Two automated guided vehicle systems in front of a production environment with people

To make processes more efficient and to increase flexibility, automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) are increasingly taking over transportation tasks in production, logistics, and the service sector. We offer an innovative and coordinated portfolio of products and solutions for the electrification and automation of your automated guided vehicle system (AGVS). We will be happy to advise you on the optimal implementation of your AGVS as well as its integration into your production environment.

Challenge

Two people walking past an automated guided vehicle system in production

Efficient intralogistics Requirements of AGVs

Short production times, low inventory levels, and high flexibility are the basis for efficient internal material flow and therefore the prerequisite for increasing productivity (overall equipment effectiveness (OEE)). In order to meet these requirements, AGVs are increasingly being used in production and intralogistics. However, this also presents challenges for operators:

  • The possibility of individual control for seamless integration.
  • Considering functional safety for interaction with people.
  • Implementing flexible navigation systems for dynamic transport processes.
  • Ensuring the high availability of vehicles.
  • Wireless-based, area-wide communication with higher-level systems.
  • The integration and handling of simple energy management.

Solution

Tailor-made solutions for your AGVS Regardless of vehicle type and function – we automate and electrify your AGVS

The challenge of fully electrifying and automating an automated guided vehicle (AGV) is not just about finding suitable components. Rather, it is about a comprehensive system in which components must be coordinated with each other and functions can be easily and flexibly adapted or extended. Derived from the major market trends, Phoenix Contact offers suitable products and solutions for each of the six functional focal points of an AGV: control, safety, navigation, electrification, communication, and energy.

Interactive image map: Interior view of an automated guided vehicle system with its electronic and electromechanical components
Greater flexibility with an open ecosystem
The open PLCnext control platform combines high speeds with an open system.
Find out more
Greater flexibility with an open ecosystem
Safe human-machine collaboration
Safety is always the top priority in human-machine collaboration.
Find out more
Safe human-machine collaboration
Fast adaptation of different navigation systems
The openness of the devices from our PLCnext Control family bridges the gap between classic control functions and AGVS navigation.
Find out more
Fast adaptation of different navigation systems
Electrification from a single source
In any AGV, power and a large amount of data and signals must be reliably distributed.
Find out more
Electrification from a single source
Reliable communication
Our Wireless Ethernet product portfolio is designed for various AGVS and meets the requirements that vary worldwide in terms of robustness and reliability for seamless vehicle communication with higher-level systems.
Find out more
Reliable communication
Easy integration of different charging methods
From conventional charging methods, e.g., with a connector, to inductive charging technology, PLCnext Control and the CAN connection enable the easy integration and management of charging.
Find out more
Easy integration of different charging methods
Electronic products installed in the control cabinet

Greater flexibility with an open ecosystem Fast integration of new functions with the app

The open PLCnext control platform combines high speeds with an open system. The integration of drives or sensors from different manufacturers can be easily implemented via PROFINET or CAN. Connecting to complex robot applications with ROS (robot operating system) is also made easy by the open ecosystem of PLCnext. Using the apps from the PLCnext Store, new functions and devices can be flexibly and very quickly integrated into the AGVS. In addition, the comprehensive I/O portfolio including the new Axioline Smart Elements enables the connection of I/O devices, even in confined spaces.

Electronic products installed in an automated guided vehicle system

Safe human-machine collaboration Comprehensive AGVS concepts from the safety experts

Safety is always a top priority in human-machine collaboration. For this reason, legal requirements (DIN EN ISO 3691-4) also demand that automated guided vehicle systems be secured and considered from a safety point of view. Our safety product portfolio enables the safe implementation of the necessary application for your AGVS, such as the emergency stop concept, safe motion monitoring, and field switching. The SPLC 1000 Safety Control simplifies the interaction of safe and standard functions in the AGVS. Reloadable C functions also enable the SPLC 1000 to be used for robot applications. Through direct left-alignment of the safety controller to the PLCnext Control, engineering is possible in just one tool, which means that wiring effort and communication can be reduced. Our modular system PSRmodular is used for individual and cost-effective safety solutions. Training, consulting, and certification by our safety experts complete our range of safety services. Contact us for more information.

Man holding a tablet programming the automated guided vehicle system

Fast adaptation of different navigation systems Flexible navigation with the open PLCnext Control

The openness of the devices from our PLCnext Control family bridges the gap between classic control functions and AGVS navigation. A plug-and-play interface for the robot operating system (ROS) enables fast connection to existing complex navigation solutions. This significantly reduces the work involved in implementing internal vehicle communication. In addition, high-level language programming, dockers, and the ROS also enable custom approaches to be executed directly on the controller. Thanks to various localization concepts and the use of innovative technologies, we provide solutions for precise localization for material transfers or dynamic working environments.

Connectors and other components mounted on the housing panel of an automated guided vehicle system

Electrification from a single source Maximum reliability of your AGVS

In any AGV, power and a large amount of data and signals must be reliably distributed. The confined space conditions also require a space-saving wiring concept. As a leading company in connection technology, we offer a comprehensive and coordinated product portfolio for precisely this purpose: From terminal blocks, preassembled cables, connectors, and relays to switches, with Phoenix Contact you can get everything from a single source. Our global distribution network also reduces your procurement time. Innovative assembly methods optimize installation time and commissioning.

WLAN device in the production environment communicating with the automated guided vehicle system

Reliable communication Robust wireless products for your vehicles

Our Wireless Ethernet product portfolio is designed for various AGVS and meets the requirements that vary worldwide in terms of robustness and reliability for seamless vehicle communication with higher-level systems. Our FL WLAN Basic library is used to connect the WLAN modules to PLCnext Control using the REST function so that you can, for example, monitor the signal strengths and identify possible coverage gaps at any time. The introduction of the future technologies 5G and WLAN6 opens up brand-new possibilities in AGV communication. A higher bandwidth and deterministic behavior enable larger fleets with higher availability and shift vehicle intelligence to the edge or the cloud. We accompany our customers on this journey – contact us for more information.

Automated guided vehicle system being charged at a charging station

Easy integration of different charging methods Robust components for a stable vehicle network

From conventional charging methods, e.g., with a connector, to inductive charging technology, PLCnext Control and the CAN connection enable the easy integration and management of charging. Our DC/DC converters reliably provide the 24 V voltage for the electronic components. Interference from the drive side to the electronics is avoided and voltage fluctuations are reliably compensated.

Working towards the Smart Factory With our AGV solutions, we offer you:

  • Flexible function extension with apps, communication on all levels, and integrated engineering in one tool with the open PLCnext control platform
  • Extensive safety expertise – from consulting and innovative products to comprehensive solutions
  • High flexibility through adaptation to different navigation systems and easy extension with ROS connection
  • A comprehensive all-in-one portfolio that is available worldwide and expert knowledge to fully electrify your AGVS
  • Robust products for reliable wireless communication, with integrated REST interface for fast configuration and operational diagnostics
  • Easy adaptation to different battery management systems (BMS) with CAN bus

We use automated guided vehicles for the flexible and targeted delivery of materials from our production warehouse to the individual work stations. With a versatile solution portfolio made up of automation components, all of the relevant control, safety, and communication requirements for autonomous transport robots can be met.

Björn Eilert - Phoenix Contact, Senior Project Manager, Manufacturing Engineering
Björn Eilert

Products

Summary

Man holding a tablet in a production environment

Optimal solution for automated guided vehicle systems A personal consultation makes it possible to meet customer-specific requirements

Coordinated solutions for control, safety, navigation, electrification, communication, and energy are essential for the reliable operation of automated guided vehicle systems and their associated efficiency and flexibility.
With our comprehensive product and solution portfolio, we can also implement customer-specific requirements. We will be happy to advise you personally. Just get in touch with us.