Institute for Materials Handling and Logistics (IFT) Stuttgart

The Institute of Materials Handling and Logistics (IFT) at the University of Stuttgart is one of the oldest materials handling institutes in Germany and looks back on a 90-year history of research, teaching, testing and calculation in the field of materials handling and logistics. Top-level research in the field of basic principles as well as in areas close to industry are part of the scientific field of activity. The institute is essentially divided into three areas – rope technology, logistics and the department of machine development and material flow automation.

Institute of Mechanical Handling and Logistics: Research on 2,500 sqm

The IFT maintains test areas of approx. 2,500 square metres in two halls, with the laboratory and testing facilities of the rope technology division alone covering almost 1,300 square metres. Here, wire and fibre ropes of the complete range of applications, from climbing ropes and guy ropes for bridges and offshore platforms to crane, elevator and ropeway ropes, are subjected to specific load and long-term tests on various test rigs.

The range of activities of the logistics department includes the planning and optimisation of material flow and logistics systems. The practical investigation of manual picking processes with the help of a learning warehouse equipped with all currently available picking technologies on a total of 120 sqm with 1000 storage locations is a focal point.

In recent years, the department of machine development and material flow automation has gained a lot of attention, especially through the design and development of innovative material flow systems. These include various driverless transport vehicles but also a new type of high-speed conveyor system for people and goods. However, the new development and optimisation of conveyor technology machines and systems also requires a distinct knowledge of the basic design elements. For this reason, the department dedicates itself to the research and optimisation of design elements such as wheels, rollers and chains with a large number of test benches.

The large number of successfully completed projects and research projects and the numerous new ideas up to developed patents show not only the broad spectrum but also the innovative power of the institute, which is also reflected in the worldwide interest in research results from the IFT. Thus the IFT is a reliable partner for research and development from the idea to the finished demonstrator or prototype.

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