Micro Systems Technologies (MST) company DYCONEX has successfully tested the production use of self-driving transport robots with a view to automate internal goods flow between departments and cleanroom zones.
The introduction of automated guided vehicles (AGV) at DYCONEX marks a further step in the company’s methodical automation of production processes. The AGV system’s primary task is to transport materials between departments.
Vice-president of operations at DYCONEX Stephan Messerli explains “We aim to make good use of automation technology by relieving our staff of time-consuming transport tasks. For example, there is no need for people to step away from operating machinery or exit beyond clean zones.”
The AGV system is comprised of various components working closely together to enable completely autonomous transport from shelf to shelf. The transport robots have been adapted to DYCONEX requirements and navigate by themselves, aided by a laser scanner. They react to changes in the working environment, avoiding people and obstacles on their own.
Each vehicle calculates an optimal route to its destination on the basis of a stored map. The routing integrates processes for opening doors as well as autonomous floor-to-floor transfers via goods lift. Vehicles communicate via WLAN and organise transport tasks among themselves.
Panels for entering transport orders complement the infrastructure. After a test phase lasting several months, the AGV transport system has been in productive operation since last December.