Due to the strong growth in e-commerce, intralogistics is faced with the challenge of handling small batch sizes as well as large quantities in the shortest possible time. With its mobile robot ‘Boby’, the French company Scallog offers a system that can transport even heavy shelves including goods. The lifting system uses the LINAK actuator LA36.
The LA36 is integrated into the robot’s lifting unit, which forms the hardware of the Scallog system for automated warehouse management. Besides the Boby robot, the software solution for controlling and monitoring inventory is an essential part of the Scallog system.
One application example is provisioning management: a fleet of robots brings shelves with goods to the picker’s workstation. A shelf can weigh up to 600 kg in total. When loaded, the robots move at a speed of up to 1.2 m/s. A scissor system lifts the deck of the Boby. Lifting heavy shelves via the scissor system requires an actuator with a high thrust. This must always be available, and the lifting must take place at a steady speed. Furthermore, the reliability of the actuator plays a key role here, as the robot must lift and lower many shelves during an operating day to provide goods to a picker in a goods-to-person concept.
The use of an electric actuator solution for the lifting function was beyond question. Even though hydraulic solutions might be an obvious choice for these heavy loads, they are hardly ever used in such applications. LINAK offers electric actuators that can push up to 15,000 Newton. The high self-retention force and the various communication interfaces, thanks to the integrated electronic controller in the actuator, also speak for themselves.
“At Scallog, we’ve always preferred electric actuators, mainly because of their ease of use, compact size, robustness, energy efficiency and value for money,” says Christophe Preveaux, Head of Electronic Systems at Scallog.
He also highlights the collaboration with LINAK.
“LINAK employees are always approachable and open to questions. They have always supported us with their high level of specialist expertise when we were facing various challenges.”
Early in the testing phase, Scallog noticed that LINAK electric actuators were a particularly robust, durable, and reliable component for their robot. Reliability was a key argument for Scallog.
Christophe Preveaux explains: ”As we sell our warehouse systems worldwide, we need to ensure that we have a very reliable system. A failed actuator can be very costly. That’s why we rely on the quality of LINAK actuators.”
Customer requirements are increasing and Scallog is constantly working on improving and expanding the robot system. With LINAK, they get the advantage of a cooperation partner who is also a leader in new developments, such as by launching new communication interfaces for their actuators.
“The new CANopen interface would allow us to read more relevant data from the actuator and the entire system. A good way to make our systems smarter,” Christophe Preveaux concludes.
Actuators for material handling vehicles
End-user demands for automation solutions reach new heights as modern mobile robots take over more and more tasks in warehouses and manufacturing. Delivering capable AGVs and AMRs requires reliable components as well as innovative partners. Electric actuators provide smart and reliable lifting solutions for automated warehouse systems.
Gain space with a compact design
LINAK electric actuators are a perfect match for mobile robots and are ideal for material handling applications with tight installation space.
LINAK actuators with integrated controller (IC) have several features that enable a compact design. IC actuators are suitable for a range of power supplies, including 24V and 48V, and with standard communication interfaces like CANopen or IO-link. Additional components, such as voltage converters or motor controllers, extra communication modules or external sensors for position control are now obsolete, which results in a compact design.
Keep uptime high with condition monitoring and precise control
Using actuators with CANOpen or IO-Link interfaces, OEMs can get feedback signals which enables remote data monitoring and diagnostics, making it easier to predict and schedule maintenance intervals, analyse failures and allocate an on-site service. The actuator could even become part of the digital twin of the vehicle. As a result, uptime can be kept high, and downtime can be reduced to a minimum—the precise control results in increased operational efficiency.
Go the distance
LINAK’s LA36 Long Life actuator, incorporating a brushless DC motor, meets the long service life typically required of AGVs. With a minimum of 200,000 cycles its lifetime matches the lifetime of other key components of an AGV or AMR, such as the drive wheels or battery, ensuring no additional scheduled maintenance and service intervals are required.
In addition, using LINAK’s online B10 lifetime calculator, OEM’s can get a qualified estimate of the actuator lifetime when used in a specific application.
LINAK offers stable solutions for linear movement, making it easy to raise and lower, lock and unlock, open and close, tilt, position, place, move or adjust. Visit www.linak.com.au to read about their portfolio of electric linear actuators or call LINAK Australian on 03 8796 9777.