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Optimally timed material flow for pharma firm

28 February 2024

A LEADING company in the pharmaceutical industry has opted for a transport solution from ek robotics to sustainably optimise intralogistics processes at a Swiss site. 

With the X MOVE transport platform, equipped with roller conveyors, the automated material transport of high-quality pharmaceuticals between different production buildings has been extensively modernised. 

At the pharmaceutical company, the challenge in integrating the automated guided vehicle system (AGV) was to ensure an optimally timed material flow on sometimes narrow route areas and simultaneously integrate prioritized transports of refrigerated goods into the new automation process. The solution is provided by ek robotics with its X MOVE series: in future, twelve high-performance mobile transport robots will take over the safe and efficient transportation of pallets with high-quality pharmaceuticals between the production areas in 2-shift operation. Each X MOVE 1200 is equipped with a roller conveyor, handles around 90 transports per hour and is responsible for picking up and dropping off loads at 22 conveyor technology stations between the production and storage areas. 

The new partner, for whom ek robotics is implementing the transport solution, is already familiar with an automated guided vehicle system from a market competitor, which previously handled the intralogistics processes involved in pharmaceutical production. The new system will now be implemented step by step over several weekends by ek robotics so that ongoing production and operations are not interrupted.

“With the new AGV, our customer is able to prioritise important refrigerated transports that were previously carried out manually. The new system is also much more flexible with a higher number of vehicles than before and communicates directly with the SAP system,” explains Ronald Kretschmer, CSO at ek robotics. Initially, 13 transport robots were planned for this application, but with a material flow simulation, the AGV experts were able to reduce the ideal number of vehicles for the overall system from 13 to twelve X MOVE units during the project planning phase.

For more information, visit www.ek-robotics.com