Increased flexibility, safety and efficiency

With new trailers and a cloud-based tugger train guidance system, Linde Material Handling (MH) is making horizontal transport of goods in manufacturing and warehouse environments even more attractive. Innovative functions for C-frame and Bridge Frames trailers ensure greater safety and flexibility. The tugger train guidance system determines the most appropriate route, reduces error rates and employee training time, and responds to order-related changes with real time adjustments . Thus, even complex tasks become manageable and can be reliably carried out.

Horizontal transport of goods by means of tugger trains is particularly effective where large quantities of different parts and components have to be delivered over long distances to the right place at the right time. This is the case in the automotive industry, for example, where each vehicle consists of many thousands of components that are assembled piece by piece until the finished car finally rolls off the production line. “Here, transport of pallets and stillages using tugger trains makes both economic and ecological sense compared to single unit transport and furthermore, is in line with the Lean Manufacturing philosophy,” explains Mal Rexhepi, Product Manager Automation & Load Train Solutions. Further component supply advantages delivered by tugger trains include the reduction of in-house traffic volumes and a reduced accident potential combined with easier process planning.

New frame features allow for increased flexibility

From September 2021, Linde MH will be launching new trailer models for the Linde Logistic Train – including the LT-C C-frame, the LT-B Bridge Frame and the LT-BM Bridge Frame with adjustable centre support. These improved trailer designs ensure even greater safety and flexibility.

One notable new feature is the innovative and patented lifting profile mechanism for the Bridge Frames. It not only enables the transport of a wide variety of rolling racks and trolleys, but can also be configured to lift pallets without load carriers loaded into the trailer with a pallet truck, for example. In this case, the lifting profiles are initially concealed in the trailer frame at the beginning of the loading process so that the operator can push the trolleys in unhindered. The optional adjustable middle support allows different container sizes to be handled by the same trailer without significantly increasing the train length.

The highlight of the C-frame trailers is the fork stabilization control. This patented solution prevents the forks from sagging even under the heavy loads thus ensures safe transport of . The ergonomic ejection mechanism is another helpful feature: When the operator releases the lock with the foot switch, the load is pushed away from the back of the forks, making it easier to pull the load carriers out of the trailer.

All Linde MH C-frame models are fitted with a mechanical load locking mechanism as standard: As soon as a container is placed in the frame, the lock closes automatically. When the operator gets onto the tractor unit, the frames are automatically lifted and , upon leaving the operator’s platform, the loads are lowered. For safety, when the tugger train is moving, lowering the frames is impossible. Conversely, it is impossible for the operator to set the tugger train in motion with the frames lowered.

For outdoor use, amongst other options, the frames can be equipped with a weather guard to protect the load mMchanical all-wheel steering ensures high directional stability of the tugger trains: no matter how many trailers are in use, the entire train remains on track. Thanks to a standardized interface, the trailers are ready for semi or fully automated operations. Trolleys have also recently been included in the scope of delivery. They are available in various configurations and can be further equipped, for example, with modular rack superstructures.

Always on the right track with the tugger train guidance system

The move from individual to multiple load transportation brings with it many advantages – as well as greater complexity in logistic planning in the warehouse. “It is necessary to organize routes and load carrier changes as efficiently as possible to avoid time losses and errors. To accomplish this, the entire cycle from upstream production to final assembly must be carefully planned and coordinated,” explains Oldrik Wagner, Product Manager Software Solutions. “With our tugger train guidance system, we can now provide step-by-step support to operators in carrying out their tasks.”

The tugger train control system receives all relevant information on material transports from the ERP or WMS system. From this, it generates individual routing orders and displays them on a large touch screen in the cockpit. Order by order, operators are directed to the correct assembly workstations along an optimum route. This process is preceded by the configuration of the tugger trains, trailers, stops, routes and reports by means of multilingual software. Via the dashboard, warehouse managers have an overview of the entire application and can trigger key figures and reports to further optimize its use.

Linde Material Handling GmbH
Linde Material Handling GmbH, a KION Group company, is a globally operating manufacturer of forklift trucks and warehouse trucks, and a solutions and service provider for intralogistics. With a sales and service network that spans more than 100 countries, the company is represented in all major regions around the world.