The Automated Guided Vehicles or AGVs are load-carrying robots that can travel within a facility without an onboard operator or driver. They use a combination of software and sensor-based technology such as laser and camera that allows them to follow marked lines and wires on the floor.
The first AGVs were tow trucks that used a magnetic field to follow a track of wires embedded in the factory floor. But over the years, these vehicles have become more sophisticated and “intelligent” that they can even “communicate” with other robots to ensure that products are transported smoothly and safely through the warehouse.
- The Standards of AGV Safety Systems
- The Benefits of Automated Guided Vehicles in Manufacturing and Distribution Industries
Wholesale Industrial Parts, a US-based company selling commercial vehicle parts, has provided a list of Advantages of AGV.
Reduced Labor Costs
AGV is at the heart of business automation, allowing businesses to drastically reduce their labor costs by up to 40%. Historically, automation systems can also increase productivity, reduce errors, and improve quality and speed.
In the past, labor-intensive industries like manufacturing, agriculture, food processing, and mining needed an entire assembly line of people who worked grueling hours. But with the advent of AGVs and other smart technologies, companies can now reduce the number of employee hours and still enjoy increased productivity.
Unlike people who are susceptible to fatigue and distraction, AGVs can reduce or even completely eliminate the risk of damage to products and property thanks to their use of intelligent technologies like cameras, lasers, and other sensors.
In a 2017 study published by the National Library of Medicine, researchers found a strong link between worker fatigue and occupational injuries, with the vast majority of accidents occurring at night or after a person worked more than 11 hours.
Reduced Utility Costs
Unlike humans, AGVs can operate in low light and extreme conditions and temperatures. As a result, some companies have found a significant reduction in their energy consumption because they don’t have to rely too much on heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.
Increased Efficiency and Accuracy
AVGs use “intelligent” software and data, allowing companies to increase their inventory efficiency and accuracy by identifying the products or materials that need to be replenished. As a result, they can reduce their downtime and prevent excess inventory.
Most logistic firms suggest that a good inventory turnover ratio for most industries is between five and 10, meaning that you sell and restock your inventory every 1-2 months.
More Cost-Effective than Fixed Automation Systems
Some functions of fixed automation systems like conveyor belts can be replaced by automated guided vehicles, which are generally less expensive and are easier to install.
Meanwhile, the installation of conveyors and other fixed automation systems often takes time, which leads to downtime and decreased productivity. Also, they are less flexible and their functions are more difficult to reprogram compared to AGV.
Flexible and Applicable to Different Industries
One of the advantages of AGV is that it can be designed and programmed based on the specific needs of your business. In fact, it is applicable to almost all industries, ranging from food processing, health care, hospitality, print media, and car manufacturing to agriculture, delivery service provider, retailer, and supplier.
Some of the most common types of AGVs:
- Forklift AGVs
- Unit load handlers
- Automated guided cart
- Towing vehicles
- Pallet trucks AGVs
- Fork truck AGVs
- Hybrid AGVs (They can be fully automated or be driven by a human operator.)
- Assembly line AGV
- Light load AGVs
If you need AGV and forklift replacement parts, contact Wholesale Industrial Parts. With more than 75 years of combined experience, its sales staff and management team can provide you with whatever parts you need for your commercial vehicle at the most competitive prices.