Using AGVs in Warehousing

Using AGVs in Warehousing

The swift and efficient movement of goods into, out of, and within a facility can make the difference between success and failure in the warehousing industry. For this reason, many warehouse facilities can provide superior service for less money by making the best use of state-of-the-art AGVs.

AGVs Defined

Short for “automated guided vehicle,” the term AGV applies to any wheel-based, load-carrying device that is controlled by a computer to move across the floor of a facility without the help of an onboard driver.

A highly reliable and effective way to take products and goods from one place to another, AGVs are typically guided by a mix of software programming and sensor-directed operational systems. Most modern AGVs also have onboard cameras to ensure that they stay on the right path and move as programmed while avoiding any and all unexpected obstacles.

From picking items off shelves to rushing them to shipping docks, there is very little that AGVs cannot accomplish in the warehouse setting. Leading warehousing operations currently use a range of AGVs for various purposes. These types of AGVs include:

  • Automated Carts – Relatively low-cost AGVs that have few features but meet basic transport needs.
  • Unit Load AGVs – Able to handle quite heavy loads and transport goods on pallets or in carts, bins, or bundles.
  • Tugger AGVs – One of these powerful units can pull a chain of non-motorized trailers full of goods.
  • Automated Forklift AGVs – Essentially a self-driving forklift, these units are great for lifting loads as well as transporting them.

The Benefits of AGVs

Many warehouse companies reluctant to adopt automated guided vehicles cite safety as their primary concern. However, AGVs have proven to provide safe, collision-free service thanks to their highly precise and predictable movements, their controlled acceleration and deceleration, and their autonomous obstacle detection systems.

As labor shortages continue to plague businesses worldwide, AGVs offer an extremely attractive alternative to hiring large numbers of warehouse workers. Furthermore, the use of AGVs leaves the choice professionals you do employ free to handle more important, higher-level, value-added tasks.

When it comes to accountability, AGVs provide guarantees that no human workforce can equal. Every time an AGV touches a warehouse item, that item is automatically tracked to dramatically reduce the chances of misplacement and loss.

Perhaps most importantly, AGV offers warehouse companies ample opportunities to save money and pass those savings along to its clients. While the costs associated with human labor tend to fluctuate dramatically depending on greater economic conditions, the cost of AGV system operation remains quite predictable and constant.

Handling products safely, AGVs can greatly reduce product damage and waste. By adopting strategic routine battery charging and equipment handling procedures, a good AGV system can also cut operating costs significantly.

To Learn More

For more information on how to get better warehouse service at cheaper rates, contact a warehousing expert at American Warehouse, Inc. today. We can also answer any questions that you might have involving your professional warehousing and distribution needs.