Two Ways Toward Warehouse Automation with Material Handling Tuggers

3 minutes to read

A workflow is the process of moving materials from the moment they enter a facility to the moment they leave. Automated material handling vehicles can be integrated by either automating a piece of the workflow or used to redesign the entire workflow from end to end for greatest efficiency.

1. Progressive Automation

automated material handling workflow for warehouse tuggers

One way to integrate an autonomous material handling vehicle is to find a part of the facility where travel is often performed manually or by space-consuming equipment.

  • Progressive automation is best for:
    • low-cost entry to automation
    • replacing manual equipment as they come to end-of-life
    • seasonal or temporary peak labor assistance
    • increasing floor capacity without expanding to additional facilities
    • increasing throughput without adding additional staff
    • gradual stages to reach end-to-end automation
    • material handling travel is over 40% of human labor

2. End-to-End Automation

A company looking to prepare itself for a future of flexibility and high growth will be redesigning its operations to include automation at every level of the workflow, most likely with multiple providers of robots. This really allows the company to adjust for almost every ebb and flow of change in demand.

Autonomous material handling vehicles are specifically designed to be interoperable, which means they can communicate with products and systems from other providers to give the most amount of flexibility and control.

  • End-to-End automation is best for:
    • brand new facility builds (high growth and scale)
    • companies with designated innovation or automation departments
    • organizations automating beyond material handling (picking robots, self-driving freight trucks, etc)



Getting Started with a Autonomous Material Handling Vehicle:

The first step is to figure out what your company’s timeline and budget are for integrating automation. This will make conversations about integration much more constructive and you’ll manage expectations better with the provider and with your own team.

Once you get in touch with a provider about integrating a Tugger, a team takes a look at your facility and calculates the integration against an ROI, presents a solution, and works with you every step of the way after the purchase to ensure success and optimal integration results.

Learn more about automating your operations here.

Integrating Material Handling Tuggers into Your Workflows:

A manufacturing plant can use a Tugger to carry materials from storage to assembly to outbound shipping. Warehouses can use Tuggers to transport pallets from inbound docks to storage and back to outbound shipments. Multi-building campuses can employ a Tugger to deliver materials from one building to another.

Tuggers have been especially useful in material handling environments that require more distance traveled or that require coordination in a highly dynamic area, such as replenishment, lineside delivery and nonconyevables.

Vecna Robotics Warehouse Tuggers:

Meet the Tugger with the most advanced navigation in the industry. While other automated vehicles are a few years old, the technology driving the Tugger has been advancing and developing over the past 20 years.

Its dynamic obstacle avoidance and safety in a human-centric environment are proven to be at an elite level in robotics of the supply chain. It is designed to enhance the productivity of the current workforce, allowing more work to be done with the same resources and footprint.

The Tugger is trusted by the top companies (including FedEx and DHL) of several industries from warehousing to manufacturing to retail and food for the commitment to performance, efficiency, continuous support, and integration success.


Vecna robotics tugger - automated material handling vehicle

Learn more about the capabilities and specifications of the Tugger here.