At Hanau, often all that glitters is, in fact, gold. However, many other precious metals and special metals are melted, treated or processed here. The technology group operates globally in a number of fields including the environment, energy, health and industrial applications. At its headquarters in Hanau, Heraeus was looking for a more efficient solution for the internal transport of goods. They came up with two tailor-made Factory Train load trains. The trains now transport their cargo in a timely, safe and punctual manner to all stations in the plant and have made an impressive debut.
The two Factory Train load trains have been specially adapted to the conditions in the Heraeus plant. The idea was that the load trains would carry out transport operations from outside areas and significantly reduce the high traffic volume by grouping the journeys. This was a complete success. The Factory Train load train with special components and extra features proved to be the perfect solution.
The two load trains - one Linde P80 hauler and two EF2 load carriers - continuously travel back and forth to an exact timetable and supply the production stations. Any transport requirements can be logged on the transport control system.
The EF2 load carriers were designed so that they can each accommodate three pallet trolleys, which can be slid into the good carrier at ground level without any aids. During each journey, six pallet trolleys can be transported simultaneously, whereas in the past, one forklift had to deliver each pallet individually. The result is enormous time savings and significantly less traffic.
Since the two Factory Train load trains at Heraeus operate almost exclusively outdoors, the goods carriers were fitted with a weather protection system with electrical operation and RFID locking device. The weather protection cover can only be opened by authorised persons who can identify themselves with an RFID card.
The grounds at Heraeus proved a real challenge due to unevenness on roads, pedestrians, vehicle traffic and a railway underpass with an up and down gradient of around eight percent. The solution was an electronic braking system with ABS and emergency braking function when travelling downhill. In addition, the Factory Train load trains have pendulum axles to compensate for uneven ground. The speed of the complete load train is also automatically reduced when cornering until the train returns to forward travel. Finally, crab steering was integrated into the steering system in order to be able to pass through narrow areas more easily.
Tobias Mühlens, Head of Core & Chemical Logistics at Heraeus in Hanau, is very satisfied with the load train solution. Thanks to the two Factory Train load trains, Heraeus has achieved the expected efficiency increase.
Image & text: Suffel Fördertechnik GmbH & Co. KG + Heraeus Site Operations GmbH & Co. KG