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Whether it’s for producing automobiles or airplanes – FFT is regarded as one of the world’s leading system suppliers of turnkey production plants. With its new automated guided vehicle system, the company is expanding its solution expertise in the field of automated material transport. Wiferion’s inductive charging system ensures maximum efficiency here.

Transport robots in manufacturing automation

FFT is one of the world’s leading system suppliers for automated, flexible manufacturing plants. As a turnkey partner, the Fulda-based company provides turnkey production systems for customers in the automobile and aviation industries. Alongside body shell lines, FFT also implements automated maintenance concepts and manufacturing cells in the area of final assembly. As part of its turnkey approach, FFT offers its customers a complete solution, comprising the production plant and associated materials handling. These are perfectly coordinated and work as a complete system.

fft - bmw 4 - mini - bmw group - leipzig - wiferion - a puls brand - wireless charging - amr - automotiv
With its new AGV system, FFT is responding to increasing customer demands for flexible automation solutions. Wiferion’s inductive charging technology plays a key role in this.
fft - bmw 4 - mini - bmw group - leipzig - wiferion - a puls brand - wireless charging - amr - automotiv
FFT is currently developing a new manufacturing plant with a double-digit number of robots for the BMW Group’s Leipzig plant.

FFTigv – Three different AGV

To expand its range of services and meet customer demands for flexible automation solutions for the logistical interlinking of its production plants, the general contractor developed the FFTigv automated guided vehicle (AGV) system. “Our customers expect a production environment from one source that perfectly meets their requirements. This is why we decided to produce an AGV system of our own”, says Christian Schuster, Account Manager at FFT. The automated guided vehicle system is available in three variants. The FFTigv ONE S is the versatile basic model with bidirectional drive and a load capacity of up to 1.5 t.

In the FFTigv ELEVATE, the vehicle has an integrated lifting table and can lift a load of up to one tonne to a height of 1.56 m. The FFTigv AGILITY model can navigate in all directions and has an integrated lifting unit (lift: 150 mm) “The great advantage of our AGV system is that it can be controlled via the PLC as an integral part of the overall system. In this way, we can simplify the system architecture and there is thus no need for the customer to have to cope with two different systems”, explains Jan Kreuzer, Electrics Project Manager

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FFTigv ELEVATE with 2x etaLINK 3000 for 6kW charging power
fft - bmw 4 - mini - bmw group - leipzig - wiferion - a puls brand - wireless charging - amr - automotiv

High efficiency and charging power for large loads

The FFTigv is fitted as standard with Wiferion’s efficient charging technology. “Because of the tight cycle times in body shell construction and the heavily staggered cycles, it was clear to us from the beginning that we would choose wireless charging as the power supply”, explains Jan Kreuzer. “Because the etaLINK system is the standard here and several thousand systems are already being used successfully, Wiferion was the only supplier we considered.” The challenge was that, because of the heavy goods being transported, the robots needed to be charged with high currents in just a short time. Wiferion therefore developed an energy system comprising high-performance batteries and efficient charger that met these requirements perfectly. The FFTigv has two etaLINK 3000 fast charging systems that, switched in parallel, produce a charging power of 6 kW and supply the batteries with energy at a charging rate of 2 C.

In use around the clock

FFT stands for Flexible Fertigungstechnik (Engl.: Flexible Manufacturing Technology). The flexibility of the etaLINK fast efficiency charging system is therefore crucial. The charging points can be positioned at almost any frequently used point in the warehouse. Once a robot has moved to a charging point, the power transfer starts automatically, so that it is charging at full power after just a second. “We charge our AGVs in-process. In this way, we avoid charging breaks and unproductive travel times to stationary charging stations and ensure the availability of the vehicles around the clock”, says Nils Kramm, Mechanics Project Manager. FFT can thus develop high-productivity manufacturing lines, as in the BMW Group factory in Leipzig.

A further criterion for FFT was the robustness of the system. “Our production plants are characterized by outstanding reliability. High-maintenance technologies are therefore an absolute no-go for us”, Kram emphasizes. etaLINK, on the other hand, is an encapsulated system. It does not require any mechanical components. It is thus 100% maintenance-free.

bmw group leizpig - fft - agv - amr - automotive production wireless charging - inductive charging
BMW plant in Leipzig with wireless charging

Worldwide, 130 high efficiency, charging systems are in use in FFT’s AGVs. The system supplier is currently developing a new manufacturing plant with a double-digit number of robots for the BMW Group’s Leipzig plant.

For more information about FFT or the Wiferion’s efficiency charging system, simply fill out the contact form and we will get back to you as soon as possible


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