April 2024

progress report:
automated guided forklift (agf)




By now, most of us are familiar with the benefits of integrating Autonomous Guided Vehicles into motion control plans. AGVs play a vital role in systemizing and automating throughput in various industries, specifically those with integrated end-to-end load-handling systems, allowing AGVs to run continuously.

Solving motion control problems has always been SEW-Eurodrive’s primary focus. “Inspiration for our ideas comes from our customers,” says Brendan Daniels, Chief Design Engineer. “When we are onsite at a clients’ facility, they may unwillingly discuss problems that, in their opinion, are unsolvable. That’s what motivates us to innovate and find a solution”.

The fundamental design principles of an AGV are to autonomously shuttle payloads across a factory or warehouse setting with little or no human intervention. However, AGVs have limitations, specifically when palletized payloads are in the final stages of throughput, usually riding along on a conveyor system ready to be lifted and loaded into a trailer.

NEXT: Strategy and Ideation. 


That’s where the Automated Guided Forklift  (AGF) comes into play! SEW’s MAXOLUTION® Team of Engineers is in the prototype and early testing phases of its fully automated forklift, capable of lifting, shuttling, and dropping pallets anywhere in a factory or warehouse setting without human intervention. 

The most notable difference between an AGF and a traditional AGV is the AGF’s ability to lift and place pallets from one elevation to another, eliminating the need for additional load-handling applications.

The design intent is to systemize payload handling, improve overall safety, and allow businesses the flexibility to custom-create and quickly revise virtual payload motion plans with minimal interruptions or effort.

NEXT: Target Performace Specifications.

Initial Protoype completion
Weight Distribution Testing
Initial Safety Test Complete
Fully Electric Powered
Emission and toxin free testing
Second Phase Testing
peformance specs.

*Please note. specifications noted here are preliminary  in nature, and are not to be viewed as production model specifications. 

( Via addition of counter balance plates) Min 1000 lbs Max 5000 lbs (2272 kg) At 24” load center

Pallet orientation 48×40” or 40×48”

Standard 50 Inches (1.27m)
To Keep overall height of AGV mast below 100” ( trailer height) but project specific mast heights are possible  

Design around a modular 400ah Nickel-Metal-Hydride-Cobalt (NIMHC)  4 individual modules, vehicle can continue to run in case of damage to one module ( with reduced energy capacity) Oversized space cavity allows larger or other brand/types of batteries to be used as an alternative if specified by the customer.


Between 20% SOC and 90% SOC, slow charging to 100%

Based on total measured battery usage
5000x batter capacity
EX 5000x400ah=2,000,000ah or 10 years  

Stay Up to date with the next phase of our AGF project!  Register with SMART MOVE . 

MAXOULTION’s engineering team carefully reviewed the client’s application using engineering first principles. Power and torque requirements were calculated using site elevation changes, bearing types, requested accelerations, linear speeds, and existing design dimensions, including wheel diameters, sprocket ratios, wheel, and rail materials.

  • Determine the feasibility of converting a combustion powered RGV system to a fully electric MAXOLUTION® system solution
  • Validating the notion of using Electromagnetic charging as the RGV’s primary power supply
  • Meeting the criteria for an environmentally sustainable solution
  • Meeting the client’s request for a lower total cost of ownership
  • Paid off investment projections within 12- 18 Months
  • Demonstrated the value of  a zero maintenance solution via contactless wireless power exchange

  • Enrolled client with SEW-Eurodrive`s 24/7/365 localized  support program

  • Reviewed and confirmed the requirements  for  wet or outdoor-type applications

  • Introduction to practical, in-market, advanced manufacturing Industry 4.0 technology

  • Demonstrated how MAXOLUTION® system solutions can mimic existing throughput cycle via advanced manufacturing processes

  • Showcased the scalability of Industry 4.0 technology

  • Replace combustion motor with electric emission-free motor

  • Implementing a long-term environmentally sustainable solution

  • Drawing on clean and renewable energy to power its RGV system

  • Eliminating airborne toxins for a safer, cleaner working environment


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smart move

So, where do you find an all-in-one solution with the capability of shuttling up to and beyond 68 Tons of payload across a factory floor? And doesn’t emit toxins, is virtually maintenance-free, and uses a renewable energy source? 

Welcome MOVITRANS®! This friction-free, electric-powered energy supply runs off an electromagnetic charge (like your phone’s charging station—just bigger!) by installing industrial-sized charging cables below the factory floor. 

The MOVITRANS® contactless energy transfer system is scalable from 8kw to 48kW and can transmit continuous power to mobile consumers wirelessly over a 20mm air gap. And yes, it eliminates the need for any energy storage, exposed power bus bars, or cable tracks resulting in a true maintenance-free system with an attractive ROI on the initial investment. Just think of MOVITRANS® as having your own clean energy, toxin-free underground fuel pipeline.

The complete MOVITRANS® installation process will require some minor construction and preparation work; however, the combined benefits of having a safe, clean, reliable, and continuous power source are easily justified. And yes, we proved it!

Although the retrofitted RGV runs exclusively on MOVITRANS®, MAXOLUTION’s modern AGV systems have the capability to deviate from its primary power source (MOVITRANS®) by harvesting energy from its onboard supercapacitors. The onboard supercapacitors are paired with a well-designed motion plan that places charging stations in strategic areas throughout the AGVs shuttling route. The combined technology and design engineering results in the continuous and uninterrupted flow of power and unrestricted payload delivery capabilities.

smart move
  • Powered by Combustion Motor
  • Environmentally Sustainable
  • Presence of airborne toxins and emissions
  • Antiquated Manufacturing Technology
  • Higher Total Cost of Ownership
  • Ongoing Maintenance
smart move
  • Fully Electric Powered
  • Environmentally Sustainable
  • Elimination of Airborne Toxins and Emissions
  • Integrated Advanced Manufacturing Industry 4.0 Technology
  • Lower Total Cost of Ownership
  • Virtually Maintenance Free
add in

Pair your new energy supply with our decentralized digital invertertechnology MOVIMOT® that accommodates direct mounting on the motor or as close to the motor as possible. Thanks to our modular concept, the MOVIMOT® D-series can be combined as standard with our DR.. series AC motors with different levels of efficiency and any of our historical modular gearing. This allows for maximum efficiency, flexibility, and simple installation without needing special panel enclosures.

MOVIMOT D-series Inverter


Fully Electric Powered
Emission and toxin free air quality
Safe and reliable
Continuous Power Supply
WET OR OUTDoor applications
Environmentally Sustainable
Lower Total Cost of Ownership
24/7/365 Localized support
next steps

Thinking about a retrofit project? 

Do you have a similar application that you would like to discuss? Please fill in the form and one of our technical sales consultants will contact you to discuss it. 


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