MLR System GmbH für Materialfluss- und Logistiksysteme
Custom Upgrade and Refurbishment
On show in Düsseldorf is a striking example of how MLR System GmbH, specialists in automated guided vehicles (AGVs), upgraded and refurbished an out-of-date hospital transport system supplied by another manufacturer. The automated material transport system (AMT) in the Leopoldina hospital in Schweinfurt, Germany, installed in 1981, was no longer economic to operate. Upgrading and refurbishing the hospital’s AMT system involved replacing the 17 vehicles, renewing the control systems of four cable lifts and one hydraulic lift, replacing many of the motors driving the friction roller conveyors, and installing a new-generation MLR-LogOS central controller system. MLR-LogOS includes a complete goods identification package. The hospital uses the AMT system to transport materials to and from all the diagnostic, treatment and nursing areas of the Leopoldina hospital. The materials transported food, medication, sterile instruments and materials, clean and dirty laundry and refuse. Because of the AMT system’s essential role in the day-to-day running of the hospital, the upgrade was carried out and system components replaced and refurbished, tested and commissioned without interfering with the smooth operation of the hospital.
The replacement automated guided vehicles were MLR’s freely navigable CAESAR vehicles. One of these electrically powered underride tractors will be on show at the MEDICA 2008. The CAESAR AGVs transport the stainless steel, roller-mounted containers, weighing up to 350 kg, commonly used in hospitals. The containers are not carried, but towed in order to save energy. The underride AGVs are only 250 mm high. The AGV drives under a container and positions itself between the four rollers. The AGV and the container are automatically coupled for towing by two bolts that extend and lock into the container.
The new-generation MLR control system used in the Leopoldina hospital handles an extensive range of control and logistics management tasks. The control system, LogOS-Hospital, not only carries out conventional functions such as tasking, traffic regulation and capturing data from the picking and delivery stations, but also delivers new additional functions. These include planning and simulation, schedule and container management, communications management, transport optimization, and energy and service management.