AGV Robot Fork Truck  -  FAQ's

Below you will find frequently asked questions about our AGV Robot Fork Truck range. If you have any questions or a query that isn't answered on this page, please Contact Us and our expert team will assist you promptly.

Can I operate an AGV from Webster Griffin in both automatic and manual modes?

Yes, just switch to ‘manual mode’,  grab the tiller and operate your AGV as a standard Linde Fork Truck (Linde Model L06-16 AC  or T16-T20)

When you are finished switch back to ‘auto mode’ - your tuck becomes a self–driving AGV pallet truck again and thanks to its LiDAR navigation system your truck will know exactly where it is.

Why is it more economical to operate my factory with Self-Driving AGVs rather than operator driven fork trucks?

When operating an AGV pallet truck, you will not need to employ any forklift truck drivers (salary, National insurance, holiday pay, sickness allowance), therefore you will be far more efficient and productive.

Generally, it cost 60% less to run a fleet of AGV pallet trucks, that a comparable fleet of manually driven trucks

What tasks and jobs can an AGV Robot Pallet Truck perform?

Driverless fork trucks from Webster Griffin are ideal for performing, complex repetitive, intermittent pallet transfers from a production area to a dispatch zone over distances of up to 1 km as well as simple A to B  pallet movements, or marshaling pallets in lanes for quarantine. 

How many hours can AGV run/operate without recharging its battery?

The Lead-acid battery must be re-charged every 6-8 hrs (charging takes 3-4 hrs), however self-driven trucks with Lithium Battery packs can operate continuously around the clock  –  they automatically  ‘top-up ‘ their battery as their work schedule permits – (topping up a Lithium battery takes 20 mins) Note Lithium battery pack and charging station is an optional extra.

At what speed does a self-driven fork truck/ AGV travel?

Maximum 1.6 m/sec (5.76 km/h) - it employs precise acceleration and deceleration to ensure optimum balance between efficiency and power consumption.

How does the AGV know exactly where it is all the time?

AGV robot fork trucks from Webster Griffin are equipped with a top laser scanner and LiDAR ‘geo-mapping‘ software which scans the local environment multiple times per second which recognizes ‘fixed features’ in your factory - it then uses this stream of constant data information to updates the  RTL (Real-Time Location) of the AGV fork truck. So from the moment you power up the AGV registers its precise location.

What method of automatic navigation do AGV’s employ?

AGV’s from Webster Griffin are fitted with LiDAR scanning technology with geo-mapping of fixed points in your factory, which ensures that the AGV knows exactly where it is at all times ( even if you switch the vehicle off – or have moved it in manual mode to a different pre-mapped location).

We do not employ remote sensors, transmitters, or reflectors - therefore the AGV can be installed without any modifications to your factory.

When do AGVs start saving me money - what is the typical pay back period?

You will see a financial benefit the first month after your AGV starts working, this is because the monthly cost of buying or leasing an AGV is appreciably less than paying your fork truck driver’s wages.

Which is the best type of battery power for my AGV – Lead Acid or Lithium battery?

It depends upon your application, if you need power for lifting and you can take an AGV  ‘off-line’ for 3- 4 hrs in every 7 hrs then a Lead-acid battery is cheaper and perfectly adequate, however, if you only need to operate a small fleet of 2 or 3 robot trucks, around the clock – you should choose Lithium battery packs.

What type of fork truck battery is most economical?

Over the medium to long term (5 -10 yrs) you will find that Lithium battery power is more economical.

Why is an AGV less expensive to operate than conventional driver operated fork trucks?

AGV’s are fully automatic and totally ‘driverless’, they operate at a fixed ‘known cost’, they will not have collisions or damaged goods, therefore running AGVs will save you money from the moment they start working in your factory.

Why are AGV Robot trucks from Webster Griffin cheaper and quicker to install than other makes of AGVs with comparable performance?

Our AGV’s are more economical and simpler to set-up in a factory because they were conceived and designed as a ‘product’  – both the navigation technology and route management system are  ‘on board’ of the AGV.

Our AGV’s are a self-contained machine - which communicates with other AGV’s and a  general task management/job scheduling system by WIFI.

Webster Griffin does not need to develop a new project for each client - we don’t build a bespoke AGV for each client’s application – hence we can deliver a standard AGV to you in 4 weeks and install it in 3-5 days.

What is the delivery period for my new fleet of AGV driverless trucks?

4 to 5 weeks from PO and receipt of your deposit.

What is the time schedule for manufacture and installation of my new driverless AGV system?

  • Manufacture & delivery to site: 4-5 weeks installation and training: 1 week.
  • On receipt of your purchase order the AGV robot truck(s) is allocated to your project from stock.
  • While our factory completes final fit – (mounting batter type and selected options) our project manager carries out a site survey and prepares the Functional Design & Operating Specification  for your approval (4-5 weeks).
  • On delivery to site a Webster Griffin field Technician will carry out mapping survey, set up the communication interfaces with existing equipment, programme the route maps  and upload the workflow (3 days).
  • Following safety checks and personnel training your system is ready for final commissioning, live testing and hand over (1-2 days).

How long does it take to add new routes and work flow routines or an additional AGV to my system in the future?

Mapping a new work zone and adding new routes to an existing AGV application - usually takes approx. 2 Hrs. While uploading work flow instructions is done by the user himself - from his local PC or tablet (we teach you how to use our user friendly AGV work flow simulation programme). Installing an additional  AGV will take our Field Technician 1-2 days.

How many days production will be lost during installation of an automatic AGV pallet movement system?

Provided that you have a smooth, level concrete floor and suitable internal Wi-Fi the following  time line will apply:

 

  • Day: 1, 2, 3  - WG’s Field Technician(s) carries out mapping survey and sets up communication interfaces with existing equipment he also programmes the route maps, and uploads the workflows.
  • Day: 4 & 5 Following safety checks and  personnel training, the system is ready for final commissioning, followed by live testing and hand over.  

How long does it take to train my supervisor to operate an AGV from Webster Griffin?

1-2 Hrs

What regular maintenance do my AGV’s require?

Our AGVs are built on a standard Linde chassis and drive train, therefore require exactly same regular maintenance as your existing fork trucks, which can be provided by your local Linde service provider. In addition, Webster Griffin recommend that an annual safety audit is carried our by a member of our Field Service Team.

Do you provide a 24 hr/day technical support hotline for the AGV’s which you sell?

Yes, all users must subscribe to the BILA monthly software licence agreement which entitles them to all software upgrades and 15 minutes per day fee online support (terms and conditions apply).

How do I access the 24 Hrs telephone support?

By telephone and/ or email.

Can an AGV robot ruck operate in areas where personnel are working?

Yes, scanners and personnel sensors ensure safe operation at all times and speed of truck is programmed  depending upon its task and movement. Alarms and warning lamps alert operators to the AGV’s presence.

Can AGV routes & tasks be modified remotely?

Yes, (you can remove and activate tasks ‘on the fly’ - while your AGV is operating).

Can my AGV Robot Truck work in a cold store or outside in a wet windy atmosphere?

No – our AGV’s are not suitable for working at sub-zero temperatures, or in extremely hot, very humid, wet conditions. 

Can my AGV cope with wet slippery floors?

Yes – but this must be specified at the time of ordering – because it will be necessary to fit suitable ‘high grip’ tyres during the factory fit.

When is a driverless AGV not applicable?

  • Our AGV’s cannot operate outside – when exposed to the elements – sun, snow, rain.
  • They cannot handle inclinations above 5 degrees, mount bumps, or jump over large cracks or holes in a concrete floor.
  • They cannot load pallets into racking or load  pallets onto conveyors above 2.0m high
  • They cannot function inside a cold store or at high temperatures above 40 deg C.

What are the limitations of the laser guider navigation system and ‘geo-mapping system'?

The navigation system is continually scanning its local environment and recognizes natural features such as: walls, doorways, stairways, platforms, structures /mezzanines, pallet racking,  fixed machinery, conveyors, fence guards etc, but we cannot operate inside a building where these features are more than 50m distant.

What are the hazards when operating AGV’s?

Webster Griffin's AGV pallet trucks operating inside a factory usually move at  1.0 –  2.5 miles per hr and never above 3 .65 miles/h  (your staff cannot override this speed).

Safety scanners identify an obstacle in its path - initially slowing to a ‘crawl ‘ and then stopping if the object does not move.  A CE certified safety PLC monitors all onboard safety devices and circuits – in event of a failure the AGV stops immediately and issues an Alarm

How much will an AGV driverless Fork Truck cost?

Generally speaking £2500 - £3,000 per month- therefore if you are operating two or three shifts per day an AGV is highly cost-effective.

If I want to buy an AGV Robot Truck from Webster Griffin what Finance options are available to me?

Outright purchase, staggered purchase, hire purchase, tax-efficient lease purchase, tax-efficient lease hire (with residual balance). All finance options are quoted on a case by case basis and subject to status.

Is an AGV robot suitable for continuous operation around the clock?

Yes, Webster Griffin's range of driverless AGV’s is designed and built to work relentlessly 24 hours/day. Our trucks are based on a standard Linde pallet stacking fork trucks – which are highly valued for their reliability and longevity. Linde is Europe’s largest manufacture therefore service support and spare parts are universally available. 

My AGV truck will be operating ‘around the clock’ three shifts per day – therefore do I require a ‘back up’ or reserve vehicle?

No – when designing your driverless AGV solution Webster Griffin use software to simulate the workflow and journey distances that your self-driven trucks will travel during ‘peak working periods ‘ -we then add a safety factor to arrive at the number of self-driven trucks s you will need to ensure 100%  availability of AGV’s – bearing in mind journey time lost during battery charging. We ensure your AGVs  work as economically as possible, running at optimum speeds to ensure total safety and minimum power consumption

What is LiDAR or LADAR, how is it used by AGVs or Driverless fork tucks to navigate inside a factory?

LiDAR /LADAR – is 3d laser scanning and is a technique that AGVs from Webster Griffin employ to navigate and identify their exact position.

LiDAR was derived from ‘light’ and ‘radar’ and is an acronym for ‘light detection and ranging’. While the word LADAR has evolved from ’laser imaging, detection, and ranging’.  

LiDAR and LADAR are utilized to make high-resolution three-dimensional images for archaeological surveys, land surveys, civil engineering projects and all modern map making.

A harmless invisible laser light scanner on top of the AGV constantly measures the distance from all known fixed objects in your factory, this scanning activity is carried out 1000s of times a second and is referred to as ‘ranging’. 

Variations in scanned return times and radar wavelengths are used to recognize a three-dimensional ‘3D’ representation of your factory which the AGV holds in its memory.

The 3D  representation of your factory is a ‘Geo- map’ of the working environment -which your AGV follows, therefore at any millisecond your fleet of driver-less fork tucks know exactly where they are is.

When installing your new AGV our field technician will use the driving tiller on the AGV to manually guide the truck around your factory and carry out a detailed survey and build - up a comprehensive 3D map of the surroundings and its working environment. The Webster Griffin technician then tidies up this 3D rendition of your palletizing hall or warehouse by removing any irrelevant or erroneous non-fixed, non-permanent items from the geo image. This 3D chart or image only shows fixed or natural features and is the map on which all routes and ‘work flow’ activities are carried out.

Hence Webster Griffin’s AGVs do not run on fixed rails or follow a wire cut into the factory floor and our AGVs can be installed quickly and cheaply without the need for any special infra structure - such as reflectors or tracer wires in the floor of your factory.

Do I not need to install a wire in my factory floor for the AGV to follow?

No – you do not need to cut a wire into your factory floor or install any special navigation devices such as reflectors because AGVs from Webster Griffin employ LiDAR or LADAR to navigate and identify their exact position.

LiDAR and LADAR technology is used to make three-dimensional images of large areas during modern map making,  LADAR  is employed for archaeological surveys, land surveys, and civil engineering projects.

A harmless invisible laser light scanner on top of the AGV constantly measures the distance from all known /fixed objects in your factory, this scanning activity is carried out 1000s of times a second and is referred to as ‘ranging’. 

The 3D  representation of your factory is a ‘Geo- map’ of the working environment -which your AGV follows, therefore at any millisecond, your fleet of driver-less fork tucks know exactly where they are is.

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