French logistics supplier IDEA has chosen ECA GROUP’s Autonomous Guided Vehicle (AGV) indoor and outdoor – a new range of autonomous logistics vehicles to be brought on the market
ECA GROUP was awarded a contract to provide an indoor and outdoor Autonomous Guided Vehicle (AGV) L-S 1PT for the supply chain provider IDEA operating on large industrial sites like shipyards, aeronautical production units and heavy industry.
ECA GROUP has built an autonomous logistics vehicle for a versatile usage indoor AND outdoor. The Autonomous Guided Vehicle (AGV) transports loads between buildings on industrial sites - in safe interaction with pedestrians, cyclists and lorries.
The first of the range, the AGV L-S 1PT (Pallet Truck) is an electrical ground vehicle of 2.20m width and 3.40m length dedicated to the transportation of pallets, roller containers and plastic pallet boxes of up to 1 ton inside its storage space.
L-S 1PT - a flexible & innovative solution for industrial logistics illustrating ECA GROUP’s edge in AGV technology.
Counting on its 50-year-experience in automation and robotics for industry and harsh environments, ECA GROUP has the expertise to provide the more complex outdoor AGV technology.
The French logistics provider IDEA has chosen ECA GROUP’s autonomous logistics vehicle AGV L-S 1PT to offer performant and innovative flow solutions.
“We chose ECA GROUP for its industrial references and its ability to propose a wide range of autonomous flow solutions, from the 500kg pallet to the sub-assembly of several tons in complex environments. These solutions meet our need for a profound transformation of the way we organize and manage industrial flows. Our partnership with ECA GROUP is therefore strategic.” states Jean-Baptiste Bernicot, IDEA Head of Innovation.
“Our engineers working on innovative solutions such as AGVs have a robust experience in the fields of intelligent systems, control command, mechanical and integrated solutions. We have combined these skills with our know-how in industrial processes to meet IDEA’s needs and support them in their development projects. ” says Luc Nicolas, commercial director ECA GROUP division Automation.
AGVs to strengthen safety and optimize industrial performance.
The great benefit of the new AGV for weights of 1 ton is its overall availability day and night. On average, an autonomous vehicle can perform twice as much as an ordinary forklift truck, which allows industry operators to reduce the number of vehicles operating on site, to optimize the logistics flow as well as operating costs. Furthermore, the autonomous vehicles can take on heavy, hazardous or repetitious tasks, contributing to more work place safety.
Equipped with a Fleet Management System (FMS) to define and track the vehicle’s itinerary and missions, the AGV L-S 1PT can connect to the customer’s Warehouse Management System (WMS) to optimize the workflow of different vehicles. The Fleet Management System is compatible with all ECA GROUP autonomous vehicles of the AGV range. This “trained intelligence” of the AGV will generally require no changes to the existing site infrastructure.
AGVs are an optimal solution for logistics, even for harsh environment and operating conditions such as the aluminum industry.
Recently, ECA GROUP has also developed the “MAX” with its partner Rio Tinto Aluminum Pechiney. This is an industrial autonomous vehicle, specially designed to work in the demanding aluminum smelters. MAX is one of the world’s first self-driving vehicles for anodes, and it can charge loads of up to 12 tons.
Automated technologies a promising market for ECA GROUP.
As automatic guided vehicles (AGVs) are spreading across the industrial sector, ECA GROUP is developing further standard autonomous logistics vehicle types.
ECA GROUP is developing a range of new AGV solutions such as autonomous unit load carriers, forklifts and towing vehicles dedicated to transport of standard units, pallets and containers in various weight classes sparking interest from customers amongst various (logistics, aeronautics, naval...) in need of robotics solutions for their transportation flows. All of these solutions can be combined to meet various operating needs. Conscious of environmental and climate impacts, ECA GROUP has developed an electric powered AGV solution to limit CO2 emissions. A hydrogen autonomous vehicles version is being developed as well.
The benefits for transportation and logistics firms are obvious: AGVs boost productivity, reduce labor costs and product damage and improve safety standards at workplaces, especially in metal and heavy machinery. AGVs can also meet the growing demand for automation in material transfer and storage in automotive, healthcare, e-commerce, as well as food and beverages.