Automated ground vehicles (AGVs) are now becoming commonplace for moving materials in warehouses and factories in countless industries. The traditional means of creating or converting vehicles for automation involves a cumbersome process that considers the selection, assembly and optimization of several components, such as motors, gears, shafts, bearings and wheels. This process can result in increased development cost and time that may ultimately delay the introduction of new AGV products to customers. Though there are challenges that automation design engineers must face, there exist solutions that tremendously simplify the conversion of vehicles for automation.

Automation engineers typically consider the vehicle and payload weight, the required speed, and the terrain over which the vehicle needs to traverse to develop requirements for their automated drive systems. These requirements then define the torque and speed needed at the wheels, which determines the sizing and capability of the motor, gear box, batteries, axles, encoders and bearings. Since there are several suppliers of motion control systems, there are a myriad of choices that an automation engineer is faced with, all of which affect the packaging, volume, weight, performance and cost of the AGV.

A plug-and-play system

To address the challenges of automation for material transport in warehouses and factories, Pelonis Technologies is introducing the XR15-W wheel drive solution that greatly simplifies vehicle automation (Figure 1).

Figure 1. The XR15-W wheel drive system. Source: Pelonis Technologies, Inc.Figure 1. The XR15-W wheel drive system. Source: Pelonis Technologies, Inc.

The XR15-W provides a completely integrated compact wheel drive solution that consists of an ultra-low profile, direct drive, brushless DC motor, a high-resolution magnetic encoder, a brake and a high-capacity bearing. Simply add a wheel, bolt it to the vehicle and connect the power supply and controls, and it is ready to go. This allows AGV innovators to focus on their application without the often cumbersome process of designing their own motion control systems from scratch, thereby reducing AGV development time and cost.

The XR15-W wheel drive has a compact design that can easily be packaged into tight spaces and enables a high degree of versatility and flexibility in the deployment onto an AGV. In spite of its compact size, the XR15-W provides impressive power, producing 8 N-m of continuous torque at 450 RPM.

The plug-and-play aspect of this system allows the use of multiple drive wheels onto a single vehicle for higher weight payloads or higher speed applications.

The XR15-W wheel drive system is also inherently rugged and reliable with an IP54 housing that provides protection against contamination from dust and water sprays. It is designed to work with a wide variety of drive control solutions and operates off of a 48 V power supply. These innovations greatly simplify the development or conversion of vehicles for automation.

Pelonis Technologies

Pelonis Technologies is a worldwide innovator and provider of motorized products for heating, cooling and motion control serving industries including medical, aerospace and defense, food and beverage, automotive and more. The company is based in Exton, Pennsylvania, and has over 25 years of product development and manufacturing experience.

Contact Pelonis today for more information about the XR15-W drive wheel system and how the company can assist your AGV solutions.