Autonomous material handling at Daimler Truck AG Plant in Germany

Written by TractEasy
autonomous tow tractor agv daimler germany

The Daimler AG truck assembly plant in Wörth, Germany, marked the launch of the autonomous tow tractor, EZTow. This vehicle is revolutionizing the transportation of production components outdoors by being cost-effective, safe, and environmentally friendly.

TractEasy at the Daimler Truck AG Plant, Wörth, Germany

The implementation began in November of 2021 with the programming of a 900-meter route that traverses both indoor and outdoor environments. EZTow utilizes an array of sensors for navigation, ensuring safe and dependable operation. The vehicle’s navigation is enhanced by EasyMile’s algorithm, which integrates sensor data with GPS information, allowing for precise positioning within the complex mixed traffic of the production site.

Included with the TractEasy solution is a comprehensive fleet management system. The software aspect of the tow tractor features an interface that integrates with standard warehouse management systems, enabling remote monitoring and control of operations at any time for flexible, around-the-clock material handling.

Industry 4.0: Automating Material Flow

The EZTow is tasked with moving various parts and materials from storage to the assembly line, primarily operating outdoors. This represents a significant advancement in the industry, as traditional AGVs (Automated Guided Vehicles) are generally confined to indoor tasks. At the Wörth facility, the tow tractor moves at a speed of 10 km/h and can tow up to 14 tons.

For optimal integration into the factory’s logistics workflow, an employee initially supervises the otherwise autonomous vehicle. Currently, the EZTow is in pilot operation, functioning across two shifts daily.

EZTow is part of TractEasy’s automated product line, developed in collaboration with TLD GSE, a leader in ground support equipment. Since its debut in 2018 at the Stellantis factory in Sochaux, France, where it also automated production part transport to assembly lines, the application of the EZTow has expanded globally. To date, over 20 units have been deployed in various settings, including industrial sites and airports such as Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, Tokyo’s Narita International Airport, and Singapore’s Changi Airport.