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AGV system makes the process possible

02 September 2015

An automated solution from Egemin machines is helping a manufacturer produce up to 5,000 crown corks per minute in three daily shifts.

The volume achieved at Delmenhorster Kork-Fabrik Arthur Linck (DKF) is only feasible with structured production process sequences. To make sure the business is equipped for the future, DKF has opted for an automation solution from Egemin Automation.


Systems integrator Egemin is installing an automated guided vehicle (AGV) system to convey empty and full cages, octabins and cartons to their process points. This means that DKF can boost production volume even further, improve process transparency and deliver to customers – mainly breweries – right on time.


"Our main aim in terms of automation was an organised, reliable, transparent material flow system. Egemin’s solution meets those requirements and more,” says Edgar Linck, DKF managing partner.


The AGVs are used for conveying empty containers to a filling station and collecting them once the production machines have filled them. Each machine currently produces between 3,000 and 5,000 crown corks per minute. A cage or octabin takes between 330,000 and 370,000 corks. This means that each AGV can collect up to a ton of materials from the filling system. From there they are taken to a newly installed central station where items are checked, hygienically sealed and labelled. The AGVs then take the containers to the adjacent warehouse. When they are not in use, the vehicles independently travel to the automatic battery-charge point.


The AGVs utilise dual laser-inertial navigation. In other words, they are laser-controlled at all points where their scanners can see the reflectors. In the warehouse, where reflector paths can be obstructed by stacks of containers, they are controlled by magnets in the floor instead.


The benefit for DKF, a medium-sized enterprise, is not only transparent, traceable production processes, but also higher machine availability. In summary, Mr Linck says: "Our customers are as enthusiastic about this modernisation project as we are, because it also means we are playing a big part in helping to comply with food safety standards.”