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Traditional German brewery relies on ek robotics' expertise

The transport robots are equipped with special load handling devices for their continuous use 365 days a year in sorting empties.

New partnership for optimally automated intralogistics processes: With six automated guided vehicles (AGVs) from the modular VARIO MOVE series, the Hamburg-based company ek robotics is implementing a new intralogistics solution for a large, family-run German brewery. 

At the headquarters of the private brewery, which has been run for five generations, a wide range of premium beer products are produced using the art of craft brewing. With the driving innovative spirit of the 200-year-old company, an automated guided vehicle system from the German manufacturer and integrator ek robotics will be responsible for the intralogistics processes in empties sorting in future. 

The new automation process revolutionizes the previously manual forklift transport of unsorted and sorted empties. The Hamburg-based company's transport solution comprises six high-performance transport robots from the modular VARIO MOVE series. Equipped with a special combination of two load handling attachments, they handle transportation between numerous conveyor systems, robot cells and other transfer stations in 24-hour operation. The AGVs also serve two block storage areas, where they store and retrieve stacks of pallets and transport new glass provided there to the transfer stations of the conveyor systems. 

"The special feature of the vehicles is the interaction between the appliance clamp and the height-adjustable pair of forks, which enable separate distribution of empties and pallets," says Guido Wendel, the sales engineer responsible at ek robotics. Before a transport robot reaches one of the nine transfer stations of the robot cell, the empties are fixed in place with the clamp, the pallet underneath is lowered with the fork and thus separated from the empties crates. In the next step, the empties are placed on the conveyor system with the clamp and the empty pallet on the fork is taken to another station. 

After the empties system has sorted the products, the automated guided vehicles pick up the empties again, place the crates back on an empty pallet and close the cycle by transferring their load to the filling system. ek robotics equips the vehicles with the load clamps in collaboration with KAUP, a leading manufacturer of attachments for forklift trucks. Together, the two technology leaders have been implementing a wide variety of automation projects for special requirements for many years.

In the beverage industry, driverless transport vehicles from ek robotics transport over a billion liters of beverages efficiently and safely every year. The AGV specialist develops customized driverless transport systems for almost every industry, which are precisely tailored to the customer's requirements and environmental conditions. In addition to the German brewery families, other companies in the industry such as Arla Foods, Gerolsteiner and the Royal Brewery Swinkels (Bavaria) have been relying on automation solutions from ek robotics for decades.

The six counterweight transport robots from the VARIO MOVE CB series will be equipped with clamps in addition to the self-supporting forks. Numerous companies from a wide range of industries rely on the modular VARIO MOVE platform from ek robotics.

The modular concept, maximum availability, maintenance-friendly design and an exceptionally long life cycle give users of the VARIO MOVE series lasting cost and competitive advantages.