Industries and applications

Areas of operation for tugger trains

Industries and applications

Tugger trains are gaining more popularity as internal transport systems. Their potential for increasing efficiency, standardising processes and improving workplace safety is increasingly being put to use.

Areas of operation for tugger trains

Tugger trains serve the efficient accomplishment of transport tasks - the areas of application are manifold.

The primary use of a tugger train is ground-level transport of stock material to the production location. Tugger trains are ideal for transporting small load carriers in intralogistics or for picking goods.

They can also be used to transport assembled goods in large load carriers from the production location. In addition to supply and transfer, tugger trains can also be used for systematic disposal. Different goods can be collected by tugger train from various pickup points and delivered to different destinations. This means transport tasks can be fulfilled efficiently.

Tugger trains are therefore ideally suited for regular transport tasks and/or for those covering long distances.

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Typical tugger train industries

Tugger train systems are usually used in production logistics, so in places where production lines must be continually supplied with materials, but also in places where goods are not produced (e.g. airports).

Source: Use of tugger train systems for production supply, study on planning, control and operation, TU Munich, 2017

Cross-industry trends for tugger trains

The vehicle manufacturing industry is the forerunner for modern and efficient production processes. In other production industries, the potential offered by tugger trains has not been fully exhausted. But even here, there is a growing trend. This process change, however, is not occurring across the whole industry and is not leaping forward, but rather is happening in a more evolutionary way for individual cases.

Source: Use of tugger train systems for production supply, study on planning, control and operation, TU Munich, 2017

There is a clear development that shows the number of tugger train systems in use is growing steadily. The increasing proportion of tugger trains in industries other than vehicle manufacturing is particularly indicative of the growing desire for process optimisation.

According to experience, this primarily affects the following industries:

  • medicine
  • food
  • retail
  • recycling

Focus on process optimization

For refrigerated goods, everything is designed not to interrupt the cold chain and to ensure the quality of the goods. Process efficiency and safety have priority and the truck is already systematically loaded.

Tugger trains help, for example, to load typical retail shelves and to order pick the goods. Shelves are systematically filled with specific goods and defined processes ensure the collection and transfer of required goods to specific collection points.

Tugger trains are ideally suited for the rapid and predetermined transport of goods. The result are optimally clocked processes for loading and unloading of trucks.

Diagramm Anzahl
The transports for more than 60 clinics, institutes and facilities of the Mainz University Medical Center are mostly carried out with the STILL tugger trains.

Summary: Tugger trains supply different stations with different materials efficiently and according to demand. They are mainly found in the automotive industry, but are increasingly being discovered by other industries.

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