Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGVs) are showing up more and more in material handling applications, and that’s a good thing. As the technology continues to grow, it’s about time for more of us to know what we’re dealing with. So what are they? Well, let’s go ahead and defer to Wikipedia: “An automatic guided vehicle (AGV) is a mobile robot that follows markers or wires in the floor, or uses vision, magnets, or lasers for navigation. They are most often used in industrial applications to move materials around a manufacturing facility or warehouse.” The Toyota AGV is designed to optimize the manufacturing and assembly line process by automation. Here are some examples:
With the ability to fit into tight areas, share aisles with pedestrians and forklift traffic, and easily adapt to future change, the Toyota AGV is an efficient dependable and versatile material handling solution.
With the ability to buy a base drive package and “build it yourself” or purchase a complete AGV with traffic control and automatic charging, the L-Cart can be as simple or complex as required. With this “bolt-on” style, it is possible to attach the L-Cart drive unit to existing carts or dollies at a customer’s facility without the need to purchase a complete AGV.
While some folks are concerned that AGVs will compete with humans for jobs, the fact of the matter is, they’re doing jobs that people don’t want. Inc.’s Christine Lagorio-Chafkin has this to say:
…self-driving carts will replace some of the most dangerous low-wage jobs, such as lifting extreme loads, driving heavy machinery, and packing and unpacking of cargo containers—jobs that are getting harder to fill anyway. “People literally can’t hire enough people who want to work in warehouses; they don’t want to work in that setting,” says Sarah Carlson, the chairwoman of the AGV group of MHI.
Politics aside, this is the kind of technology that saves companies money by streamlining materials handling. That can open up a world of possibilities.
Summit Handling Systems, Inc. (SHS) is an exclusive Toyota equipment dealer in Connecticut and areas of New York and Massachusetts. In business over 50 years, SHS employs experienced personnel eager to provide solutions for your material handling operation. Whether we’re providing quality new, used, rental equipment or fleet maintenance, customer satisfaction is the key to our success. Contact us today!