Robots and automatically guided vehicles are normally predictable machines, programmed to perform repetitive tasks. Humans, on the other hand, are sporadic and impulsive. Couple these two variables together and there is a potential risk for injury. This is why the most common source of hazard in the industrial setting, where robots are involved, is human error. Much of the time when injuries occur they happen during programming and maintenance. The biggest problem in robot and automatic guided vehicle related injury is over familiarity with the machine.
Originating from a Japanese methodology known as the Toyota Production System, lean manufacturing centers around eliminating waste. By reducing non-value-adding work, overburden and unevenness, systematic problems are exposed. Tools are adapted to different situations and only used where the ideal cannot be achieved.
There are many shows, books, movies and cartoons depicting the future and what our transportation systems could potentially evolve into. In the Jetsons, people drive around in little hoover cars to different destinations in sky cities. In the cartoon Futurama, there is an extensive tube network, cars that hoover inches above the ground and spaceships. I’ve noticed most science fiction depicts transportation moving to the skies, but is that actually where we are headed?
Automation is one possible way a manufacturer can increase their cost effectiveness in domestic manufacturing. One form of automation is the use of automatically guided vehicles, or AGVs. An AGV is a vehicle that performs varies material handling tasks without the use of a driver. How do these vehicles navigate without the aid of a track to follow? How do some AGVs know what product they are handling and where to place that particular product? One way AGVs are accomplishing these tasks is by using RFID tags.
I love dystopian sci-fi movies like I, Robot. I’m fascinated by the fictional technologies and concepts writers use to populate their futuristic worlds; whether it’s humanoid robots, holograms, driverless cars or Will Smith’s disdain for anything that doesn’t run on food or motor oil. I am especially interested in the cars in I, Robot. I feel they are the best example of a plausible driverless car that could inhabit our near future. Actually, in light of recent innovations, that future may be closer than one might expect.
As companies constantly innovate to stay ahead of the competition in this capitalist economy, companies have been automatizing their production process to increase overall efficiency. There are many advantages to switching over to machines but it doesn’t come without a few costs. Some people worry about job loss, but as with any new innovation or machine, less workers are needed for increased production. One of the ways companies are automatizing is by using self guided vehicles.
As automatically guided vehicles move around the factory, transporting materials from one station to another, something needs to keep them powered. It would be pretty unreasonable to have a long power cord attached to the vehicles, so it’s not surprising AGVs run on batteries. If you’ve ever used a remote control, played a Game Boy or used any kind of mobile electronic, you know batteries don’t last forever. To keep AGVs going AGV companies use three methods to provide to charge their AGVs.
AGVs use a number of different navigational methods to move around the work place. The earliest AGVs followed a wire embedded in the floor. Nowadays it’s becoming increasingly popular to equip AGVs with laser target navigation systems. LGV, or laser guided vehicles, are computer-controlled vehicles that are used in material handling. These vehicles navigate by using laser transmitters and receivers on a rotating turret. They are especially popular for repetitive actions or for transporting extremely heavy loads.
Used often in the glass, aluminum, lumber, steel, construction, and aviation fields, sideloaders are utilized for their capability to transport awkward and/or oversized parts and products both safely and efficiently. These vehicles are able to travel at faster speeds than common forklifts and similar reachstackers; sideloaders are also a safer option as there is much more visibility for operators compared to the visibility in their aforementioned counter parts. The aviation and aerospace industries have long relied on sideloaders for the movement of large and uniquely shaped parts, and there is a relatively new application that is similar in regards to the parts that are being moved. As the nation continues to harness the natural energy of the wind through the construction of wind farms, sideloaders are being relied on more and more for the transportation of wind turbine arms, parts, and materials.
Efficiency is key to making any automatic guided vehicle system a worthwhile investment. Many turn to these innovated material handling devices to increase workflow while reducing physical labor costs as well as improving the safety conditions of their work zones. The software which controls these automatic robots needs to be flexible enough to adapt to changes but reliable enough to perform the repetitive actions without failure. Although AGV systems are typically a costly investment the advantages save an extensive amount of time and money in the long run. Newer 3D user interfaces allow for a fully controllable experience for navigating the all of the AGV units.
JBT Corporation is a recognized manufacturer of automated guided vehicles. We have machining roots dating back to 1884. JBT Corporation manufacturers solutions for a variety of industries including: automotive, commercial print, food & beverage, chemical, hospital, pharmaceutical, warehousing & distribution, paper and more. We put a focus on four important factors: technology, leadership, customer relationships and global presence. JBT Corporation is a forward-thinking manufacturer who works hard to provide the highest quality automated guided vehicles on the market. We are ready and willing to work with your business today.
Vac-U-Max is an industry leader who is committed to our customers’ satisfaction. Our company offers a variety of premium conveying, cleaning and automated solutions. There are numerous advantages associated with the technologies offered by Vac-U-Max and our teams are engineering the latest high performance innovations to meet the needs of the growing market. We have provided distinguished products for the chemical, food and pharmaceutical industries for a number of years. As a pioneer of vacuum pneumatic conveying technology we put emphasis on discovering cutting edge machinery. We are based in a 6,000 square foot facility where we have tested thousands of various conveying and automation systems. This research is only one of the many factors that contribute to the success of Vac-U-Max.
123Forklift offers incomparable forklift service to customers in a wide variety of industries. The company has 170 locations and a mobile response team to conveniently service any make and model of forklift. With service contracts, the quickest response time for mechanical issues and a highly skilled, professionally trained, and experienced technical team, 123Forklift is the go-to source for anything and everything forklift related. The company provides affordable new and used parts, has more than 5,000 new and used forklifts in stock whether customers are looking to purchase or just to rent.
For many industries, including the food manufacturing industry, chemical industry, mineral industry, plastic industry, water industry, and pharmaceutical industry, the best conveyor system is a variation on an air conveyor system. There are four main types of air conveyor systems that have their own benefits and uses. Before deciding which type of conveyor system to use, it is wise to look at what different pneumatic conveyor suppliers have to offer.
The expensive cost of pneumatic conveying systems prevents many factories and transportation companies from implementing them into their everyday factory productions. However, this can be a disadvantage. There are many excellent benefits to pneumatic conveyors that make them an excellent choice for transporting materials quickly from one place to another. Before writing off a pneumatic conveyor immediately, consider the following benefits of this effective conveyance system:
Dynamically balanced and isolated vibratory conveyor design is a method of vibratory conveyor construction used to eliminate vibration transmission at the foundation. The vibration isolation is so dramatic that you can even balance the edge of a coin on the base frame of the conveyor while the conveyor is running!
Automatically guided vehicles have dramatically increased the efficiency of the material handling industry as well as many manufacturing processes. Lately, automatic guided vehicle companies have been spreading to new markets. One such market is the medical industrial, more specifically hospitals. AGVs have been becoming increasing popular in the healthcare industry due to the AGVs efficiency in completing repetitive tasks. I’ve never been in a hospital where automatically guided vehicles bring patients food and linens, but then again, I’ve never been in that many hospitals (knock on wood).