What is the utility of AGVs and AMRs in inventory transportation?


Automated Guided Vehicles are counted among the most practical approach of material handling operation in warehouses. While the newer and advance Autonomous Mobile Robots are renowned to offer more dynamic solution. With the advantages of both, how it is possible for companies to choose which the best facility for the use is?

According to the study guided vehicle is the best solution to the automated transportation task for over five decades. The innovative technology has influenced the logistic industry; therefore these vehicles are integrated to the material handling and modern transportation automation. With the growth and start of industry 4.0 automated guided vehicles have much seen improvement including introduction of a new automated transportation technology which is known as AMR or Autonomous Mobile Robot.

With this companies now have the option to invest either in the Automated Guided Vehicles or the newest Autonomous Mobile Robots Online. But this selection must be made carefully as these two technologies are entirely based in the requirements of their operations. Here we are listing some more information about AGVs and AMRs.

AGVs and AMRs: what are they?

Well to understand the difference between AGV and AMR, we need to look what each technology really is. An AGV is a vehicle that transports and navigates loads throughout a facility using combination of the sensor programming and technology without driver. Programmed with the present routes, these system use different types of technology in order to establish where this route really is. During the transportation process, AGV transmit information dealing system status, system controls and inventory tracking to a dispatching system. AGVs are generally incorporated into large AGV units to utilize multiple vehicles. Various AGV solutions do exist for certain type of transportation, load bearing application, or conveyor. However an AMR is like another AGV with a few exceptions. An AMR is a robot that navigates vehicle throughout the Warehouse Robotics Companies Albertawithout having a predetermined path for it. An AMR adapts to the environment and finds the best possible path to accomplish the task. Like AGVs, AMRs also comes with different types depending on different application.

Use of Autonomous Guided Vehicles is one of the most flexible way of automating inventory hauling in the warehouse. Autonomous Guided Vehicles are computer controlled and wheel based load carriers, running on batteries and moving all over the warehouse without any driver.

They navigate through the use of guidance technologies such as floor surface magnetic tape, optical sensors, lasers, and magnet/gyroscope-based inertial guidance. In AGV routes are pre-programmed however with the time industry is seeing emergence of truly autonomous AGVs that don’t require any pre-programmed guidance. AGVs can be effectively used alongside humans in the shared spaces, when they are fitted with additional sensor technology to enable collision avoidance and obstacle detection.

Fleet Management Software connects the AGVs and is integrated with the overall WMS. Wireless communication between the system and the individual bots to direct their operations happens via radio frequency signals. Operation include stopping and starting, lowering and lifting of equipment, speed changes, change of route and interaction with other material handling systems and equipment, for instance picking station or unloading dock, take place either through on board pre-programmed instructions or centralised software. AGVs can handle heavy pallet loads, single units or they can be specially adapted moving storage racks, making them deployable throughout warehouse operations depending on type and configuration. A scanning device helps the AGVs register what inventory item to pick up and move around and goods are therefore tracked throughout the handling /picking process that increases accuracy of order fulfilment.

AGV systems enjoy the advantages of being both flexible and scalable as you can always add or take away vehicles depending on demand needs. They are also less demanding in terms of fixed installations than conveyor-based and AS/RS solutions as there is no base limit or fixation of inventory flow due to installation of conveyors.

In the same way as other goods-to-man solutions, AGVs can be successfully employed in the order picking process, eliminating workers’ need to walk around the warehouses, therefore reduce time invested on non-value added travelling and exploring by upto 65%.Use of AGVs can also enhance productivity and efficiency as they can reduce cycle times, provide redundancy and ensure a consistent stream of goods to be picked to the pickers, effectively reduce projected labour cost upto 47%. However it is more expensive than manual, static warehouses for the high volume operation, a classic ROI Expectation will be approx 2-3 years.