The machine manufacturer produces electric vehicles for the transport of extremely heavy loads up to 500 tons. Some of these vehicles are possible to use as AGVs (automated guided vehicles).
For the steering of his vehicles, the customer has developed a customized wheel which is used as drive wheel inside these vehicles. Depending on the type of transport platform, one to four drive wheels are used. These are designed to carry heavy loads at low speeds (approximately 3–4 km/h). The electrical vehicles are normally operating indoors on an even concrete floor. Important requirements for this application are a compact design and a high load capacity.
For some years, a wheel was used that did not meet the quality requirements. The manufacturing of the wheel was divided into two steps, receiving the parts from two suppliers, one for the wheel centre and one for the Vulkollan® tread. The quality problems led to complaints and high service and replacement costs.
To avoid further costs, the customer required a complete high-quality drive wheel with a load capacity of six tons.