A Guide to Selecting an AGV For Your Business
Are you trying to find an efficient way to handle materials in your warehouse? Well, you have come to the right page.
Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV), also called Self-Guided Vehicles are material handling and load systems that travel autonomously through a distribution facility, manufacturing center, or warehouse. You do not need any onboard driver or operator of any kind. Instead, it makes its way through the vicinity smoothly and effectively.
If you are interested about the machine and want to purchase it, keep on reading. First, we will discuss in detail what AGVs are. Furthermore, we will discuss the most critical factors you need to know before finalizing an AGV.
What is an Automated Guided Vehicle?
An AGV is a robot that follows wires or marked lines on the flooring. Some even use radio signals, magnets, lasers, or cameras to maneuver their way around a facility.
They usually move heavy materials. But, they are also ideal for towing objects behind them in trailers. So, they are a great help for anyone who runs any center that requires heavy lifting and transportation.
What to Consider Before Purchasing An AGV?
First, you need to consider about why you need an AGV because several different types fulfill different needs. Here are some of its benefits:
- It improves the efficiency and productivity of your business. In addition, they are predictable, which makes them reliable for monotonous tasks.
- AGVs usually have a per rental period or per unit cost basis; thus, you can always keep a check on how they are functioning.
- They improve safety; while basic AGVs sports sensors that help them avoid collisions, others have intelligent routing features.
2. Types of Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV)
While selecting an AGV, the first step is to check the type of the AGV. There are many different types; however following ones are the most common. Many of these systems are precisely like human-operated vehicles. However, the only difference is that these function without human guidance or intervention.
a) Automated Guided Carts
An Automated Guided Cart is the most basic kind of AGV. It also has the least features. From simple magnetic tape navigation systems to sophisticated sensor-based navigation systems are all examples of navigation systems. They are frequently used in sorting, storage, and cross-docking applications. Also, they can move many goods, including tiny components and full pallets.
An automated hospital cart transporter delivers small loads effectively across a hospital, including meals and empty food trays, clean or used linens, biohazard trash, or sterile supplies. In addition, automated hospital cart transporters can aid in lowering labor expenses. They eliminate the need for a staff member to push the cart from one location to another physically.
b) Forklift AGVs
These transfer pallets and carry out the same tasks of a typical forklift driven by a person does, but without the requirement for a human operator.
c) Towing AGVs
These pull one or more non-powered, load-carrying vehicles in a train-like arrangement. Powered towing vehicles own wheels and are known as autonomous trains. These transport heavy cargoes over longer distances. Moreover, they could have multiple drop-off and pick-up stations along a predetermined route through a warehouse or factory.
d) Unit Load Handlers
These carry individual objects or a single unit. For instance, a pallet or tote containing several goods.
e) Heavy Burden Carriers
Heavyweight carriers are for massive assembly, casting, and plate delivery for the largest loads. Furthermore, some large freight carriers may self-load. Different types feature different steering; omnidirectional, pivotal, or regular steering.
f) Autonomous Mobile Robots
The technology of autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) is often more sophisticated than those of other AGV kinds.
Many AMRs feature intelligent navigation features. For example, sensors and camera systems enable them to identify and maneuver around obstacles. Other types use fixed navigation systems like cables or magnetic tape. AMRs can dynamically roam a warehouse and plan the most effective pathways due to their advanced technologies.
So, while trying to select an AGV, make sure that you first think about the reason you want it. For example, do you wish to increase its productivity, or do you want it to feature improved safety features? Because if it is the latter, you would have to pay more.