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What Are The Advantages Of Warehousing AGV?

Updated: Sep 5, 2022

Computer-controlled and wheel-based, automatic guided vehicles (AGV) are load carriers that travel along the floor of a facility without an onboard operator or driver. Their movement is directed by a combination of software and sensor-based guidance systems. Because they move on a predictable path with precisely controlled acceleration and deceleration, and include automatic obstacle detection bumpers, AGVs provide safe movement of loads. Typical AGV applications include transportation of raw materials, work-in-process, and finished goods in support of manufacturing production lines, and storage/retrieval or other movements in support of picking in warehousing and distribution applications.

AGVs provide a variety of benefits:

  • Accountability – Once a product is onboard an AGV, it is tracked so “lost” or misplaced product will be minimized.

  • Automatic line balancing – In a production environment with multiple operations conducted at varying times, AGVs can assist in line balancing.

  • Cost control - An AGV system’s costs are very predictable, while labor costs tend to increase and can change quickly depending on local economic conditions.

  • Facility maintenance – Collision avoidance capabilities prevent damage within the facility.

  • Flexibility – An AGV’s path can be changed as production and handling needs evolve.

  • Fewer restrictions – Free-roaming, AGVs eliminate access issues created by conveyors and require less space than conventional forklifts, allowing for narrower aisles.

  • Reduced operating costs - Charging and battery handling can be automatic with an AGV system and the controlled acceleration/deceleration minimizes wear on components.

  • Reduction in product damage – AGVs handle products gently, reducing scrap and waste.

  • Repeatability - AGVs perform repetitive movement tasks predictably and reliably.

  • Safety – AGVs always follow their guide path and stop if they encounter an obstruction, improving the safety of surrounding personnel.

  • Scheduling – Because of their reliability and on-time delivery, AGVs improve scheduling capabilities and the efficiency of operations.

  • Scalability – More AGVs can be added to expand capacity and throughput.

Applications for AGVs

Automated guided vehicle systems are used for tasks that would typically be handled by forklifts, conveyor systems or manual carts, moving large volumes of material in a repetitive manner.

AGVs are used in a variety of applications. They’re often used for transporting raw materials such as metal, plastic, rubber or paper. For example, AGVs can transport raw materials from receiving to the warehouse or deliver materials directly to production lines. AGVs consistently and reliably deliver raw materials needed without human intervention, ensuring that production lines always have the materials they need without interruption.

How are automatic guided vehicles used?

AGVs are used in a variety of areas to support processing and handling throughout a facility:

  1. Assembly: Moving products through production processes.

  2. Kitting: Collecting parts for assembly.

  3. Transportation: Loading pallets and loose parts.

  4. Staging: Delivering pallets for production processes.

  5. Warehousing: Moving products from stretch wrappers to docks or storage.

  6. Order picking: Moving ordered products to trailer-loading area for distribution, and transporting a platform for a picker to place selected items upon.

  7. Parts/just-in-time (JIT) delivery: Towing trailers of parts/materials to consumption points.

  8. Transfer/shuttle: Transfer loads across high traffic aisles.


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