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

This one-day WERC educational and networking event will be held at the Grapevine Convention Center in Grapevine outside Dallas on Tuesday, October 13.

HyPulsion was founded by Plug Power and Air Liquide in 2012 to build the adoption of hydrogen and fuel cells in Europe. Plug Power is now poised to convert the $20 billion European material handling lift truck market to hydrogen fuel cell power.

Widely known as the “father of robotics,” Engelberger launched the world’s first robotics company, Unimation, in 1956.

Volume was up 34 percent from $7.1 billion in May. Year to date, cumulative new business volume increased 9 percent compared to 2014.

U.S. industrial manufacturers push pause on spending plans, according to PwC’s Q2 2015 Manufacturing Barometer.



© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA