Stäubli WFT, a specialist in the development and production of automated guided vehicles (AGVs), has embarked on a strategic expansion of its cleanroom-compatible vehicle business. The company is already manufacturing heavy-duty AGVs under cleanroom conditions. These will be supplemented with mobile robot systems for deployment in the semiconductor industry in addition to pharmaceutical and medical technology applications.
It all began when Stäubli WFT was commissioned by plant manufacturers in the semiconductor industry to supply heavy-duty ISO 7 class cleanroom-compatible AGVs with load capacities of up to 24 tons.
In the course of fulfilling these orders, Stäubli WFT gained extensive experience in the complex field of cleanroom technology. For example, every component and all materials, without exception, must be certified and subjected to rigorous outgassing and particle emission testing. In addition, production must take place in a cleanroom environment.
Since completing its first projects, Stäubli WFT has received follow-up orders for cleanroom-compatible heavy duty AGVs and has repurposed one of its production units into a dedicated cleanroom facility. “We have made the strategic decision to expand our activities in cleanroom-compatible AGVs, in which we have acquired specialist expertise and established a unique market position,” said Franz Wittich, CEO.
The company has other industries in its sights, and has already developed concrete plans: “In pharmaceutical production, compact AGVs and mobile robots can take over handling tasks. We aim to interest the industry in this concept,” Wittich added.
The hardware requirements for pharmaceutical production applications are already in place: the company manufactures the drive and rotator unit for the HelMo mobile robot from Stäubli Robotics. In its cleanroom production facility in Sulzbach-Rosenberg, they can upgrade mobile robots to the client’s specifications and requisite cleanroom classification.