Technology Offers

Assembly AGV with drive-off function

Abstract

The invention describes a driverless transport vehicle (AGV) for the assembly of automobiles or commercial vehicles. The core of the invention is a mobile assembly platform with a lifting device that can be rotated and swivelled in all directions. A vehicle can be completely assembled on this platform and finally drive off on its own wheels. This new type of AGV makes it possible to design the assembly process flexibly and, for example, to take individual semi-finished vehicles out of production and store them temporarily. In addition, a stationary unloading station would become unnecessary.

Problem

AGV-based modules for vehicle assembly which have been used until now are still connected to stationary systems and require these to unload the completely assembled car. The systems have few handling functions and therefore only a limited degree of use, which very much restricts their flexibility. Hence, in series production, timed continuous conveyor technology is still applied, which requires a sequential assembly chain.

Solution

The Institute of Mechanical Handling and Logistics (University of Stuttgart) has developed a mobile work and assembly platform which provides various functionalities such as lifting, turning and swiveling, as well as an autonomous unloading mechanism. The innovative AGV enables the worker, who rides along with the system, to assemble ergonomically and space for the required equipment is provided. It is suitable for both assembly on the basis of a modern floor assembly as well as for conventional chassis and, thanks to movable cross beams, can be adjusted to different models.
The multi-staged unloading process can come into effect as soon as the car can stand on its own wheels. By releasing the mounting points using lifting spindles or movable chocks, the vehicle carrier is uncoupled from the lifting platform and then folded down. Drivable chocks and ramp elements guarantee that the car can be safely rolled off. Therefore, this multi-functional AGV represents a completely independent piece of equipment and, thanks to its unique flexibility and adaptability, can be immediately used in conventional and also state-of-the-art production concepts.

CAD-3D model of the new AGV [University of Stuttgart].
CAD-3D model of the new AGV [University of Stuttgart].

Advantages

  • Self-sufficient assembly concept provides a high degree of flexibility for economic and ergonomic processes
  • Unloading function independent of position
  • Vehicle production independent of stationary facilities
  • Suitable for modern vehicle concepts with floor module as well as for classic chassis

Application

This multi-functional variant of automated guided vehicle (AGV) has been developed as part of the 'ARENA 2036' research project and provides a flexible automobile assembly, independent of stationary equipment, from floor assembly to unloading of the completely assembled vehicle. It therefore paves the way for the realization of modern flexible assembly concepts in the automobile industry. In future, various model variants and customized modifications can be effortlessly realized in one production line. Changes to the model sequence or transition to new models become feasible without reconstruction measures.
In combination with another development of the institute (15/079TLB), a matching dynamic storage system, this will become the basis for the highly flexible automobile production of the future.

Exposé
Contact
Dr.-Ing. Hubert Siller
Technologie-Lizenz-Büro (TLB)
Ettlinger Straße 25
76137 Karlsruhe | Germany
Phone +49 721-79004-0
siller(at)tlb.de | www.tlb.de
Development Status
Prototype / TRL5
Patent Situation
EP 3331809 (WO2017/021547) granted
(AT, BE, DE, FR, GB, IT validated),
US 2018/0229933 pending
Reference ID
15/059TLB
Service
Technologie-Lizenz-Büro GmbH manages inventions until they are marketable and offers companies opportunities for license and collaboration agreements.