Casebook 2011: Automatic guided vehicles soak up waste and inefficiency

Beverage distributor cans old layout in favor of new equipment and software.

By ·

Quaker Tropicana Gatorade (QTG), a subsidiary business of PepsiCo, was looking to boost productivity and operational efficiency in its Atlanta, Ga., facility. The facility had already automated the production and bottling process. With those improvements so successful, the company looked to make similar moves in finished product movement. A mixture of laser-guided, automatic guided vehicles (AGVs) and software yielded a targeted return on investment.  And now, the vehicles (JBT Corporation, 215-822-4600, http://www.jbtc-agv.com) are slated to roll out in other QTG facilities.

The AGV system includes 11 computer-controlled vehicles and the management software is fully integrated in the plant warehouse management system. The 5,000-pound capacity, counterbalanced AGVs are outfitted with single/double fork attachments that allow each vehicle to carry one or two adjacent pallets. The battery-powered units automatically swap batteries, and use front-, side- and rear-mounted lasers to detect obstacles.

The units pick up full pallets of finished goods from 10 stretch wrappers and deliver them to the appropriate destination: directly onto over-the-road trailers, onto bridge conveyors to an adjacent distribution center, or into temporary storage lanes. Web-based management software coordinates efficient vehicle movement and shares information with external I/O on the conveyors and other plant software. And because the system can be accessed remotely, supervisors can monitor system performance quickly and easily.


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
Top 20 industrial lift truck suppliers, 2017
The top lift truck suppliers list is changing with industry acquisitions causing a dramatic departure from the norm.
Download Today!
From the August 2017 Modern Materials Handling Issue
For all the advances in lift truck technology and fleet management, operators will always be the heart and soul of a fleet. As manufacturers and equipment purchasers place more value on that piece, the role of the operator extends from design to daily use.
Reader survey: Lift trucks keep on truckin’
Top 20 industrial lift truck suppliers, 2017
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Warehouse Execution Systems (WES): The Pathway to Same-Day Fulfillment
This webinar explores the processes and technologies enabling same-day, same-hour order fulfillment using intelligent supply chain software.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Lift truck operators: Drivers of change
For all the advances in lift truck technology and fleet management, operators will always be the...
Top 20 industrial lift truck suppliers, 2017
The top lift truck suppliers list is changing with industry acquisitions causing a dramatic...

Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits: Designed to Last
On Long Island, the country’s premier distributor of wine and spirits turned to shuttle and case...
GE Healthcare System Report: Lean repairs
Self-driving mobile robots improve cycle times and reduce floor space at GE Healthcare’s new...