October 10, 2019: Lödige Industries has unveiled its latest innovation for intelligent automated unit load device (ULD) transportation at the Inter Airport Europe 2019 trade show in Munich. The computer-controlled wheel-based carrier features a 5-foot and 10-foot model for different sizes of ULDs, with the larger variant capable of lifting and transferring palletised loadings.

At a speed of 3 metres per second, the 10-feet model can handle various ULD contours and runs one shift on a single battery charge. Its maximum load capacity of 6,800 kilogrammes covers all possible 10-feet ULDs. The 5-feet model carries loads up to 1,588 kilogrammes for 12 hours. Customers are able to order the 5-feet model immediately; the 10-feet device will be available from the summer of 2020.

"This innovation (AGV) fits well with our company history," said Philippe De Backer, chief executive officer at Lödige Industries. "Bringing new technologies to our customers in the aviation industry has been an essential element of our offering over the last decades."

Taking advantage of data-based functions to assign routing precisely via warehouse management systems, the faster and highly reliable automated guided vehicle (AGV) will boost operational efficiencies in baggage and cargo transport. The battery-powered load carrier allows operators to connect the various terminal areas in a flexible and scalable way, establishing, for example, an effective link between landside-based truck docks and airside-based ULD storage or other repetitive intra-terminal transfers.

The driverless AGV will enable operators to free up staff for higher-value assignments. Furthermore, it is an effective tool for use when space is scarce and flexibility is critical. The AGV has the potential to lower fixed costs by making floor-mounted roller conveyors redundant which have traditionally been seen as the most economical way of conveying airfreight.

"We are pleased that we can offer our customers a product that will foster sustainable operations and significantly improve terminal efficiency," Bjrn Ussat, director airport logistics solutions at Lödige said. "The ULD AGV is the natural extension of our product range, as we can offer even more flexible terminal configurations to our customers."

Lödige's conveying technology has been installed at more than 40 cargo terminals around the world and manages just over a quarter of the 56 million tonnes global airfreight volume. Besides yielding benefits on costs and flexibility, the AGV also helps improve safety as it is equipped with laser scanners and other sensors that detect obstacles preventing impact.

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