Continental will present for the first time in public its Autonomous Mobile Robots for the external market at the LogiMAT 2022, the international intralogistics tradeshow, from May 31 to June 2 in Stuttgart, Germany (hall 2, booth number EF15).
After an internal test phase in Continental production locations worldwide, the AMRs are now ready for the external market entry with improved and new features as well as the handling of new use cases. Building on the company’s years of extensive research in the robotics field, Continental is including these solutions now into its product portfolio in the newly established area of Continental Mobile Robots.
“We are pleased to confirm that from now on volume production of the AMRs has started in Continental’s Rheinböllen plant in Germany with the first external customer projects slated to be delivered,” says Pierre Pomper, Head of Autonomous Mobile Robots at Continental. “Continental complements its in-house capabilities with a partner ecosystem of technology leaders Kinexon and ROEQ to provide customers a leading edge AMR solution out of one hand.”
Since 2020, Continental’s AMRs have been successfully deployed at several own production locations worldwide. The company built its Autonomous Mobile Robots in-house to meet the demands and challenges of the future factory, since such a solution was not readily available in the market. The experience gained has now been incorporated into the AMR version for the external market.
Due to the load density, the electric vehicles are as small and compact as possible, but can carry very heavy weights. With measurements of only 1,455mm, 630mm and 225mm (l/w/h), the AMRs can carry significant loads up to 1.2 tonnes at a speed of up to 2m/s. Thus, they are versatile, while also being maximally manoeuvrable. Increased torque, shorter turning radius, optimised sensor coverage, improvements to its lifting mechanism design and accessibility of controls as well as the easy equipment for the transport of carts, pallets and top rollers are additional features.
Customers can benefit from a partnership between Continental and Kinexon. The fleet management software of Kinexon which is offered optionally turns an AMR fleet into an intelligent and perfectly coordinated swarm. The creation of orders and routes as well as the management of the AMRs will become much easier and more standardised (e.g., using the VDA5050 protocol).
“We developed a reliable and scalable fleet management software in collaboration with Continental, which increases the flexibility and performance of our customers AMR fleets. Additionally, we offer an Ultra-Wideband (UWB) system for connecting relevant things of the material flow such as AMRs. Our holistic fleet management software combines this information in real time to optimise supply chains, material flow and industrial automation even more,” says Dr. Alexander Hüttenbrink, Managing Director at Kinexon.
Continental is able to offer its AMRs with different top modules. Customers can choose between cart/rack and lifting unit use cases. Due to the close collaboration with ROEQ, a leading expert for robotic equipment, Continental can now also offer top roller modules, for transferring loads between AMRs and conveyors. The number of options offered is what makes Continental’s offering so unique. At LogiMAT, an AMR with top roller module from ROEQ will be shown as a world premiere.
“We are excited to team up with a strong partner like Continental,” says Michael E. Hansen, Managing Director at ROEQ. “We are on a path of significant growth and I am convinced that our collaboration will provide customers with a wider choice of better and more robust solutions to meet their logistic challenges.”
The AMRs are an attractive shopfloor logistics solution for several industries including logistics and warehousing, automotive, food and beverage as well as electrical and electronics. They work hand-in-hand with humans, reduce manual activities such as driving forklift trucks, speed up transport and provide an accurate overview of shopfloor inventory and its storage location. Continental offers everything from a single source, which is not quite common in the market and a big benefit for the customers: From consulting, sales, integration, service and support to maintenance contracts and a 24-hour support – everything out of one hand.