Supply Chain Digest recently featured Seegrid, maker of flexible robotic Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) as an innovative solution in material handling. According to the article, “As the cost of many recent AGV systems goes down the flexibility goes up. A growing number of manufacturers are starting to see if an automated approach to this repetitive materials movement task might not be the better system.”
According to a recent press release from AGV maker Seegrid, American Packaging Corporation was recently able to reduce its material handling labor hours by 19% through this precise type of application using Seegrid AGVs.
Supply Chain Digest reported, “The new age AGVs in the market offer capabilities that can extend the potential use of the robots in manufacturing sites. This additional flexibility is also why the market is finally starting to see some adoption of AGV technology in distribution centers, where movement paths are obviously much more dynamic than they typically are in manufacturing applications.”
Some AGVs, such as those produced by Seegrid, no longer depend on tape on the floor or other sort of fixed approach to travelling around a facility. Seegrid uses a unique optical technology in which the AGVs learn where they need to go. That flexibility means a Seegrid robot could travel from the kitting area to different lines or cells dynamically, based on the most efficient path or what the priority is for kit delivery, based on integration with an MES or other shop floor system.
"Like everything in material handling, the migration and adoption of AGVs in these new applications is slow, because companies are cautious," said Cliff Holste, Supply Chain Digest's materials handling editor. "But today, that job of moving part kits to product lines really can be automated, and is consistent in my view with Lean principles in manufacturing."
To read the entire article, go to: http://www.scdigest.com/ontarget/13-08-14-2.php?cid=7316.
Supply Chain Digest is the industry's most valuable supply chain management and logistics publication. Supply Chain Digest is a weekly, on-line newsletter with lively information, news and commentary that summarizes and synthesizes important information for busy supply chain and logistics professionals.
Seegrid Corporation provides simple, affordable, flexible vision-guided automated guided vehicles (AGVs) to the material handling industry. Seegrid robotic industrial trucks, flexible AGVs, are revolutionizing the movement of materials in manufacturing and distribution environments. Seegrid automated pallet trucks and tow tractors optimize workflow processes by increasing productivity and reducing costs, creating economic and operational advantages. Robotic industrial trucks deliver a rapid return on investment, improve facility safety, and reduce equipment and product damage. Fast Company magazine named Seegrid as one of the Top 50 World’s Most Innovative Company in 2013 and among the Top 10 World’s Most Innovative Robotics Company in 2013. Follow Seegrid Corporation on Twitter at @Seegrid.