In many modern automotive manufacturing facilities today so-called continuous flow production is used. The philosophy behind the method is that the entire plant works at the same speed, a speed that is controlled by the rate at which finished products are demanded.
To achieve this, a cost-effective and flexible method is to let assembly take place while the product is slowly moving through the plant on automated carts, so-called AGVs (Automated Guided Vehicles).
In order to meet the demands of the continuous flow in automotive manufacturing, the carts must be able to drive slow… really slow. The carts can run smoothly and controlled at speeds down to 0.006 m/s. That equals 0.02 kilometers or 20 meters per hour. Barely noticeable!
Driving slowly may not sound like a major challenge, and it would be true if it wasn’t for the requirement that the same cart must also be able to reach a speed of 3.6 km/h when returning to the starting position.
Regamotion® supplies drive units consisting of a wheel in a polyurethane mixture, electric motors coupled to robust planetary gears for propulsion and steering, mechanical components for mounting in the cart and different types of sensors depending on the requirements.
The technology we use to achieve the particularly high dynamics in this case is an AC motor with permanent magnets connected to a planetary gear with a 24:1 ratio. The system is supplied with 24V from a battery bank or a DC-bus. The permanent magnetization in the motor gives a more direct response and better efficiency over the entire speed range than the corresponding induction motor and it can deliver high torque at very low speeds.
Our first delivery to plants with continuous flow production was made in the autumn of 2009. The carts are manufactured in Sweden but are currently in operation in most parts of the world making sure that trucks, buses and cars are delivered on time. In 2019/2020, 10 years after entering the segment, RegaMotion® will make its largest delivery to date.