Intralox and Giordano Help Michelin Reduce Environment Impact and Operations Costs
Michelin was looking to increase throughput and reduce emissions at its manufacturing plant in Italy when transporting tire racks from robotic palletizers to its logistics store, where Michelin distributes its products to its customers. Four forklifts per line were required to transfer the tire racks onto trucks to transport them 1.86 mi (3 km) to the warehouse. This process resulted in safety issues, increased fuel and operator costs, and increased the plant’s carbon footprint.
Working together with their OEM, Giordano, the Michelin technical team decided on a two-step solution to reduce emissions, increase throughput, and reduce the number of forklift drivers needed. First, Michelin replaced its transport trucks with electric automated guided vehicles (AGVs). The AGV system included a navigation system, software management, a 1.86-mi (3-km) runway, modifications to existing buildings for new interface gates, and automatic loading and unloading stations.
Second, Giordano recommended Michelin use Intralox® Series 4500 Flush Grid belts in the loading and unloading area for the AGVs. This robust and fault-tolerant solution allows the S4500 FG belts to seamlessly transfer the tire racks from the loading area to the AGVs for transport and reduces the potential for issues in a hard-to-reach area.
S4500 FG belts are lightweight, which increases the range that the AGVs can travel. Also, their durable modular construction makes the belts easy to maintain and replace. Michelin operators were familiar with the S4500 FG belts, having used them in other locations throughout the plant.
The AGVs have been operational at the Michelin plant for nearly two years with no complications. Intralox and Giordano helped Michelin reduce its operator costs by 75%, eliminate fuel consumption, and decrease Michelin’s carbon footprint. Intralox’s solution helped automate the transfer of tire racks from the infeed conveyors to the AGVs and decreased the number of forklift drivers needed per line from four to one, increasing throughput and reducing safety concerns.