Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


Casebook 2011: Automatic guided vehicles soak up waste and inefficiency

Beverage distributor cans old layout in favor of new equipment and software.
By Josh Bond, Associate Editor
November 10, 2010

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

image
Josh Bond
Associate Editor

Josh Bond is an associate editor to Modern. Josh was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and contributing editor, has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce.


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!

Recent Entries

Annual survey illustrates optimism resulting from increasing profits.

Serving primarily China and Taiwan, Tailift produces 28,000 forklifts annually.

Industrial barcode label printers are the gold standard for effective use of barcode technology to improve accuracy, reduce costs, and increase productivity in warehousing operations. Accuracy, costs, and productivity are the top concerns of companies with warehouses. As customer demands for perfect orders increases industrial barcode printers can produce the right barcode for the right products. As material costs increase these printers ensure minimal labor and physical space are required. And to improve labor productivity industrial barcode printers use good data to produce the right labels at the right time and place to keep product moving.

PECO Pallet is investing in technology and aiming at customers further up the supply chain to extend its reach.

Transaction valued at more than $350 million expected to close by end of 2014.



© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA