Line side delivery of raw materials to the plant floor is only one consideration in the value proposition of carts and tuggers. Logistics management recognizes Topper Industrial because of patented designs that make operations more efficient, reduce noise levels, improve ergonomics, and safety. These carts are being tugged requiring less effort, as operators transport goods from warehouses to assembly lines and then to finished goods warehouses.[zozo_imageframe shape=”none” shadow=”none” bordercolor=”” borderwidth=”” lightbox=”yes” src=”https://vecnarobotics.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/toppe-lineside-e1519194767836.png” alt=”Image” animation_type=”none” animation_delay=”500″]
Carts improve delivery times
In the past, forklift operators were only able to transport one container of goods at a time to the production line. Once they unloaded a container, they had to return to the warehouse to refill their empty container before they could distribute products to another position on the production line.
By using a tugger and cart system, operators unload products and replace empty containers on the production line multiple times in a single pass. This approach decreases the potential for employee injuries, improves ergonomics (primarily since operators have more time to focus on other projects) and reduces noise since the tuggers and carts are often only transported to production lines once. As a result, carts are becoming more specialized, especially as their popularity continues to increase in nearly every industry that manufactures products.
Custom-built carts have driven Topper Industrial’s Ed Brown to invent carts to meet the custom needs of clients such as Anderson Windows, Detroit Diesel, Honda, Kia Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Aramark, Johnson Controls, Whirlpool, and Caterpillar.
Topper Industrial’s founder Ed Brown holds hundreds of patents in materials handling and insists that manufacturers must be prepared for constant variations in product mix and volume. To fully optimize space for heavy or oddly shaped loads, manufacturers are increasingly purchasing custom-built carts.
By using custom-built carts, manufacturers can improve transportation efficiency. These tugger pulled carts reduce the number of trips necessary to move parts to assembly lines and products to warehouses and distribution centers. Manufacturers also save money on equipment and personnel since fewer tuggers will be required to convey products.
As manufacturers go fork truck free, forklifts are replaced with tuggers in production areas and warehouses. Since tuggers do not have extensions, they can be turned more easily in tight corners and driven in narrower aisles. In the past, such turns and passageways were considered unsafe for operators, as fork extensions could potentially be driven into warehouse or distribution center storage shelves.
Tugger automatic/autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs)
Tuggers are considered one of the most conservative types of materials handling vehicles on the market, mainly since they can move multiple loads—upwards of six to ten on each delivery—per vehicle. Some, known as tugger AGVs, are also entirely controlled by computers so that they can be navigated without drivers, offering operators an opportunity to perform other duties on the production floor.
To improve the safety of employees as loads are transported, tugger automated and autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs) avoid obstacles in its path, so it never endangers the safety of employees or damage products or plant equipment. These sensors typically include ‘warning’ and ‘stop’ zones. As an AGV approaches an obstacle, it will enter the ‘warning’ field of the sensor, and the AGV will slow down, flash warning lights and sound an audible warning. As the AGV slowly approaches the obstacle, it will then enter the ‘stop’ field, and the AGV will stop. While legacy vehicles remained stopped until the obstacle is removed, intelligent, robotic, autonomous guided vehicles are capable of re-planning its route to find a safe, alternate way to its planned destination.
Clock the number of trips per day from the warehouse to the production plant floor. Reduce that number by 80 percent and the value proposition of tugger pulled carts creates a rapid ROI (Return on Investment). In fact, with effective cart and AGV tugger leasing, the reduction of one fork truck driver per shift is immediately realized.
Special contribution by Topper Industrial
Topper Industrial (www.topperindustrial.com) is a leading manufacturer of material handling equipment. Topper provides lean material handling solutions to the supply chain.