AGVs keep product moving around the clock

Packaging manufacturer’s flexible new fleet helps repetitive tasks become efficient and safe.

By ·

Schur, a global manufacturer of packaging materials, machines and systems, wanted to improve the ergonomic environment for workers in its Denmark facility by automating repetitive movements. By installing an automatic guided vehicles (AGV) system, the company improved flexibility, efficiency, safety and productivity.

At the end of the production line, finished corrugated boxes are stacked on pallets. Full pallets are first moved to an automated strapping and wrapping machine and then moved to the warehouse for storage. Empty pallets are moved from a pallet-stacking machine and delivered to the palletizers. There are four different types of pallets depending on the product and the export destination.
Before the AGV installation, movement of the full pallets to the strapping/wrapping machine and to the warehouse was done using manual forklifts. The process was repetitive and predictable—a great candidate for automation. Shur installed four compact fork-over style AGVs (JBT Corp., jbtc.com).

“The most important benefits of the new system are its stability, accuracy and the smooth work flow it enables,” says Allan Laursen, production manager at Schurpack Denmark. The AGVs now move raw materials from bulk storage to the production machines. One added operation was for the AGVs to move pallets to storage and place them into storage lanes thus avoiding the need for overnight forklift operators. The AGVs can also collect and store pallets post press, buffering them for secondary operations use.

The system is easy to reconfigure and can be expanded by simply adding more vehicles. The predicable operation, accurate navigation, smooth acceleration/deceleration, non-contact safety bumpers, and visual and audible warning signals gave workers confidence that the AGVs would improve safety.

“We involved a big group of people in the project,” says Laursen. “This gave them a sense of ownership, but also ensured that they were comfortable with the system.”

Because of this success, productivity at the facility has increased 12%. These AGVs will operate in the printing department transporting full pallets from a pile turner conveyor to one of two presses. They will also transport empty pallet stacks from conveyors to storage areas or the point of use.


About the Author

Josh Bond, Senior Editor
Josh Bond is Senior Editor for Modern, and was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and associate editor. He has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce University.

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
The Overlooked Competitive Advantage: Connected Teams
57% of surveyed manufacturers believe they could reduce downtime by 10-30% by unifying their workgroup communications. What does a minute of downtime cost you?
Download Today!
From the January 2018 Modern Materials Handling Issue
PFS built one of the largest and most automated AS/RS freezers in the world in Washington state. Next up is a new design for automation. Automated Storage/ Automated Retrieval System, Cold Storage.
Lift Truck Series Part 1: Lift truck technology connects pickers to productivity
Breaking Through On Yard Visibility
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Emerging Technologies for Your Distribution Center
Come get an insider's view of the latest technologies for inside your Distribution Center. You'll learn which technologies are being piloted, which are having success and moving from concept to implementation and into production on the maturity scale, and what's coming on the horizon.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Trinchero Family Estates: Pallet handling in the vineyard
The second-largest family-owned wine company in the world turns to automated pallet handling and...
System Report: Rocky Brands Sees the Light
Confronting an aging materials handling system and new channels of business with new customer...

Top 20 industrial lift truck suppliers, 2017
The top lift truck suppliers list is changing with industry acquisitions causing a dramatic...
Lodge Manufacturing: Distribution Cast in Iron
In a new facility, iPhones and a new WMS allowed cookware manufacturer Lodge to double its business...