Experts note that the interest and adoption of AGVs rapidly is accelerating in the face of a diminished labor pool and the fact that robotic lift trucks are designed to handle repetitive tasks while allowing labor to be redeployed to more value-added tasks.
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.
At the end of April, MarketsandMarkets published a report titled “Automated Guided Vehicle Market by Type (Unity Load Carrier, Tow Vehicle, Pallet Truck, Assembly Line Vehicle), Industry Verticle (Automotive and others), Application (Transportation, Distribution and others), and Geography — Global Forecast to 2020,” which stated the automated guided vehicle (AGV) market is expected to reach $2.2 million by 2020, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 9.8 percent between 2014 and 2020.
A facility that contains packaged product, equipment and people has been called many things; however, that big “barn” generally is referred to as a warehouse. These facilities also will vary in size, layout and capabilities.
In the interest of creating a more efficient warehouse, reducing cost, and improving speed, 74 percent of warehousing, manufacturing and distributing professionals surveyed last fall by the MHI Automation Alliance said they are planning or considering an automated project for their facility, according to MHI, Charlotte, N.C.
As beverage companies look at ways to automate warehouse facilities, equipment manufacturers say that more beverage-makers are looking to automated guided vehicles (AGVs). The Automatic Guided Vehicle Systems Industry Group of the Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA) stated in its fall 2010 quarterly report titled “New Paths for Guided Vehicles” that automation today is more flexible and more accommodating to changing operational requirements.
Beverage Industry’s November issue highlights the 100-year advocacy of the American Beverage Association and what’s next for CEO Katherine Lugar and a new plastics initiative, Every Bottle Back. This issue includes a special report on craft beer, an Up Close With feature on PRESS hard cider and what is sparking innovation in natural colors. Read more about how protein is powering up beverages and how warehouses are using WMS and WCS systems to streamline operations. As usual, the latest trends in new products, packaging and ingredients are highlighted.
Check back throughout the month for additional content.