The smart use of energy is becoming increasingly important in warehouse automation. The European Union aims to be climate-neutral by 2050 at the latest. This means that CO2 emissions are avoided or that CO2 is at least stored to the same extent it is emitted.
Energy is becoming more and more precious – therefore, energy efficiency and sustainability have to be integrated in our systems in an intelligent way. Energy efficiency has been a core TGW strategy throughout our long history in all of our products.
Our industry is driven by meeting customer demand, systems are designed for full performance and can operate continuously. However customer demand has seasons, and in Off-Peak, full performance is not always required. Depending on the utilization of the fulfillment center ‘smart kinematics’ can automatically reduce throughput. A speed reduction from 1.2 m/s to 0.8 m/s reduces energy consumption by 15%. A reduction of energy consumption also means less wear, less maintenance, and fewer spare parts.
An automated shutdown of the entire system or parts of it with a controlled, systematic restart means a huge energy-saving potential. Sequencing of miniload aisles and stingray lifts (tote lifts and shuttles) also significantly reduces current peaks.
Energy recovery and efficiency are important aspects in all TGW product families. Component choices are the building blocks for efficient systems, e.g. IE3 motor drives and brushless DC motors. Product designs such as ‘drive on demand’ for conveyors and ‘multi-axis motion coordination’ for miniload are embedded in our technologies. Mechanically, reducing weight and optimizing center of gravity greatly decreases the energy needed to move a device.
KingDrive® rollers are very efficient. Brushless DC motors without gearbox efficiently transfer as much energy as possible directly to the roller. Braking energy is recovered and fed back into the 48 V power supply to be used by the other rollers in the local circuit. Compared to other rollers on the market KingDrive® rollers use 5%-10% less energy (system application dependent).
Drive on demand eliminates wasted energy, because each zone can be stopped independently in periods of no activity. This is a function of the KingDrive® Conveyor Controller. Looking at each individual zone rather than the whole system offers greater detail of monitoring and greater opportunities to save energy.
The scalability of the KingDrive® conveyor is unique in our industry. KingDrive® has a greater resolution of where we add power, combining rollers to build the required torque, saving energy because we only implement energy where it is needed.
Energy recovery is a standard in TGW products and our Miniload storage & retrieval machines are no exception. Competitors are still using resistors to absorb braking energy and waste energy because of bad design choices.
TGW multi-axis motion control intelligently moves the SRM along its X & Y axes. During deceleration on one axis, energy is captured and used to accelerate the SRM on the other axis. Miniload SRMs have many stop-start sequences, and this mechanism uses that momentum for maximum energy efficiency.
Only travelling the minimum necessary distance ensures the most efficient energy consumption. To transport load carriers in and out of the rack, each SRM needs to move to the inbound/outbound station. The more load carriers that can fit onto an SRM, the fewer return trips the SRM needs to execute. TGW has Load Handling Devices that can carry up to four load carriers, operating in a return cycle (pick-up and delivery). Additionally, two Load Handling Devices are possible per SRM, generating even more efficiency.
The Stingray shuttle system has many moving elements with multiple mechanisms achieving a green energy responsibility. Speed and acceleration are balanced with system performance for the most efficient operation. Independently each element of the system recovers all available braking energy, which is combined in a system bringing the maximum energy efficiency.
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