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Batch-of-one flexibility meets mass-production efficiency

Published: 29 November 2017 - Sarah Mead

At the SPS IPC Drives exhibition in Nuremberg, B&R unveiled its new intelligent transport system: ACOPOStrak. ACOPOStrak is the first system in the world to extend the economies of mass production down to batches of one.

Divide and merge product flows

The purely electromagnetic ACOPOStrak diverters divide and merge product flows at full production speed. Among their many advantages is the ability to include a pit lane in the track layout. New shuttles are mounted on the pit lane and then channeled onto the track's actual production lines via a diverter. In the same way, any shuttles that are no longer needed can simply be rerouted to the pit lane. All of this takes place at full production speed. "It becomes possible to perform product changeover with zero downtime," explained B&R's mechatronics manager Robert Kickinger at the spectacular unveiling event that kicked off the exhibition. 

Highly dynamic and flexible

ACOPOStrak's absolute design flexibility allows it to morph into all types of open and closed layouts by arranging different combinations of track segments. The system is capable of 5 g acceleration and reaches top speeds in excess of 4 meters per second with a minimum product pitch of only 50mm. These performance numbers, together with the benefits of the diverters and the extreme design flexibility, form a total package like the market has never seen.

To switch products, the operator simply places the wheels of a new shuttle on the guides of the pit lane, while production continues at full speed on the rest of the track.

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Industry Connections: B&R Industrial Automation Ltd

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