Open Shuttle: An Autonomous Mobile Robot Bringing Flexibility to Your Warehouse

Over the years, many different names have been coined for flexible transport systems on the market, from automated guided vehicle system (AGVS), automated guided vehicle (AGV) to autonomous mobile robot (AMR). KNAPP’s Open Shuttles are autonomous and intelligent transport robots that help bring flexibility to the design of logistical processes. Find out more about our flexible solution for internal transport.

Autonomous mobile robots as intelligent automation solutions

Logistics is our passion and your logistical challenges and goals are what we work on every day. We offer intelligent and tailored automation solutions as well as software for the entire value chain. Logistics link different areas of a company, ensuring that goods, raw materials, semi-finished and finished products are available in the right way, in the right place and at the right time. This is guaranteed by internal transport. Since the requirements never stay the same, a flexible and adaptable transport system is required to respond to these dynamics. Here is where our Open Shuttles come into play. The VDA 5050-compatible Open Shuttles allow simple and rapid response to increasing requirements in flexibility, adaptability and scalability in a warehouse. They can be used for various applications, combining flexibility, configurability, intelligence and economic efficiency within a logistics system.

Get to know our AMRs, the Open Shuttles, in this video!

Contact

KNAPP Industry Solutions GmbH

Gewerbeparkstraße 17
8143 Dobl-Zwaring, Austria
Tel.: +43 504954 0
E-mail: kin.sales@knapp.com

Overview

Logistical Challenges

require flexibility, intelligence and configurability

Logistical challenges that Open Shuttles overcome

Change is the only constant.

Heraclitus,
Greek philosopher

The world is constantly changing.

Every day, we have to respond to new demands. The challenges for logistics are also growing – existing systems need adapting, and quickly.

Autonomous mobile robots are the perfect solution for the following logistical challenges:

Rapidly changing processes and fluctuations in material flow
Integration in existing systems
Lack of space
Different load carriers

Three good reasons to opt for our Open Shuttles as your AMR for transport

Intelligente Vernetzung

Intelligent

Smart path planning and intelligent management of orders and transport resources

Open Shuttles independently manage transport resources and orders using a fleet management system. Thanks to their integrated intelligence and swarm intelligence, tasks are evenly distributed and transport routes optimized. Since transport is autonomously handled, employees can focus on value creation.

Skalirebarkeit

Configurable

Simple control of the layout, processes and fleet

The fleet management system makes it possible to easily adapt the layout to new processes and work stations.  Changing the layout and transport routes is as easy as ABC. Integrating the Open Shuttles into existing systems is fast and straightforward, since they support a number of interfaces such as VDA 5050.

Flexibilität

Flexible

An adaptive transport solution to connect all locations in the warehouse without needing to make changes to the system

The Open Shuttles easily link places, processes, goods and raw materials. Wherever the work station, be it at goods-in, in picking or in quality control, the Open Shuttles bring the materials to the right place. Open Shuttles carry out all sorts of transport tasks. They are also ideal for seasonal peaks – you can simply add more robots for that period of time.

Acting as a swarm, KNAPP’s Open Shuttles take intelligently calculated actions and flexibly distribute tasks among the entire fleet.

The Open Shuttles have swarm intelligence. They independently manage transport resources and orders using a fleet management system. This means that when a new transport order comes in, the Open Shuttle that has free transport resources and can complete the order the fastest carries it out. In addition, every Open Shuttle also has what is known as integrated intelligence. This intelligence enables it to autonomously plan its route to the target, detect obstacles and avoid them intuitively.

Our Range of Autonomous Mobile Robots

The Open Shuttles and their applications.

Flexible AMR for various applications

Here is an overview of the jobs our AMRs can do and which Open Shuttle model is most suitable for particular applications.

Icon Open Shuttle Datenblatt
Open Shuttle
product overview

Work station supply with AMRs

AMRs are a flexible alternative to conventional container conveyor systems. The Open Shuttles link all warehouse areas, for example, by transporting goods, raw materials, semi-finished and finished products from the goods-in area to a central storage location and then on to decentralized work stations. Our AMRs supply a range of different work stations:

  • Picking work stations
  • Production and assembly stations
  • Packing and repacking stations
  • Work stations for returns processing
  • Value-added services stations
  • Quality check and quality assurance stations

The Open Shuttles can bring materials to and from buffer areas, temporary storage areas and flow racks – all by themselves.

They can transport many different kinds of load carriers, such as:

  • Containers (up to 800 mm x 600 mm, max. 100 kg) (31.5 in x 23.62 in, max. 220.46 lb.)
  • Cartons (up to 800 mm x 600 mm, max. 100 kg) (31.5 in x 23.62 in, max. 220.46 lb.)
  • Trays and tray stacks (up to 800 mm x 600 mm, max. 100 kg) (31.5 in x 23.62 in, max. 220.46 lb.)
  • Special load carriers

The Open Shuttles for container transport are the right robots for moving load carriers around the warehouse. Depending on the model, the Open Shuttle can carry one to two load carriers of up to 100 kg (220.46 lb.). The robot can unload containers from both sides, allowing free access to any of the containers it carries. Our AMRs also come with the option of an integrated lifter for heights of up to 1,500 mm (59.06 in). Equipped with a lifter, the Open Shuttle can automatically fill shooter racks, flow racks and roller conveyors that supply work stations.

Open Shuttle, an autonomous mobile robot for transporting two load carriers at the same time.
Open Shuttle for two-container transport
Open Shuttle, an autonomous mobile robot for transporting a single load carrier.
Open Shuttle for single-container transport

Link to automatic storage systems

The Open Shuttles are quite handy to use in combination with other systems. They transfer loads to kanban or flow racks, to conveyors, or they act as a direct link to automated storage systems, such as the OSR Shuttle™ Evo or the INDU-Store.

OSR Shuttle™ Evo+

OSR Shuttle™ Evo+ is a flexible system solution encompassing a central storage system and a fleet of autonomous mobile robots. Goods, raw materials, overstock, buffered orders – everything is stored centrally in the OSR Shuttle™ Evo+. The Open Shuttles supply different warehouse areas directly from the storage system just-in-time.

Would you like to know more about the benefits of the OSR Shuttle™ Evo+? Click here for more details.

INDU-Store

The INDU-Store is a space-effective automated storage system. The system stores small and micro parts in various small load carriers. This includes individual parts, assemblies and semi-finished products for temporary storage as well as storing finished products. Our autonomous mobile robots supply the work stations with small parts from the INDU-Store.

Would you like to know more about the benefits of the INDU-Store? Click on the button to find out more.

The Open Shuttles can be combined with INDU-Store, the automatic storage system for small and micro parts.

Open Shuttles for efficient sorting into flow racks

With our micro fulfillment center, the E-Grocer MFC, we offer a highly flexible and scalable automation solution for online food retail. The solution comprises an OSR Shuttle™ Evo as the storage and picking system as well as Pick-it-Easy work stations and Open Shuttles for order sorting.

In the E-Grocer MFC, the Open Shuttles load up the picked orders right from the conveyor system connected to the work stations. The autonomous mobile robots transport the containers to the multi-level flow racks in the shipping area. Here they are sorted to the right flow rack for the order. The lifter on the Open Shuttle raises or lowers the load-handling device to the right height (from 550 mm to 1,500 mm) (from 21.65 in to 59.06 in) en route.

The Open Shuttles sort the containers in a smart way according to a range of criteria, for example by target location to optimize transport routes or by order type – they know the difference between a pick-up order and an express delivery. In addition, our Open Shuttles combine the transport of deep-freeze and cold-storage goods, thereby maintaining the cold chain during transport.

Autonomous mobile robots for the electronics sector

Open Shuttles with special load-handling devices for magazine transport

Autonomous mobile robots flexibly handle the range of different transport processes in the electronics sector. This includes transporting load carriers such as circuit board magazines, reels, containers and tray stacks to production lines and assembly systems. The Open Shuttles for the electronics sector are equipped with a special load-handling device. We designed them with integrated width adjustment, allowing the robots not only to transport magazines and containers of different widths, but also to center them as required. Thanks to the width-adjustable clamping function, the magazines are secured in place during transport, preventing them from tipping. On the way to the next order, the load-handling device automatically adjusts its width to the new load carrier.

The integrated width adjustment therefore makes the Open Shuttle the perfect solution for the electronics sector. It transports load carriers of up to 50 kg (110.23 lb.) and can unload them on either side.

KNAPP’s Open Shuttle with integrated width adjustment securely transports circuit board magazines.
Open Shuttle with integrated width adjustment

Open Shuttle exclusively for the ASM Material Tower

Together with ASM Assembly Systems, KNAPP has developed a special transport robot for the ASM Material Tower storage system.

For more information, please visit:

Our autonomous mobile robot for the supply of production lines

We offer various solutions for supplying production lines. For example, our Open Shuttles for container transport supply productions lines just-in-time with raw materials, semi-finished products or empty containers and transport finished products to shipping or buffer areas. In addition to our model for container transport, we also have a model suitable for carrying heavier loads – the Open Shuttle Fork. These autonomous mobile robots can carry small portable racks, special load carriers and entire robot cells.

Here is an overview of the range of load carriers our robots can transport:

  • Containers up to 800 mm x 600 mm with max. 100 kg (31.5 in x 23.62 in, max. 220.46 lb.)
  • Small portable racks such as kanban racks
  • Special load carriers such as containers into which components from the small parts and pallet storage systems are consolidated
  • Robot cells needing transport to individual production cells

The Open Shuttle Fork can convey small portable racks and special load carriers weighing up to 1,000 kg (2,204.62 lb.) and pick up load carriers with a surface area of 1,200 mm x 1,000 mm (47.24 in x 39.37 in) directly from the floor.

Special and express transport jobs are easy for the flexible Open Shuttle

Thanks to the autonomous mobile robots’ flexibility, they are perfectly suited for special and express transport orders. The Open Shuttles can be integrated into processes quickly and flexibly, regardless of how urgent or special the job. They quickly transport goods from A to B, including to check stations.

KNAPP’s Open Shuttle directly transfers the container to the conveyor system.

Full of High Tech

Intelligent software, innovative add-ons and easy integration.

How do KNAPP’s autonomous mobile robots work?

Automated guided vehicles, including KNAPP’s AMRs, use different technologies to navigate. Some vehicles navigate with the help of physical lines on the floor, some with the help of reflectors and others by following a virtual line. But how do the Open Shuttles navigate?

Intelligent software and sensors for navigation

The Open Shuttles navigate freely based on the calculations of intelligent software and sensors. Our robots don’t require artificial landmarks or aids, making it quite simple to integrate the solution since the infrastructure doesn’t need to be changed. The robots sense their surroundings while moving using their integrated laser scanners and can therefore respond quickly and flexibly when encountering obstacles. The Open Shuttles detect natural contours, allowing them to move around obstacles and find alternative routes.

KNAPP’s Open Shuttle avoiding a forklift autonomously.
Open Shuttles continuously scan their environment thereby avoiding both people and obstacles with full autonomy.

Innovative add-ons to take the flexibility of your Open Shuttle another step further

Your autonomous mobile robot can be flexibly tailored to your needs using our innovative add-ons.

Equipped with an integrated lifter, the Open Shuttles retrieve and deliver their loads at different heights (from 550 mm to 1,500 mm) (from 21.65 in to 59.06 in). This provides even more flexibility when designing your processes.

The Open Shuttle’s integrated lifter is on the lowest level.
The Open Shuttle’s integrated lifter allows for more flexibility, making loading and unloading at different heights possible.
The Open Shuttle’s integrated lifter is on the highest level.

The load-handling device can also be equipped with width adjustment, allowing the device to adapt its width to that of the load carrier being transported. Equipped with integrated lifter and width adjustment, the Open Shuttle flexibly adapts to both the height and the width of its load.

KNAPP’s autonomous mobile robots can be equipped with integrated width adjustment.
The specially developed load-handling device ensures that special load carriers
are secured during transport. It also centers containers of varying size.

Additional indicator lights and sensors increase the Open Shuttles’ visibility in areas with frequent traffic. The autonomous mobile robots can be equipped as required by company policy and safety standards.

With its innovative scanner technology, the Open Shuttle checks its surroundings non-stop.
With its innovative scanner technology, the Open Shuttle checks its surroundings non-stop.
Blue lights on KNAPP’s Open Shuttle Fork.
Additional lights can make the Open Shuttles even more visible in the warehouse.
KNAPP’s autonomous mobile robots are equipped with LED lights on their masts.
The LED lights on the robots’ masts ensure visibility and use color to indicate the current operation mode.

Integration made easy

Integrating and installing our autonomous mobile robots is simple and can be done during ongoing operation. Depending on your requirements, the fleet management system can be integrated into and connected to your ERP system, WMS or WCS. The fleet management system is in charge of the traffic rules and assigns incoming orders to the Open Shuttles.

Install the Open Shuttles in a few simple steps:

  1. Install the server
  2. Switch on the Open Shuttle and connect
  3. Define the layout
  4. Define the processes
  5. Activate the system and other shuttles
  6. Observe and adjust where necessary
Employee quickly and easily sets up KNAPP’s autonomous mobile robot within the existing infrastructure.
The Open Shuttles’ areas of movement, loading and unloading locations can easily and quickly be
integrated into the existing infrastructure. Adjusting the autonomous mobile robot is done in next to no time.

Customized AMR fleet

You decide what your Open Shuttle fleet will look like. You can have two robots, or 30 – the size of the fleet can be adapted to the current situation and changed any time. Our range of AMR models with different load-handling devices can also be combined to form a versatile fleet.

Thanks to their VDA 5050 interface, you can link our Open Shuttles and transport robots from other providers. No matter how you design your fleet, our fleet management system serves as the coordinating control center.

Your Plus in Flexibility

Rent our Open Shuttles to respond to varying demand.

Test or rent our Open Shuttles

You have varying need for internal transport or you aren’t sure if an autonomous mobile robot is the right solution for you? Don’t worry, try out our Open Shuttles in a demo setup or simply rent one.

Flexible renting instead of buying

Your need for internal transport isn’t always the same? Take advantage of our renting model and call in our Open Shuttles to help you handle seasonal peak periods. Your new backup robots are easily integrated into your fleet within minutes and are ready for operation right away.

Open Shuttle demonstration on-site

You aren’t sure if an autonomous mobile robot is the right solution for your warehouse? We can set up a demonstration, right in your warehouse. We’d be happy to make you an offer for a demo, based on your use case and the demo duration.

Open Shuttles in Action

One technology, many possibilities.

An overview of our Open Shuttle installations

Tucker GmbH automates work station supply with KNAPP’s AMRs

Tucker GmbH opted for KNAPP’s autonomous mobile robots to supply decentralized work stations with goods from the small-parts warehouse. Three Open Shuttles were installed to fulfill these tasks, thereby optimizing Tucker’s processes.

The challenge in this solution lay in the constantly changing warehouse environment and the large amount of traffic within the facilities. Pallets are positioned in any free space in the warehouse and are constantly repositioned. The Open Shuttles move on the shared travel paths and supply two work stations with small parts. While on the move, they have to avoid obstacles such as other transport vehicles, people in the warehouse and any pallets that have been left in the way. The dynamics of warehouse life made using freely navigating robots necessary. The robots communicate constantly with one another and distribute orders flexibly. This opens up new opportunities to optimize routes and transit times. Thanks to our solution, Tucker was able to accelerate material flow in the warehouse, as it offers scalability and the highest flexibility.

Key project data

  • Tucker GmbH: Manufacturer of fastening and joining solutions
  • Headquarters: Giessen, Germany
  • Application: Suppling material to decentralized work stations
  • The challenge: Increasing productivity while keeping the existing number of employees
  • Solution: 3 Open Shuttles for the supply of 2 decentralized work stations from an automatic small-parts warehouse
At Tucker GmbH, KNAPP’s autonomous mobile robots supply decentralized work stations with material from the small-parts warehouse.

Tucker GmbH

Giessen/Linden, Germany

Tucker GmbH produces and distributes innovative, high-quality fastening and joining technology for distribution around the globe. The Linden location includes a shipping warehouse, to which all parts manufactured in the production facilities in Giessen are delivered before being shipped around the world.

AMRs used as an innovative link to automatic small-parts warehouse at Würth Industrie Service

The many joint projects successfully completed in Bad Mergentheim reflect KNAPP and Würth’s long-standing partnership. Besides KNAPP’s OSR Shuttle™, Pick-it-Easy work stations, picking robots, palletizing and depalletizing systems for shipment, Würth Industrie Service also uses our autonomous mobile robots.

Three Open Shuttles handle transport tasks in the goods-in area. The autonomous mobile robots convey trays with products from the goods-in area to the infeed point of the conveyor system, from which the trays are conveyed into storage into the OSR Shuttle™. This provides great relief to the employees working in the goods-in area, because they no longer need to manually transfer the containers to the conveyor system. Since the goods-in area at Würth Industrie Service needs to stay free for fork lift traffic, using our Open Shuttles as an optimal alternative to static conveyor systems made all the sense in the world.

Key project data

  • Würth Industrie Service GmbH & Co. KG: World-leading retailer of mounting and fastening materials
  • Site: Bad Mergentheim, Germany
  • Application: Goods transport from the goods-in area to storage in a central storage system
  • The challenge: Busy traffic in the goods-in area
  • Solution: 3 Open Shuttles ease the workload for employees by linking the goods-in area with the shuttle warehouse
Es besteht eine langjährige Partnerschaft zwischen KNAPP und Würth Industrie Service.

Würth Industrie Service GmbH & Co. KG

Bad Mergentheim, Germany

Würth Industry Service GmbH & Co. KG in Bad Mergentheim is a separate company within the Würth Group. Würth in Bad Mergentheim supplies the industrial sector, offering their customers modular logistics and procurement solutions for joining and fastening elements.

Cutting-edge technology is improving our quality and productivity.

Helmut Eisenkolb
Head of Logistics, procurator and member of the management team at Würth Industrie Service

Open Shuttles supply empty containers to production systems at Digmesa Polyform AG

When the locations of the subsidiaries Digmesa Polyform and Digmesa AG were combined, the production processes had to be restructured and production moved to a new hall. As part of this relocation project, they wanted to automate the transport processes supplying the assembly machines. An Open Shuttle system was installed and implemented within just four months. The autonomous mobile robot now brings empty containers to the injection molding machines and transports the finished pieces to a flow rack, which serves as a buffer area. The robot automatically transfers the full container to the flow rack according to the first-in first-out principle. The containers are equipped with an RFID tag, ensuring continuous traceability of the goods.

Alongside the installation of the Open Shuttle, a process for quality assurance was set up: The robot transports every tenth container to the check station.

Key project data

  • Digmesa Polyform AG: Manufacturer of flow measurement devices for fluids
  • Site: Ipsach, Switzerland
  • Application: Brings empty containers to the production machines; transports finished pieces away
  • The challenge: A tight implementation schedule
  • Solution: 1 Open Shuttle to supply 6 assembly systems with empty containers and to transport finished parts, which are automatically transferred to the flow rack
Company building of Digmesa at location in Ipsach Switzerland.

Digmesa AG

Ipsach, Switzerland

Swiss company Digmesa Polyform AG develops, manufactures and distributes flow measurement devices. Digmesa offers a wide range of mechanical flow sensors as well as innovative, contactless ultrasonic sensors.

The flexibility that we gain by using this system is incredibly valuable. We didn’t have to install anything for the Open Shuttle in production. It just needs the general travel paths and nothing else.

Dominik Huber
CEO Digmesa Polyform AG