Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


Vehicle manufacturer triples storage with automatic guided vehicles

Casebook 2012: Vehicle manufacturer uses automation to turn line-side storage into on-demand parts delivery.
By Josh Bond, Associate Editor
October 17, 2011

When a vehicle manufacturer was assembling just one vehicle type in its facility, it had plenty of space for a FIFO (first-in, first-out) line-side parts storage system. But when the company considered expanding the assembly line from one vehicle type to three, it faced cramped floor space, extreme complexity in the assembler’s job, and increased travel distance between parts and the assembly task. The company found that a custom-engineered automatic guided vehicle (AGV) fleet could replace the line-side storage system with an automated parts sequencing operation for just-in-time parts retrieval.

Now, 19 customized and color-coded AGV carts deliver parts along paths marked by adhesive-backed magnetic tape. High-traffic areas use an embedded guide-path magnetic strip.  Pieces of tape, aligned in specific patterns along the route, initiate various AGV functions such as turns, stops and speed changes.

The AGV drives operate on a 24-volt system with two 12-volt lead acid batteries, have a 1500-pound weight capacity, travel at a maximum speed of 82 fpm, and have a 24-inch turning radius. Safety equipment includes an audible warning device, flashing light, non-contact obstacle sensor, safety bumper and e-stops resulting in a safety category “B” rating.

The AGV carts have a deck for totes or boxes when required and hitches for towing trains of sequenced kitting carts. When necessary, the AGV carts have a convenient handle for manually moving them by raising the spring-loaded drive off the floor with a foot release pedal.

The batteries nest in battery boxes on a tray supported by rollers on the AGV cart, battery transfer cart, and battery charging station.  The batteries are simply rolled off the AGV cart on to the battery transfer cart and then on to the charging station.  Each vehicle has three sets of batteries for 24/7 operation.

In addition to increasing worker comfort and productivity, the new system ensures parts are always available for assembly and available space is used as efficiently as possible.

Creform Corporation
800-839-8823
http://www.creform.com

More Fixed Path Coverage

More from Modern’s 2012 Casebook

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

Crown invited me to its flagship service center outside Chicago for a demonstration of their operator and technician training programs. Prepared for plenty of PowerPoints and goofy videos, I instead experienced two full days of hands-on, grease-covered, eye-opening and tremendously exciting education.

PwC CEO survey finds only 19% of top retailers say they can fulfill omni-channel demand profitably.

Seegrid’s former director of development from 2003-2007 returns to the company.

March shipments came in at 988,065, which easily eclipsed February by 24 percent, as well as March 2014 by 19 percent. Panjiva said total first quarter shipments at 2,580,899 were 4 percent ahead of the first quarter of 2014.

Diligent monitoring of battery inventory can cut waste, boost battery performance and lifespan, and increase productivity.



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