Control Software for Heavy Duty AGV

Heavy Duty AGV (Automated Guided Vehicle) from the Netherlands with Dortmund Control Software

Hencon Heavy Duty AGV in a Hall
© Fraunhofer IML and Hencon
Frame with a Container
© Fraunhofer IML and Hencon

The Dutch heavy duty and special mobile equipment manufacturer Hencon has recruited the Fraunhofer IML for the navigation, path planning and path control work packages of a project to automate two heavy duty transport vehicles. Due to the extensive experience of the Fraunhofer IML in this field, the company is also seeking knowledge transfer with regard to the design and implementation of automated guided vehicles (AGVs), since Hencon is planning to expand on its activities in this area.
Over the course of the project, the partners designed two AGVs which travel automatically between three loading stations and three smelting furnaces over a distance of about 250 meters in order to transport containers filled with pressed aluminum scrap and weighing in 20 tons. They also load and unload the transport containers automatically. Since the entire width of the extremely heavy containers protrudes past the side of the vehicle during loading and unloading, the AGV must itself be very heavy to provide the required stability.
The load changing principle required by the plant operator also requires a repeatable positioning accuracy at the load transfer stations of max. +/-15 mm in the lengthwise and crosswise directions and a maximum rotation error (around the vehicle‘s vertical axis) of +/- 0.1°. In light of their dimensions (LWH) of 7.8 x 4.5 x 3.8 meters and the large weight, the constructed vehicles meet and even exceed the unusually high requirements: Thanks to the use of top-notch three phase servo technology for the driving and steering drives, the laser navigation system developed by the Fraunhofer IML and the management and control software which was also developed by the institute, the vehicles achieve a reproducible positioning accuracy better than +/- 10 mm.

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