Cutting-edge intralogistics: montratec receives major order from Airbus

Niedereschach – Europe‘s largest aerospace group Airbus will include cutting-edge intralogistics solutions engineered by montratec GmbH into the equipment assembly of the new A321 XLR long-range aircraft. The high-tech company montratec GmbH, based with HQs in Niedereschach (Germany/Baden-Württemberg), convinced Airbus by setting an industry benchmark in the field of advanced automation technology for process-optimized intralogistics. With the intelligent montrac® monorail and shuttle transport system, montratec is offering future-oriented intralogistics 4.0 solutions, interlinking efficiently robotic machinery and human workplaces. For montratec, this order indicates an international breakthrough in terms of importance and scale and is the largest order in the history of the company.

The planned montrac® system - layout central stage of the assembly hall of the Airbus A321 XLR in Hamburg-Finkenwerder. Photo: montratec GmbH

The new A321 XLR (Extra Long Range) is an aircraft for long distances. Airbus has built its own assembly hangar at the Hamburg-Finkenwerder location. In the new 38-meter-tall XLR hangar, the equipment installation of several A321 XLR fuselages is taking place in parallel. For process optimization, Airbus will be establishing a tailor-made montrac®intralogistics system for extensive and individualized automation of the material flow from the warehouse (sequencer) to the individual workstations. The montrac® shuttles, which have specially developed for Airbus, will be transporting small boxes independently on an approximately one-kilometer-long branched monorail line. This line connects the sequencer with two assembly stages, to which 13 double-level workstations are connected. For optimum use of space, a part of the monorail transport line will also run underground through a tunnel, in which the montrac® system is mounted under the ceiling. Each workstation consists of two decks, each with four access levels, divided into levels for electrics, mechanics, hydraulics, and, at the top, for the return of empties. Both delivery to each access level, as well as the return loop of empty boxes, will be taking place autonomously, controlled by the montrac® shuttles. Once in place, the new intralogistics solution will provide a fully automated line, including the loading of the montrac®shuttles with transport boxes at the sequencer, the transport to the assembly platforms and workstations, the delivery to the respective access levels, and finally, the return of the empty boxes back to the sequencer. The vertical transport of the montrac® shuttles between the different levels to the assembly platforms, workstations, decks, access levels and back to the sequencer, will all be supported and carried out by numerous montrac® lifts. For efficiency enhancement, manual activities will only be necessary at the workstations to remove the full boxes from the respective access level and return the empties, as well as for returning empty boxes at the sequencer (compact storage).


"With our intelligent, flexible and energy-efficient montrac® monorail and transport shuttle system, we ensure a highly efficient, automated and extremely energy-saving material supply between the warehouse and the individual workstations at Airbus in Hamburg-Finkenwerder," emphasizes Sven Worm, CEO of montratec GmbH and elaborates: “Due to the intelligent high-tech control, each transport shuttle knows exactly its position and transport destination and thus brings the right box to the right access level and back to the sequencer at the right time.”

In addition, montrac® is characterized by maximum system availability, as each transport shuttle can individually be exchanged or removed from the running system without interrupting the production process. Due to the high-tech control system, even a replaced shuttle immediately knows the original transport destination.


“Particularly significant for Airbus, in addition to the small footprint and reliability of the montrac® system, was the high energy efficiency due to the minimal power consumption. Compared to other systems, which usually run permanently, the low-voltage drives of the montrac® shuttles only require electricity during transport and leave a minimal carbon footprint. This results in a significant energy saving potential”, explains Worm.


The montrac® transfer system consists of a modular aluminum monorail system with an integrated current rail, on which the montrac® shuttles, specially developed for Airbus, operate autonomously and find the optimal route to the respective transport destination independently. The flexible and space-saving configuration allows a customer-specific individual system layout, including the integration of buffer zones, and transport over several floors and beneath the ceiling. In addition, adaptation to changed processes and any system expansion is possible at any time. Furthermore, the length and width of the shuttles can also be individually adapted to the needs of Airbus or the goods to be transported.


The montrac® transfer system is used worldwide in various industrial plants – among others, by many leading car manufacturers. The vibration-free high-tech transport systems from the Black Forest are particularly popular in the production of headlights, doors, door locks, and car-seats. The company’s future growth is to be generated primarily by product innovations and the increased internationalization of the business model.


“With the intelligent montrac® monorail and shuttle transport system, montratec GmbH has specialized in innovative and individual solutions for networking and digital process automation of cross-industry intralogistics 4.0 processes up to the cleanroom. With the 
large-scale project at Airbus, we underline the individual application possibilities of montrac® for optimization of complex manufacturing processes and show the next level of digitally controlled intralogistics solutions”, summarizes Worm.