What Are AGVs?
AGVs Automated Guided Vehicles, also referred to as AGVs, are an unmanned computer controlled, wheel based vehicle (also referred to as a mobile robot), that run on your plant floor or outside pavement. They are programed to carry loads within defined paths or areas, with navigation being achieved by several different means.
- Laser Triangulation
- Natural Feature
- Magnetic Tape
- Magnetic Grid
They offer dependable, automated movement of materials throughout your facility in a safe, flexible, and timely manner.They are especially beneficial when space saving is important, and are designed to handle a wide variety of load types, heights, load weights, and aisle widths
An AGV system consists of five major components – 1) the Vehicle, 2) Host Software, 3) Wireless Communication, 4) User Interface, and 5) a Battery & Charger.
Where AGVs Might be Considered a Viable Solution
- In applications that involve process automation
- Multi Shift applications
- For transporting consistent and stable loads over extended distances
- In non value-added material movement applications
- When it is not appropriate to use manually operated forklifts
- Applications that require steady and constant throughput
- When wanting to create a safer working environment
- For dispatch transporting and sorting loads
- As a reliable, consistent interface to ASRS
Types of AGVs
- Masted – are the most flexible of the types and resemble typical manual lift trucks. They can be fitted with standard lift truck attachments such as forks and clamps.
- Unit Load – compact vehicle that usually sits directly underneath the load and is able to interact with stands and conveyors.
- Tow Vehicles & Carts – also referred to as tugger vehicles, they usually tow up to 3wheeled carts.
- Custom – designed for applications that involve unique loads
Industries that can Benefit from using AGVs
- Distribution Centers
- Food & Beverage
Applications & Movements Ideal for AGVs
- Product storage & retrieval
- Pallet handling
- Work -in-process movement
- Raw material movement
- Finished goods movement
- Parts & Tooling delivery
- Automatic truck & trailer loading
- Work cell to work cel
- Manufacturing to warehouse
- Warehouse to manufacturing
- Warehouse to picking
- Receiving to warehouse
- Picking to shipping
- Long haul transportation
Benefits of AGVs
- Increased Accuracy– reduction in picking and shipping errors
- Increased Flexibility– Flexibility: Capable of interfacing to a variety of stands,automation, manufacturing operations
- Reduction in Labor Costs– up to 100% labor reduction and overtime and turnover costs can be eliminated.
- Increased Safety– accidents involving forklifts, and damage to your equipment andfacility by forklifts, can be reduced and/or eliminated
How do the vehicles work in an AGV System?