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Boosting productivity in intralogistics - New independent fork system from Eisenmann: compact, versatile and cost-effective

Böblingen/Holzgerlingen , Germany, September 26, 2013 – With its ingenious drives and design concept, Eisenmann’s brand new driverless guided pallet conveyor improves operations in transport and warehouse logistics. This system, also known as the independent fork system, is extremely compact: all drive components and the power supply are integrated into its two tines, which move in parallel but are not physically connected. As there are no protruding or mounted parts, the conveyor is highly maneuverable, saves space, and requires no dedicated infrastructure in the factory. It is  costeffective and can be put into operation rapidly. Moreover, the route taken can be modified quickly and easily, often without specialist help. The first version will be available for industrial applications from mid-2014.

Developed jointly by Eisenmann and Stuttgart University’s Institute for Mechanical Handling and Logistics (IFT), the independent fork system (patent pending) autonomously moves into position underneath a pallet. With a net weight of under 100 kilos, the conveyor is capable of transporting loads of up to a metric ton by rotating its four drive units. Equipped with optical sensors and controlled by a master computer, the twin tines are guided to their destination via a system of visual floor markings at speeds of up to one meter per second. The tines keep their movements synchronized by communicating with each other. Their drives can move in any direction, so the conveyor can turn in the tightest spaces and only needs narrow lanes on the factory floor.

The new conveyor is suitable for a wide variety of scenarios – from material feeding and removal at a machine, to moving goods to storage, to sophisticated order-picking tasks. Both upfront and operating costs are relatively low and the investment pays for itself very quickly. The system’s innovative design opens up many new possibilities, particularly in environments where automation was not previously feasible.

Eisenmann is working to evolve the independent fork conveyor into a transportation system that can interoperate with other systems and to incorporate collision-avoidance mechanisms that prevent injury. The new conveyor is an attractive addition to Eisenmann’s existing range of solutions for intralogistics.

About Eisenmann

Eisenmann is a leading global industrial solutions provider for surface finishing, material flow automation, environmental engineering and thermal process technology. The company develops and builds custom manufacturing, assembly and logistics plants that are highly flexible, energy- and resource-efficient. The family-run enterprise is headquartered in southern Germany and has been advising customers across the globe for over 60 years. Today, Eisenmann has a workforce of approximately 3,700 worldwide, with subsidiaries in Europe, the Americas and the BRIC countries. In 2012, Eisenmann generated annual revenues of 640 million Euros.

About the Institute for Mechanical Handling and Logistics

Stuttgart University’s Institute for Mechanical Handling and Logistics (IFT) was established in 1927 and is one of Germany’s oldest institutes focusing on conveyor technology. It currently engages in research in conventional conveyors, intralogistics and logistics. Core fields include material flow solutions, automation, process optimization, development of load carriers, logistics planning, and wire and cable technology.

The new independent fork system streamlines transportation and warehouse logistics  processes. The system is highly maneuverable, compact, and requires no complex infrastructure on the factory floor.
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The new independent fork system streamlines transportation and warehouse logistics processes. The system is highly maneuverable, compact, and requires no complex infrastructure on the factory floor.

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Katrin  Renz

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Eisenmann SE

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