Continental tyres switch to System technology

08 January 2015

The latest confirmation of Continental's preference for System technology comes from Romania and the United States. The internal logistics of the factories that produce the celebrated tyres are, in fact, increasingly managed by Italian technology. The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and the United States: there are now four plants where the Fiorano Modense System automatic guided vehicles (AGV) coordinate the movement of tread reels and finished tyre pallets. Material is picked up from the production lines and deposited in other storage or parking areas in an entirely automatic manner, ensuring the complete traceability of the flows.

In Romania, in Timisoara, Continental has installed a "compactable warehouse", interfaced with AGV vehicles featuring considerable technical innovation, designed by System. The movement of about 600 reels of wound tread is guided by software, which enables you to manage the corridors between the various shelving units, making them available only when necessary, thus ensuring access to the automatic vehicles. The two counterweighted AGVs pick up/deposit the reels with which the outer part of the tyre tread will be made, going back and forth between the production department and the "compactable warehouse" and, finally, towards the cutting lines.

The Continental AG factory in Mt. Vernon, Illinois, has installed an internal handling system consisting of nine "counterweighted" AGVs. In this case, the machines' objective is to pick up the tyres from the end of the line and store them in the finished product storage warehouse. As the operators empty the pallets by hand, the intelligent AGV vehicles return the empty pallets to the start of the process (production area), where they will be re-inserted into the various lines before being filled once again.

The "fleet" of System vehicles moves over a large area, without stopping and continuously weaving in and out of the traffic caused by forklifts driven by operators. Traffic is regulated by the intelligent system (Supervisor +WMS) provided by System: this SW ensures AGV navigation, controlling traffic, optimising handling times and subsequently increasing productivity. It also maintains product traceability throughout the various movements. In addition, the AGV system purchased in Illinois is equipped with automatic battery replacement. Subsequently, operator intervention is not required to perform this procedure.