Manufacturing Industry: Fork
The fork AGVs are used to move product from production lines to buffer and stretchwrap/shipping locations. Operators at the production lines hand stack boxes on pallets at floor level. When a pallet is ready for transport, the operator will press an AGV call button. The call signal is received by the AGV Vehicle Manager’s PC. It communicates the calling station location to the host computer system. The host computer identifies the product type and gives the Vehicle Manager a destination for the load.
The Vehicle Manager selects the closest, available AGV to execute the pickup and delivery task. The vehicle receives its mission via RF instruction from the Vehicle Manager. Loads picked up in the production area can be transported to either the buffer storage area or directly to the stretch wrap drop-off station in the shipping department. Loads that are taken to the buffer area will be picked up by AGV at a later time and transported to the stretch wrap drop-off station.
The buffer area is double ended. Incoming loads are brought to one end of the system, while outgoing loads are picked up at the other end of the system.
|Vehicles: 3||Non-wire AGV navigation||Automatic transportation palletized product|
|Stations: 17||Vehicle Manager PC with host interface||Elimination of manned vehicle travel|
|Path: 1900 feet||Remote AGV dispatching||Reduction of transportation labor|
|Multi-elevation load pick/drop||Reduced product damage|
|Q-CAN“ Quick Configurable System||Two year payback|
Manufacturing/Plastics: Unit Load Carrier
A single bi-directional AGV services an injection molding production area. Its purpose is to transport tubs of plastic molded parts to a stretch-wrapper, drop-off station. Each molding machine has a non-powered roller conveyor AGV load stand. The AGV is equipped with a powered roller deck and a parasitic (slave) drive power takeoff mechanism. When the AGV arrives at a pickup location, it extends the power takeoff roller drive wheel to cause the load stand’s rollers to turn. The waiting load is automatically transferred to the AGV. A significant system cost reduction resulted because the pickup stands are simple and non-powered.
In the injection molding area, several operators are responsible for groups of production machines. When a molding machine has nearly filled a tub, the operator uses a nearby AGV call terminal to summon the AGV. Calls for AGV service are handled on a first come, first serve basis unless a priority exists. The AGV responds to service calls by picking up the full tote and transporting it to an automatic stretch-wrap drop location.
The AGV system has systematized the production transport operation. Timely response to production demands has improved overall plant efficiency. The system operates 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week and has achieved approximately 99% uptime.
|Vehicles: 1||Non-wire AGV navigation||Automatic interface with production machines|
|Stations: 26||AGV Vehicle Manager PC||Elimination of manned vehicle travel|
|Path: 800 feet||RF Call System||Reduction of transportation labor and product damage|
|Parasitic (slave) load transfer||1-1/2 year payback|
|Graphic system monitoring and performance reporting|
Manufacturing/Textile — Tow Vehicle
The system transports rolls of textile material from a production area to cutting and storage areas. Each AGV tow vehicle tows a single trailer specially designed to transport a roll of cloth. The trailer is loaded and unloaded by overhead hoists. The cutting area has multiple delivery locations equipped with AGV call terminals. The AGVs wait in the production loading home station until a call is received for a new roll of material to be delivered to a specific station.
When an operator completes a cutting process on a roll, they will use the AGV terminal to call for another load to be delivered. An AGV waiting at the home production area (on automatic battery charge) will automatically restart and proceed to the roll loading station. An operator will load the next production roll on the towed AGV trailer and depress the release button. The AGV remotely receives its destination from the Vehicle Manager PC and proceeds to that calling location.
At the cutting stop station, the operator removes the delivered load and reloads the trailer with cut rolls. They then use the AGV’s onboard dispatch panel to select the storage area destination and release the AGV. In the storage area another operator removes the loads and sends the AGV back to the production home station.
|Vehicles: 2||Non-wire AGV navigation||Automatic transportation of full and empty cloth rolls|
|Stations: 18||AGV Vehicle Manager PC||Elimination of manned vehicle travel|
|Path: 1850 feet||32 destination stations||Reduction of transportation labor|
|Five AGV call terminals||Scheduled delivery just-in-time transportation|
|Remote AGV dispatching|
|Automatic AGV battery charging|
|Q-CAN“ Quick Configurable System|