SSI Schaefer’s Weasel automated guided vehicle (AGV) has won the “International Forklift of the Year” (IFOY) Award 2016 in the “Intralogistics Solutions” category. The award was presented in June on the first day of the CeMAT exhibition in Hanover.  

The “International Forklift Truck of the Year” (IFOY) Award, an independent non-profit organisation, aims to recognise the best intralogistics products and solutions on an annual basis and to develop ways to assess the best technical and strategic performances in intralogistics and encourage innovation. The IFOY Award was presented by the Materials Handling and Intralogistics Association of the VDMA (German Engineering Federation). The winner was selected by an international jury of well-known specialist journalists in the European logistics industry, under the auspices of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

The system is being used as an internal fleet solution at the fashion logistics service provider, NextLevel Logistik® GmbH, which is active in the rapidly growing e-commerce sector in Germany.

It is unsurprising that the Weasel® was chosen as the best in its category; the system transports bins, cartons, trays and other products of various sizes (up to 35 kg) between work stations, goods-in, goods-out and the waste disposal areas. An internal AGV has been created, which in contrast to conventional AGVs, works without the need for complex sensors or control systems. In just three days, all the hardware and software for the system had been installed and commissioned. Special features of the solution include the automatic RFID bulk reading in the goods-in zone and the flexibility and scalability of the system. Weasel systems are not rail-mounted and can therefore be flexibly integrated into existing structures, as the vehicles navigate along an optical track. The AGV grows with the company, and seasonal peaks in output can be handled easily using additional Weasel systems.

In these times of Industry 4.0, this is a major advantage for users as the Weasel vehicles work in a networked and self-sufficient manner, connect any operating areas and support all processes in the entire logistics environment

Klaus Tersteegen, Managing Director, SSI Schaefer, Neunkirchen, Germany: “We are delighted to have received the 2016 IFOY Award, and would like to thank the jury and all those involved for their commitment to the intralogistics industry, and for their interest in the Weasel system. This accolade is a great honour; it recognises our dedication to innovation, and to developing solutions that enhance the efficiency of our customers’ intralogistics processes.”