics - What autonomous transport systems can do

In global competition, there is high cost pressure. Processes are becoming increasingly complex, and production is becoming more and more individualized. Companies that want to survive here must make their production as productive and efficient as possible. Industry 4.0 is the name of the solution behind the fourth industrial revolution: Here, production is interlinked with state-of-the-art information and communication technology.


Transport robotics is an integral part of this: autonomous, mobile and increasingly self-learning robots provide intelligent transport flow solutions for greater efficiency in a wide range of industrial manufacturing sectors. The need is clearly there: In many companies, intralogistics is still significantly less automated than manufacturing. The digitalization of manufacturing processes also opens up completely new possibilities for transport robotics. Wherever internal material and goods flows take place, it provides support, links individual steps, merges the production and logistics flow, provides material to machines and workplaces as needed, and also compensates for bottlenecks that exist due to a lack of skilled workers. Autonomously navigating transport robots are the key to building highly flexible, future-proof and cost-efficient manufacturing structures.

Solutions from ek robotics for the Smart Factory

The trend towards automated intralogistics is driving the development work of ek robotics. Our latest generation of transport robots, first and foremost FAST MOVE, provide the flexibility required for this. FAST MOVE is fully autonomous, ultra-flat, maximally mobile, and individually scalable. This makes it ideally suited for intelligent, networked and flexible material flow solutions and contributes to maximum availability in the production process. In current research projects with exciting objectives, we are going a few steps further. For example, we are involved in the development of transport robots that have capabilities such as autonomous driving planning and person recognition, are capable of learning and can "think for themselves". These are enabled to carry out a permanent digitalized flow of information in production processes, which is evaluated in real time with software support. This enables flexible reactions, e.g. the automatic and precise provision of components, goods or tools - and makes the transport robot a highly reliable and indispensable colleague in the smart factory.