Bayer and Movanis: successful combo

Our smart driverless systems offer reliable, efficient and flexible solutions for a broad range of sectors. But like they say: the proof of the pudding is in the eating. So, we’ll let one of our clients tell you about their experience themself. Bayer AG, Division Crop Science trusted us to implement an AGV system at their Dormagen site in Germany. Biggest challenges? Outdoor use and a trajectory shared with other traffic.

Bayer is a global chemical and pharmaceutical company. At the Dormagen site in Germany – where our AGV system is installed, standardized transport is carried out from the formulation plant to the warehouse. “With Movanis’ help we established an AGV system to run this trajectory 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at any time”, opens Jan Weise, logistics foreman at Bayer.

Clear benefits

Multiple solutions were evaluated by Bayer. An AGV system turned out the best solution. “Flexibility and investment costs compared to ROI were two of the deciding factors“, says Simone Drees, plant manager at Bayer, “But also, safety and process improvements are clear benefits. With an AGV we can improve the process flow in the formulation plant. The manual transport of pallets was disrupting the workflow of the operators when they moved pallets to an intermediate buffer. That buffer then needed to be cleared later by the logistics staff. The AGVs now move the pallets directly to the warehouse area”.

Outside and other traffic

The goods that are transported from the formulation plant to the warehouse are solid and liquid substances in cartons, drums and IBCs. The transport takes place continuously but with different peak loads. “One of the biggest challenges is that the AGV drives inside and outside. And in a mixed environment. This means that the area is not exclusively used by the AGV. Other traffic – think of personnel, visitors, manual forklifts, delivery trucks and vans – also drive the same roads. To separate traffic on the busiest crossings, traffic lights were added”, explains Kai Ehrentraut, logistics foreman at Bayer.

Answering why Bayer decided to go with Movanis, Sheila Freudenthal, project manager at Bayer, says: “The main reason to partner with Movanis is their proven track record with outdoor AGVs and the fact that they matched with given project requirements. In this complex surrounding flexibility was the major factor: Flexibility to expand the use case of AGVs easily, flexibility to use AGVs also manually in cases of emergency, flexibility in pallet handling including pick-up from the ground and conveyors as well as stacking of pallets in the warehouse.”

Speed optimization

To ensure that the requested pallet peak capacity can be handled, Movanis optimized the trajectory and speed. The result is that the AGV keeps a steady pace on the main trajectory.  

"Compared to the starting phase, the vehicles get the signal to start driving now much faster. When one pallet has been picked up, the next vehicle already arrives to pick up the succeeding pallet" says Helmut Wiesenberger, production operator at Bayer. The parking position - when the AGV is ‘in between jobs’ - is close to the pickup point. So, when a pallet becomes available, the AGV arrives very fast at the retrieval spot.

Successful start

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. So, after an extensive analysis and multiple test runs the AGVs were ready to go. “Of course, we encountered some challenges in the beginning. With safety as an absolute priority, we quickly made the necessary adjustments. We can now say the AGV project is successful. The consistently good communication with Movanis and their team deserves a special mention. The short notice support, either on-site or remote, is also worth noting”, concludes Jan.

Get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to listen to your needs or challenges and see what we can come up with together. Book your no-obligation consultation today!