Automation: Jervis B. Webb earns patents for AGVs

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has awarded Jervis B. Webb Company a patent for its Automatic Transport Loading System and Method as well as for its Variable Path for automated guided vehicles.

By ·

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has awarded Jervis B. Webb Company - a subsidiary of Daifuku Webb Holding Company and leading provider of material handling solutions – U.S. Patent No. 7,980,808 for its Automatic Transport Loading System and Method and U.S. Patent No. 7,991,521 for its Variable Path for Automated Guided Vehicle.

The Automatic Transport Loading System and Method is Webb’s second Automatic Transport Loading (ATL) patent for its SmartLoader Automatic Guided Vehicle (AGV), which loads and unloads standard, over-the-road trailers and other containers without requiring any modifications to the trailers.  This patent applies specifically to loading and unloading the ends of trailers by actively adjusting the position or angle of the forks on the AGV.  Normally, the forks of an AGV are parallel to the floor when it is picking up and dropping off loads.  However, loading and unloading the end of a trailer requires the AGV to be outside of the vehicle on a loading dock or ramp that may be lower and/or at a different angle than the floor of the trailer.  The newly patented technology enables the AGV to compensate for differences in height and position, as well as drop and pick up loads when the forks are not parallel to the floor. 

The Variable Path for Automated Guided Vehicles patented technology is a method for controlling several AGVs in a system. The AGVs are instructed to not only follow a predetermined path, but to also vary that path in multiple, minor ways. This reduces wear on the floor because the AGVs are not following identical paths. 


Automation: What is an AGV?
If you think AGVs, or automatic guided vehicles, are a mature technology, think again. Since 2005, the industry has seen an unparalleled level of innovation.


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
Evolution of the Retail Fulfillment Operation
It’s an omni-channel world, and retail warehouse and DC operations must now seamlessly orchestrate a combination of software, automation, hardware and supporting equipment to meet ever-increasing customer expectations or be rendered irrelevant.
Download Today!
From the June 2017 Modern Materials Handling Issue
Self-driving mobile robots improve cycle times and reduce floor space at GE Healthcare’s new repair operations center in Wisconsin. General Electric operations center layout, General Electric Healthcare warehouse
GE Healthcare: Self-driving vehicles are the centerpiece of ROC
The Big Picture: Adaptability as King
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
GE Healthcare System Report: Lean repairs
Self-driving mobile robots improve cycle times and reduce floor space at GE Healthcare’s new...
Materials Handling Innovation (and why it matters)
Every company considers itself an innovator. It’s time to include materials handling leaders in...

Thrive Market’s Startup Distribution Network
How does a fastgrowing, e-commerce startup company build out order fulfillment capabilities? Thrive...
U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics: Version 2.0 released today
On Tuesday, the U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics: Version 2.0 will be released on...