Which transport systems are used in logistics?

Intralogistics is becoming increasingly complex and requires efficient solutions. Production companies have to handle logistical processes every day, but not only external ones.

Intralogistics is becoming increasingly complex and requires efficient solutions.

Production companies have to handle logistical processes every day, but not only external ones. Internal logistics, intralogistics, is at least as important for a smooth process. A wide variety of transport systems are used here, which can be designed to transport objects.

Pallets, cartons, barrels, or containers - all these things have to be moved frequently from A to B in warehouses and this as punctually, efficiently, and safely as possible. Especially in companies where tens of thousands of items are produced or picked every day, reliably working transport systems are the most important thing.

01 Energy efficiency in intralogistics

However, efficiency is a problem in many companies, because even today, many production companies are not fully informed about the various transport system options in the field of intralogistics. For this reason, it is important not to leave this subject to chance, but to ensure maximum productivity and efficiency as an entrepreneur.

This is where a conventional transport system quickly reaches its logistical limits. For every manufacturing company, time is money - and therefore efficiency should be fine-tuned until intralogistic processes can be handled perfectly and reliably in the shortest possible time. With customised process and transport solutions that enable maximum flexibility and smart control, your company can also stand its ground in global competition.

Energy efficiency in intralogistics
A flexible transport system in modular design helps to improve efficiency within intralogistics in the company./p>

Learn more

02 What transport systems are there in intralogistics?

The number of different transport systems in intralogistics is constantly growing. Because in the digital age of the 21st century, more and more are being managed and controlled fully automatically. Although humans are still in control, they no longer have to handle many complex processes themselves. Last but not least, a solid transport system can also save quite a bit of physical strength and offer production companies the opportunity to use valuable manpower elsewhere - namely where it is really needed.

FTS - Automated Guided Vehicles

The demands on throughput times are increasing: They should become shorter and shorter, more and more flexibility is demanded in production companies. For this reason, the internal material flow in intralogistics is becoming increasingly important

The integration of driverless transport systems - also known as AGVs - offer an enormous degree of flexibility and efficiency.

A driverless transport system is an overhead conveyor whose vehicles are controlled automatically - the control of a human worker is no longer necessary in this case. On the one hand, they can be powered by rechargeable batteries, batteries or supercabs and move autonomously; on the other hand, completely contactless conveying is also possible. Driverless transport systems are primarily used to transport required materials within a production facility. They can be used both inside and outside the production building and are ideally suited for warehousing or the storage process.

Furthermore, driverless transport vehicles consist of one or even several vehicles - these are called FTF. These consist, among other things, of a navigation system that controls the vehicle as well as a guidance control unit that is used to coordinate between several conveyor vehicles. In addition, the vehicles are equipped with a communication unit that is used to transmit information between the individual vehicles. Also important are integrated safety and warning devices to prevent operational accidents between the individual vehicles.

Driverless transport vehicles are now used in many large production companies and can, for example, independently find stored goods, select the appropriate packaging for them and then transport both parts to a warehouse worker

The most important prerequisite for smooth operation is the adherence to a correct transport chain: goods receipt, picking, packing and goods issue must be precisely planned and coordinated for the system to function and work reliably

All locations of items and machines are predefined and must be communicated to the system. An integrated navigation system and fixed prescribed routes support the transport vehicle to navigate safely to the correct destinations. Data is exchanged by means of a material flow computer.

Shuttle transport system

A shuttle transport system is a driverless intralogistics system with various electrically driven shuttle units, usually controlled by swarm intelligence, that operate autonomously on a rail system and independently find the optimal route to the respective transport destination. Shuttle transport systems are used for the automated transport between work and processing stations in production processes, assembly lines and in the automated operation of warehouses.

Depending on the system, the transport shuttles can communicate via radio or infrared with each other, the route or the connected work stations. Due to the decentralized self-control, the overall performance of the system can be freely scaled by simply adding or removing autonomously operating shuttles without requiring additional logistics space. This enables short response times, especially in companies with fluctuating performance requirements and varying throughputs.

Shuttle transport systems enable maximum reliability and high system availability: If a shuttle fails, either another shuttle is taking over the task or the shuttle, like the montrac® transport shuttles from montratec can be manually replaced or removed from the running system, without stopping the entire system. Due to the intelligent decentralized control technology also a replaced shuttle automatically knows the original transport destination..

Shuttle transport systems convince with maximum flexibility and optimal use of space.

Particularly on small areas or in difficult environments, a monorail transport shuttle system such as montrac® allows a free layout design and the optimum use of space. That’s possible due to mutually compatible standard components - supported by the narrow monorail, tight rail curves, electrically operated switches, crossings, bypasses, rail ascents and integrated lift elements. Even a complete assembly of the entire shuttle system under the ceiling is possible.

Autonomously controlled shuttles enable a continuous flow of material even so processing times vary at the work stations along the transport route or if different products in different batch sizes have to be transported on the same route.

Based on mutually compatible standard components the system layout of a shuttle transport system can be flexibly and customer-specific expanded or downsized. In addition, the intelligent control software not only allows a reliable interaction between the shuttles, the monorail and a PLC control system, but also the system integration into external process systems as well as the connection to an ERP system.

Transfer systems in comparison
In intralogistics, there are now various forms of transport systems that can be used depending on the area of application. We provide a brief overview of the different systems and their properties.

Learn More

Roller conveyor

Depending on the system, the conveying technology of a roller conveyor can be based on the principle of gravity or on idlers driven by a chain. A roller conveyor is used in particular for transporting unit loads that can move on rollers - these can be packages, pallets, barrels, or even containers

The great advantage of a roller conveyor is that it can be configured according to the modular principle and thus used individually in intralogistics

It is composed of several flexibly selectable modules so that every conveyor system can be built up in a complex manner and supplemented as required. If required, a roller conveyor can be converted, extended or equipped with additional accessories at any time. Even obstacle-rich transport routes with height differences or curves are no problem for this transport system.

Belt conveyor

The belt conveyor is used in almost all industrial plants and is suitable for a wide variety of conveying tasks. However, its full efficiency is shown in the transport of unpacked and packed cartons, pallets, or containers in the most varied dimensions and shapes. If products are to be conveyed to a specific department, a belt conveyor has been a practical and frequently used solution for many years.

Because there is now an enormous range of different modules and matching accessories available, which allow an individual design, such a conveyor system can be optimally adapted to the circumstances of a production company. Not only do they ensure smooth just-in-time transport on straight routes, but as kink and curve conveyors they also offer a high degree of transport safety. Unit loads without special requirements on their position or orientation can be reliably moved in this way. Nowadays, belt conveyors are available in all lengths and widths.

It is important that the conveyed material is transported on a profiled belt on routes with height differences so that it does not slip downwards

Often the profiles are such that the material is held in position and in the middle to prevent it from falling down the sides. Profiling is recommended from about 20° slope, and the profile height can be up to 5 cm. A higher profile is also possible, but then the so-called T-stud is usually used.

Chain conveyor

The chain conveyor is a multi-track conveyor that has one or more roller chains for transporting objects. In particular, metal parts that are treated with emulsions or oil are conveyed in this way. If liquid should escape, it is collected directly in a stainless steel trough and drained off in some systems.

A chain conveyor is driven by several chain strands, whereby the use of multi-track belts proves to be particularly useful for flat and larger unit loads. Thanks to the low center of gravity, it provides a high degree of stability. Also, it is possible to equip the conveyor system with accessories such as centering prisms or positioning devices. Just like belt and roller conveyors, chain conveyors can be individually adapted to the local conditions of a production facility.

Vertical conveyor

The vertical conveyor is designed to overcome drastic height differences in a small space safely. It consists of a drive, a lifting carriage and a lifting mast. On the lift mast, there is a conveyor element that can be moved up or down on guide rails. Of course, a vertical conveyor can be moved with other intralogistics transport systems, such as a belt or roller conveyor that connects directly to the vertical conveyor

If a product is thus conveyed upwards or downwards, it can be moved directly from there to the next processing station or to packaging.

The hoist drive of the vertical conveyor is normally installed in the upper part of the mast and provides the drive for two rotating toothed belts. Furthermore, a counterweight is installed, which has a mass of half the theoretical payload and provides relief from the hoist drive.

Corner transfer unit

The corner transfer unit is designed for areas where unit loads have to be moved through 90°. This may be necessary, for example, in production facilities with limited space or permanently installed large machines in to make optimum use of the available space. For cartons, pallets or other flat goods, corner transfer units are the right transport solution. They offer transport in both directions - to the left or the right

The transport system is integrated as a 2-track round belt or toothed belt or chain conveyor in a main roller conveyor. By means of a lift, the two tracks can be moved upwards and thus the goods can be transported further via the chains or the toothed belt. Corner transfer units work with light barriers and are often used in combination with other transport systems.

Storage and rotary tables for the best possible material flow

In the industrial sector, processes with continuous production on an assembly line often lead to interruptions on individual machines. In the worst case, these interruptions lead to a complete stop of a material flow within the production, which of course means unnecessary loss of time and costs.

Professional storage and turntables represent special transport systems in intralogistics, which somewhat equalize the process within the material flow, like a kind of buffer. The goods can be buffered here when the demand is lower and then directly fed in and transported when required.

Floor conveyor systems

A floor conveyor system is designed in such a way that objects are placed on the conveyor track instead of being suspended from it. These can be vases or other containers or even rims, which can simply be suspended. The floor conveyor system then ensures safe transport through the production facility. An extension of the system are set-up spindles, which additionally rotate the object if a certain position is required for further processing.

03 Tailor-made transfer system - The choice of options

As individual as the product range and the structure of a production facility within a company may be, the requirements for the transport of goods are also very different. In today's world, time and cost savings, as well as maximum efficiency, are the most important factors in production. This makes it all the more important to look for a tailor-made solution when for transport systems. The options are diverse and constantly increasing in the course of growing automation.

Internal logistics: Flexible, space-saving and resource-efficient
With tailor-made solutions for your business, you can improve your internal logistics and thus save valuable resources.

Learn more

montratec is your competent partner when it comes to individual transport systems for complex logistical processes within your company. montrac® is a smart transport and automation system specially developed by montratec that allows you to network logistics and production processes according to your own wishes. The montrac® system has a modular design and guarantees maximum reliability in terms of functionality

Should a component fail, it can be replaced quickly without bringing the entire system to a standstill. The monorails of montrac® can also be mounted easily and quickly. The integrated Smart Logistic Technology makes an additional control superfluous because the shuttles know by themselves where the goods should be transported to. Even in complicated conditions on-site, the system can adapt optimally to the conditions and reliably transport the goods even over several floors and around tight curves.

04 Transfer system delivery time

The montrac® configurator also makes it possible to achieve an extremely short delivery time of only 4-6 weeks. This is an important factor when purchasing an intralogistics transport system, as most solutions require a long delivery time and are therefore not considered a solution that can be installed at short notice.

What is the delivery time for a transport system?
Montratec's products convince with their reliability, are easy to set up and can be delivered within 4-6 weeks.

Learn more


The increasing flow of goods in recent years has not only changed logistics in general but also intralogistics within production facilities in particular and has presented new challenges. Whether items are transported through a production facility by forklift truck or also via a belt conveyor, the way in which order picking is carried out and where they are stored should definitely be soundly planned within a company. After all, transport systems, as well as storage and order picking systems, must mesh smoothly to ensure maximum efficiency in production However, it is often not easy to identify which transport systems suit which company. Whether belt conveyors, roller conveyors, corner transfer units, vertical conveyors, or another solution - many companies are not aware of the options available to them and therefore often waste time and money on production.

Companies of different sizes can receive support from montratec: The monorail system montrac® is a suitable solution for a wide variety of production sites and can significantly simplify or shorten internal logistics processes.

The requirements could hardly be more different: Companies that manufacture numerous individual products or different series are dependent on changeable systems with a high degree of flexibility. If, on the other hand, large quantities are produced in identical series, automation is all the more important. Here, autonomous conveyor systems, such as driverless transport systems, can be used particularly efficiently.

Every company should therefore exploit the maximum potential from their circumstances and therefore seek comprehensive advice. The selection of a transport system should always be made carefully - if only to avoid expensive bad investments. The right technology guarantees maximum efficiency and the valuable opportunity to assert oneself even in international competition successfully.