High-tech sensor forks in the automated storage process

- 6 Oct 2022 ( #1097 )
3 min read

SmartFork® AGV Ready! By VETTER

Automated Guided Vehicles are at the heart of automated logistics processes!

The systems are constantly being further developed to make Logistics 4.0 even more efficient, safer and simpler.

In addition to the multitude of advantages for the automation of logistics and production processes, the use of automated guided vehicles naturally poses challenges for an economical and productive application: 

The integration of smart sensor technology in the forks of the AGV is a decisive criterion for defined and safe load detection and pick-up.

Europe's leading fork manufacturer Vetter is an innovative pacemaker in this field: The Vetter SmartFork offers sophisticated and individual solutions for equipping AGVs with intelligent sensor technology in the fork and adapting them to a wide range of requirements.

SmartFork technology for the highest safety level

Built-in light sensors in the fork tine of the AGV detect the end of the load carrier during entering the load carrier, so that the load can be picked up safely!

The goods behind are not damaged! At the same time, further sensors detect whether the load has been picked up properly. At the same time, it is monitored whether the transported goods move during the transport process or even slip off the fork.

No slipping of the load with simultaneous noise reduction

In addition to the built-in sensors, it is also possible to equip the forks with CROC fork coatings. These special anti-slip or anti-noise coatings make the automated loading process even safer. The functionality of the sensor system is not impaired in any way.

Smart Big-Forks 

For the transport of heavy loads, Vetter offers smart BigForks. In this application, roller-guided forks with a cross-section of 14x3 inch and a load capacity of 12 tons at a load center of 47 inch were equipped with a SmartFork Laser and a SmartFork FrontCam. The machine was able to drive autonomously as well as be controlled by a person. An integrated laser in the tip of the fork precisely targets the entry position of the load to be picked up. This reduces damage to the load to a minimum. Via the front camera, the driver can also see what is happening in front of the load when it is picked up. If the vehicle is moved autonomously, the front camera is used for remote monitoring of the machine.

Built-in sensor technology as an additional machine protection scanner

Automated guided vehicles are usually equipped with all-round sensors for environment monitoring. Mainly, these are used as a protective field to detect objects and people in a defined environment and to stop the operation of the device in case of emergency.

The environment monitoring must be switched off, when approaching the load for picking up a pallet.

In order to enable a safe, automatic loading process in this situation, Vetter offers special light sensors integrated into the forks, which are activated as soon as the environment monitoring is deactivated.

The sensors detect even the smallest interfering edges or objects, such as a broken board on the pallet.

Vetter offers the most extensive know-how for the production of SmartFork - AGV Ready!

The protected installation of the sensors including cabling is done without affecting the load capacity, fatigue strength and bending up of the forks! Special attention is paid to the industrial strength of the entire system. All modifications to the forks are carried out by the fork manufacturer, so that the warranty remains fully intact. A huge plus in safety! 

With the Vetter SmartFork to a driverless high-tech transport system - efficient and safe! AGV Ready!



VETTER Industrie GmbH
Solutions Department
Carl-Benz Straße 45
57299 Burbach
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