AGV/cobot solution for the textile industry

Reading time: 3 Minutes - Excerpt from the newsletter 12/2022

Development and construction of over 60 end-to-end solutions for automated restocking of cabling machines /// Developed in close collaboration with and for Saurer Technologies GmbH & Co. KG /// Core of the solution: automated guided vehicles (AGV) developed by Project Automation & Consulting in tandem with extremely maneuverable 7-axis cobots from Kassow Robots /// Solution to be deployed initially in the U.S. by a globally active end client in the textile industry.

Kranenburg, GERMANY, July 26, 2022 â—Ź Together with Project Service & Produktion GmbH, its engineering sister company, Project Automation & Consulting GmbH has secured the largest order in the history of Project Group. Over the next few years, the automation specialist, founded in 1989 and based in Kranenburg (Northrhine-Westphalia), Germany, will successively provide Saurer Technologies GmbH & Co. KG with more than 60 AGV/cobot all-in-one solutions for an amount in the double-digit million euro range. The end client is a globally active company in the textile industry that will initially deploy the solutions for automated restocking of cabling machines in the U.S.

Bold focus on innovation pays off

“Innovation often demands courage and perseverance. The encouragement our owners Stefan Opgenorth and Johannes Jansen gave us in focusing on such an innovative solution is now paying dividends. We were the very first to choose the 7-axis cobots from Kassow Robots becoming the company’s earliest partner worldwide in 2018. We developed these AGVs in collaboration with Saurer Technologies and are building them right here in North-Rhine Westphalia,” as the three Managing Directors Jan Hanenkamp, Sebastian Münnekhoff (both Project Service & Produktion) and Ingo Rathmann (Project Automation & Consulting) emphasize. The order from Saurer Technologies for the textile industry was and is very challenging, which is why we are very proud of our team here in Kranenburg!”

AGV + 7-axis cobot + linear axis provide perfect flexibility

The more than 60 automated guided vehicles (AGV), each with a load capacity of up to 1,500 kilograms, were developed by Project Automation & Consulting in collaboration with Saurer Technologies. They are all equipped with a magazine and a control system in which a KR1018 cobot from the Copenhagen-based manufacturer Kassow Robots has been integrated. This lightweight cobot is easy to operate, highly versatile, thanks to its 7 axes, and can lift up to 18 kg. The cobot was mounted on a linear axis and can restock the cabling machines at different heights even in small spaces.

The heavy bobbins were previously replaced by hand. The AGV/cobot all-in-one solution will now look after this task. In addition to not being dependent on the availability of personnel, the solution also offers quality benefits: Material tracking is possible, material mix-ups are avoided, and bobbin quality is maximized thanks to gentle handling.

Close teamwork with Saurer Technologies and the end client

Ingo Rathmann, Managing Director of Project Automation & Consulting, underlines the importance of the excellent relationship with Saurer: “Our teamwork with Saurer and the smooth cooperation with the industry end client were and are vital when it comes to the successful planning and implementation of this type of solution!” This major order to supply U.S. plants of a globally active client is not the first international order for Project Group. Customers based in America, Asia and other European countries have been part of the group’s customer portfolio for a good many years now.

Smooth handover in 2021 and strategic diversification

Jan Hanenkamp, Sebastian Münnekhoff and Ingo Rathmann, assumed managerial responsibility for the Kranenburg-based Project Group in the fall of 2021. Since then, there have been two separate companies, but working together closely, for engineering services (Project A&C) and machine construction solutions (Project S&P). The two owners can now focus on their duties as owners and on overarching sales tasks. Stefan Opgenorth and Johannes Jansen: “We would like to underline that Project Group will also continue to pursue sales of its previous all-in-one solutions, such as those for banding or palletizing.” They say that the order from Saurer Technologies shows how Project Group is continually developing its product portfolio further.