With 117 production companies in 26 countries, ZF is among the largest automotive suppliers in the world.
At its plant in Saarbrücken, an automated guided vehicle system (AGVS) supplies the final assembly lines with shifters for transmissions. Once the employees on the assembly line have entered their demands on their touch screens, the LogOS control and management system from MLR determines the best available vehicle for the transport order—also taking subsequent orders into consideration—and sends it an order by radio to pick up the correct material and bring it to the appropriate final assembly line via an optimized path. Because the shifter pallets are loaded as a stack of two boxes, the two individual boxes are automatically unstacked at the destination. Two material handling storage spaces are located at each assembly station. One storage space is for placing the requested shifters, and the other is for picking up remainders or empty shifter pallets.
The continuous expansion of the automated guided vehicle system and successive integration of additional production and assembly areas at ZF created a route network through several buildings that is now around 4,300 meters long.