Although automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and automated guided carts (AGCs) have been in the market for more than 40 years, a renewed interest has emerged in “true robotic systems” that consistently and predictably transport loads of materials to places that might otherwise be serviced by manually driven forklift trucks, conveyors or manual cart transport, experts say.
“Interest is soaring,” says Laura McConney, marketing coordinator at JBT Corp., Chalfont, Pa. “Customers no longer wonder whether they should install AGVs. They know they need them and just want to develop the best implementation plan. Customers are well beyond considering beta site testing and have moved onto enterprise-wide deployments.
Today’s industrial environment is filled with ways to increase profit, meet challenges of competition, improve market share, reduce operating costs, and manage state-of-the-art production and distribution facilities throughout the supply chain.
Whether a manufacturing plant, brewery, distillery, warehouse or distribution facility, or a combination thereof, countless factors should be considered when it comes to designing and operating a plant. Among them, sustainability and carbon footprints are a common thread.
Across the total beverage spectrum, the results in volume, market share and profit have been less than desirable for the past three to five years at least. Many factors have affected increases and decreases; however, the cost of producing a case of sellable beverages for the market begs a major question: what is the total production cost for each case?
Ten years ago, Founders Brewing Co. moved to Grand Rapids, Mich. Since then, the now 20-year-old company has overtaken a full city block with its Grandville brewery and taproom. Outgrowing its space and with no room to expand at the location, last year Founders decided to expand beyond its main brewery to its own satellite facility on Hynes Street.
Observations, special studies and compliance evaluations have led to the conclusion that the filling machine is the kingpin of practically every
beverage production/packaging line in any segment of the industry. Visits to wineries, distilleries, breweries, soft drink facilities, as well as juice, water and specialty beverage facilities, have provided substantial evidence that many portions of the supply chain are affected by the filler at the production source.