Tugger trains for Lean production

State-of-the-art material supply

What are tugger trains?

Tugger trains are in-house transport solutions used to transport materials during operations as efficiently as possible. This type of transport is mainly used to support just-in-time and just-in-sequence production processes.

The prime mover drives through the plant pulling behind it wagons which can be individually loaded according to in-plant requirements and demand.

Materials can therefore be efficiently moved from and to the processing machines or assembly stations and replace supply by forklifts.

You too can profit from the advantages of this tried-and-tested system

• reduced number of empty runs
• faster and safer compared with fork-lift transport operations
• different materials can be transported together
• savings in fork-lift and personnel costs
• the virtual clutch and drawbar system provides the train with excellent  directional stability

The aim of Lean production is to synchronize supply processes within the production process.

On the way to Lean production:

For this purpose, tugger trains are being increasingly deployed in practice for in-house transport as they allow, on the one hand a highly-frequented provision of small quantities of the materials required and, on the other hand promise increased cost-efficiency in the sector of intra-logistical material supply.

Def.: “MUDA” is the Japanese word for senseless wastage. In production engineering there are 7 types of wastage.

• Standardization
(the right quantity at the right time in the right place)
• The 7 MUDA’s – the elimination of waste



MILK-RUN trains

In a Milk-Run system materials or goods are transported within a regular cycle whereby volume, time and distance have normally been fixed. This system increases the supply frequency of materials and leads to a more evenly distributed utilization of capacity within the given time slot.

In production processes, existing buffer stock levels and nondocumented leftover stock are eliminated and the general level of inventory is clearly reduced.

Furthermore, converting to a Milk-Run system can lead to considerable savings in labour costs and machine costs, savings potential which can be then deployed for other efficient tasks along the value creation chain.

Def.: “Milk-Run” gets its name originally from
the milkman who comes to the house leaving full
milk bottles and taking the empties with him. This
system was transferred to procurement logistics and
material supply in the production industry.