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Continental gets real time breakdown info on AGVs

13 May 2016

The Regensburg facility of tyre manufacturer Continental has organised its total supply chain system according to the Just in sequence (JIS) principle. Material required by manufacturing is automatically picked from one of the 6,200 locations in the 60m long and 30m high bay warehouse.

12 electric AGVs transport material from warehouse to manufacturing on floor guided tracks continuously in a process where the optimum time from requesting material to delivery line side is set as one hour.

In the past it could take up to 10 minutes for AGV controls to report a breakdown.

Solutions using WLAN would have been too costly and would have involved an enormous amount of IT installation work. During a roadshow the Regensburg team became aware of the WIN system offered by WERMA and were immediately impressed as it was simple to install and up and working straightaway. It is now installed on the AGVs.

The WERMA WIN equipment consists of green and yellow lights on a signal tower complete with a wireless transmitter which acts as a monitoring and data collection system and thus is ideal for the optimisation of logistics and manufacturing operations.

The key to the solution is the signal tower fitted to each AGV which acts as the interface. A transmitter element is simply fitted to a WERMA signal tower with its twist and fit locking arrangement. The transmitter transmits the status change of either of the lights on the tower instantaneously to a receiver unit connected to the network or hosted by a local PC.

In the installation at Regensburg the receiver is connected directly to Mathias Meier’s PC and whenever there is a breakdown on the line he receives an immediate warning notice on his screen. The system will also deliver an e-mail message to staff on their smartphones.