With the construction of the most advanced car tower in Switzerland, the Züri West car dealership in Schlieren can now offer its customers a very special shopping experience. At the press of a button, the vehicles appear in the showroom within a single minute, are delivered when purchased and are always shiny and clean thanks to the integrated washing facility. The centerpiece is a fully automated robotic lift, equipped with sensors from SICK.
Originally developed by Skyline Parking to be used as parking facilities, the round metal tower at Auto Züri West (AZW) was adapted to function simultaneously as a storage space extension, preparation workshop, washing facility, and showroom, and now stands on the site of the car dealership in Schlieren in Zürich as an open metal construction measuring 21.3 m in height. With a footprint of just 400 m², it has space for 128 cars on eight stories across 3,200 m², which has allowed AZW to free up more space on its site without having to extend its existing plot of land.
Cars supplied at the touch of a button
The new tower is much more than a storage facility. It is a robot with a computer-controlled lift for a heart, which is situated in the center of the round tower. This lift is also the central logistics system for the facility. When each vehicle is placed in the tower, it is scanned by a computer at the entrance. The AZW employees can then request any car in the tower via a touch pad either on site or remotely. In less than one minute, the desired car will appear before the customers’ eyes. On request, and without any human involvement, it can be given a high-gloss finish in the washing facility before it is delivered, and can then be replaced with another vehicle model in the showroom within a further minute.
To park the car, it is simply driven into the drive in/drive out box. The LMS111 2D laser detectors from SICK, which are installed on the floor and the walls, detect the position of the vehicle in the box and use field breaches to communicate the position of the vehicle to the control. All of the LMS are linked to the central control via digital outputs with programmable logic controllers (PLC). In order to make it easier for the driver to park the vehicle correctly, the positions are displayed on a monitor. Once the driver has correctly parked the vehicle, they can leave the box, and initiate automated storage.
Before the vehicle is transported from the box to the load-carrying unit (LCU), the LMS check to make sure there is no one left in the box. During transfer from the box to the LCU, both of the LMS constantly check the position of the vehicle until it is in the correct position. Before the LCU starts moving toward the corresponding parking box, the LMS on the LCU scan once again to ensure that no one is on the LCU. Throughout the journey, the position of the vehicle on the LCU is monitored. If the vehicle makes any unexpected movements on the LCU, transportation is stopped immediately. Once the parking box has been reached, the LMS check whether the box that has been arrived at is actually empty, and that the vehicle can be safely unloaded. Vehicles are unloaded in the same way.
Remo Baleri, Managing Director at AZW Zürich says: “Building the car tower has enabled us to optimize our business processes and its unique architecture leaves a lasting impression on customers and prospective buyers.”
- Skyline Parking info box:
Automatic parking systems from Skyline Parking AG allow savings of up to 50% on volume and up to 70% on required space compared with conventional multi-story car parks. Both of its products, Skyline T-Park and Skyline L-Park, are characterized by extremely reliable technology and maximum performance capability. Ice, snow, sand and other environmental influences do not disrupt operation, and because vehicles are transported on conveyor belts in a closed system, they are protected against damage at all times, including parking damage or vandalism.