What does modern production look like? Driverless transport system (DTS) are already an essential part of transporting raw materials and products around the KEB-plant in a cost-saving way. In addition, these systems will be closely linked to assistance systems at the assembly-place in the future.
What was previously handled by human hands is now taken over by "Jenny" – and the colleagues are happy about the new employee, reports Phillip Hannesen, project manager at KEB Automation. "With this DTS, we have bought the greatest possible flexibility," explains Hannesen. And of course, KEB's own technology is not missing. KEB controls serve as I/O systems for the status of the conveyor technology and in the staging zones.
The DTS from the company Agilox – christened with the individual name Jenny during production – navigates purely contour-based and requires neither guiding lines nor reflectors. Other advantages include autonomous route planning, obstacle avoidance and an omnidirectional chassis (turning on the spot, 90-degree and diagonal movements from a standing position). "We were able to get the first vehicle up and running within a week, with Agilox technicians only needing to be remotely connected," says Hannesen.
Simplified logistics routes
But Hannesen can easily refute one cliché: "The DTS does not eliminate any jobs for us. The colleagues are happy about the vehicle because they are spared the logistics routes and can devote themselves more to the interesting work content," reports the project manager. "In communication with the new KEB assembly assistance systems, the DTS is automatically informed, for example, about the necessary removal of finished assembled products," reports Viktor Derksen, head of maintenance. The success of the project is also underlined by the fact that Jenny will get a new colleague named "Kati" in April. In the future, she will also provide logistical support to colleagues in another assembly department.
What is behind the high-tech assistance systems in detail, how they support employees and increase efficiency? You will soon find out here.