Würth and KNAPP share a long-standing partnership and have implemented numerous projects together in recent years. At Würth Industrie Service GmbH & Co. KG in Bad Mergentheim, KNAPP has once again demonstrated its skills as a solution-provider in industrial applications. With the most modern warehouse logistics, Würth Industrie Service is setting new standards within the Würth Group. At the expert forum on C-parts management held on May 16–17, 2017, Würth Industrie Service presented another innovation by KNAPP that they are already putting to good use – the free-moving Open Shuttle Fork for the flexible transport of pallets.
Würth supplies industrial customers with modular logistics and procurement solutions for connection and fastening elements. The end customer receives the goods in small-load carriers (KLTs), used for stocking flow racks in assembly-line production, for example. The high dead weight of most of the articles in the article range posed a particular challenge, where manual handling put a great deal of physical strain on the employees.
Innovative pioneer in C parts management
By using the state-of-the-art warehouse logistics, Würth Industrie Service in Bad Mergentheim is often the industry’s trailblazer. For example, three Open Shuttles have been transporting trays at Würth for more than a year. The robots independently bring articles out of goods-in to an infeed point at the conveyor system, which in turn conveys them into storage in the high-performance OSR Shuttle System. The Open Shuttles move completely autonomously through the warehouse, without optical or physical aides. They independently plan their routes and react almost intuitively to their surroundings and oncoming traffic. Navigation is safe in warehouse areas with high traffic, because the Open Shuttles provide optimal interaction between person and machine.
New generation of Open Shuttles
In May, Würth presented a further innovation by KNAPP to about 430 participants at the expert forum on C-parts management in Bad Mergentheim. Three Open Shuttle Fork mobile robots pick up the dispatch pallets from the pallet conveyor system and transport them to the goods-out area, positioning them for outbound delivery. Thanks to the innovative Open Shuttle Fork technology, pallet transport within the warehouse is now completely flexible and scalable. The need for static pallet conveyors is considerably reduced thanks to the autonomous delivery service provided by the shuttles, which can pick up the pallets directly from the floor. They take on the tasks previously carried out by forklift trucks and pallet jacks, navigating to their destination entirely without aids and without posing any danger to personnel. By integrating the Open Shuttles, Würth can now respond flexibly and quickly to developments and requirements – the fleet can be expanded easily at any time.
Intelligent interaction between large and small
The two members of the Open Shuttle product family demonstrate the meaning of perfect teamwork in their daily work. The Open Shuttles are controlled centrally through the KNAPP fleet management system – the software used does not depend on the hardware. All the shuttles in the warehouse can communicate with each other and tasks are distributed to the robots according to their workload.