Shuttle system ensures greater efficiency and flexibility

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Ideal for high-density storage

Because shuttle systems are fully customizable in terms of size and the type of pallets as well as the required additional functions, the EUROFORK shuttles are the ideal solution for high-density storage, especially for the installation of automated warehouses in existing buildings. Thanks to the system's high degree of flexibility, obstacles such as height restrictions, columns, or irregular layouts are easy to overcome.

The project at a glance

SEW image
  • Customer: EUROFORK, Italy
  • Location: Roletto, Torino
  • Industry: Intralogistics
  • Application: ESMARTSHUTTLE, shuttles for automated warehouses
  • Efficiency increase
  • Flexibility increase
  • Capacity increase
  • Energy saving
ESMARTSHUTTLE: unlimited innovation with SEW-EURODRIVE
ESMARTSHUTTLE: unlimited innovation with SEW-EURODRIVE
ESMARTSHUTTLE: unlimited innovation with SEW-EURODRIVE
  • Savings in installation space due to compact control cabinet solution
  • Shorter parameterization times due to flexible control system
  • Compact drives with high efficiency and low maintenance requirements
  • Precise positioning and movement in the warehouse due to continuous absolute value positioning

The project in detail

Our customer Eurofork S.p.A.

The Italian company Eurofork S.p.A., founded in 2000 out of a passion for manufacturing automatic handling systems, currently has seven offices around the world and is recognized as one of the world's leading manufacturers of handling systems.

Drawing on its expertise gained through over 20 years of experience in the field of automatic handling, Eurofork also has two other business areas in addition to manufacturing telescopic forks: a service department, which handles customer service and spare parts, and the ESMARTSHUTTLE® division, which specializes in designing and manufacturing shuttle systems for automated deep storage facilities.

The past, present, and future of Eurofork are united by a shared motto: experience. empower. evolve. The company's mission is to offer the most innovative products as well as customized solutions aimed at setting standards for the automation of intralogistics and promoting the transfer of advanced technology to other sectors.

In addition to manufacturing telescopic forks for handling loading units in automated warehouses, the company has also been able to expand its business area thanks to extensive investments and intensive research and development, allowing it to provide national and international markets with a wide range of innovative high-end solutions for various sectors and applications, including the aerospace, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, medical, textile, and automotive industries.

Eurofork is thus synonymous with quality and continuous improvement of processes and safety in terms of its high degree of customer responsibility. Quality is demonstrated by developing and implementing handling equipment in the field of intralogistics as well as customer service aimed at preventing and reducing inefficiencies by using increasingly advanced technologies. Quick delivery times are an additional quality characteristic of Eurofork, and the lead time between purchase and delivery is reduced to the necessary minimum. The company is also synonymous with safety, as it keeps its risk level low with regard to the health and safety of its employees and has an ethics and environmental policy aimed at improving its activities to protect the environment and prevent and reduce pollution.

After exactly 20 years in the historic city of Macello (Turin), Eurofork moved to Roletto (Turin) during the year of its twentieth anniversary, where a new sustainable and environmentally friendly plant was put into operation. The plant covers a total surface area of around 25,000 square meters, of which 10,000 square meters were built and designed according to the philosophy of environmental sustainability embraced by Eurofork.

Eurofork's new plant is completely free of plastic and also energy independent thanks to the use of photovoltaic modules that help reduce pollution.

"At Eurofork, we work constantly with our customers to produce the best customized solutions, and invest approximately 5% of our turnover each year into development aimed at generating innovative and state-of-the-art expertise," highlights Maurizio Traversa, CEO. "Experience, proactivity, and attention to detail are the values that have enabled us to build solid relationships with customers and partners over the years. Each project is a new challenge for us since we know that the innovation process is only just beginning!"

Limitless innovation

Shuttle system ensures greater efficiency and flexibility

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Shuttle system ensures greater efficiency and flexibility

"Increasing market demands," says Maurizio Traversa, "mean that automated machinery has to work around the clock, and often in critical environments with increasing productivity standards. Efficiency, flexibility and, above all, speed are crucial to remain competitive in the current socio-economic context."

This is the foundation on which Eurofork developed the ESMARTSHUTTLE shuttle systems for automated warehouses, an innovative, flexible, and efficient solution that uses the most advanced and internationally patented technology (PCT/ IB2014/060649) to meet new intralogistics requirements by both increasing production efficiency and optimizing production costs through significant energy savings.

Because these shuttle systems are fully customizable in terms of size and the type of pallets that can be handled as well as the required additional functions, they are the ideal solution for high-density storage, especially for the installation of automated warehouses in existing buildings. Thanks to the system's high degree of flexibility, obstacles such as height restrictions, columns, or irregular layouts are easy to overcome. Depending on the layout and required performance, Eurofork can recommend the appropriate ESMARTSHUTTLE configuration, allowing system integrators to implement LIFO ("last in, first out") or FIFO ("first in, first out") management in the most effective way.

In addition, the warehouse is mapped in 3D along all axes (X, Y, Z) using DataMatrix technology, so that the contents (machines and loading units) can be positioned precisely and continuously. DataMatrix technology enables the machines to move and store goods with absolute precision, optimizing the space in the channels through very compact pallet positioning. With the DataMatrix system, particularly high volume yields can be achieved even with pallets of different sizes since they are dynamically and precisely combined into the smallest possible volume.

An innovative feature is the ability to move each machine independently and precisely within the warehouse. With the combination of a larger shuttle, with a maximum capacity of 2,000 kg in the special version, and a smaller shuttle, two separate tasks are performed simultaneously, increasing the efficiency of the system. The exceptional positioning control significantly increases the overall performance of the warehouse.

The shuttle systems in the ESMARTSHUTTLE series are equipped with SEW EURODRIVE drive technology that ensures reliability and flexibility.

The technology

The MOVIDRIVE® B drive inverter was specially selected for the shuttle. The MOVIDRIVE® B drive inverter can control three-phase asynchronous motors (gearmotors with F series parallel-shaft helical gear units), and thanks to its compact size, it requires less installation space in the control cabinet. Its flexibility also ensures that parameterization times are significantly reduced. With the DEU21B card, it can control the speed ring and position ring simultaneously via an external encoder.

MOVITRAC® standard inverter was selected for moving the chains to allow for controlling an asynchronous motor with K series helical-bevel gear units without an encoder. This is ideal for applications requiring compact drives with high efficiency and low maintenance.

In addition, the DHR21B control card is used for improved communication and command management.

Eurofork first presented the innovative solution in 2014 and since then 500 machines have been sold worldwide.

They are designed for use in automated warehouses in a wide range of sectors (e.g. food and beverage, paper, automotive, consumer goods and pharmaceutical industries) and can operate at a consistently high level of performance even in extreme temperatures ranging from -30 °C to +50 °C.

The video shows the different steps that a shuttle system performs in an automated warehouse, thus ensuring speed and flexibility.

Vision for the future

"Thanks to the cooperation with SEW EURODRIVE's specialized technicians," says CEO Traversa, "Eurofork can continue achieving its project goals. The company values SEW EURODRIVE's innovation and technological quality as well as its application competence and plans to continue to rely on SEW's technological solutions – also for future integration projects – to further expand its customer focus. The first twenty years are certainly an important milestone, and have given us the experience necessary to improve from day to day and continue advancing in the future."


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