Hitachi Plant Technologies Ltd has obtained a procurement order from a reputed glass manufacturing industry for Autonomous Automatic Guided Vehicle (AGV). The major feature of this automated vehicle includes assessing its own position and moving along a pathway with the help of an electronic map.
Hitachi plant Technologies has reported to widen its sales abroad and Japan. In addition to this, the company has planned to dominate the Asian market, with a target sales of four billion yen by 2015.
Hitachi Plant Technologies will partner with TCM CORPORATION in showcasing the AGV at "LOGIS-TECH TOKYO 2010", Asia’s major material dealing and logistics trade fair. This exhibition will be held at Tokyo Big Sight, between September 14 to17.
AGVs that move on their own are monitored by computers and are utilized in performing different tasks in storerooms, in delivery locations, on factory floors etc. These vehicles do not emit CO2 gas which can profoundly pollute the environment. Hence they are widely preferred over other means of transport.
Unlike traditional AGVs, it does not require traveling guides like markers, magnetic tapes, reflection mirrors and guide wires, thereby eliminating the requirement of reincorporating the traveling guides into the vehicle when modifying the design. These vehicles can also be used in clean rooms due to the absence of the traveling guides that create dust during its installation. In order to cope with the multifarious demands like minimum volume and maximum production, AGVs can react promptly and are flexible for any structural change made in the manufacture and the delivery sites. Obstacles found on its route are circumvented by transmitting an audio alarm conveying its encounter with the object. If it has not been removed for a prolonged period, then the vehicle will avoid the object and will keep moving.
The AGV includes a laser distance sensor that captures the information and creates an electronic map of the pathway on its own. The “robot function” of the vehicle helps it to identify its position automatically. The vehicle will then traverse along the path corresponding to that in the electronic map. The vehicle also features a safety sensor which can adjust the vehicle’s speed based on the distance of the obstacle from the vehicle. If the vehicle is traveling at a high speed, then the sensor will identify the distant obstacles and the vice versa, thereby maintaining adequate distances from the obstacle at any speed of the vehicle and allowing it to move fast.
Hitachi Plant Technologies has been researching on AGVs for the past 30 years and was assisted by Hitachi Ltd for developing and commercializing these vehicles. The company had partnered with TCM CORPORATION, which has the innovative technology for producing numerous types of unique vehicles.