In the early 1990s, when we were on the lookout for ideas that could help grow a small automation technology business, one of our partners tipped us off that it was possible to measure pallets using infra-red scanners. With the product concept in hand and a fair amount of naivety regarding the entire subject, we set to work. The result was called APACHE – a system that stood (and still stands) for automatic pallet characteristic detection, and which united our competencies in logistics automation with our existing affinity for digital image processing.
In the spring of 1995, we were able to introduce the first prototype of an APACHE conveyor system based on the use of accident protection sensors for measurements. At the Hannover Messe 1996, the APACHE portal system was launched, which measures idle pallets. Since that time, we have focused on sampling 3D scenes and, in particular, measuring large-volume cargo – a market that we have not only helped shape, but that we had to keep reinventing time and time again at the beginning. Small and large logistics companies were already using our measurement systems with names reminiscent of Karl May and Winnetou back in those days – and most of them are still using our systems today. Many of these customers contributed to our success – as reference customers and pioneers of general cargo measurement.
In 2005, we joined forced with our then US competitor Quantronix in order to found a strategic alliance which pooled the core competencies of both partners. Today, our product range includes the world’s largest calibratable general cargo measurement system, APACHE big bear LFT. Our control technology division has also prospered. Specific solutions in logistics, digital image processing and special purpose machines made by AKL-tec are guaranteed to produce state-of-the-art automation engineering.