The IFOY organization has announced the nominations for the IFOY Award 2024 and once again made a difficult selection. From a field of 35 companies, 15 intralogistics providers from six countries qualified for the finals, with a total of 17 innovations. Among the finalists are four start-ups.
The intralogistics specialists AGILOX, Crown, GLOBE Fuel Cell Systems, HWArobotics, Innok Robotics, Jungheinrich, MEYSENS, RAVAS, SAFELOG, SSI SCHÄFER and STILL can win one of the internationally coveted trophies. BOX ID Systems, Brightpick, CIP Mobility and CYBRID are in the final of the “IFOY Start-up of the Year” spin-off award.
“The nomination round was exceptionally tough. More than half of the applicants did not make it to the final round,” says Anita Würmser, Chairperson of the IFOY jury. “All the more clearly the finalists reflect the megatrends of our time. Starting with increasingly sophisticated warehouse technology and extending to the meanwhile impressive range of applications of mobile robotics and AI through to highly innovative components and increasingly complex customer projects. Efficiency, scalability, and future readiness are in demand and the IFOY Audit will show who has the edge.” Würmser expects a tough debate in the jury sessions to decide the six winning trophies, which will be awarded in June in Baden near Vienna in Lower Austria.
Three Integrated Customer Solutions nominated
The premier class of integrated customer solutions, which is being staged for the first time again in two years, promises to be particularly exciting. Major names and pioneering automation projects are in the final.
With the AGILOX swarm at BMW, the jury sends a flagship project in terms of replenishment using mobile robots for the automotive sector to the final. Since the end of 2023, 27 AGILOX ONEs have been supplying the workstations at the BMW plant in Regensburg with components for the car body instead of tugger trains and manual loading of the buffer storage areas. In an average week, the swarm handles around 2,624 tons of full and empty containers in mixed traffic with pedestrians, forklifts, and tugger trains, covering around 3,294 kilometers.
Also competing for the IFOY trophies is Beiersdorf AG’s ultra-modern production center for cosmetic products, which was developed by intralogistics specialist STILL as part of an integrated production and warehouse supply system. The greenfield project near Leipzig is being realized as a leasing model and is considered a milestone in innovative intralogistics in the pharmaceutical industry. Fully automated and manual equipment, mobile and stationary components are used. A total of 25 vehicles are in operation as well as a racking system with more than 9,700 storage locations and a height of 12.7 meters. In addition, more than 180 meters of conveyor technology were installed. One of the special features is a sophisticated energy system for 24/7 operation.
The mobile transport robots from SAFELOG in the Mercedes Factory 46 are the third highlight in the category. When converting the Sindelfingen assembly hall, the focus was on networking and transparency of intralogistics supply processes along the supply chain. Pick-by-light systems and a fleet of 350 AGVs from the Bavarian robotics specialists are used to pick and transport components to the production lines. A jointly developed real-time monitoring system controls the status. Equipped with their own intelligence, the AGVs can make decisions independently, while the master control system of Mercedes takes over at critical points.
Two Warehouse Trucks nominated
The workhorses of many high-performance warehouse and distribution centers are still among the best-selling products. This year, the jury has selected two brand new highlifters from a traditionally wide range for the final.
The newly developed ESR 1200 from Crown with a load capacity of two tons and a lifting height of 14.2 meters impresses with its holistic approach to sustainability and productivity. The reach truck offers product improvements, such as the new mast design for greater stability and visibility, as well as the contemporary reduction of the ecological footprint because of the redesigned production process.
With the EJC 112i from Jungheinrich, the jury is sending a universally applicable lithium-ion electric pallet truck with a load capacity of up to 1.2 tons and a lifting height of 4.7 meters into the race. In the traditionally highly competitive entry-level segment, the compact all-rounder is promising to set new standards in terms of compactness, performance, and hydraulic power. Its hallmarks: reduced front dimensions, high energy density and high residual capacity.
Three Mobile Robots nominated
AGV, AMR & Co. are the trend in intralogistics. Due to the shortage of skilled workers and for reasons of cost-effectiveness, many logistics service providers are increasingly relying on these mobile 24/7 helpers. For this reason, the focus of the nomination was on practical suitability and the range of possible applications. Three suppliers made it to the final.
The INDUROS autonomous transport robot from Innok Robotics for loads of up to 700 kilograms can be used outdoors, indoors or in combination, regardless of the weather, poor ground conditions and other obstacles. It couples and uncouples trailers autonomously and a modern web browser is all it takes to operate it. Hybrid navigation using lidar or GPS automatically selects the best form of navigation and sensor technology without any interruptions. Markings in the terrain, fixed points or induction loops in the floor are not necessary.
A go was given by the jury for the SOTO from Jungheinrich with a new gripper concept and the industrial communication standard VDA 5050 for use in mixed fleets. The fully autonomous mobile robot picks up small load carriers (SLCs) and places them in flow racks on production and assembly lines. It can transport up to 24 small load carriers of different sizes simultaneously, which enables a tenfold increase in capacity and a 60 percent higher production speed. Target groups are the automotive, electronics and white goods industries as well as injection molding production.
Also in the final is the first automated STILL EXV iGo series truck. Its “origin” as an industrial warehouse truck promises sophisticated technology, simple commissioning, and fast service for scalable automation solutions. The option of using the truck either stand-alone or in mixed operation in parallel with manually operating trucks, or switching to manual operation, if necessary, makes the robust warehouse helper a smart door opener to the world of automated warehouse processes, particularly for companies with smaller fleets and little to no automation experience.
Two nominations among Stationary Robots
The potential of stationary robotics is enormous, especially when it comes to retrofitting existing warehouses or order picking. This time, two manufacturers make it to the final.
HWArobotics, a manufacturer of high-quality warehouse and logistics robots based in Singapore, has reached the final with its SLS600 3D shuttle robot system for loads of up to 50 kilograms. Whether shuttles with variable or fixed sizes, bidirectional or 3D shuttle robots, all share the same rail, can change aisles or move to different levels using a lift. SLS600 is ideal for E-commerce, media and electronics and other low throughput, high density scenarios. The system promises up to 50 percent lower costs, especially when retrofitting existing warehouses.
SSI Piece Picking from SSI SCHAEFER is a robotic cell for the previously costly and laborintensive picking of single items. The versatile system solution, including software, is designed for maximum precision and offers advanced functions such as pick-and-place, object recognition using artificial intelligence, patented gripping point determination and gentle product handling. The application, which achieves up to 1,200 picks per hour, is particularly suitable for slow and medium movers and can be intelligently combined with conveyor and shuttle systems. Target groups include industry, the healthcare, pharmaceutical and cosmetics sectors, E-commerce, and contract logistics companies.
Three Specials of the Year in the final
Small cause, big effect: quite often it’s the clever details that make the difference between a success and failure of a product. Three of these game changers are competing in the category Special of the Year.
The advanced iCP Carriage Plate Scale with Weighing in Motion Technology from Dutch manufacturer RAVAS marks the end of weighing stops and interruptions while driving. When the driver picks up the pallet, the measuring process starts automatically. During the ride, the weight of the pallet is determined and, if necessary, the data can be sent to the system for tracking and recording. The weight data can be transferred to any ERP or WMS and used for weight-based invoicing.
Also qualified for the IFOY final is GLOBE Fuel Cell Systems with the hydrogen-powered GLOBE XLP80 fuel cell power pack for use in counterbalance trucks from 2.5 to five tons. The power pack is particularly suitable for heavy industry, the beverage industry, and logistics service providers in general. The main advantage is the quality according to automotive standards. In addition, numerous sensors send data to the GLOBE DataCore cloud, which is available to customers for comprehensive reports and services.
The world’s first 3D ultrasonic sensor Toposens ECHO ONE from MEYSENS, which imitates the echolocation technology of a bat, promises nothing less than a revolution in collision avoidance for mobile robots. In contrast to sensor technologies such as lidar or cameras, which can be affected by lighting conditions, reflections and weather conditions, the acoustic ECHO ONE uses ultrasonic waves to precisely detect its environment even when optical sensors reach their limits.
Four start-ups in the final
In the traditionally wide-ranging IFOY Spin-off Award Start-up of the Year, the jury has selected four finalists whose unique selling points could herald revolutionary Transformations.
A go has been given to the BOX ID ProcessGuard real-time scanning solution for shipping goods in distribution logistics from the start-up BOX ID Systems based in Garching near Munich. Thanks to its innovative IoT approach, the system enables error-proof picking and optimizes transport container cycles. The solution can be connected to ERP/EWM systems in real time for target-actual comparisons and promises massive savings for the target group of wholesale and retail, industry, and logistics service providers.
The patented Brightpick Autopicker from Bratislava-based start-up Brightpick is an autonomous mobile robot that picks and consolidates orders directly in the aisles of the warehouse. Unlike other fulfillment robots, the AI-based Autopicker no longer needs to go back and forth to central picking stations, which enables higher throughput with fewer devices. The robots are suitable for any warehouse where picking is required but can also be used for other tasks.
Munich-based start-up CIP Mobility has completely rethought micro mobility with its mocci Smart Pedal Vehicle. The maintenance-free work and cargo bike made of synthetic material is ideal for commercial users who want to operate powerfully yet sustainably on the last mile as well as on company premises or in their intralogistics. The B2B e-bike promises a range of 60 to 80 kilometers and a 95 percent recycling rate. In addition, the use of recyclable plastics in production reduces carbon dioxide emissions by around 68 percent compared to aluminum components.
Carrying objects weighing up to 20 kilograms weightlessly without own physical strength. The CYBRID exoskeleton from the Hilden-based start-up CYBRID aims to be the first adaptive supportive suit for the entire upper body on the market. The clothing, which fits closely to the body, follows the user’s movements fully automatically and adapts in real time to the additional weight to be compensated, the user’s posture and actions. The current focus is on production and logistics.
IFOY nominees at TEST CAMP INTRALOGISTICS
Due to its expertise, the IFOY AWARD is a highly respected innovation award in intralogistics with a global reputation. The selection is preceded by an extensive audit with various nomination and test cycles. The products and solutions nominated for the final undergo the IFOY test series and the scientific innovation check. The nominees are not compared directly with each other, but with their respective rivals on the market. In addition, jurors from 19 nations and their advisory teams from the industry travel to the event to assess the finalists themselves.
Innovation enthusiasts can test the IFOY finalists hands-on at the TEST CAMP INTRALOGISTICS on April 10 and 11. In addition to the 17 IFOY finalists, more than 100 innovations will be available for testing on 10,000 square meters of hall space. 1500 participants are expected.
The award ceremony will take place on June 14 in the imperial city of Baden, just outside Vienna. Thanks to a cooperation with the Austrian HERMES.Wirtschafts.Forum, the Congress Center and Casino Baden in Lower Austria will provide a spectacular backdrop for the awards ceremony. Up until then, the result will remain a secret – both for the finalists and for the public.
Tags:Agilox, Crown, GLOBE Fuel Cell Systems, IFOY 2024, IFOY Award, Innok Robotics, Intralogistics, Jungheinrich