Application-specific drive solutions for material handling

The electrification trend is just taking off in mobile applications for material handling. Electric drives are dynamic, efficient, powerful and above all reliable. They are thus suitable for forklifts, automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and pallet trucks. ABM Greiffenberger supplies the appropriate motors, gearboxes and electronics developed and manufactured in-house – and adapted to the individual application. This makes the drive specialist from Marktredwitz a valuable partner for customers with diverse intralogistics applications.

Many things are moved in and around a logistics centre – and wherever this happens, drives are required. It starts with employees coming to work in electric buses. Lorries transport goods to the receiving point – drives for auxiliary units such as hydraulic pumps, compressors and fans are needed here. When the lorries drive up to the dock, rolling doors open and close so that the employees can load or unload. By means of pallet trucks, forklifts or AGVs, the goods are moved to pallet and accumulation roller conveyors, which bring them to the high-bay storage area. Ergonomic lift assists are used for goods handling and machines are used for cleaning the production floors.

“We supply suitable motors, gearboxes, brakes and inverters for all these applications – from a single source,” says Michael Lühmann, Head of Sales & Marketing at ABM Greiffenberger. “This makes us a systems supplier for the entire intralogistics field.”

The drive specialist offers ready-to-install plug-and-play systems available as modules within a platform concept for the mobile sector. “We can thus easily combine gear ratio and motor size with brakes and sensors and in this way optimise customer applications. The finished solutions can be integrated into the different vehicle types,” reports Lühmann. This is by no means always the case on the market.

ABM Greiffenberger can completely cover the functions of traction, lifting and steering with its solutions in the mobile sector. They comply with strict environmental and emission requirements, are particularly safe and are extremely responsive for precise movements even at low speeds. “With this we are responding to a growing market. Because electrification is advancing more and more in mobile applications in intralogistics,” says Lühmann. Electric drive systems are more sustainable and more efficient. They run reliably and smoothly, are dynamic and durable, and offer safety. For that reason it is only logical for electric drives to be increasingly employed in a number of applications.

Hub wheel drives with electric steering

The drive specialist offers three gearbox types for mobile applications – including the robust TDH series hub wheel drives. This type of drive is extremely compact because the drive components are integrated into the drive wheel. The user profits from high static and dynamic wheel loads. Thanks to high wheel torques at low speeds, the user can precisely manoeuvre and drive up inclines with, for example, pallet jacks, aerial work platforms, AGVs or sweeper/scrubbers.

“We also offer the hub wheel drive with electric steering,” says Dipl. Ing. Mayk Krüger, Head of Mobile Drive Technology. With its low installation height, this version is ideal for forklifts and automated guided vehicles. The user benefits with the hub wheel drive with electric steering from a precisely controllable and efficient AC motor technology. It brings a torque of up to 300Nm to the wheel and has a drive torque of 360Nm. The redundant steering sensors provide for precise steering. Moreover, the drive is durable, maintenance-free and highly loadable.

Bevel Gearbox Drive Units: Innovative platform concept

With the bevel gearbox drive units in the TDB series for wheel diameters of 230 to 254mm, the systems supplier has efficient components featuring high performance and low energy consumption in its portfolio. The ready-to-install systems are modularly designed and are available as a platform concept. The complete solution comprising the motor, gearbox and sensors can easily be integrated into different vehicle types. In industrial trucks the TDB series bevel gearbox drive units provide high climbing performance and acceleration. They offer responsive and dynamic steering over the entire speed range.

The bevel gearbox drive unit is available in three versions – for example, with an integrated steering drive. The traction motor is vertically mounted in the fixed version. The operator profits from, amongst other things, redundant steering monitoring, maximum integration and excellent ride comfort with high safety.

ABM Greiffenberger also supplies the bevel gearbox drive unit for manual steering. The vertical mount of the traction motor in the rotating version is designed for direct drawbar mounting. This robust and durable solution features space-saving installation.

“Application-specific steering is also possible; customers can also combine the TDB bevel gearbox drive units with their own steering drives,” says Krüger. They are thus suitable for electric power steering systems and can be controlled via spur gear. A zero position sensor can optionally be attached for calibration of the steering positions.

Speed recording in this series is done via an incremental encoder with up to 64 pulses per revolution. There is also an option to use the AC technology with regeneration capability. An electromechanical holding brake is integrated for parking and emergency stopping.

Parallel shaft gears: Quiet and efficient

The TDF series helical gearbox drive units offer an especially high efficiency, low wear and quiet running even at high loads. “We achieve this via the high-contact-ratio helical gear technology,” explains Lühmann. The gearboxes are suitable for use in pallet jacks and three-wheel forklifts, for example. ABM manufactures the gearboxes from die-cast aluminium. Thus customer-oriented solutions can be provided at a good price-to-performance ratio. The design and the matching of the material to the application make sizes 200mm and 230mm light and stable. Speed recording is done via an incremental encoder with up to 64 pulses per revolution.

Systems supplier with high level of development expertise

ABM Greiffenberger scores points both with its extensive know-how and experience in the development of application- and customer-specific drives and with its platform concept, which ensures that customers quickly receive cost-optimised solutions. “However, we can also specifically address customer requirements,” says Krüger. “Thus we are not a standard supplier and offer our customers a measurable added value.”

One example of an individual development is an electric differential axle for forklift trucks and transport systems. Precisely adapted to the application, the differential axle has optimised interfaces and can thus easily be implemented into the vehicle.

ABM supplies all products, including motors and gearboxes as well as suitable electronics, from a single source. Even complex prototypes can be produced at short notice with additive manufacturing.

“Our drives offer high performance and system availability,” stresses Lühmann. This is especially important in material handling because the vehicles are often used in two- or three-shift operations. Reliability is extremely relevant here. Operators therefore rely on drives that are maintenance-free, robust and durable. “We consistently pursue our goal of not only delivering high-quality drive solutions, but also supporting our customers in the capacity of a partner with engineering and manufacturing expertise,” says Lühmann.


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