Serva Transport Systems GmbH in Bavaria has revolutionised parking. In their automated car parks, the patented robotic system RAY™ takes over vehicle parking and makes it fast, easy and safe. In 2016, RAY™ got company: EVE, the automated guided vehicle for all standardised goods.

How can you make car parking and transporting goods simpler and more comfortable, more efficient and safer? The engineers Rupert Koch and Leopold Meirer asked themselves this question a few years ago and their answer in both cases was: “We rely on robots with laser controlled and driverless shunting capability, able to navigate independently as well as transporting and carrying objects safely.” What might sound simple is based on extensive engineering know-how and a great deal of experience in automation technology. In addition, the automated guided vehicle (AGV) uses a sophisticated material flow software designed to control the robots.

It all started in 2010 with the park robot RAY™. Themed “We park for you”, Koch and Meirer, supported by the architect Cary Bellaflor, invented the perfect solution for car parks. Instead of having to circuitously manoeuvre ever-bigger cars in narrow, winding car parks, a robotic type of forklift should perform this task independently. The system also makes parking quicker and more comfortable, more efficient using available space and it is easy to install. All the driver has to do is to drop off his car in a comfortable transfer station; RAY™ then takes care of the remaining parking process, fully automatically and autonomously.

Following an initial pilot project in autumn 2012, the innovative system has been in everyday operation successfully at Dusseldorf Airport since June 2014. The service is being particularly valued by frequent flyers who no longer need to search for a parking space and can park close to the terminal. Last but not least, upon their return, passengers can pre-order their car ready for pick-up at the transfer station via their smartphone.

Serva Transport Systems GmbH becoming a finalist for the prestigious German Founder Award in 2013 goes to show just how good the idea was and still is.

Considering we started out just a few years ago in an old boat shed in Chiemsee, we have done well with our projects at Dusseldorf Airport, the Ingolstadt Audi plant and Palfinger in Austria.

Rupert Koch, CEO

Since 2015, RAY™ assumes the temporary storage of the Q5, A4 and A3 models at the process house of the Ingolstadt Audi plant, Vehicles intended for rail dispatch are transported by RAY™ to a temporary storage station following production. From here on RAY handles the vehicles. They are transported by the automated guided vehicle and stored temporarily. This way, waiting times and walkways for logistics staff have been significantly reduced.

Managing Director Rupert Koch states: “Considering we started out just a few years ago in an old boat shed in Chiemsee, we have done well with our projects at Dusseldorf Airport, the Ingolstadt Audi plant and Palfinger in Austria. We are grateful that our investors, the Chiemgauer family-owned company Meltl, placed their confidence in our idea and continue to support us today.”

Further development in 2016 came in the form of the driverless transport system EVE linking all processes from goods received to assembly. EVE stands for Efficient, Variable and Ergonomic because within this autonomous and ergonomic total solution for intralogistics, EVE as an automated guided vehicle set up with the appropriate software, ensures a perfect flow of information and materials. EVE links all processes quickly securely and efficiently. EVE is versatile, flexible and can be used both indoors and outdoors. EVE can navigate independently, choosing the optimal route and can move Euro pallets, pallet cages and stock trolleys up to 1 ton depending on material requirements.

Thus, EVE fully ensures the transport of goods within the plant. Staff are no longer required to do heavy lifting or carrying. Furthermore, materials are being made available at an ergonomic working height using the specially developed transport tool “Ergoporter”. The repeated transhipping between delivery, warehouse, receiving department, assembly and shipping is no longer necessary. All this makes EVE a genuine alternative to forklifts and tugger trains.

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