Home' MHD Supply Chain Solutions : MHD July-Aug 2017 Contents Truck/container loading
AGV are capable of delivering goods from
your warehouse directly into the final mode of
transport that will carry them to your customers.
Automatic loading of roll-on-roll-offs can be
done quickly, and space permitting, the AGV
can also drive directly into shipping containers
or truck bodies. Automated truck and container
loading avoids the high cost of manual forklift
loading and also allows companies to undertake
outbound staging overnight, so that vehicles are
loaded and ready to go in the morning.
End of line palletising / finished
If your production and warehousing occurs on
the same site, it is likely that finished or partially
finished products need to be moved large
distances between facilities. AGV are designed
for mass transport of goods through outdoor
environments. Transporting finished goods from
manufacturing plants into storage and then from
storage to shipping is the final and most delicate
stage before delivery. This handling operation
is the most delicate as finished products can
be subjected to damage from rough handling.
Because AGV operate with precision navigation
and control systems, they represent the absolute
minimum in risk to the finished products. Accurate
computer control over position, speed and
acceleration means every loading and unloading
operation is precise, safe and repeatable.
Unlike traditional forklifts that must turn and
drive on a straight line into a load or unloading
point, side-loading AGV use a turreted-mast
arrangement that allows them to pick up and
drop off at 90 degrees from the direction they
are facing. As no turning is required, drive lanes
in a warehouse need only be large enough to
allow the passage of the vehicle in a straight
line. AGV have been developed that can operate
in a very narrow, 1.8-metre-wide lane. Once the
ability to reach up to 10.7 metres high is added
to this narrow aisle capability, a great deal of
extra space can be put to more productive use
within the warehouse facility.
AGV are fully integrated with a warehouse’s
WMS system and provide live tracking of
all product flowing through the facility. This
allows warehouse managers to rely on rolling
stocktakes that occur at shorter intervals, such
as weekly, rather than larger scale manual
stocktakes at more infrequent intervals. This
rolling stocktake provides a more accurate
picture of stock levels on a regular basis and
reduces the labour costs associated with more
manual stocktaking processes.
Hazardous materials handling
The handling of some materials is better left to an
automated system due to its hazardous nature.
In some cases the material or product to be
moved may be dangerous, or it could be that the
environment in which the machine must run would
be harmful to an operator. This safety concern
means AGV are a great alternative for warehouses
storing or moving hazardous materials.
The AGV advantage
There are major benefits to deploying AGV in a
warehouse, the most important of these being
the reduction or elimination of manual forklift
operations, lower operating costs, and the
ability to scale operations up or down and run
24 hour operations.
AGVs have multiple applications including:
• Pick-face replenishment.
• Order picking.
• Picking and put-away at height.
• Empty pallet handling.
• Truck/container loading.
• End of line processing/finished products
• Narrow-aisle operation.
• Hazardous materials handling.
As the competitiveness of manufacturing and
order fulfilment grows, it is vital that businesses
look at ways to optimise their supply chain and
differentiate themselves from the competition.
AGV are a cost-effective solution to transform
the accuracy, efficiency and reliability of your
logistics operations and deliver your business a
lasting competitive advantage.
Tommy Eklof is director of AGV at Dematic.
For more information call +61 2 9486 5555
or visit dematic.com.au.
Better known for its Colby-branded
racking and warehouse equipment and
for its ASRS and voice-picking products,
Dematic also manufactures, supplies
and integrates a complete range of
AGV that integrate into the WMS,
AGV control systems, picking systems,
charging systems, and other automated
materials handling applications.
Dematic’s AGV are inherently flexible
and are easily reconfigured to meet
the changing needs of an organisation,
and to carry a variety of loads including
pallets, cages, drums, and rolls and
in some cases, can tow trailers. AGV
options include lifting forks, lifting
tables and conveyer belts which can
pick from the floor, conveyors or low-rise
racks. The AGV include smart control
and guidance systems that manage
routing, navigation, traffic control,
obstacle detection and recharging.
Dematic AGV offer a reliable operation
that requires minimal maintenance.
MHD SUPPLY CHAIN SOLUTIONS — JULY / AUGUST 2017
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