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Innovation through cooperation

ek robotics supports Miele in the development of a cleaning module for the fully autonomous cleaning of block storage aisles. The demand for the highest standards of quality and professionalism unites the world's leading manufacturer of premium household appliances Miele and the high-tech transport robotics manufacturer ek robotics. Also, both companies strive for innovative and unique solutions. In collaboration the companies developed a cleaning module for transport robots, which enables fully autonomous cleaning of the route of a block storage area.

The partnership between ek robotics and Miele exists since 2015: In the washing machine production in Gütersloh, Germany, the household appliance manufacturer relies on automated guided vehicles (AGVs) from ek robotics. Four SMART MOVE vehicles are used in the block warehouse for cast components. On production days they transport, stacking and destacking special load carriers weighing 1000kg in 20 aisles around the clock. ek robotics not only equipped the series-production transport robots with state-of-the-art navigation and control systems, but also developed the complete traffic concept for the use of the automated guided vehicles (AGVs).

As part of a trainee project at Miele, the idea of a sweeper that cleans the aisles in the block storage fully autonomously was born. With the support of ek robotics, the cleaning module was designed and built in only 4 months and is now used as an add-on module on four SMART MOVE vehicles in the block storage on an area of 280m², up to 8 times a day. As soon as the last container has been removed from an aisle, the master controller places a cleaning order in the system. The storage aisle is only released for filling again when it has been completely cleaned. The new module reduces the effort required for cleaning the storage aisles immensely. Otherwise, an employee would have to be available whenever an aisle is unoccupied for a short time and clean the area manually - which would lead to corresponding inefficiency. In order to ensure high system availability of the AGV, cleaning of the storage areas due to falling paint residues is essential.

After completion and successful implementation of the cleaning module in the plant, Miele applied for a patent on the sweeper attachment.

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