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Contribution to a scaleable control for a free ranging fork lift carrier

: Schraft, R.D.; Schaeffer, C.; Luz, J.

International Federation of Robotics; Singapore Industrial Automation Association -SIAA-:
26th International Symposium on Industrial Robots '95. Proceedings
Singapore: MEP, 1995
ISBN: 1-86058-000-9
International Symposium on Industrial Robots <26, 1995, Singapore>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IPA ()
AGVS; automated guided vehicle; Automatisierung

The number of new installations of Automated Guided Vehicle Systems (AGVS) is decreasing world-wide. Classical wire guided AGVS often cannot fulfil the new requirements generated by new organisational approaches in production. One innovative solution with an enormous market potential for the automated material flow is the concept of free ranging AGVS to substitute man-driven forklift carriers. To achieve a profitable solution, we propose to implement a product family allowing the realisation of transport systems with an expandable degree of automation for a wide field of applications. The basic element of this approach is a scaleable system architecture of the vehicle control, which is described in this paper. Instead of implementing a dedicated new control for each new application with an effort of several man-years. The objective is to use a generic approach to benefit from the synergy between a number of applications. The system consists of a set of classical and application-specifi c innovative building blocks. The effort for the realisation of new components of the product family is minimised and the risk assessable. The approach described in this paper is based on the work of IPA in the area of modular open system architecture for industrial motion control. In addition to the system architecture, some innovative sensor and control functions are presented, e.g. the localisation of carriers without the need of artificial beacons using an optical scanner. The paper includes major study results as well as experimental validation results on the basis of a pilot installation of a prototype vehicle performed by IPA at BMW AG, Munich.