The advantages of tugger train systems
Why it is worth using tugger trains
Since lean production was first introduced in Japan in the 1960s, tugger train systems have stood for lean processes, timed logistics and traffic-calmed intralogistics. In production, these towing trucks with transport routes ensure demand-based supply and disposal of materials in accordance with the milk-run principle.
As they are similar to public transport train systems, they are also called tugger trains or tractors. Companies across a range of industries, from automotive to the supply industry, are increasingly relying on tugger trains for internal transport.
Advantages of the tugger train at a glance
The transition from a conventionally operated production logistics process to modern internal material supply using a tugger train system comes with many advantages:
- Traffic calming
- Increased safety in warehouse traffic
- Increase supply and process reliability
- Increase production in the same production space
- Production becomes more individual and product variety increases
- Financial advantages
- Ergonomic work
It’s logical. A tugger train means much less traffic than several forklift trucks. A tugger train produces less noise, uses less energy, requires fewer employees and leads to reduced operating and service costs. The cyclical work process ensures that internal transport costs are kept at a steady level.
Increased safety in warehouse traffic
Avoiding occupational accidents is a key part of smooth intralogistics. It is clear that one tugger train is safer than several forklift trucks crossing paths. This increases safety for the warehouse itself (e.g. at shelves), for the transported goods and above all for the staff. Tugger trains ensure better regulated and coordinated traffic within the company.
Increase supply and process reliability
Reliable supply of materials in order of sequence needed for production is ensured through production timetables. A pre-set cycle means that materials are delivered to the supply locations at specific times. This in turn determines the number of journeys and the journey times of the tugger trains.
Process reliability means establishing a process that is as simple as possible and easy to reproduce, which has good transparency when it comes to errors, and runs smoothly.
Increase production in the same production space
A typical reason for implementing a tugger train system is to increase production without enlarging the production space. Tugger trains are often used for supplying assembly areas in which a large number of different, small materials must be replenished quickly and regularly in small production spaces.
Individualization of production and increase in product variety
Is your production demanding more parts, a range of different parts or more variety – for example in terms of type or colour? The digitally controlled tugger train can help by bringing small quantities at the right time and in the right order as needed for production.
Switching to a tugger train system also reduces the required capital. Production processes require fewer trucks and associated resources. In comparison to forklift trucks, tugger trains reduce the need for manual activities in material transport. As a result of optimal planning, tugger trains travel on set routes, thus ensuring transparent processes. They return to the same point at which they started after a measurable amount of time, so that the arrival of the next delivery at the production site is predictable.
Tugger trains are ergonomic to use as employees spend less time sitting down. Additional accessories such as the STILL ergonomic trolley tilting function ensure that all work processes are ergonomic, as employees can adjust to the optimal working height and gain easy access to the containers.
The use of tugger trains in production and logistics ensures efficient material supply and many other advantages, for example with regard to safety, process optimisation and running costs.
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