Mobile platform (AGV) from KUKA automates transportation of heavy aluminum plates

Two autonomous mobile platforms of type KUKA omniMove automate transportation tasks at Austria Metall AG (AMAG). The self-propelled platforms are responsible for transporting heavy aluminum plates, thereby helping to make intralogistics more flexible.

KUKA omniMoves take on the in-house transportation of aluminum plates

AMAG is Austria’s largest aluminum producer and leading supplier of primary aluminum as well as cast and rolled products. A new rolling mill was built at the Ranshofen site in Austria to further increase the degree of specialization. The newly built facility is part of the company’s digitalization strategy. This also involved converting and automating the intralogistics system to meet the requirements of Industrie 4.0. For this purpose, an autonomous goods transportation system was installed for intralogistics in the new plant.

 

Autonomous mobile transport platform (AGV) navigates with high precision

The automated transportation of heavy aluminum profiles is taken on by two mobile transport platforms of type KUKA omniMove. These are self-propelled platforms that stand out for their omnidirectional maneuverability, among other things. In addition, the heavy-duty platforms can move a payload of up to 68 tonnes with outstanding precision and flexibility. Omnidirectional wheels based on Mecanum wheel technology ensure the required freedom of movement for the KUKA omniMove. The wheels enable motion in every direction as well as rotation from a standing start. The omniMove operates with a precision of +/- 5 millimeters – even with the maximum payload.

 

Mobile platform automates the transportation of heavy aluminum profiles.

Self-propelled platform carries out the last processing step

The KUKA omniMove can be controlled manually via remote control or move autonomously. Navigation of the autonomous transport platform through the plant is enabled by the KUKA.NavigationSolution. This also serves to prevent collisions and ensure safety of the employees at all times. At AMAG, the self-propelled transport platforms are responsible for delivering and collecting the rolled aluminum plates. Measuring up to twelve meters in length and weighing up to 8.5 tonnes, these parts are machined at finishing stations. Finishing is the final machining process in production of the aluminum plates. In this process, the plates are endowed with specific properties, checked and cut to size.

Omnidirectional, mobile platform navigates autonomously in the production environment.

Autonomous navigation to the workstation

In the first step, the operator assigns a work order to the KUKA omniMove. The transport platform then moves autonomously to the workstation. There is a QR code affixed to the underside of the carrier on which the aluminum plates are stacked. Equipped with a camera, the omniMove identifies the aluminum plates assigned to it on the basis of the QR code and moves to collect them. For this, the platform advances under the stack with millimeter accuracy. Subsequently, the lift spindles are extended and the KUKA omniMove lifts the carrier together with the aluminum plates. Laden with the XXL package, it navigates autonomously through the production shop and unloads the plates at the predetermined machining station. As soon as the finishing process has been completed, the heavy-duty platform transports the aluminum plates to the shipment station.

High payload: the KUKA omniMove with extended lift spindles.

Mobile solution achieves desired success

AMAG is highly satisfied with the omniMove. The automation of the intralogistics system has brought many advantages for the company. Compared with a crane or fork lift truck solution, work can be performed much more flexibly, faster and safer with the omniMove. Use of the transport frames has also considerably reduced packaging requirements. In three-shift operation, the finishing facilities are supplied with aluminum plates around the clock by the two heavy-duty transporters.

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