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Guide To Automatic Guided Vehicles: How And Where To Use AGV?

Updated: Sep 5, 2022

What are Automatic Guided Vehicles used for?

Automatic Guided Vehicles can be used for a variety of tasks, and each category has its own application. Therefore, it is vital to understand your requirements and warehouse infrastructure before making a decision.



Materials Movement

Transporting materials from one point to another is one of the most common uses of warehouse robots. Since manual material transport can be time-consuming and unsafe for your employees, many warehouses have started using robots to automate materials movement. Because of obstacle avoidance technology, warehouse robots such as AMRs can move a single item or a cart of items from point to point or they can be deployed to move items from a point to multiple points.


Picking

Order picking remains at the core of many distribution and fulfillment operations, but with large providers like Amazon driving fast shipments, it is more important than ever to optimize your picking operations. This is where warehouse robots can help in your piece-picking workflows by collaborating with workers using vision technology or handheld devices.

When it comes to case picking, distribution centers’ need for specialized equipment makes picking operations more expensive and has the added risk from equipment like forklifts and lift trucks operating around people. By using warehouse robots, you can minimize the amount of time employees have to leave their zones to transport cases and partial pallets through the facility. This also has the added benefit of reducing forklift accidents and congestion for your other operations.


Replenishment

Without the right products in the right place, fulfilling orders in distribution and fulfillment centers can take much longer. Some warehouse robots can automate replenishment workflows and send alerts when inventory goes below a certain threshold. Other robots, like AMRs, can work with warehouse management systems to coordinate picking and replenishment tasks so that inventory is always replenished on time.



Benefits of Automatic Guided Vehicles

Automatic guided vehicles are now significant driving forces behind the future success of warehouses, distribution and fulfillment centers. Other sectors are also beginning to experience the transformational benefits associated with automatic guided vehicles.

You can benefit in many ways with automatic guided vehicles and automation, such as:

  1. The ability to scale up or reduce capacity to meet peaks and troughs in demand increases productivity.

  2. Reduced repetitive tasks for workers and associated fatigue and injury.

  3. Technology that can easily adapt to a constantly changing warehouse or distribution center.

  4. Reduced hardware costs and maintenance fees for an excellent return on investment.

  5. Workers that are able to focus on more complex tasks or dedicate their time to customer services.

  6. Workflows and processes can become more efficient and productive.

  7. Manual tasks that take up the majority of workers’ time, for example transporting and delivering material within the warehouse, can be done by robotics.

Automatic guided vehicles can deliver significant value to your warehouse operations, and some of these robots, such as warehousing AGV, are simple to deploy and don’t require major infrastructural changes.

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