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Interfaced multidirectional small-scaled modules for intralogistic operation

  1. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ludger Overmeyer Institute of Transport and Automation Technology
  2. Dipl.-Ing. Kai Ventz Institute of Transport and Automation Technology
  3. Dipl.-Ing. Sascha Falkenberg Institute of Transport and Automation Technology


This article examines options of an innovative design of intralogistic systems by interfacing small-scaled modules. Current intralogistic systems are quite customized with unique solutions and small production lots. In most cases these systems feature a central main control. To offer highly individual solutions, thus meeting the demand of shorter life cycles, there is a need for more flexible material handling systems. Hence, identical small-scaled modules with integrated intelligence present a promising approach. Requirements and options are analyzed to develop a small-scaled module as a basis for a flexible intralogistic system. An essential requirement for a small sized module is functional flexibility to allow configuring individual intralogistic solutions. Thus, these modules have to combine a variety of functions to provide not only a material flow function but also sorting and distributing functions, for instance. Furthermore, an easy extension of the system in any plane direction should be possible. Approaches based on existing technology, such as roller conveyors or belt conveyors are considered along with new solutions concerning this ambitious challenge. A further development of swivel wheel technology and some new ideas like a swivel disk present promising solutions. With a flexible mechanical solution we can design modules that can be developed into self controlling elements.


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