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New AGV as plug and play solution
WEASEL® Lite for easy access to automation
Easy linking of internal production and logistics areas and efficient replenishment of small load carriers where they are needed; the automated guided vehicle WEASEL® Lite by SSI Schaefer offers all this without complex installation. The WEASEL Lite can be flexibly deployed in all sectors of industry; it is economical and can be launched by simple plug & play thanks to its decentralized control. This facilitates a smooth material flow, which can be adapted to new requirements or extended readily by users at any time.
Connecting areas for efficient material flow
The increasing calls for short processing times, minimal stock holding, optimized cycle times and high flexibility, have shifted the focus onto internal material flow processes as another potential avenue for optimization. Companies often opt for an automated combination of processes, for many repetitive and standardized logistics tasks, to ensure flexible and prompt supply of the required goods. Here, workforce limitations can become a critical factor. Maintaining reliable warehouse staff for simple and repetitive logistics tasks can be challenging. Modern semi to fully automated solutions, such as automated guided vehicles, can streamline the material flow without having to invest a large sum of money.
WEASEL Lite, the plug and play version of the well-established WEASEL
In order to connect individual, interrelated working areas in the warehouse and production and to provide the individual areas with the required material without large stock holding buffers, SSI Schaefer developed the automated guided vehicle (AGV) WEASEL. The new variant of the established AGV is called WEASEL Lite. The descriptor “Lite” explains its easy integration into the existing buildings and processes. Companies can carry out the implementation themselves – without fleet controller, expert knowledge and superordinate IT installation. The AGVs are used for internal transport of small load carriers such as bins, cartons or similar, with a weight of up to 35 kg and connects areas like goods-in, goods-in check, picking and shipping or production and assembly. Especially for small and medium-sized companies, the WEASEL Lite is a simple and economical way to provide first access to automation. It is an investment that pays back in next to no time and offers growth potential.
Communication via Bluetooth and tablet
The two WEASEL variants differ mainly in regard to control and communication. While the classic WEASEL AGV is controlled by a fleet controller with Wi-Fi, the WEASEL Lite AGV, communicates via Bluetooth. The latter receives transport orders via tablet from the operator at the materials receiving location. Thanks to decentralized control, no IT programming or specific technical know-how are required, neither for material flow planning nor commissioning.
Plug & play commissioning of WEASEL Lite
WEASEL Lite can be easily integrated into existing buildings and processes. Only minor preparations are necessary including planning and establishing the route, the setup of the tablet or mobile phone with the AGVs controlling app and switching on the vehicles. A free WEASEL Lite Designer software is available for material flow planning, but this can also be completed using paper and pencil. The provision of IT, such as server and Wi-Fi, is not necessary due to decentralized control.
The time between ordering and commissioning is usually only one to two weeks within Germany.
Adaptable solution for automated processes
The installed WEASEL Lite fleet can grow with changing market conditions and company development. The WEASEL Lite follows an optical track that is adhered to the floor along the determined route. The advantage is that route can be easily redefined, and the operator can relocate the track easily. When capacity needs to be increased, the solution can be easily expanded using additional vehicles. Furthermore, upgrading to a more complex, classic WEASEL solution is always possible. Integrating an additional master controller into the existing WEASEL fleet, the operators gain additional efficiency and interface benefits such as communication with the existing conveying system, rolling gates, fire alarm systems or stack lights.
The WEASEL Lite is an economical, barrier-free indoor automated guided vehicle providing easy access to automation of internal transportation. It is low-cost compared to traditional fixed conveying systems because the costly installation of an IT structure and complex layout planning is avoided. The AGVs ensure constant work load and deliver short-term productivity increases. In addition, customers benefit from the fast implementation and a quick return on investment. Refer to the SSI Schaefer website for more information and ordering options. If further steps towards automation are interesting, SSI Schaefer, as an expert in intralogistics, is available to assist.
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