Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


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 Modern Materials Handling Staff
August 31, 2011

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!

Recent Entries

Freedonia research highlights growing domestic interest in automation.

American Logistics Aid Network mobilizes logistics partners to deliver supplies to difficult-to-reach areas.

In a fundamentally changed world, your approach to strategy, and your supply chain, must also change. Andrew Winston, author of The Big Pivot, discusses how business can profit from this fundamental change.

Voice-enabled work is one element in a broad management strategy to improve order accuracy, increase productivity, and reduce labor costs in the supply chain. This complimentary white paper is designed to help you speak the ROI language, and provides a calculation formula to present the performance and financial payback from a variety of voice-enabled applications.

Conveyor manufacturers revise growth estimate up from 2% to 5%.



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