Autonomous intelligent vehicle links two companies
The Open Shuttle has been up and running for a couple of months. What are your thoughts on the system so far?
Dominik Huber: “We have worked a lot with the Open Shuttle and the experiences are good. At the beginning, there were a few difficulties with the positioning, which was related to the new building. With your help, Mr. Schneider and I were able to solve this problem very quickly. In the meantime, we are really thrilled with all the different things we can do with it.”
Is there anything about the project that you would do differently?
Stefan Schneider: “Yes, we would do things differently on our side. Everything happened at the same time. Moving to the new building, setting up the system, the startup of the machines as well as the KNAPP system, the reorganization of our purchasing routine and, at that same time, production had to continue. It was quite stressful. The startup of the injection molding machines was scheduled at the same time as the startup of the AIV. We could have done better with the scheduling. But from just the project development perspective, with KNAPP everything functioned well on both sides.”
What other tasks could the Open Shuttle handle in your company?
Stefan Schneider: “Well, I have a few ideas (laughs). Right now, the AIV is bringing the parts to the warehouse automatically. From there, we are bringing them to the assembly machines manually. This is also a transport task from one defined location to a clearly defined destination, which is currently carried out by an employee. This process would definitely be eligible for automation. I’m sure there is still potential to be used.”
What are your goals for the future?
Stefan Schneider: “The first thing on the list is to finish with moving and getting operations combined for the two companies. Culturally speaking as well, there is still a lot to do. This affects the improvement of the technical consolidation and processes. Furthermore, we are still feeling the effects of the pandemic in a major way. Everyone is still working from home and has invested in at least one additional coffee machine (laughs). Our order books are full, and now we have to create the capacity. This means capacity not only in injection molding, but also in assembly. We have made plans for large investments to ensure that we can fulfill the demand for our products. In addition to this, we also want to continue to develop our company, be innovative and develop new products.”
Dominik Huber: “The consolidation of the two companies at the Ipsach location and the connection of the production areas with the Open Shuttle is just the first step. Now we’ve got to get on with the cultural integration, and which projects will then open up after that, well, we’ll just have to see what happens.”
The Open Shuttle has become the link between the two companies. You can see on a daily basis how seamlessly it links the two areas.