Tugger Train and Milk Run Planning

Time is Limited…

and deadlines are increasing. Today's market is one of a growing diversity of product variants with non-negligible lead times. Keeping the logistic process as smooth and lean is difficult, especially with the traditional means of transportation, the forklift. Due to the high number of accidents with to this equipment, the latest trend in large scale production is to supply material to the assembly chains through milk run. This is not used only for transporting raw materials, but also finished goods and waste from the manufacturing to the assembly stations or to the warehouse and vice versa.

IntechLog offers the following concerning the planning of tugger train concepts and milk runs:

  • Feasibility study and assessment of the current situation (AS IS)
  • Layout planning, including the pre-loading and loading areas at the supermarket
  • Buffer dimensioning
  • Route design, schedule and timetable
  • Simulation and validation of the planning
  • Delays and traffic analysis
  • Support in choosing the best technology, manufacturer and system integrator

Our Experience

Daimler AG - Our team had the privaledge to work together with the logistic department of Daimler AG. The focus: a tugger train planning for a new assembly line to be installed in a Stuttgart factory.
The beginning of the project met us with a large variety of factors to be considered:

  • determining the items to be supplied
  • a surface of more than 22.000 square meters
  • more than 285 ton and 950 cubic meters of goods to be handled per day with multiple constraints
Additionally, we had to consider the following for planning:

  • fix dimensions of the buffer and a u-point turn
  • varying corridors widths and one-way corridors
  • different unit carriers
  • customized frames
  • pre-defined loading areas


Implementing a propriatory method developed by IntechLog, the tugger train planning (including stops, routes, time schedule and delay analysis) and all constraints was developed. Significant improvements were also found by analyzing the up-hill process of loading, especially considering the pre-loading and loading areas of the main warehouse (aka Supermarket). Advice and recommendations were also provided concerning the foreseen ramp-up process, bringing the assembly line to its full capacity and concerning the IT requirements for managing the kanban re-ordering process.