The autonomous transport system ActiveShuttle from Bosch Rexroth meets the requirements of intralogistics 4.0 for automation, flexibility and transparency. Thanks to lasers, ActiveShuttle is a safe means of transport even in the busiest of environments, and it adapts to changes in the environment. Both order and loading/unloading management are automated in order to optimize production processes.
by Maria Giulia Leone
The intralogistics of manufacturing companies are faced with new challenges: individualized products require an increasing variety of components, and at the same time, production numbers fluctuate while pressure from the competition mounts. Autonomous transport systems can give intralogistics the necessary flexibility and transparency. The ActiveShuttle from Bosch Rexroth is a robust, efficient and fully automated transport, for loads up to 260 kg. At the same time, the ActiveShuttle Management System ensures optimum control of the overall system and more transparency in intralogistics 4.0.
Fully automated loading and unloading
It transports dollies that are loaded with Small Load Carriers (SLC) through the factory with a high degree of flexibility and safety. The dollies are loaded and unloaded fully automatically with the help of an integrated lifting platform that takes into account the logistical requirements. ActiveShuttle can transport materials up to 600 x 400 mm in size and stacked up to a height of 1,200 mm.
Thanks to the laser navigation system, ActiveShuttle ensures safe and efficient transport in high-traffic working environments. In addition, the ActiveShuttle can be used to implement a wide range of transport concepts – from cyclic transports to consumption-based material supply.
Laser navigation system
The autonomous transport system can be quickly and easily integrated into intralogistics via Plug & Go, without having to adapt the factory’s existing infrastructure. The certified safety laser scanners in conjunction with the ActiveShuttle Management System ensure completely safe and robust navigation in mixed operation. Even when other transport vehicles are in use at the same time and when people are present, the vehicle fits seamlessly into the busy intralogistics environment. Therefore, even if other transport vehicles are used at the same time and if there are people present, the vehicle can easily enter intralogistics traffic and it is capable of transporting weighing up to 260 kg containers at a maximum speed of 1 m/s to the recipient.
Changes in the transport environment are not a problem for the ActiveShuttle thanks to automatic map updates. ActiveShuttles are able to communicate with each other wirelessly, sending information about changes in the environment to avoid traffic jams and bottlenecks. Sophisticated technology and CE marking guarantee 24/7 operations, even if changes are made to the production area. Transportation has already been extensively tested in eight plants.
Flexible order and fleet management
The ActiveShuttle Management System (AMS) efficiently handles the control of an entire vehicle fleet. Upcoming transport requests can be fed in manually or also fully automatically via third-party systems thanks to the existing interfaces. Higher-level systems, such as a Manufacturing Execution System or ERP systems, send details of transport needs to the AMS, which in turn assigns a transport assignment to an ActiveShuttle. The work order is then recorded so that there is a match between virtual and physical inventory. This enables the processes of the flexible production system to be further optimized.
Thanks to the self-guided transport system ActiveShuttle, the operator can automate intralogistics quickly and easily. The ActiveShuttle Management System takes care of all aspects of fleet and order management. The system also enables collaborative robots on assembly lines to communicate directly with the autonomous conveyor system.