AGVs, or Automated Guided Vehicles, are used in industrial applications to transport heavy materials around a large industrial building, such as a factory or warehouse. The most common application for an AGV is to deliver parts or product to various parts of the plant for manufacturing production or shipment.
Because AGVs are unmanned, they provide you with staffing flexibility allowing you to reduce time spent on non-value add functions. They also augment your operations by providing functions that can improve throughput, lower operating costs, and give you flexibility while optimizing your routing routines. Additionally, AGVs are easily adaptable to changing products, processes and locations which makes them ideal for applications in many manufacturing industries including Food & Beverage and Consumer Packaged Goods.
Is process safety an issue in your plant? Do you have to move items around your facility that could cause an employee to be hurt? Are your materials heavy? Moving finished goods from the production line to the shipping dock is a great application for an AGV. They can move large and heavy ingredients or products throughout a plant, making the facility safer for employees which is a boon to a company’s bottom line.
How do you deliver parts to various aspects of your process? Can that process be optimized if a machine delivered them as opposed to a human? Sometimes, processes require gentle material handling because products are complete and subject to damage from rough handling – this is particularly true of the Food & Beverage industry. Because AGVs operate with controlled navigation that is precise and speed that is controlled, the potential for damage is minimized.
Are there processes in your plant that don’t need to be done by a human being? Are some processes repetitive? Can you redeploy your employees to processes that are more critical and need to be done by a person? These are questions to seriously think about as you explore the option of AGVs.