Maneuverable transport vehicles in healthcare use: drive solution for flexible automated guided vehicles

Driverless transport vehicles (AGVs) are now also conquering the healthcare sector. They transport different materials such as hygiene articles, laundry, meals and medicines, or entire X-ray systems across departments.

With the help of AGVs, processes can be organized more efficiently and resources used more effectively. Differentiated drive systems are needed for the various requirements. This is what fan and drive specialist ebm-papst now wants to offer with the ArgoDrive.

ArgoDrive is a compact and easy-to-integrate drive-steer system, including a wheel. It is designed to move loads of 100 to 500 kg per drive axle. In the maximum expansion stage, a load of up to two tons is then possible, which means that even X-ray systems weighing several tons, such as a computer tomograph, can be moved with it without any problems.

The manufacturer describes that the two motors of the ArgoDrive contribute to steering, accelerating, driving or braking, depending on the requirements, through the superimposed gearbox. The infinite steering angle allows the vehicle to move over a wide area - even from a standing position. Two additional free-moving support wheels at the front and rear are said to provide the necessary load support and stability.

Low maintenance, fail-safe and secure

An important aspect of driverless transport vehicles in all areas of medical technology is reliable operation and safety. Therefore, the drive units are designed for reliability for the complete service life. 

In terms of safety, the AGV must be able to initiate emergency braking immediately if protective fields in front of the vehicle are violated. According to the manufacturer, appropriate safety sensors ensure continuous scanning of the environment. In the event of a protective field violation, the drive system must reliably execute the command of a safe stop from the safety controller. ArgoDrive is said to meet all typical and necessary safety requirements.