© Gernot Walter

 “We bring maximum mobility to intral­o­gis­tics“

Strong, clever but above all extremely flex­ible: these are the key strengths of the Argo­Drive omni­di­rec­tional driving/steering system, says Patrick Schu­macher, Head of Product Manage­ment in the Indus­trial Drive Tech­nology busi­ness unit at ebm-papst.

Mr. Schu­macher, why does intral­o­gis­tics need maximum mobility?

Patrick Schu­macher, Head of Product Manage­ment in the Indus­trial Drive Tech­nology busi­ness unit at ebm-papst

In the past, there were rigid conveyor belts and linear produc­tion lines. Modern produc­tion has a modular struc­ture so that prod­ucts can be produced in small batch sizes and with high vari­ance. Auto­mated guided vehi­cles have to keep up with this. They are expected to be able to navi­gate freely and to offer unre­stricted free-range mobility rather than driving along fixed line mark­ings on the floor. To put it in a nutshell: they must have maximum flex­i­bility and there­fore also have to be able to move as much as possible.

Does the Argo­Drive solve this problem?

Yes, it was devel­oped specif­i­cally for this appli­ca­tion. Our Argo­Drive driving/steering system combines propul­sion and steering func­tions in one module. It is a complete unit consisting of motor, trans­mis­sion, steering, high-reso­lu­tion sensors, and all the neces­sary connec­tions. It is imple­mented in auto­mated guided vehi­cles with a total vehicle weight of up to 2,000 kilo­grams to drive around unex­pected obsta­cles, effort­lessly over­come ten percent inclines and move easily and precisely in very tight envi­ron­ments, even from a stationary posi­tion and when subjected to very heavy loads.

The infi­nite steering angle gives vehi­cles equipped with Argo­Drive space-saving omni­di­rec­tional mobility in every situ­a­tion, which is required for fine posi­tioning at the machine and at mate­rial transfer stations in partic­ular.


How did you imple­ment these bene­fits in the Argo­Drive from a tech­nical perspec­tive?

Two driving/steering systems, diag­o­nally on the left and right side of the AGV, guar­antee full omni­di­rec­tion­ality. Two addi­tional freely moving support wheels, also arranged diag­o­nally, ensure stability. Depending on the size of AGV and the weight of the goods to be moved, it is also possible to install three or four driving/steering systems. This enables large loads to be achieved even if there are inclines.

We offer the Argo­Drive in the Light, Stan­dard, and Heavy versions for carrying loads up to 100, 300, or 500 kilo­grams in order to meet every require­ment for moving masses, for braking distances or for managing inclines in a way that is scal­able. For example, four driving/steering systems in the Heavy version allow a total vehicle weight of up to two metric tons. 

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