MAX, the self driving vehicle designed for smelters

Alvance Aluminium Dunkirk has become the first company to introduce MAX, the anode pallet transport hybrid and autonomous vehicle, in an industrial environment.

The vehicle designed by AP Technology teams and developed by ECA Group has already successfully completed a set of missions in various situations within the facilities of Alvance Aluminium in Dunkirk. Its full and final deployment is scheduled for the first quarter 2020.

Thanks to its guiding technology based on Simultaneous Localization and Mapping, MAX can be integrated to existing operations without any additional equipment or road modification.

From the first test of circulation between the hooking station and the storage of pallets, the vehicle even demonstrated its ability to succeed in manoeuvers and docking perfectly. MAX demonstrated as well its ability to circulate within the plant, whether indoor or outdoor, safely operating and transporting heavy loads up to 12T.

In order to simplify maintenance, all of MAX’s actuators are electric. This includes steering, propulsion and lifting of the pallets. MAX has also demonstrated the performance of its auto adaptive docking functions, which allow you to pick up a pallet perfectly, even if it has been placed by a traditional vehicle.

Another strength of the solution is the intelligent Fleet Management System, named LISA-FM, a graphical user friendly HMI which manage the road network, the pallets locations, the smart dispatching of transport mission, and of course the real time monitoring of the fleet.

MAX is a safe and environmental-friendly transportation solution aiming at optimizing aluminium production operations. Its name refers to its key robotic features: M for Modular, A for Autonomous and X (cross) for its capability to operate between the different parts of the plant.