Drive systems

Maneuverable transport vehicles in healthcare applications

Maneuverable transport vehicles in healthcare applications

Maneuverable transport vehicles in healthcare applications

Driverless transport vehicles (AGVs) have long been in use in logistics and production areas. Now they are also conquering the healthcare sector. From transporting different materials such as hygiene articles, laundry, meals and medicines, or even transporting entire X-ray systems in hospitals across departments; with the help of AGVs, processes can be organized more efficiently and resources used more effectively. 

FTF manufacturers require differentiated drive systems for the various requirements. Fan and drive specialist ebm-papst offers the right solution here with a variety of drive combinations. With the "ArgoDrive", a compact and easy-to-integrate drive-steer system including wheel has been developed that can move loads of 100 kg, 300 kg and 500 kg per drive axle in the Light, Standard and Heavy versions. In the maximum expansion stage with four drive/steer systems of the Heavy version, a load of up to two tons is possible, which means that even X-ray systems weighing several tons, such as a computer tomograph, can be moved without any problems.

Compact despite high performance

Each drive unit consists of two motors, gears, sensors and all the necessary connectors. The two motors contribute to steering, acceleration, driving or braking, depending on the requirements, through the superimposed gearbox. The infinite steering angle allows the vehicle to move over a wide area - even when stationary. Even the use of two drive-steer systems, diagonally distributed and mounted on the left and right sides of an AGV, already guarantees omnidirectional freedom of movement and tight maneuvering, e.g. when taking evasive action. Two additional free-moving support wheels at the front and rear provide the necessary load support and stability of the AGV.

Low maintenance, fail-safe and secure

An important aspect of automated guided vehicles in all areas of medical technology is reliable operation and safety. Therefore, the drive units are designed for reliability for the complete service life. Should the wheel lining become worn after a long period of operation, a simple "tire change" is possible without removing the drive unit. The smooth wheel surfaces can be easily cleaned or disinfected. In terms of safety, the AGV must be able to initiate emergency braking immediately if protective fields in front of the vehicle are violated. Appropriate safety sensors ensure continuous scanning of the environment. In the event of a protective field violation, the drive system must reliably execute the command of a safe stop from the safety controller. The ArgoDrive supports all typical and necessary safety requirements.