Linde unveils automated reach truck


Linde has expanded its portfolio of robotic warehouse solutions with the launch of an automated reach truck.

The R-Matic transports pallet-loaded goods weighing up to 1.6 metric tons and is able to operate non-stop 24/7 – storing and retrieving goods on and off shelves as required. Sensors attached to the truck ensure loads are picked up safely and placed appropriately.

Additional sensors mounted on the fork carriage minimize the threat of overhanging loads, while three-dimensional cameras detect the storage location on the shelf and adjust the position of the forks accordingly using the sideshift.

The automated reach truck has been in use for over a year at an international consumer goods manufacturer as part of the testing phase but is now being officially rolled out to the material handling industry.

“The autonomous reach truck is an option worth considering for any industrial company whose intralogistics system is driven by strong cost pressure and demands for high efficiency,” said Frank Heptner, senior director consultancy and projects, intralogistics solutions at Linde Material Handling.

Logisitics managers can gradually network their internal material flow processes and for simple applications, the R-MATIC can work on a standalone basis – i.e. without being connected to corporate IT systems. In this case, travel commands are triggered directly via the vehicle’s touchscreen or a communication box. In mixed operation, the automated vehicles communicate via interfaces with other machines and systems or roller conveyors.

When used in larger fleets, the R-MATIC control system can exchange data with the company’s Warehouse Management (WMS) or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. The computing unit manages incoming orders, assigns route-optimized jobs to the vehicles, receives feedback from the trucks, regulates traffic and takes over control of the fleet.

“With two- or three-shift operation, we assume that the R-MATIC will have paid for itself after two years at the latest,” said Philipp Stephan, product manager, Linde robotics at Linde Material Handling.

March 16, 2018

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James joined the Industrial Vehicle Technology International team in 2017. Previously he was Assistant Editor on an engineering title for several years and has worked for various other trade magazines before that. James is happily married and has a young daughter and son who keep him busy.

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