Transponder AGV at BASF Ludwigshafen

AGV drives underneath a tank container at a loading station (Photo: BASF)

Ludwigshafen, 10.05.2017 | Update: 20.03.2019 — The transport volume at the BASF Ludwigshafen site is around 20 million metric tons per year. BASF has developed a logistics concept that focuses on cost reductions and faster transports.

Update 20.03.2019: The German tv news Tagesthemen (ARD) have dealt with this project in the broadcast from 19.03.2019. You can find a streaming version in the ARD Mediathek (German), the report starts at 12:30 minutes.

The most important components of this concept are:

  • Automated guided vehicles (AGV),
  • new optimized-for-rail tank containers instead of railway tank cars
  • and a new tank container depot.

AGV with tank container (Photo: BASF)
AGV with tank container (Photo: BASF)

According to BASF the AGV is a worldwide first that was developed together with the VDL Automated Vehicles. It is a 16.5 meters long carriage with 32 wheels and eight steerable axles, the vehicle has a payload of 78 metric tons. Due to its flat construction it can drive underneath the new tank containers, lift and then move them. Because of the high number of wheels and its steerable axles the AGV remains maneuverable and does not cause any damage to roads even though it can weigh as much as 100 metric tons. BASF says that the duration for the transport of a tank container to one of the 150 loading stations will be cut from 22 hours to 1 hour.



BASF optimizes logistics at Ludwigshafen site (Video: BASF)

The AGV navigates along transponders embedded in the road surface. The transponders as well as the corresponding transponder antennas have been delivered by Götting and were integrated into the vehicle in cooperation with VDL. The transponders are glass transponders that are especially protected against environmental conditions and have been manufactured by the Pikatron GmbH. The transponder antenna is a new version of the Götting type HG G-98850. Additionally the HG G-45000 (de) safety laser scanners shown in the VDL video above come from Götting.



Concept of the AGV with transponder navigation and safety scanners (Video: VDL)

Owing to the sophisticated safety features and equipment and the state-of-the-art vehicle control the AGVs can drive together with other traffic on normal streets. Additionally a fully automated tank container depot is constructed at BASF Ludwigshafen until mid 2018. This depot will be trimodal, meaning that goods can be handled via AGVs, trucks and rail.

Contact person: Sales AGVS

You can find more information on this project on the following sites (sample):

Götting Quick Guide Last updated: 04/2023

Götting KG founded in 1965, ist an innovative company placed in Lehrte near Hannover (DE) and works worldwide.The company develops and produces wireless data communication systems and sensors for automatic track guidance of so-called automated guided vehicles (AGV). As far as we are informed Götting KG has the largest product range of different components for trackguiding AGV.

Further main topics are traffic technology, RF measuring, wireless data communication in general as well as customized developments for car manufactureres, electronic- and radio broadcasting industry. Currently our company employs 90 professionals of which about 30 are experienced masters in engineering and are responsible for research and development.

The core competency of FOX – a special department of Götting KG – is focused on the automation of serial vehicles, especially for the outdoor area (trucks, pay loaders, fork lifts etc.).