DB Schenker has introduced the regular operation of an autonomous forklift truck, following successful completion of a pilot project. The transport system of the Austrian supplier AGILOX transports empty containers over a distance of around 150 meters at the Eching site near Munich. This is done completely without the intervention of a warehouse associate. Previously, this operation was carried out with conventional forklift trucks.
Xavier Garijo, Member of the Board for Contract Logistics at Schenker AG: “Autonomous forklift trucks promise innovation, precision and efficiency for the benefit of our customers. DB Schenker is always open to alternative solutions in warehouse logistics. However, our most important asset is always our highly qualified employees: without them, we would not be one of the world’s leading logistics service providers today. For this reason, we want to relieve them by automating some logistics processes – especially since there is currently a shortage of skilled workers in logistics at the labour market.”
The AGILOX is equipped with a height-adjustable fork that can be used to lift and lower containers. It is therefore not necessary for the warehouse staff to place the containers manually on the AGV (Automated Guided Vehicle). The AGILOX is also capable of recording a surrounding map for navigation within the site in a very short time. This means that the use of the AGV can begin just a few days after delivery.
Franz Humer, CEO and co-founder of AGILOX: “The robots can take over simple tasks in the warehouse, meaning employees can concentrate on more complex tasks, especially at peak times. We look forward to many more successful projects with DB Schenker throughout Europe.”
With the help of intelligent software, DB Schenker associates can also set up operating areas and safety zones, for example, or mark storage and parking areas. Precise sensors and cameras ensure that AGILOX recognizes and avoids obstacles in good time.
At the site in Eching, DB Schenker supplies vehicle parts for the production of a renowned German car manufacturer. It is now being examined whether the AGILOX can also be used at other locations of the logistics service provider.