The perfect working day is predictable
Sounds boring? Well, not if you want to improve safety and productivity. Warehouses and manufacturing plants are often a complex mix of operators driving manual lift trucks and different automated systems. Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) thrive in this environment as they work according to well-defined patterns and can adapt to any infrastructure.
Safety at work is a main priority at many companies today. According to the US department of labor organization OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) lift trucks cause about 85 fatal accidents and almost 100,000 injuries per year. As always, operator training is key to avoid accidents. However, human error is inevitable and in some cases it might be a good idea to evaluate AGVs as a complement to manual work.
There are several types of AGVs such as unit loaders, platform carriers and assembly platforms. You can also transform your lift trucks into AGVs. Laser navigation is common but other navigation methods are also in use and natural navigation is on its way.
Each AGV follows a defined route. Safety sensors react in 60 ms from the detection of an object within the safety area (humans typically have a reaction time of 200-300 ms). AGVs never get tired or distracted by mobile phones ringing or beeping. And as operators quickly get used to the movements of AGVs, safety is further improved.
Improved safety also ensures higher productivity. Controlled driving with AGVs leads to fewer injuries and less damage to goods, pallets and racks. The number of stoppages decreases, contributing positively to productivity.
Kollmorgen is the world-leader in vehicle automation kits for automated guided vehicles. Visit our website for more information, and don’t forget to check out our global partner network with companies you can contact to start a discussion.