Why Should Companies Use AGVs As Large Load Carriers?

Your business is unique with a set of specific goals, and therefore requires well-planned strategies and innovative tools to achieve your targets. You need to work smarter than harder. And, perhaps this phrase is invented for automation tools like warehouse and material handling systems. If you are a discrete manufacturer, you need a fully capable solution that allows you to monitor all business operations – from material procurement to inventory control, production, supply chain and even productivity across all departments.

Learn more about the heavy loads and their automated movements

Manual handling of materials is an outdated story. However, some small-scale businesses are still using manpower for materials management. This is largely because they lack the financial capital to invest in technically advanced systems with a bit expensive upfront cost. Secondly, they deal with lightweight materials that can be easily moved manually using standard lifters. This means it’s the nature and scale of your business that decides whether or not you should invest in automated tools and technologies.

So, if you are dealing with heavy loads, you must have automated material handling equipment in place. The variable management and movements of heavy loads weighing 1000kg or more requires automated solutions replacing manually operated machines like forklifts. Heavy loads are more accident-prone and therefore need special care and appropriate handling to avoid any damage to moving materials and prevent workplace injuries.

Although there have been several automated solutions for storing and transporting heavy loads, notably unit-load ASRS (automated storage and retrieval systems) and automated conveyor systems and sortation solutions. Once performed by workers, a series of all the repetitive material handling tasks related to warehousing, distribution and order fulfilment have now been performed by automated systems.

These technologies and automated processes require specific parameters to achieve risk-free movements of heavy loads. The moving loads should justify the following to ensure stability during transport.

  •         Standard shapes with consistent dimensions.  
  •         A well-balanced centre of gravity
  •         The rate of flow should be highly controlled.
  •         Use easily conveyable media like a pallet.
  •         Follow a fixed path from one location to another   

Why do you need automated systems?

Modern warehouses need to stay competitive and for this, they must use the most recent and advanced automation technology. Warehouse automation is the key to your business success. Since the material handling technology is constantly evolving and therefore, your existing warehouse should too with newly designed systems such as automated conveyors and hi-tech sortation solutions. Automated warehouse and material handling processes leave an incredible impact on the overall productivity of your organization. Therefore, selecting the right solution is vital to ensure streamlined warehouse processes and thereby, improved business operations.  

How warehouse automation can add value to material handling processes?

Automation of heavy load movements is the need for time to fast-track material handling processes and reduce waste and spoilage of materials during physical transactions. The overall impact will be cost savings, improved productivity and decreased safety risks.

Considering automated conveyor systems, ASRS and sortation solutions, here’s how warehouse automation helps improve different aspects of material handling.

  •         ASRS and conveyors are more efficient
  •         Warehouse automation reduce risks
  •         Automated solutions save on labour cost  
  •         Automation results in fewer mistakes
  •         Automated tools are easy to use  
  •         Ensures accurate inventory counts
  •         Help make data-driven decisions
  •         Fully optimized order fulfilment
  •         Guarantees improved customer service

In today’s warehouse environment, adapting to the changing business conditions shouldn’t be forgotten. Automated material-transporting vehicles, including ASRS and conveyors, definitely have their place in warehousing operations together with order fulfilment automation. But this is mainly for the fixed-path transportation of large and heavy loads. Now, what about the variable-path movement of heavy loads? For this, you need far more flexible and automated transport technologies that complement the fixed-path solutions as well as replace the manually handled machines like forklifts. 

Automatic guided vehicles (AGVs) are best suitable for variable path movements. These autonomous machines are available in several formats – tugger, forked and platform – and you must pick the right one complementing your warehouse and material handling processes.

Well, whatever warehouse control system you choose, remember that it should perform a significant volume of heavy load movements to justify its high upfront cost.

Reasons to invest in AGVs for improved warehouse automation:

There are several motives behind considering this trend and implementing automated warehouse solutions for improved material handling and reduced overheads.

First thing first, there is no more pain of hiring and retaining qualified operators. AGVs free the managers from this continuous struggle because it’s quite difficult these days to find and engage certified vehicle operators as well as warehousing and fulfilment associates. This is mainly due to a constant increase in labour cost as the competition gets high among the available certified individuals. Automation and that also in the form of AGVs will reduce your dependence on employees who work for limited hours each day and makes operations more accident-prone.

Another benefit of AGVs is that they are programmed to follow predictable paths and move at constant and fully controlled speeds. Real-time monitoring of these autonomous vehicles is also too easy to execute and you can also easily locate them using fleet management software. AGVs are highly advanced now with hi-tech onboard safety and control technologies.  

The latest AGVs are programmed to sense the obstacles they encounter in their path and navigate independently around them without collision. The continued forward travel of AGVs, all while avoiding the obstacles, helps increase the safety of employees working around it besides preventing a slowdown in productivity. It also eliminates the potential damage to moving materials or products and warehouse structures that are quite common with the use of forklifts.

Summing Up:

Overall, the safety benefits of an automated warehouse management system and autonomous guided vehicles make it the best solution for a manufacturing and distribution company.  

Automation is now mandatory for every business success and if you want to achieve your bottom line, you should not delay automating your business operations. MWI Solutions provides highly scalable and the most efficient warehousing and material handling solutions. Connect Now for further details.

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