© Tünkers, Gernot Walter

Just in time

The future of auto­mo­tive produc­tion? It is autonomous. This is what the latest inven­tion from Tünkers is based on: the auto­mated guided vehicle with inte­grated scissor lift.

The market for auto­mated guided vehi­cles is booming. The driving force behind this devel­op­ment is that produc­tion and logis­tics within the auto­mo­tive sector are becoming increas­ingly flex­ible. The rigid chains within produc­tion lines are breaking up more and more, and different vehicle types are produced in quick succes­sion. The solu­tion: auto­mated guided vehi­cles. In a flex­ible way, they take the mate­rial required and deliver it not only to the next station, but also to the next one after that, as well — completely autonomously and just in time.

Unno­ticed power

But what can you do when the object to be trans­ported is heavy and there is limited room for power delivery? This is precisely the case in the manu­fac­turing facil­i­ties of the auto­mo­tive industry. The compo­nents for the next produc­tion step are stored on so-called just-in-sequence trol­leys. There is just 400 millime­ters of space between them, which is not much if you consider that the auto­mated guided vehicle has to lift several hundred kilo­grams and trans­port it to the produc­tion line.

“An enor­mous force is exerted on our scissor lift for a short time. In less than seven seconds, it lifts and lowers 500 to 1,000 kilo­grams.”

Rolf Eppers, designer of the auto­mated guided vehicle scissor lift

An ingen­uous idea was required — some­thing which TÜNKERS is known for. In-house, the company devel­oped a flat scissor lift which can be built on a auto­mated guided vehicle, and can thereby autonomously take just-in-time trol­leys from A to B. Truly a power­house with a high degree of stability in the tightest of spaces. “An enor­mous force is exerted on our scissor lift for a short time. In less than seven seconds, it lifts and lowers 500 to 1,000 kilo­grams. So that this runs smoothly, we needed a motor with the largest possible torques in the smallest instal­la­tion space,” explains Rolf Eppers, designer of the auto­mated guided vehicle scissor lift. “Every day, we were playing Tetris over and over. Because of its small size, the drive from ebm-papst helped us to manage every­thing — and lift every­thing,” adds Wolf­gang Kieninger, Design Manager for auto­mated guided vehicle systems.

A powerful motor in the smallest space

The ECI-80 motor from ebm-papst meets these require­ments: It does not require a large amount of instal­la­tion space, but despite this achieves high torques at 24 volts, and is able to provide three times its power for short periods. The fast avail­ability of the product was also impor­tant. Here ebm-papst was also the right partner. This is because the ECI  80 is part of a modular system; it was only the cover that had to be adapted to the higher splash water protec­tion level IP54. The elec­tronics are mounted on the under­side of the lifting cover — making it autonomous. So that the scissor lift can be used flex­ibly, the devel­opers at TÜNKERS decided to attach it to the auto­mated guided vehicle with just a few screws so that it can be easily disman­tled.

Trans­port of tomorrow

The first auto­mated guided vehicle scissor lifts are already driving round the cockpit manu­fac­turing facility at VW in Hanover, taking sequenced parts to the right shoring point and to the right vehicle. And beyond this? “In the field of auto­mated guided vehi­cles, we are antic­i­pating high growth rates of over 16 percent,” explains Matthias Heina, Product Manager for auto­mated guided vehi­cles. “To cover the increased inquiries, we are building a new assembly hall with 5,000 square meters in Ratingen.” This is because, along with the auto­mated guided vehicle scissor lift, TÜNKERS has already devel­oped four other auto­mated guided vehi­cles for logis­tics and manu­fac­turing facil­i­ties. And one thing is for sure according to the trend — more will follow. 

Required fields: Comment, Name & Mail (Mail will not be published). Please also take note of our Privacy protection.