AGVs drive productivity at Honda

Honda equips distribution center with automatic guided vehicles to improve transport and handling of spare parts.

By ·

In 1963, Honda opened its first overseas factory to manufacture motorbikes. Over the years, the company’s business model has evolved to become an OEM supplier and spare parts company. Parts are manufactured at various Honda plants then shipped to one centralized location for storage and distribution before going out to Honda dealers in the network. While consolidating storage and distribution into one centralized DC was a strategic business move, moving the parts presented a materials handling challenge.

Honda parts arrive at the distribution facility on a variety of carriers such as pallets, crates, trolleys and box pallets all with different dimensions. To handle the diversity, Honda chose a versatile automatic guided vehicle (AGV; Egemin Automation) system to transport product containers across inbound and outbound locations, and to intermediate storage locations.

Since the AGV system was installed, Honda has a more orderly transport of goods throughout the distribution center and a significant reduction in damaged goods due to the precision fork placement and controlled travel speeds.

The automated process starts when the inbound operator scans the load type and the load’s position.  Then the system determines the zone to which the load must arrive. This triggers the AGV control system to send an AGV to the designated location.

The control system also sends the correct parameters to the AGV for accurate fork positioning. The AGV forks can be individually adjusted to fit the various fork pockets of the carriers so it efficiently moves product, regardless of whether the carrier is a pallet, crate, trolley or box pallet.

Honda has also experienced improvements to personnel productivity. Prior to the AGV system, lift truck drivers delivered racks of products, which were large and required a number moves per hour to keep up. Since installing the AGVs, Honda has been able to reassign drivers to new positions and let the AGVs handle the long distance transport of goods.

click here to download the PDF article
click here to download PDF article


About the Author

Lorie King Rogers
Lorie King Rogers, associate editor, joined Modern in 2009 after working as a freelance writer for the Casebook issue and show daily at tradeshows. A graduate of Emerson College, she has also worked as an editor on Stock Car Racing Magazine.

Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Latest Whitepaper
Mobile Solutions: Improving Supply Chain Efficiencies
To meet customer's ever-increasing service expectations and improve their business efficiency, companies are looking to their supply chain operations – especially material handling and warehouse operations managers.
Download Today!
From the February 2017 Modern Materials Handling Issue
In warehouses and DCs, planning solutions tend to take a back seat to execution system functions. Vendors are working to boost the trust factor using tools that break down forecasts and blend with analytics.
Automated Storage on the Move
Receiving 101: Setting the Table for Success
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
2016 Warehouse/DC Operations Webcast: Confronting omni-channel complexity
During this webcast we’ll examine the current activities, trends, and best practices in warehouse and DC operations management and how companies plan to address complex issues associate with omni-channel fulfillment.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Johnson & Johnson: A vision for automation
J&J Vision Care brings together a variety of automated technologies, including an innovative...
Using AGVs at LEDVANCE
The lighting manufacturer reaped savings by reducing maintenance costs and product damage, and using...

System Report: Sustainable Distribution at REI
Specialty outdoor retailer REI’s new distribution center brings together the next generation of...
System Report: Whirlpool puts mobile robots to work
In Whirlpool Corp.’s Clyde, Ohio, factory, mobile robots have automated the delivery of parts to...