Historically companies invested in a conveyor when building product required a repetitive process or one with the product visiting various stations. Today more companies are requiring flexibility of their production line and this is a solution an automatic guided vehicle (AGV) can provide.
AGV: Warehouse Applications
To qualify as an AGV candidate, the product should move horizontally for a portion, if not all, of production. The product may move from point to point within the manufacturing process and at times be on a strict time schedule at each station. In some instances, the product itself moves along the line. For others, carts deliver other pieces, such as parts, for installation.
If product does not need to be put away on vertical storage racks, consider these questions. If you answer “yes” to each of them, an automated guided vehicle may be an option for your warehouse:
- Can the product or pallet be set to a dolly for transport with a total weight less than 3,000 lbs?
- Can dollies/carts be sized to maneuver loads through aisle ways?
- Does the product/material movement require more than 4 man-hours per shift?
AGV: Return On Investment
Many users inquire about an AGV due to a high level of forklift traffic in heavily populated areas where accidents to pedestrians and product damage are at high-risk. In addition to decreasing costs associated with these areas, return on investment can be captured by eliminating purchases of additional forklifts or reducing operator expenses. Maintenance of the AGV is also relatively low compared to a forklift.
A local material handling dealer can assist you with decisions regarding the navigation method of the product, path selection, traffic control options and system controls to locate the AGV. If the production line is changed, software reprogramming can also be sourced.
Think an automated guided vehicle is a solution for your manufacturing process? Contact us to speak to an equipment specialist or learn more about Toyota automated forklifts, services and technologies.Contact Equipment Specialist