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Unique Innovation in Intralogistics

 

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CEIT Technical Innovation due to its interdisciplinary offers a wide range of solutions and services in the field of research and development for organization. We are a strong research and development organization integrating new technologies and methods into industrial practice, as well as implementing projects for the industry. Research and development potential, resulting primarily from within the University of Žilina, brings benefits for years now already. Within the CEIT Technical Innovation, the benefit most known by wider professional community is the automated logistics system, which is the next generation of CEITrucks as a result of a unique combination of technical solution, design and functionality.

Ing. Peter Mačuš, Phd.

We speak with Peter Macuš from CEIT Technical Innovation about solutions in the area of intralogistics.

Mr. Director, in flexible logistics system, you operate in the market for nearly seven years. During this period, you have placed three generations of automated logistics trucks already. Where did it all begin? You are right. We currently bring a new product to the market, whose roots date back to 2007. First trucks were delivered to Bratislava, to factory Volkswagen (VW). Today, we have already established ourselves in several multinational companies. They perceive us as a partner that delivers automatic logistics systems. It is not just logistics trucks, but also monitoring and control systems, radio systems, radio networks, etc.

The latest addition is a third generation AGV truck. How does it differ from previous versions?When you first look at the new truck, the design itself is the essential element distinguishing from the previous generation, which was now consulted with the Technical University in Kosice. In addition, the truck came through structural modifications that allowed it to achieve specifications that have no competition around the globe. As an example, I may point out the maximum speed of the truck. In the beginning, we came with a system that runs at speeds of 1 m/s. In former times it was something unique. Today we present a truck, which reaches a speed of 2 m/s. It was technically easy to implement, especially in terms of security, since it a self-moving robotic device. Our products bring added value to the customer, in terms of productivity and automation in conjunction with a rapid return on investment. When designing a new generation, our main goal was to even more increase this added value.

Speed, however, is not the only parameter in this segment... If i may mention other parameters, in addition to speed, the weight of the load is also important. Today, we can tow three tonnes of cargo, the assumption is five tons. The previous generation could "only" pull two tons. Much wider applicability of various peripherals used for the transport of diverse cargo is also important. We offer a wide selection of conventional wagons, roller conveyors and carriers, or their modified versions, which can be fitted with advanced features and control system through AGV MCS (Monitor & Control System), which provides their communication and control.

AGV ťahač CEITruck s automatickými perifériami

For each individual manager, the return on investment is the key indicator when making a decision to invest. What is the return on investment? In the case of investments in automated logistics through AGV system, the return on investment is moving around one year, which is very appealing for most customers. This trend is confirmed by an independent study, which was developed by the University in Žilina, which results in the fact that although the initial investment in innovation, i.e. automation of production logistics, may seem high, the return on investment is in many cases a very short.

Let us assume that we have already introduced the system in our factory. Do we need to worry about it any further? As for the direct operation, one of the biggest benefits is the automatic charging, which we have polished from the first generation of trucks. This is an important factor compared to mostly Asian systems that have manual changing of batteries. Our system is working on the basis of a continuous charging - during operation, technological breaks and the like. However. it should be noted that they are robots. They replace human labour, increase efficiency and productivity, but when deploying a larger number of units, sometimes the operator places an obstacle on the path of the robot and the truck simply waits until the path is clear. Employees in factories are mostly used that it works automatically and that they do not need to pay much attention. This is not quite true. There should be one person at each shift, who takes care of such situations, because if a truck stands still, everyone thinks it is as it should be, and only operator knows that something is wrong when the truck is not moving.

Modelové variácie nových AGV ťahačov CEITruck

Initial deployment of such systems in warehouses and production plants is not easy. They usually have certain flows of materials and labour system. Does CEIT offer solutions in this initial stage, when the plant needs to be prepared for the automation? We offer a comprehensive solutions to our clients. Especially for large clients, we offer complex deployment. At the beginning, there is a certain situation, which is to be optimized upon client request, or the client wishes to build a new plant from scratch. Our colleagues from CEIT Consulting plan the basic material flows and basic calculations. Colleagues from CEIT Digital Business will then do dynamic simulation and refine these calculations. Subsequently, on the basis of their recommendations, we deliver the equipment, put into operation and set up the entire system. We can also operate the system if the client wishes us to do so.

How long does the entire process of automatization of intralogistics processes take, from the managerial decision to the actual implementation? It depends on the complexity of the deployment. How many trucks will be deployed and what are we replacing and whether or not the plant is already prepared. Usually, the plant needs to undergo through a radical change. But this, of course, will be offset by the return.

Will the implementation affect the production? Many times, we set up the system during production? Naturally, large scale implementations cannot be made in such way, but smaller implementations can be introduced during production. Sticking a tape can be done very quickly, as well as deploy RFID tags. Subsequently the system will get revived and programmed. In case of complicated peripherals, monitored controlling and interconnection to the line Just-in-Time lasts for several weeks.

The system is very flexible. Can it be adjusted on the fly? Routing system consists of a magnetic tape and RFID tags, which can be deployed at any time. Change can be implemented within a few hours. Often it is made in the form of workshops. Especially large firms tend to do these regular workshops, attended by operators themselves. They suggest improvements, which are often in the area of logistics. Based on their suggestions, changes in routes can be addressed effectively. Most of these changes can be done at the user level.

Systém na monitorovanie a riadenie - AGV MCS

Can you system communicate with the client's production system? This possibility does certainly exist. Communication with the client's production system is conducted through AGV Monitor and Control System, which serves to manage and monitor AGV trucks and whose interconnection with the production system facilitates the exchange of information, such as to set up the mode of operation of trucks to Just-in-Time.

So far we have mainly focused on the deployment in large plants. But is this the way for small and medium business? Definitely, yes. Since we are talking about real return within one year and the system is modular and flexible, it can be easily built up from the low-cost version up to the most complex one. It is certainly well suited for smaller companies, which can use this to streamline their operation for a reasonable investment.

ENGINEERING 3/2014

OUR REFERENCES

CEIT Technical Innovation currently implements dozes of projects for our clients aimed at streamlining their logistics solutions. We are proud that we can call these companies our business partners.

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WROTE ABOUT US

CEIT technical innovation and its products and services enjoy the interest of Slovak media. Thanks to its extraordinary portfolio of activities, the company is being picked up by different types of media.

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COMPANY PROFILE

CEIT Technical Innovation, s.r.o. is a dynamically growing company focused on the research and development of solutions for the industry. Our team is composed of experts in engineering, industrial engineering, information technology and electrical engineering who are dedicated to creating innovative solutions using the latest technologies.

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OUR PARTNERS

When designing solutions and industrial projects, we work closely with educational institutes and expert partners in order to provide our client with the best solution that will fully meet its requirements.

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