Air cushion technology permits high degree of automation

Production processes in the chemical industry are characterised by an ever increasing degree of automation. At the same time, though, production must be as flexible as possible if the rising demands of customers in terms of product diversity and constant innovation are to be met.

Air cushion technology allows these requirements to be realised at minimal investment cost. DELU has developed manual, semi and fully automated transport systems for this industry that allow containers and mixers weighing up to 32 tons to be moved.

Air cushion transporters used in areas at risk of explosion are designed to be explosion protected.

A feature of the fully automated AGVs (automatic guided vehicles) of DELU is that their air cushion running gears enable even heavy loads to be carried. The low ground friction means that very little energy is required. Because the loads are distributed so widely, the floors suffer little damage and transport is smooth and free of vibration.

This technology also means that the external dimensions of the driverless transport vehicles do not have to be so large in order to bear the load (smaller than the floor space of the load). This ensures optimum utilisation of the production space alongside maximum flexibility.

The vehicles are supplied with compressed air by automatic air rails. Communication with the process control system is handled by wireless data transmitters and cell computers.


Other benefits:

  1. Small dimensions of the transport vehicles (only slightly larger than the floor area of the load)
  2. Easy manoeuvrability thanks to the air cushion principle, allowing optimum use to be made of the available production space
  3. Low energy consumption because friction is almost completely eliminated
  4. Distribution of the pressure over a relatively large area means stresses on the floors are less than with traditional means of transport
  5. Transport is smooth and free of vibration
Pallet transport system for mixing tanks in explosion protected zones
Operated by pneumatic control panel
The paint tanks stand on pallets that the air cushion vehicle then goes underneath and picks up. The operator controls the transporter from the pneumatic control console.