More companies than ever require flexibility on their production lines as well as an efficient, measurable way to deliver parts and components. In the past, many companies invested in some sort of conveyer system, but today, the common solution is automatic guided vehicles (AGVs)
To effectively use AGVs, the material handled should move horizontally for a portion, if not all, of production. The material may move from point to point within the manufacturing process and at times be on a strict time schedule at each station. In some instances, the product itself moves along the line. For others, carts deliver other pieces, such as parts, for installation.
If an application does not require the use of vertical storage racks, consider these questions. If you answer “yes” to each of them, an AGV system may be an option for you:
- Can the product or pallet be set to a dolly for transport with a total weight less than 3,000 lbs.?
- Can dollies/carts be sized to maneuver loads through aisle ways?
- Does the product/material handling require more than 4 man-hours per shift?
Many users inquire about an AGV due to a high level of forklift traffic in heavily populated areas where pedestrian accidents and product damage are at high-risk. In addition to decreasing costs associated with these areas, return on investment can be captured by eliminating purchases of additional forklifts and reducing operator expenses. AGVs also automate the mundane tasks, which eliminates the opportunity for worker distraction, low productivity and turnover.
Toyota offers customizable AGV systems and can assist you with decisions regarding the navigation method of the product, path selection, traffic control options and system controls to locate the AGV. If the production line is changed, software reprogramming can also be sourced.
For more information on AGVs and for help deciding if one is right for you, contact your local Toyota forklift dealer.
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