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TRUMPF and Jungheinrich agree partnership

TRUMPF to incorporate automated guided vehicle systems in customers’ sheet-metal fabrication operations // Pooling the two companies’ know-how will enhance the flow of materials in connected manufacturing environments

In an agreement announced today, high-tech company TRUMPF and global automation specialist Jungheinrich are to collaborate on intralogistics solutions for connected manufacturing in sheet metal fabrication. Jungheinrich will supply driverless vehicles that autonomously transport sheet metal parts between various machine tools and storage positions. TRUMPF will supply its production-control software TruTops Fab, which helps manufacturers make their logistics more efficient. TRUMPF will also provide personal consultation as well as commissioning, training and other services to help customers integrate the autonomous transport systems within their own manufacturing environment. “We’re delighted that two such established German companies as TRUMPF and Jungheinrich have teamed up to form a high-tech partnership,” says Thomas Schneider, Managing Director Research + Development at TRUMPF Machine Tools. “We’ll be working together to deliver future-proof digitalization solutions for sheet metal fabricators. By reorganizing their logistics, sheet metal fabricators can substantially boost the efficiency of their operations.” The cooperation also brings benefits for the Hamburg-based company Jungheinrich: “This partnership will take our logistics solutions right onto the factory floor of manufacturing industry,” explains Markus Heinecker, Vice President Corporate Automated Systems AGV. “It means that sheet metal fabricators will no longer have to swap between different systems. Instead, they can have an integrated solution from a single source.” The companies’ joint solution has already proved its worth at TRUMPF’s smart factories in Chicago and Ditzingen. Manual transport processes are now automated there, and storage times at machine tools have been substantially reduced.  

Faster flow of material on the factory Floor  

The autonomous vehicles are controlled by an enhanced version of the TruTops Fab production software from TRUMPF. This application prioritizes transport jobs in line with the production schedule and forwards these orders in real time to the Jungheinrich transport system. The result is a more efficient flow of material for the processes involved in sheet metal fabrication. “By pooling our know-how and technical expertise, we’re able to respond to our customers’ increasingly complex needs in the most effective way,” says Schneider. “As a specialist for logistics systems, Jungheinrich is an ideal match for our smart factory solutions.”  

The factory transport units start and finish each job at one of the docking stations positioned next to machine tools or in the warehouse. They are equipped with sensors that capture data on all the logistics processes involved in sheet metal fabrication. Whenever an automated guided vehicle has delivered a europallet to a punching, laser-cutting, bending or laser-welding machine, this information is automatically reported to the workstation of the relevant machine operative. The transport units also ensure that pallets are available in time for loading parts or materials for the next step of the process. This means that machine operatives can ignore logistics and concentrate fully on working their machine tool. If need be, they can display the overall intralogistics situation on a tablet.

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