How driverless transport vehicles are enhancing production at Audi engine plant
Audi's engine manufacturing plant, Audi Hungaria has introduced six new driverless transport vehicles (FTFs) at its premises to enhance the engine production process. Introduced in collaboration with Jungheinrich, the new FTFs are being used to transport 2.0-litre four-cylinder Otto engine parts from logistics area straight to the production line.
The driverless vehicles automatically stop at 57 stations during their journey of more than 1,000 metres, allowing for particularly efficient and reliable material transport. "Automation of logistics processes is an important step to increase efficiency and boost competitiveness," said Robert Buttenhauser, member of the Board of Management responsible for engine production at Audi Hungaria.
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The FTFs come equipped with state-of-the-art navigation technology and safety features. Of the 57 stations that the vehicles make a stop at in different areas of the production hall, 50 are located right next to the production line. In every journey of 1,000 metres, the driverless vehicles can carry parts weighing up to 5,000 kilograms.
On their way back from production line, they transport packaging materials back to the logistics area. These vehicles are guided to and from the production line with the help of laser navigation supported by reflective surfaces installed on objects along the FTFs route, such as shelves, walls, and columns. Laser navigation allows for positioning of driverless systems at predefined stations with millimetre-level accuracy.
Audi Hungaria uses a total of 60 driverless transport vehicles in various areas of engine production including the manufacturing of electric drives without production lines. Here, the driverless transport systems independently transport components of electric drives to individual workstations. "As the world's largest engine manufacturer, Audi Hungaria always uses state-of-the-art technology," Buttenhauser added. It is the central engine supplier of many brands of the Volkswagen Group.