The future starts now
AUTOMATION AT HUBTEX
The handling of long goods is one of the most complex tasks in intralogistics. Automating the necessary vehicles is therefore something of an ultimate challenge for manufacturers of forklift trucks and special-purpose vehicles. The handling of long, heavy and bulky loads is the core expertise of HUBTEX Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG. For at the beginning of 2020, the company is planning to launch for the first time an Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) specially designed for handling long goods. The basis for this are all newly developed multidirectional sideloaders. HUBTEX has already given great consideration to the step-by-step automation with assistance systems here: In the basic design of the vehicles, cable runs, mounts and sensors with which the vehicles can subsequently be automated are preplanned.
In order to make warehouse processes efficient and economical, more and more companies from a wide range of industries are opting for automated guided vehicles. The aim is to maintain a high delivery performance – despite a shortage of skilled workers and increasing demands on quality and speed. To date, in the area of long goods handling, there are no fully automated guided vehicles where the safety functions and driving kinematics adapt accordingly to the different loads and the resulting dimensions. “One of the greatest challenges in automation is identifying the center of gravity of long and bulky loads so that they can be safely picked up and transported,” explains Frank Knurr, sales engineer at HUBTEX and responsible for expanding the product portfolio for automated guided vehicles. “We can already automate our electric multidirectional sideloaders step-by-step and individually in accordance with the requirements of the customer.”
HUBTEX relies on a modular design with automated functions and assistance systems, which are gradually integrated into the series vehicles. This includes, for example, automated rack compartment positioning which, once the storage position is entered, navigates the operator directly to the correct rack compartment. The HUBTEX Load Manager can also be integrated into the electric multidirectional sideloaders. This allows pre-programmed lift heights to be controlled automatically. The semi-automated vehicles can already execute steering, driving and lift movements autonomously with the assistance solutions. HUBTEX integrates all systems into a single platform. This means that the various solutions can also be expanded and combined with one another at a later date. When designing the new generation of electric multidirectional sideloaders, the manufacturer has consistently taken automation into account right from the start: Cable runs and positions for sensors have already been planned ahead so that the vehicle can be gradually automated from its basic configuration.