ASTI Mobile Robotics develops a new range of towing tractor AGVs of great manoeuvrability and versatility
ASTI Mobile Robotics, transforming the future together, has recently developed the range of autonomous towing tractors ‘Tribot’, with a towing capacity of up to 10 tonnes. An innovative product on the market, the result of an existing demand, which picked up on Burgos engineering to make its customers more competitive, seeking the efficiency of logistics and assembly lines, as well as reducing the time to market of users.
The new ASTI Mobile Robotics AGV tractors are far superior in performance, the safest, much smaller in size and very versatile. The ‘Tribot’ range covers a need in the market, since there was no similar AGV with towing capacity for such a load with such small dimensions and completely automatic and with great manoeuvrability. What’s more, in this case, this machine is equipped to move goods and trailers both indoors and outdoors. The ‘Tribot’ range is, therefore, applicable in different sectors, such as automotive, logistics, food, pharmaceutical, metal, paper or aeronautics. Its fundamental function is to pull trailers of different sizes and the formation of assembly lines on AGVs.
The entire range of these vehicles is characterised by the fact it is of minimum dimensions, large capacity, manoeuvrability and highly autonomous. Specifically, the automatic tractor capable of dragging 10 tonnes of cargo is much smaller, weighing 1,145 kg with battery included, which makes it a very manageable, adaptable and versatile vehicle. However, its small size does not imply that it loses capacity. On the contrary, it tows a much higher tonnage than what exists on the market. However, ASTI Mobile Robotics has also developed an even smaller tractor, which weighs 510 kg (battery included) which in this case tows 3 tonnes of weight.
As with all ASTI Mobile Robotics vehicles, safety is paramount in all developments. And, therefore, the ‘Tribot’ has all the standard elements that make it the safest in the market, starting from certain elements that are incorporated into the vehicle: from the safety PLC, the four emergency buttons, the advance safety laser, the Safety Counting speed control, the electromagnetic brake, the battery lock sensor or the sensor on the battery door. Likewise, it has different options: laser curtain, ultrasonic sensors, bumpers, as well as additional security for tow trains and external safety lasers. Braking is usually done with a motor brake, also counting on an electro brake for emergency situations. This makes it very safe in ramp descents and in the general handling of the load.
As for the navigation systems, the automatic tractor can be guided in different ways: magnetic, optical, laser or natural. As far as the battery is concerned, the AGV has a 16-hour range based on a VDI2198 cycle and allows manual change (with roller table or extraction with truck); automatic gears and online charging (brushes or induction -wireless-). In addition, it has manual control of approach for hooking on cars and an external connector with power, I / O, CAN, a safety chain … Once it has been programmed with its ‘layout’, the tractor works completely automatically. When it receives orders, the ‘Tribot’ starts moving and is manoeuvred with the information received depending on its guidance.
The ASTI Technologies Distribution cleaning robot, closer with its new website
ASTI Technologies Distribution launches website (https://astidistribution.com) with a design and a complete image, intuitive and accessible to all those interested in knowing the characteristics and benefits of the RA-660 NAVI cleaning robot. The perfect autonomous machine for all applications where cleanliness and hygiene are of utmost importance, easy to use and an affordable economic benefit that grows as the years pass. Since no surface goes without scrubbing, thanks to its internal tracking and its SLAM contour-based guided navigation system, excellent cleaning results are achieved since it can navigate obstacles with ease.
In the new website, contributions by ASTI Technologies Distribution are revealed, such as activating the autonomous cleaning robot and providing the necessary training, S.A.T. (face-to-face and by phone), equipment rental and sales of spare parts, consulting to improve productivity, development of specific adaptations and turnkey solutions.
ASTI Technologies Distribution, moving reality, (https://astidistribution.com) is a company that is dedicated to the supply and sourcing of technology associated with computing and mobile robotics. Its mission is the pursuit of the technology of the future and its existing attraction to improve customer competitiveness, efficiency and productivity.
Telefónica and ASTI Mobile Robotics come together to accelerate the digitalization of industrial environments with IoT
Telefónica and ASTI Mobile Robotics signed a collaboration agreement to accelerate the digital transformation through the Internet of Things (IoT) in industrial environments where the automation and digitalization of processes is critical. As a result of this collaboration, companies will be able to benefit from comprehensive solutions for the digitalization and industrialization of their industrial processes in the so-called “Logistics 4.0” field, and other lines of work of the new smart factories themselves.
The agreement includes two fundamental frameworks. A technological one that includes the development of joint products in the field of LTE networks for companies, and another commercial one with which Telefónica and ASTI will jointly develop business aimed at companies in sectors such as the automotive industry, ports, airports, the petrochemical industry, food companies, pharmaceutical companies, and e-commerce with activity in the countries where Telefónica operates. “Practically all productive industries and sectors rely on the Internet of Things (IoT) to improve their processes, to be more efficient and safe, and to even have better predictability in terms of business needs. At Telefónica we are promoting a change in the productive systems of all industrial sectors, accompanying companies in their journey towards digital transformation”, say Vicente Muñoz, Chief IoT Officer at Telefónica.
Telefónica and ASTI will identify the uses and fields of LTE connectivity for automatically guided vehicles (AGVs), very common in industrial work environments, and will jointly develop the technological and commercial proposal. On the one hand, ASTI will develop equipment that works in the scope of the public-private networks deployed by Telefónica. While Telefónica will integrate the necessary connectivity that makes it possible for the AGVs connect to private networks, in the most efficient way possible.
The vision of an entrepreneurial network infrastructure under the LTE standard guarantees maximum reliability, performance, and security in a private environment, preparing for the arrival of IoT solutions in 5G. However, to support the communications requirements associated with the functioning of the AGVs, networks must provide certain benefits in terms of reliability, latency, and performance, none of which is feasible with the current technological solutions.
“The technological solution will make it possible to store the data generated by machines in a server, making it possible to consult the information on the production and maintenance of machinery, with failure prediction before they occur, avoiding stoppages, as well as improving the real time control of the AGVs”, explained the Head of R&D&r Development of ASTI, Enrique Sierra.
The use of these technologies would allow the centralization of the guidance algorithms which are now implemented in each AGV, thus achieving more intelligence and providing support to new coordination mechanisms that are impossible with the current solutions for AGVs which would optimize manufacturing processes.
The initial tests have been performed at 5TONIC, the 5G open innovation and research laboratory founded by Telefónica and IMDEA Networks, in which ASTI Mobile Robotics is the first industrial partner.
ASTI Mobile Robotics develops an AGV that brings flexibility to automotive industry assembly lines
Modernisation and flexibility go hand in hand in the automotive industry. Both parameters are necessary for achieving quick and effective adjustment to customer demand. A third and essential variable is customisation; buyers want their own 100%-made-to-measure vehicles specifically tailored to their requirements, which means making them on demand.
The series production model developed by Henry Ford in the automotive industry at the beginning of the 20th century has evolved as per consumers' needs and requests. When it was first implemented, few models were manufactured — there was hardly any demand. In the mid-1970s, however, the term 'flexibility' began to be used in relation to production lines, yet it seemed as though automation and adaptability were incompatible.
Nothing could be further from the truth. In the pursuit of totally flexible automotive manufacturing lines, progress is ongoing, and automated guided vehicles (AGVs) play a central role in that evolution, striving to meet the full range of customer demands.
Traditionally, powertrains were assembled on a long, fixed roller conveyor. At the end of this process, the powertrain and car body were ‘wedded’. As manufacturers sought greater flexibility, AGVs were developed to carry the two halves from one workstation to another.
ASTI Mobile Robotics has developed a flexible and precise AGV to carry out this process optimally. It's an automated QuadBot with two steerable drive wheels that moves about the plant quadridirectionally and can carry up to 2000 kg. Measuring 550 mm high, it uses a roller transfer system to load and unload the cargo.
Thus, 'if in the middle of the process I have to add or remove an operation, all I have to do is add or remove an AGV. It's easy,' explains Vincent Bonamy, EasyBot Platform Manager at ASTI Mobile Robotics. In this respect, reorganising processes and assembly lines is far simpler, as is dealing with potential issues. At present, it's an interim step toward total flexibility. While automotive companies’ operations are rigidly constrained by their plants' fixed handling equipment, the QuadBot allows them 'skip from one workstation to another.'
ASTI Mobile Robotics's new automated vehicle has a stopping precision of just 3 mm. 'It's equipped with an automated 360-degree safety perimeter with a 5-metre range’,' explains Mr Bonamy. QuadBots employ a combination of magnetic guidance, route management and tracking (via RFID tags) systems that run on the EasyBot platform. 'This means that after brief training, clients are in control of the programming and are able to redesign the circuit according to their particular production needs, without having to depend on third parties,' notes the EasyBot Platform Manager.
In addition, the QuadBot runs on inductively charged lithium batteries that can be recharged in a matter of a minute. 'As contact is unnecessary, this AGV can be recharged as it carries out loading and unloading tasks,' explains Mr Bonamy.
ASTI Mobile Robotics' new AGV has two communications systems: 5-GHz WiFi is used in fleet management and data capture, while narrowband radiofrequency enables point-to-point communication with the automated workstations.
Essentially, this QuadBot ushers in manufacturing and assembly methods that constitute an advance in load handling and safety while providing greater precision and enhanced carrying capacity. This newest AGV joins ASTI Mobile Robotics' EasyBot range comprising the Basic (up to 250 kg), Standard (up to 600 kg), Bidibot (600–1000 kg), Omnibot (up to 1500 kg) and Tribot (up to 10 t) models.
ASTI Mobile Robotics develops a multi-destination AGV system for TREIF in Germany
As soon as an operator at TREIF, a German manufacturer of bread- and meat-processing equipment, gives an order, the automated guided vehicles (AGVS) built by ASTI Mobile Robotics go into operation on the 500-metre circuit set up in the Maschinenbau GmbH plant in Oberlahr (Germany). On leaving their station, the first thing the autonomous robots encounter is a fork in the track, with one route leading left and the other right. They automatically choose the one that, depending on their destination, optimises their trip to the cart pick-up station. Now comes the second choice — to pick up a cart or not? It all depends on the order received. The vehicles then encounter another fork in the track: left or right? One side leads to three cart stations, the other is longer and leads to the opposite end of the factory where the system’s seven other stations are located. Once the task has been completed, the AGV returns to the queue and waits to receive the next order.
The German company, founded in 1948 and a leader in its sector, was keen to fine-tune its manufacturing operations, closely monitor repetitive tasks and processes and maximise staff safety. With these goals in mind, it contacted ASTI Mobile Robotics, the European market’s leading mobile robotics developer, to manage and prioritise its various work orders.
In response, ASTI Mobile Robotics developed two lightweight EasyBot AGVs able to do just that. The solution’s main new feature is its multi-destination system, which can be configured to meet each client’s specific needs. The smart software calculates which route the AGV should take to reach its destination. The vehicle follows a different circuit and stops at different stations for each order and performs different actions at each point on the route. It not only provides autonomous materials handling; it also offers connectivity, integration, predictive maintenance and performance analysis.
To deliver this, the AGV is fitted with a mobile device via which it interacts with the system. Operators communicate with the AGVs and the rest of the system via an Android app — designed and developed by ASTI Mobile Robotics — installed on a tablet. They can change priorities, select destinations and obtain information on the vehicles.
With this highly functional tool, TREIF operators can manage AGV orders on the move, without having to access a PC. The AGV’s route in the warehouse comprises 6 stations. Operators position the carts they want to send to the various stations and, via the app, select where the automated vehicles need to pick them up and which station they need to take them to.
Cart pick-up orders can also be generated by button at each station. To do so, operators briefly hold down a button, which lights up to indicate that the system has received the order to pick up a cart from that position. As soon as an AGV is free to perform the task, the system routes it to that station and the button starts flashing, indicating that the AGV is on its way. The vehicle departs from position P1 and passes under the carts waiting there ready for other uses. When the AGV reaches its destination, it hitches up the cart indicated by the user and takes it back to the queue at the home position.
The system is designed to handle simultaneous orders sent from both sources —tablet and button — with the same destination. It gives priority to the order from the tablet, picking up the cart from the starting position and taking it to its destination. Once that order is completed, the AGV immediately accepts the order given via the button, collecting the cart indicated and taking it to the home position. By using a single trip to carry out two separate orders, this smart system optimises AGV routes and journey times to maximise operating efficiency.