Servus Robots:
Powering a New Generation of Logistics Technology.

An ambitious upgrade for an existing battery system.

ARCs (Autonomous Robotic Carriers) by Servus Intralogistics are small moving units in warehouse systems and can now be found across storage and production facilities in various companies. These autonomous swarm robots adapt to whatever they’re needed for, and help save time, money, and effort.  Simply put, they supply picking stations and production lines with materials. Thanks to their decentralized nature, potential failures in the warehouse system are virtually eliminated.

The inherent flexibility and agility of small transport systems is made possible by intelligent robotic technology, but this in turn banks on a reliable energy supply. Charging in 6-8 seconds several hundred times a day, a lot is asked of this battery pack and its life span is stretched to the limit. Servus Intralogistics encountered problems with their old battery packs, leading them to contact e.battery systems. The possible optimizations were manifold, but the task was clear: to develop an intelligent Battery Management System (BMS) to replace existing battery technology while fulfilling complex prerequisites:
  • Servus ARCs and vehicle control
    should remain the same
  • Existing chargers should remain usable
    (despite a different cell chemistry)
  • Mechanical casing with simple insertion mechanism
  • Accurate calculation of State of Health (capacity)
  • Accurate calculation of State of Charge
    to within 0.5% (charging state)
  • Intelligent control of battery monitors
    and protective circuits
  • Updates via HP battery charger
    should be possible
  • Bidirectional communication
    between battery and HP battery charger
    (for updates und checks)

New Battery Tech, Same Setting.

The key facet of this redesign was the new controller card as part of the integrated BMS. It needed to work simultaneously with 12S1P and 12S2P packs, while improving performance, life span, and charge cycles. Christopher Schöpf, project leader and CEO of e.battery systems, explains: “We managed to adapt a fundamentally different lithium technology (LiFePo4) to a more suitable lithium tech (NMC) – and all without needing to change existing infrastructure such as chargers or vehicle control systems.”

The battery tech for these transport systems was trimmed down in the name of increased durability. The batteries used in Servus ARCs are now able to precisely monitor their conditions, optimize efficiency through features such as deep sleep phases, and show exact charging status. These new features boost battery performance by maximizing charging cycles during operation and minimizing self-discharging during rest periods.

The monitored and configurable parameters of the Servus ARCs:

Monitored values:

Configurable Values:

  • Battery voltage (mV)
  • Voltage of individual cells (mV)
  • Cell voltage difference (mV)
  • Charging current (mA)
  • Discharge current (mA)
  • Internal impedance of the pack (mΩ)
  • Temperature (°C)
  • SoC (State of Charge) (%)
  • Number of battery cycles
  • Capacity (mAh)
  • Charging current (mA)
  • Maximum temperature while charging (°C)
  • Maximum temperature while discharging (°C)
  • SoC (State of Charge) (%)
  • Discharge cut-off voltage (mV)
  • Voltage compensation, capacity, V-difference
  • Max. current protection (mA)
  • Max. voltage protection (mV)
  • Max. permissible cell voltage difference (mV)
  • Reserve energy (mAh)

Mobile Transport Robots and Systems.

The Servus ARCs (Autonomous Robotic Carrier) transport robots are one of innumerable ways of increasing productivity in industry via transportable solutions. In many companies, driverless forklifts, haulers, and the like – also known as automated guided vehicles (AGVs) – are increasingly automating logistics processes. These improve the efficiency, speed, and cost effectiveness of a firm, while simultaneously reducing error rates – a truly win-win situation. However, it’s crucial that driverless transport systems can move around flexibly and reliably. Our lithium battery solutions, responsible for powering these new transport robots, tick all boxes.

Advantages of Automated Guided Vehicles:

  • Optimization of logistics processes
  • Improvement of productivity and efficiency
  • They promote ideal material flows
  • They require relatively little space

Customized Batteries for Automated Guided Vehicles.

As each production facility and warehouse is more or less unique, and no perfect solution exists on the market, our batteries for automated guided vehicles (AGVs) are specially developed according to each requirement. Through project-specific planning and detailed configuration, our implementations help increase production times and output while decreasing costs. We use the very latest technologies and intricate design processes as the basis for improving the quality and safety of transport robots.

A quick glance at what we can do:

  • Making transport robots safer (e.g. thanks to a metal casing)
  • Plentiful energy supply, even with heavy loads
  • Improved efficiency through lithium technology and BMS
  • Small, light, and compact light batteries
  • Optimal power density and maximum safety

Lithium Batteries in Automated Guided Vehicles.

The latest lithium technology provides two decisive and interrelated advantages to AGVs: Firstly, the batteries are truly light weight, and secondly, they boast a massive energy density. This minimal weight in the smallest space makes it possible for transport robots to come in compact form, while the high energy density gives them unbeatable power. Despite their modest size, lithium batteries are extremely durable and ensure reliability and safety in operation.

A further advantage is that automated guided vehicles with lithium technology can be charged very quickly, over thousands of charge cycles. Even after significant downtime, they’re immediately ready for operation. Thanks to in-built intelligent communication, the batteries continuously check their current condition and know when it’s time to charge. In this way, your AGV relieves your employees of this burden while increasing overall efficiency.

Long life span,
countless charging cycles

The batteries will be a long-standing companion for your transport robot, as they can effortlessly go through thousands of charging cycles.

Economical
energy usage

The lightness of the lithium batteries means automated guided vehicles require less energy for operation.

Minimal
self-discharging

With their low rate of self-discharging, the transport robots are immediately deployable even after extended downtimes.

Small, light,
compact

With maximal power in a tiny space, lithium batteries are perfect for automated guided vehicles. They are also extremely robust.

3 Steps to Intelligent Transport Robots.

With automated guided vehicles, intelligent communication is paramount. And seeing as the lithium battery is at the center of everything, this is also the basis for the optimization process. A key part of our battery tech is our Battery Management System, which monitors and controls all important parameters. Through the BMS, there are also optional ports for any communication required, and you have full control over the charging and energy supply of your automated transport system.

1. Configuration

The first step is always the configuration of individual batteries for your transport automation system. This forms the basis of a customized development.

2. Development

Our team of developers conducts various simulations to analyze potentials and find the optimal integration of the batteries into the transport robot.

3. Implementation

Finally, the batteries are integrated into the automated guided vehicle and into your production line.