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Report | January 2018

Batch-of-one flexibility meets mass-production efficiency

At the SPS IPC Drives, B&R also unveiled its new intelligent transport system: ACOPOStrak, which 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 50 millimeters. 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.

B&R is an innovative automation company with headquarters in Austria and offices all around the world. On July 6, 2017, B&R became a business unit of the ABB Group. As a global leader in industrial automation, B&R combines state-of-the-art technology with advanced engineering to provide customers in virtually every industry with complete solutions for machine and factory automation, motion control, HMI and integrated safety technology. With Industrial IoT communication standards like OPC UA, POWERLINK and openSAFETY as well as the powerful Automation Studio software development environment, B&R is constantly redefining the future of automation engineering. The innovative spirit that keeps B&R at the forefront of industrial automation is driven by a commitment to simplifying processes and exceeding customer expectations.

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