AGV Manufacturer Checklist
An AGV manufacturer checklist is an essential tool for understanding the requirements of an industry looking to include AGV systems in their assembly, manufacturing, and MRO facilities. When searching for the right manufacturer for your material handling needs where an automated guided vehicle is concerned, you should look first at your own facility, how it operates and the number of work cells a product must go through in order to complete your project.
Not all AGV systems are created equal, and finding a company with a good record and multiple case studies that will meet your custom needs is essential. Optimize your production flow and imprint while increasing productivity by customizing your AGV solution.
Heavy-duty AGVs for assembly operations are very different from AGVs managing order picking in a warehouse. The former are usually much smaller and do not include custom tooling. They also have a much lower capacity rating where a heavy-duty AGV system can carry loads upwards of 100,000 lbs.
Safety: AGVs are automatic guided vehicles which operate on a pre-programmed route. The programming can be as simple or as complicated as a facility’s needs dictate. Due to their automated motion through a facility, AGVs require multiple safety features such as motion sensors, cameras, audible alarms, flashing lights and other essential safety features to ensure the safety of personnel and products.
IIoT 4.0: The Industrial Internet of Things is a system that allows the AGV to communicate with the operations manager in a way that offers intel and data on the individual units as they run through their pre-programmed route. It also sends alerts if something isn’t working at top efficiency and when planned maintenance should take place. This reduces downtime in a facility, improving efficiency.
Custom Equipment: Custom tooling to carry specific products through the assembly line or MRO facility is an important feature that can be fabricated along with the AGV itself to ensure a product is securely fastened to the AGV body. Custom tooling can also include scissor lifts that operate to the pre-programmed route, lifting and lowering the product as it moves through the work cells. Rotators and tilters can also be added to the custom tooling for your AGV, allowing technicians an ergonomic solution while performing their individual duties.
Maneuverability: An AGV can be designed to offer high-precision movement, including zero-radius turning, forward, backward, left/right turning, and even crabbing to make the most of the space in your production facility.
Robust Building Materials: Because AGVs are designed to work seamlessly through multiple cycles and often in harsh work environments, it is important to understand the quality of steel, wheels, motors and other essential parts that bring the custom, heavy-duty AGV together. The better the quality, the longer life your AGV will have.
Installation Services: Who better to install your AGV system than those who have designed and manufactured your AGV? Look for a company that will offer you turn-key solutions, designing, building and installing your AGV system.
Training: When you’re AGV equipment has been installed, you want to know if your manufacturer, who also engineered your AGVs, will offer training to your staff so should a problem arise so that you can manage the issue internally.
Aftermarket Support: No one expects their material handling equipment to fail, but like any piece of equipment with moving parts, an AGV requires maintenance services. Parts are also an important aspect of maintenance, and you should be sure that your AGV design/build team will be able to service your needs for years to come.