Colruyt Group and STILL launch an autonomous pallet truck
Colruyt Group and STILL have launched a self-driving pallet truck developed in-house. The first two examples have gone into operation at Colruyt Group's Dassenveld distribution centre in Hal. The aim is for machines and people to work in harmony. At the same time as this launch, STILL will also be offering this solution to third parties.
Harmony between employees and machines
The new autonomous pallet trucks take over part of the work, take into account the people around them and easily locate each pallet in the distribution centre, thanks to advanced technology.
This is the culmination of more than two years' work between the two companies. Colruyt's logistics employees provided in-depth input during the various test phases. The solution developed is integrated into an intense logistics platform for the distribution sector. The new Self Driving Vehicle (SDV) recognises and manages euro and block pallets, and has been specially designed to move pallets from the receiving area to the appropriate location in the distribution centre, enabling order pickers to collect orders for the shops.
All parties involved insist on the harmony between the SDV and the humans. Indeed, Koen De Vos, Supply Chain Director at Colruyt Meilleurs Prix commented: "The SDV help us to move pallets within the distribution centre at Dassenveld in Halle. This allows employees to be assigned to more complex tasks or processes requiring more specific knowledge and skills. This creates new tasks and interactions with the SDVs. Our slogan is not there by chance: "man and technology in harmony".
The SDVs use lithium titanate batteries, which require less time to charge and deliver higher productivity, keeping operating costs low.
The pallet trucks recognise their environment and objects using LIDAR (Laser Imaging Detection And Ranging) and SLAM (Simultaneous localization and mapping) technology.
In total, Colruyt Group will acquire 85 SDVs, the first 24 of which have already been ordered.