Automated guided vehicles (AGVs) play a critical role in the material handling process. These carriers are used to transport materials to places which might otherwise be served with cart transport, forklifts or conveyors. They are preferred in jobs which deal with high volumes of repetitive movement of materials, but with minimal human interference or decision making.
Overview of AGVs
Automatic guided vehicles are designed to travel within a facility without an onboard operator. Their movements are defined and controlled by a combination of software and sensor-based systems. These units, thus, can move with optimal precision, thanks to defined paths and a series of obstacle detection bumpers.
Types of Automated Guided Vehicles
AGVs are classified based on their type of movement, the load they are designed to carry, and their area of application. Some common examples of AGVs include:
- Unit load AGV: A powered wheel-based carrier used to carry discrete loads.
- Tugger AGV: These are powered units which are designed to pull loaded trailers.
- Automated AGV forklift: A forklift truck that is designed to allow for unmanned operations.
- Assembly line AGV vehicle: Used for series assembly to allow for flexibility during the manufacturing process.
Why Companies Need AGVs
Automation reigns supreme in an industrial setting. AGVs play a critical role between production lines or in warehouses where the quality of material handling is vital. Besides speed, here are some benefits offered by AGVS.
AGVs reduce labor costs. Investing in AGV saves you from the burden of paying someone to do it. As much as the machine needs some repair, AGVs are more cost-effective than keeping someone on payroll.
Another reason to invest in AGVs is to eliminate human error and work-related accidents, both of which can be quite costly to deal with. This benefit is critical to improving your capacity and throughput. It also enhances inventory accuracy.
Automatic guided vehicles are known for fewer restrictions. This is because they require less space to operate and do not create accessibility issues common to conveyors and traditional forklifts.