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Extremely flexible man-machine collaborations in times of Industry 4.0: From fully automated production warehouses with Automated Guided Vehicles to automatic loading and unloading with mobile robots to process and machining automation, Grenzebach will be presenting a clear picture of tomorrow's smart factories that are conducted by humans. Process chains, which can be automated, are executed with the help of robots. However, the human being can intervene at any time and directly communicate with the Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) and mobile robots for processes such as taking over the loading or unloading of parts. The mobile robots ensure ultimate personnel safety for any type of man-machine collaboration.

"In order to proactively conduct and control Grenzebach or third party equipment, the Grenzebach Application Server, abbreviation "GAS", is the state-of-the-art and modular central unit. The GAS controls all sequences in production and thus integrates equipment components and devices of all manufacturers. Already, this framework is paving the way to Industry 4.0 and tomorrow's factory for our customers. The simple and most reasonable use of Apps allows to upgrade the system's configuration", says Roland Jenning, head of innovation at Grenzebach.

During the world's leading tradeshow for Industrial Automation, the Grenzebach booth (hall 17, booth B42) will showcase how exactly workpieces are taken off the racks by the AGV "L1200S" with the help of mobile robots to then be transported towards the friction stir welding cell where the gripper of the mobile robot deposits the workpieces. After the welding, the mobile robot picks up the processed workpieces and continues towards the storage - then the cycle in the smart factory starts over.

The brand-new mobile robot MR10S from Grenzebach, which is a combination of the established AGV “L1200S” and a collaborative robot, will be presented at the show for the first time to the public from April 24th through April 28th. The MR10S completes the Grenzebach logistics fleet featuring perfectly safe human-robot collaboration. "Mobile robots are extremely flexible and easily integrate themselves into the operational scheme of tomorrow's smart factory. Today these operations already include friction stir welding, tomorrow there will be a multitude of other tasks", says Jenning. The robot can handle up to 10 kg and is working with a reach of 1300 mm at very high positioning accuracy. The mobile robot supports the employee and avoids exhausting and ergonomically unfavorable work steps. When the MR10S is in man-robot mode, there are no safety concerns for surrounding personnel.

As soon as it operates within the safety zone - i.e. not directly accompanied by personnel - it can easily release its energy for highly precise and quick work. The energy is provided to the mobile robot contact-free with inductive transfer, needs-based and lifetime optimized. The Grenzebach Fleet Manager, one of the multiple apps of the Grenzebach Application Server (GAS), coordinates all transportation tasks - 100% autonomously.

The Automated Guided Vehicle L1200S is already a main component in Industry 4.0: The vehicle can transport up to quadruple its own weight up to 1.2 tons in length- or crosswise direction and can rotate on the spot, all completely safe to personnel. It moves beneath the load carrying devices, which can be individually combined with superstructures; an ideal solution for the plant-internal "taxi service" and the vehicle for tomorrow's smart factory.

With the friction stir welding (FSW) technology, Grenzebach presents a joining technology for optimum welding seam and surface quality. The innovative Grenzebach FSW technology allows for bonding of different types of metals, robust, with low tendency to distortion, mechanically strong and without filler metals or the use of protective gas. The Grenzebach FSW procedure is especially suited for welding of light metals like aluminum and its alloys. The type of manufacture - rolled, molded, extruded or forged - only plays a subordinate role. The result: Extremely robust, gas and pressure-tight welding seams for simultaneously low process costs and an unbeatably energy balance.

At the Grenzebach booth, mobile robots, AGVs and FSW technology all in collaboration with the human being will demonstrate tomorrow’s smart factory.

Aside from the daily program at the booth, Grenzebach will also hold the following presentations: April 25th at 03:30 p.m. at the logistics forum (pavilion 32) and April 26th at 10:20 a.m. at the forum for Industrial Automation (hall 14, booth L19), Roland Jenning will speak on: "Mobile robotics in tomorrow’s production environment - mobile multiple-axes systems combined with intelligent Fleet Management".