May 18, 2017
Small manufacturers are looking at fork truck free solutions according to John Hayes, Vice President of Vecna Robotics. According to Hayes, Pros to Know thought-leader, companies are investing in AGVs to improve plant-floor efficiency and reduce operating cost. As the flexible technology is now more affordable and easier to use on assembly lines, many smaller manufacturers and single location distribution centers are deploying driverless carts, robotic parts bins, and autonomous tuggers. Manufacturing engineers have best-practice lean manufacturing solutions which are driving prices down making these solutions available to everyone.
According to MHI, an AGV is a driverless vehicle which consists of one or more computer-controlled, wheel-based load carriers which come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and styles.
Engineers can choose between tuggers that pull a string of carts or trailers in a train; unit load carriers that move subassemblies and work-in-process from one assembly station to another; forked pallet trucks that interface with pickup and drop off points on the plant floor; and automated guided carts (AGCs) that are smaller, cheaper, and easier to install than traditional AGVs. AGCs are popular for applications where lighter loads and flexibility are required. These options can help manufacturers see the benefits to fork truck free initiatives.
Due to the high cost of entry, automated guided vehicles (AGVs) were only found in warehouses, automotive assembly plants, and other operations with large amounts of floor space. With the help of Vecna Robotics, recent advancements have made the machines more appealing to small and mid-sized manufacturers in a wide variety of industries.
Today’s AGVs are more advanced than what was available a decade ago. The machines are now faster, safer, easier to program, more precise and less expensive. According to Hayes, “Vecna Robotics is leading AGV development focusing on software and safety systems. Better throughput, productivity, and cost-effective technology are now available to even the smallest manufacturer or distributor who have been ignored for far too long.”
With e-commerce exploding and customer expectations on the rise, distribution and fulfillment centers as well as third party logistics (3PLs) providers need an innovative way to reduce costs and increase throughput. Vecna Robotics provides the complete range of low-infrastructure solutions to automate material handling needs. Case picking, each picking, goods-to-person, person-to-goods, robot-conveyor hybrid systems, Vecna Logistics has cost-effective solutions. All systems are safety certified to operate along-side people and can accommodate the operational model that achieves the best efficiency today with unmatched flexibility for tomorrow. Vecna Robotics provides scalable hybrid order-fulfillment solutions with a rapid ROI.