JUL-AUG 2018

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FACTORY AUTOMATION INTECH JULY/AUGUST 2018 21 Magnetic navigation Magnetic navigation for various light-duty AGVs typically uses magnetic tape for the guide path. One major advantage of using tape instead of wired guidance is that it can be easily removed and relocated if the course needs to change. It also removes the expense involved in restructuring the floor of the fac - tory or warehouse. A limitation of this method is that the routes have to be fixed and well de - fined by the tape. If any obstacle is detected in front of the AGV, it stops and waits for the problem to be solved (e.g., the obstacle to be removed) before it restarts. Laser-guided navigation Laser-guided navigation is similar to an elec- tronic eye. By means of reflectors positioned on the surrounding walls, the vehicle uses tri - angulation to determine its exact position, so it can carry out the required tasks in the oper - ating area. The advantage of laser-guided tech- nology is that it requires no floor work, as in the case of magnetic guidance systems. Addition - ally, route changes can be made easily via soft- ware updates to ensure maximum flexibility for company logistics. Vision-guided vehicles Vision-guided vehicles ( VGVs) use optic sen- sors (cameras), in addition to other sensors, such as speed or laser sensors, to navigate. Software within the vehicle effectively builds a 3D map of its operating environment. This technology allows the vehicles to oper- ate in automatic or manual mode for great flexibility. Natural navigation AGVs based on natural navigation technology do not require reflectors or markers, so they require less installation time and are easily in tegrated into existing systems. This mini- mizes the impact on current operations. In this type of navigation, LiDAR (light detection and ranging) is the main technology used. Applying AGVs Today AGVs come in all shapes and sizes. They have the capability to carry a range of items, from lightweight parts to large heavy loads like a complete engine. Typical applications include: Work-in-process movement Work-in-process (WIP) movement was one of the first applications where automated guided vehicles were used. It includes the repetitive movement of materials throughout the manu- facturing process. AGVs can be used to move material from the warehouse to production/ processing lines or from one process to another. Today AGVs are coupled with enterprise and plant production computer systems, so they can operate synchronized with manufactur- ing orders and production flow requirements. Production parts delivery AGVs deliver parts to machines and workstations based on production plans and real-time opera - tions feedback to keep production flowing. Pallet handling Pallet handling is an ex- tremely popular application for AGVs, because repetitive movement of pallets is very common in manufacturing and distribution facilities. AGVs can move pallets from the palletizer to stretch wrap- ping to the warehouse or to the outbound shipping docks. Finished product handling Moving finished goods from manufacturing to storage or shipping is the final move- ment of materials before they are delivered to customers. These movements often re- quire the gentlest material handling, because the prod- ucts are complete and can FAST FORWARD l AGVs increase work-in-process throughput. l Modern AGVs can be part of a flexible manufacturing strategy. l Modern AGVs become part of a synchronized manufacturing system directed by ERP or MES. Lightweight AGVs are extremely flexible and can provide onboard data display for order information and instructions. Source: 6 Rivers Systems, Inc. Find video at: news/article/detroit-diesel- an-80-year-journey-to-holistic- manufacturing Detroit Diesel makes extensive use of BLEICHERT Inc. AGVs, as the video illustrates.

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