For many years, Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) have proven their worth with a long history of automatically transporting loads within a production or distribution environment. To many, that’s the extent of what AGVs can do.
The thing is, there are many activities where these autonomous mobile robots can be used to bring value to your operation. Here are five areas that you might not have been aware of where AGVs can help you today.
1. It’s Okay to Leave Your AGV out in the Cold (Storage)
While your car might not operate very well in a harsh freezing environment (-10oF and below), AGVs can work in frozen environments, and do so every day.
With special equipment and on-board heaters, AGVs can effectively pick, transport, and move items in your frozen facility, saving workers from the harsh climate. Unlike people, the machines don’t need breaks from the cold and can literally work there all day, every day (except for a few minutes every several hours to swap a battery).
The ROI for AGVs in a frozen environment can even be stronger than in a traditional (not cold) distribution facility when you consider that human workers in frozen storage warehouses are only allowed to work 40 minutes for every hour they are in the cold. Not so with robotic AGVs.
AGVs in cold storage do have their “kryptonite,” and that is that the machines can’t go back and forth between cold and ambient temperature storage as condensation collects on sensors, potentially blurring the vision of the machine. The solution is to keep cold machines in the cold and have them pass work to other machines or
workers in the ambient areas between the temperature zones