Volkswagen AG has named SCHUNK, the competence leader for clamping technology and gripping systems, as one of its “Nominated Suppliers” along with SERVUS INTRALOGISTICS. The Hanover-based Institute for Production Management IPM carried out an extensive scouting process before the top ten companies for production logistics were chosen. SCHUNK, together in a team with SERVUS INTRALOGISTICS, won the race in the “Material Handling: Ergonomical and quality oriented” category. Over 200 companies in total took part in the competition.
Flexible system linkage
The winning solution, developed by SCHUNK in cooperation with SERVUS INTRALOGISTICS, was a mobile handling and transport system which links storage, production and assembly in an automated fashion. The central elements are the SCHUNK LWA 4P Powerball Lightweightarms which are ideal for mobile use thanks to the integrated electronics and their suitability as a battery-operated device. They can handle both individual components and complete trays. Rail-guided SERVUS transport shuttles move the lightweight arms together with the trays containing the components flexibly between the Kanban warehouse, the picking area and the stations for production and assembly. The system makes it possible to perform handling and transport tasks in a single step. During transport the component can also be refined or subjected to testing, to name a couple of examples. The flexibility of the lightweight arms increases their utilization factor, reduces plant investment and improves the efficiency of intralogistic systems. At the “Innovative Logistics Solution Day” held at the Volkswagen Arena in Wolfsburg, 380 logistics experts from Volkswagen AG and the supplier industry could get an idea of how the system works. The aim of this event was to discuss future prospects for logistics using innovative product and process solutions as a basis and to develop courses of action.
Model application for Industry 4.0
For those who want to see for themselves how flexible production automation can be achieved in line with the requirements of Industry 4.0, the Hannover Messe trade show is their chance. Whether it’s condition monitoring using force/torque sensors, intelligent workpiece carriers, multiple usage of parts, predictive maintenance, collaboration between humans and robots, or machine-to-machine communication, SCHUNK’s booth will make all these ideas a reality. “Our goal is to show people visiting the trade show from all over the world that the idea of Industry 4.0 isn’t some far-off vision but that it can be achieved today,” emphasizes Henrik. A. Schunk, Managing Partner of SCHUNK GmbH & Co. KG.