Cleveland Clinic

The new underground 89th Street Service Center at Carnegie Avenue was one of the largest excavations ever done in Cleveland. The just-completed, 168,000-square-foot center is the size of two and a half football fields.

Gowns, sheets and other patient necessities move from the service center to many buildings at the Clinic by machine. Automated guided vehicles -- 81 of them -- travel through a tunnel system under the Clinic's campus to deliver goods and take away used items.
The computer-controlled AGVs, each about 5 feet long, carry carts specially designed for each task. The carriers make an estimated 4,762 trips a day, covering about 1,089 miles. The AGVs, which even have blinking turn signals, follow a grid of magnets embedded in the floor of the service center to reach their programmed destinations. Sensors help them move around obstacles.
During their travels, the AGVs deliver empty carts to an automated cart wash. In fact, the entire warehouse inside the service center is run automatically, speeding up the selection of supplies to be transported from the center.

There's a big difference in how the supplies are delivered to the warehouse. When a truck brings new IV pumps, towels and other items, it unloads at one of 13 below-ground-level docks. Conveyor belts and long carousels, not unlike those bearing clothes at the dry cleaner, help warehouse staff fill orders. Employees can now pick 200 or more items. Supplies stored on racks have labels with pictures that light up when an order's bar code is scanned, enabling employees to see more easily which product to grab. The system enables staff to fill multiple orders at once, telling them how many items from each rack should go in each tote meant for a cart that then speeds away on an AGV.
Food for the 4,480 patient meals served daily at the Clinic is kept in coolers and a freezer the size of several double-car garages in the service center. From here, AGVs help get insulated carts of containers of milk and such to the Clinic's various facilities to be prepared and assembled on patient trays.

Of course, what goes in, must come out. Soiled linens and medical waste are carried to the center by AGVs. (Office trash goes elsewhere.) They dump the waste into two huge sanitary processors called Rotoclaves. About the size of a truck cement mixer, the Rotoclaves heat their contents to 300 degrees. A tumbling action reduces the size of the waste that is then sent by a conveyor system to compactors.
Elsewhere in the service center, all durable medical equipment used on hospital floors is cleaned and sterilized. Items from walkers to scissors are inspected for wear, then sanitized and packaged.
All this activity takes place beneath a seven-story garage with spaces for 4,037 cars. The center, built at a cost of $192 million, replaces a surface parking lot.

Product type

Foto van product SpecialCarriers


Special Carriers are Frog AGVs specially adapted to its specific load. The vehicles are used for transportation of heavy loads or odd sizes. Special Carrier applications have been realized (a.o.) in the steel industry (Avesta, Corus) and medical sector (UMC).

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