Linde has added a new robotic pallet truck and counterbalance pallet stacker to its innovative Linde-MATIC series. The two new models, which complement Linde’s current warehouse automation range were unveiled at Europe’s 2016 LogiMAT trade fair. They are part of Linde’s goal to offer a robotic version for each of its major product series, in cooperation with French robotic specialist Balyo.

Digitally networked and highly automated

The new trucks can react to obstacles in real time and flexibly adjust to changed warehouse layouts. Automation routes and driveways in a mapped area can be learnt quickly and easily, providing maximum traffic safety. In combination with wireless LAN modules (so-called COMBOXes), the vehicles’ supervision software ensures communication with roller shutters, belt conveyors and pallet stretch-wrapping machines, receives orders from corporate ERP or Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) and translates them into transport orders.

Linde’s robotic trucks offer logistics managers the possibility to network their internal material flow gradually, step by step: Where operating conditions are simple the trucks can work on a stand-alone basis, without connection. Transport orders are triggered directly via the truck’s touch screen or are programmed in the truck’s computer.

Growing robotic automation range

Linde presented its first robotic trucks, the Linde L-MATIC pallet stacker and the Linde P-MATIC tractor in 2015. The new pallet truck Linde T-MATIC features long forks for transporting two pallets at a time and has a lifting capacity of three tonnes. The Linde L-MATIC AC counterbalance pallet stacker has a load capacity of 1.2 tonnes, to facilitate the transport of closed load carriers and is designed for picking up loads at P&D stations that are not accessible from underneath by the load arms (e.g. roller channels). The four currently available Linde robotic models, which are all based on the respective Linde standard trucks, can cover a wide range of tasks in the warehouse. To date, the robotic trucks are mainly used in the transport of pallets and trailers over distances up to several hundred metres.

They are also used to bring goods to an intermediate or bulk storage section after unloading from trucks, or to consolidate different products prior to truck loading. Initial customers for Linde robotics trucks come from the automobile industry and automotive suppliers, chemical and pharmaceutical industries, mechanical engineering, food sectors as well as top 3PL (third-party logistics) organisations.