Tugger trains became a popular means of supply in material handling intensive production systems. In contrast to forklift trucks they interlink a supermarket with multiple delivery locations along a transport route in a milk-run. But the efficiency gain (higher transport capacity, reduced labor costs) has its price: Compared to forklift trucks, planning and dimensioning of in-plant milk-run systems is more complicated. The paper discusses features and drawbacks of a recent standardization approach of the Association of German Engineers (VDI) and highlights the variety of technical restrictions which have to be considered when a milkrun system is designed. It shows, that algorithms can support the design and dimensioning process. It is, however, not feasible to formulate the design task as an ordinary optimization problem which can be handled by a solver without any further interaction.
Progress in Material Handling Research: 2016
Schmidt, Thorsten; Meinhardt, Ingolf; and Schulze, Frank, "New Design Guidelines for in-plant Milk-run Systems" (2016). 14th IMHRC Proceedings (Karlsruhe, Germany – 2016). 25.