What’s The Most Compact Robot Palletizing Cell Available?

What’s-The-Most-Compact-Robot-Palletizing-Cell-Available

How Long Will Your Investment Serve You?

The process of palletising and the robots associated with the process have never been safer. Palletising equipment has evolved to become almost foolproof and these models rarely fail on the job. However, introducing people to the equation changes matters. People sometimes make mistakes and it’s the responsibility of the business to do what it can to reduce the risk of accidents occurring. 

According to research, pallet-related incidents send over 30,000 people to the emergency rooms in a five year period — in the USA alone. Not only does it cause injury and distress, but it also results in lost work hours, reduced productivity and occasionally even fines for your business. 

To ensure your setup is as safe as possible without sacrificing productivity, you’ll need a compact palletising cell and the right machine guarding.

Palletizing-Cell-2

Why Is Machine Guarding Important?

Machine guards can be installed around your palletising cells to keep unauthorised and unnecessary personnel out.

They’re built to protect the machine operator and other staff members from injury and can cover everything from the palletising cell’s point of operation to its point of power transmission — or its moving parts in general.

The right machine guard will keep the machine secure from all angles. It’s exact size and dimensions will depend on how compact your palletising cells are — as well as if you’re using a single or multi-line setup. Warehouse and factory space can be scarce, which is why you’ll need a palletising cell that’s as compact as possible.

 

Keeping Your Palletizing Cells Compact

Placing your robot palletisers in a single cell can help keep your setup compact. Most small to medium sized plants won’t require a custom multi line palletising cell, so they’ll benefit from an affordable, smaller and more reliable modular single cell that can be delivered quickly. Several cell configurations exist, but as they’re modular they can be moved and reassembled as needed.

Here are four common configurations that range in size from roughly 11 x 17 feet to 15 x 22 feet:

1. One line in and one line out

2. Two lines in and two lines out

3. One line in and one line out with automatic pallet handling

4. Two lines in and two lines out with automatic pallet handling

The more compact your palletising cells are, the easier and more efficient it will be to protect. A single palletiser at the end of one production line will make machine guarding more simple and affordable, as it will only need to limit access to a one production area — the end of the packing line where the bagger will be stationed.

LKAB-Palletising-Close-Up

When you have several production lines this might become more complex. For example a case diverter might separate products towards two different conveyors. with each going to different palletising robot stations for different package sizes. This system can also be configured to manage slip sheet handling, pallet handling, stretch wrapping or labeling.

Picking An Integrated Solution

The process of selecting the most compact palletising cell for your space and needs — and ensuring it’s properly guarded — can be simplified if you work with a supplier that can design you a system integrating both. Webster Griffin are experts at offering such solutions, and can assist you whether you require a single palletising cell or a multi-line one. Contact our team today for more advice.

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Revolutionise Your Business With A High Speed Automatic Sugar Packaging Solution

What-Is-The-Typical-Lifespan-Of-A-Robot-Palletizer-Cover

How Long Will Your Investment Serve You?

When investing in your business, you’ll want to know how long your investment will serve you. It means that if you’re investing in a machine like a robot palletiser, you should know its lifespan. This will tell you if the robot palletiser won't be able to keep up with high demand or if it will need frequent maintenance. It will also tell you when you can expect to replace or upgrade it. Here's what factors can impact a robot palletiser's lifespan and what you need to consider before purchasing one.

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What Is The Workrate And Capacity Of The Average Palletizer?

The average robot palletiser will offer you at least 10 years of reliable usage. This means that in a typical application cycle, it will run between 80,000 and 100,000 hours without failing — making it faster and more productive than a conventional palletiser. Modern robot palletisers reduce the loads placed on their motors and reducers and their arms are lighter and stronger.

As time passes and technology advances, robot palletisers will become even more refined and reliable. Provided your palletiser is properly installed, operates within its parameters and sticks to its maintenance schedule, you can look forward to a long operation period.

You’ll also cut your operating costs by eliminating the cost of hiring workers you’d normally have manually packing or operating the machine and you’ll also be able to operate the palletiser 24/7 without breaks. 

Here’s how you can further extend its lifespan...

1.  Stick To Your Palletiser’s Limits

When selecting a robot palletiser, you should pick one that doesn’t under-serve your needs. This means you should have a good idea of the weight range of each packaged product and how many packages must be filled hourly. You’ll also need to consider inertia.

This means that certain weights might be within your machine’s capacity but place a larger movement load on it by being extra long, wide or deep.

When this happens it can cause the motor to oscillate, impacting the accuracy of its motion. You can prevent this by selecting a palletiser that accounts for inertia as it operates.

LKAB-Palletising-Close-Up

2.  Limit Unnecessary Movements

Your robot palletiser will move quicker and experience less wear and tear if you optimise its movements. Positioning your robot as close as possible to its pick up and drop off points will reduce its motion.

Even just a few extra inches back and forth can amount to thousands of feet over time.Eliminating this unnecessary motion will reduce the strain placed on the robot palletiser’s drives, gears and motors.

Keeping your pallet sizes in line with your robot’s range of motion is also important as pallets that are too tall will also result in additional movements from your palletiser.

LKAB-Palletiser-2-RS

What Will It Cost To Replace My Robot Palletiser?

As mentioned, how you treat your robot palletiser will impact its lifespan. The easiest and most effective way to extend it is by entrusting the team that sold you the palletiser with its routine maintenance.

They’ll be able to source any original parts required and use the required tools and expertise to keep it running as it should. Webster Griffin are adept in providing businesses with robot palletisers and can assist you with sourcing and maintaining one for years to come so contact our team today.

Palletising-Line-LKAB

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Webster Griffin Helps Krysteline Technologies Increase Their Packaging Capacity

Webster-Griffin-Helps-Krysteline-Technologies-Increase-Their-Packaging-Capacity-Cover

Why Did Krysteline Technologies Contact Webster Griffin?

Krysteline Technologies is a UK based waste processor that collects and processes all shapes and sizes of glass. They use patented technology to repurpose 100% of the glass collected — no matter its quality. Some if it is repurposed into recycled granular glass cullets, which are used in place of concrete in road beds and pavements and in fibreglass and foam insulation. Krysteline Technologies wanted to modernise their product packing line by reducing manual labour and automating the process. Here’s how Webster Griffin helped them.

The Refining Process

The quality of processed material is determined by the feedstock quality, moisture content and installed technology. The Krysteline strategy is to diligently consider the feedstock and provide the technology which ensures the client’s expectations are met. Product quality can range from aggregates to fully purified sands and powders for filtration and abrasives.

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Net-Weigher-Krysteline

Why Was A Form Fill Seal Machine Most Appropriate For Krysteline Technologies?

Webster Griffin recommended the client install an automatic Form Fill Seal (FFS) bagger and robot palletiser. The FFS bagger would accommodate bag sizes ranging from 5 to 25kg and a maximum empty bag width of 500mm. It would have rubber lined forming tubes to ensure the machine is well suited for handling dusty products.

An existing feeding system would move product into the bagger through a mild steel surge hopper with level controls. This would ensure the bagger received enough product to maintain the required packaging rate.

A film centering device would properly centre and form each bag before a two stage dosing system filled it. A net weigher including an electronic load cell weighing system would ensure each bag was filled to the correct weight. It’s weigh-pan would have a quick-release side door to make cleaning easier and more efficient.

What Challenges Did Krysteline Technologies Pose To Webster Griffin Pre-Installation?

Krysteline Technologies wanted an automated, high throughput packing line that would work around the clock to meet their production targets.

It would need to package 16 tons of product hourly into 25kg PE bags — accommodating other bag sizes in case of last minute demands for different bag shapes and designs. The packed bags would also need to be palletised and ready for transportation.

Form-Fill-Seal-machne-Kyrsteline

An electric height adjuster at the bag support saddle would adjust the bags according to size. Each filled bag would be micro-perforated to remove excess air and create a square and tidy package. After each bag was heat sealed, a belt conveyor would move it and a bag turner and height adjustable flattener to rotate the bag and compact it ready for delivery.

The heavy duty palletiser was equipped to fill an empty pallet standard magazine of 14-15 empty pallets. The robot was equipped with teachable software and 100 different existing palletising programmes.

It was also equipped with a programmable thermal printer to add barcodes and text on the side of the filled bags. The system could be commanded via a PLC touchscreen. A mechanical fence and interlocked access door installed around the bagging zone would keep out unauthorised personnel ensuring safe operation.

How Did Krysteline Technologies Benefit From The Installation?

Webster Griffin installed the system at the client’s facilities roughly 13-14 weeks after they ordered it. They also dispatched engineers to the site to monitor the installation and test it. It immediately provided a throughput of 640 bags an hour — which is higher than anticipated.

Being automated, the system allowed employees to focus their attention on other production tasks. Its dosing accuracy reduced product waste and inaccurate weighing. As it could accommodate different bags, the client could also respond to customer demands immediately, giving Krysteline Technologies an edge over their competitors. 

The palletiser also provided many benefits. By adding a label and barcode to each bag it helped them improve their product traceability. As the palletiser also produced neatly stacked and fully loaded pallets it also made international exportation easier and more efficient.

Cosmos-Glas-Recycling-Plant
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What Is The Typical Lifespan Of A Robot Palletizer?

What-Is-The-Typical-Lifespan-Of-A-Robot-Palletizer-Cover

How Long Will Your Investment Serve You?

The process of palletising and the robots associated with the process have never been safer. Palletising equipment has evolved to become almost foolproof and these models rarely fail on the job. However, introducing people to the equation changes matters. People sometimes make mistakes and it’s the responsibility of the business to do what it can to reduce the risk of accidents occurring. 

According to research, pallet-related incidents send over 30,000 people to the emergency rooms in a five year period — in the USA alone. Not only does it cause injury and distress, but it also results in lost work hours, reduced productivity and occasionally even fines for your business. 

To ensure your setup is as safe as possible without sacrificing productivity, you’ll need a compact palletising cell and the right machine guarding.

SC-14.03.442

Why Is Machine Guarding Important?

Machine guards can be installed around your palletising cells to keep unauthorised and unnecessary personnel out.

They’re built to protect the machine operator and other staff members from injury and can cover everything from the palletising cell’s point of operation to its point of power transmission — or its moving parts in general.

The right machine guard will keep the machine secure from all angles. It’s exact size and dimensions will depend on how compact your palletising cells are — as well as if you’re using a single or multi-line setup.

Warehouse and factory space can be scarce, which is why you’ll need a palletising cell that’s as compact as possible.

 

 

Here’s how you can further extend its lifespan...

1.  Stick To Your Palletiser’s Limits

When selecting a robot palletiser, you should pick one that doesn’t under-serve your needs. This means you should have a good idea of the weight range of each packaged product and how many packages must be filled hourly. You’ll also need to consider inertia.

This means that certain weights might be within your machine’s capacity but place a larger movement load on it by being extra long, wide or deep.

When this happens it can cause the motor to oscillate, impacting the accuracy of its motion. You can prevent this by selecting a palletiser that accounts for inertia as it operates.

LKAB-Palletising-Close-Up

2.  Limit Unnecessary Movements

Your robot palletiser will move quicker and experience less wear and tear if you optimise its movements. Positioning your robot as close as possible to its pick up and drop off points will reduce its motion.

Even just a few extra inches back and forth can amount to thousands of feet over time.Eliminating this unnecessary motion will reduce the strain placed on the robot palletiser’s drives, gears and motors.

Keeping your pallet sizes in line with your robot’s range of motion is also important as pallets that are too tall will also result in additional movements from your palletiser.

LKAB-Palletiser-2-RS

What Will It Cost To Replace My Robot Palletiser?

As mentioned, how you treat your robot palletiser will impact its lifespan. The easiest and most effective way to extend it is by entrusting the team that sold you the palletiser with its routine maintenance.

They’ll be able to source any original parts required and use the required tools and expertise to keep it running as it should. Webster Griffin are adept in providing businesses with robot palletisers and can assist you with sourcing and maintaining one for years to come so contact our team today.

Palletising-Line-LKAB

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How Webster Griffin Helped Derbyshire Aggregates With A High Speed FFS Bagging Solution

How-Webster-Griffin-Helped-Derbyshire-Aggregates-With-A-High-Speed-FFS-Bagging-Solution

Who Are Derbyshire Aggregates & What Product Do They Pack?

Derbyshire Aggregates has sourced and processed unusual and difficult materials for over 30 years. Over time, they've become an industry leader in exporting specialist aggregates. One of their offerings is decorative aggregates which are used to provide an attractive but hardy finish to high traffic areas like driveways, pathways, and ground surfaces. This product is sold in large volumes to residential and commercial clients worldwide.

Derbyshire-Agg

Why Did Derbyshire Aggregates Request A Form Fill Seal System?

To meet increasing demand, Derbyshire Aggregates needed to double their aggregate product packing rate with an integrated system. They needed the new packing system to be able to handle different bag sizes and weights. As they predicted that demand would keep growing over time, the system would also need to be adaptable and scalable.

To keep the environment safe for workers, the system would need to provide dust free filling. It also needed to be automatic in order to respond quickly to shifts in demand, keep the packing process economical and reduce unnecessary shifts.

Finally, the system needed to be compact to fit into their building’s limited available space without making structural modifications necessary.

What FFS System Did Webster Griffin Install For Derbyshire Aggregates?

Webster Griffin installed two FFS bagging systems capable of filling 20 and 25 kg pillow or gusseted bags, but with the ability to fill other bag sizes and weights if needed. It’s throughput was between 950 and 1100 bags an hour with a +/- 1%. accuracy when bagging dry free flowing aggregates.

The system’s surge hopper received product via inclined belt conveyor or buffer hopper. A film-unwinding device and forming tube formed each bag.

An automatic volumetric product doser dispensed product into bags and a perforator expelled excess air from each bag after filling. Each bag was then sealed by the Ropex sealing system’s parallel vertical sealing bar.

The entire system was constructed from heavy-duty mild steel for added strength and hardiness. The system was controllable via a touch screen control panel with 44 preset packing inputs.

Derbyshire-Agg-2

Did The System Help Derbyshire Aggregates Hit Their Targets & Were There Other Benefits?

Webster Griffin installed the system and trained relevant employees on how to operate it. Once up and running, it filled bags twice as fast as a conventional automatic bagger with an empty bag placer. 

By forming its own bags the system used less film. It also formed a shorter, more attractive bag with side gussets and squarer ends as well as a smaller gap between the product and seal after filling. The system could construct dozens of bags from a single film reel without supervision or assistance, and didn't need anyone to load empty bags into the bag applicator. The doser’s continuous flow operation moved product through the forming tube into the bag without any dust emissions.

As Derbyshire Aggregates had limited space, the system was self-contained and modular. This meant it took up less space than a conventional automatic bagger with bag placing and closing mechanism and conveyors. The system was also constructed with fewer moving parts to increase its reliability and make constant repairs and replacements unnecessary.

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Derbyshire-signage

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Why Invest In A Robot Palletiser? Here’s 5 Key Benefits Of A Robot Palletiser.

Why-Invest-In-A-Palletiser

Should You Make The Switch?

If you want to switch from a conventional palletiser to a robotic one, you’ll need to provide your team with reasons why. You’ll also need to offer more evidence than saying that it’s safer or that it saves time. Keep reading to explore the benefits that robot palletisers offer in detail. By better understanding exactly what it offers, you’ll be able to make an informed decision whether or not to invest in one.

Wagg-Palletiser

Robot Palletisiers Cost Less To Run

Robot palletisers usually cost more than conventional models. However, they compensate for this by reducing or eliminating ongoing costs in other areas.

They reduce the number workers needed to help lift, move or boxes or products during palletising, which reduces your spend on wages, insurance and the safety equipment needed to work with conventional equipment. This benefits workers too, moving them away from performing dull and repetitive tasks so they can focus on more stimulating work.

Depending on what brand and make of machine you choose, you can also look forward to reduced power consumption during operation. For example, the Okura Ai1800 Ultra and Ai700 Rapid (both popular models on the market) both use 50% less power during consumption.

Increased Throughput, With Up To 1200 Cycles

Working with robot palletisers means you can expect a machine that runs multiple cycles every minute, every hour of the day. This makes them faster than standard machines and as they're more reliable, you can predict exactly how long it takes to fill a pallet. You also won’t have to account for mandated safety breaks put in place to prevent worker injuries such as repetitive strain injury. With some machines offering up to 1200 cycles hourly, you can look forward to high speed palletising for multiple other palletising lines.

Fewer Damaged Goods

When working with people, mistakes happen whether you like it or not. Robots eliminate this by using advanced end-of-arm tools that adapt their grip with clamps or vacuums, using the exact pressure required.

Robots don't get tired and distracted and aren't pressurised by deadlines. As you can program their speeds each product will be handled with precision and care. Fewer damaged or dropped products or improperly stacked or orientated pallets will reduce your losses.

Woman-Confused2

Easy To Program

Robot palletisers come with more complex programming inputs than conventional palletisers — often with touch screens and colour panels. This makes their programming more intuitive and easy. You can adhere to a set of predefined palletising patterns or design your own, changing the number of layers in each pallet, each layer’s configuration and the speed of palletisation.

Pallet-Stack-Programme

Compatible With Many Products & Shapes

Conventional palletisers usually encounter delays when they work with different product shapes and sizes. Switching between boxes, cartoons and crates will create delays. Again, the robot’s end-of-use arm is versatile enough to hold different materials, moving them from conveyor to pallet quickly and safely.

It’s worth bearing in mind that even with a robot palletiser, you’ll need to adhere to certain rules and laws regarding how the palletiser is wired or connected. You could also need added equipment to deliver, or shrink wrap the pallets.

Cartons-and-Cases

Working with a robot palletising specialist will be key to selecting the right machine for your needs. They’ll ensure it's compliant with your space and is customised to your requirements. Webster Griffin can assist your business with this, so contact them today.

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Why Are Robots Superseding Conventional Palletising Machines?

Why-Are-Robots-Superseding-Conventional-Palletising-Machines-Cover

Is Flexability Important To You?

Does your warehouse, factory or order fulfillment/distribution centre use conventional palletisers for your product packaging? If so, you might be considering switching to a robot palletiser. It’s flexible and offers significant space and maintenance savings — which could help streamline your operations and make it more profitable. Its suitability for your business will depend on many factors, including your desired production rates and how many products you handle. To make an informed choice, here’s the difference between the two and why robot palletisers are now superseding conventional palletisers.

Conventional-Palletising-Square

Conventional Vs Robot Palletisers: How Do They Work?

In short, conventional palletisers build layers, while robots are designed to pick up individual products one by one. Conventional palletisers transport the products using conveyors, It rotates, aligns, pushes and lifts them into rows until a product layer is formed.

The product layer is discharged onto a pallet and compressed if necessary. The process repeats until the pallet is full and is ready for shipping. Often, conventional palletisers include extras like a stretch wrapper or a stretch hooder.

Robot palletisers are also fed products via a conveyor, but they use a robotic bag hand or component to pick up and move products into one or more pallets simultaneously.

Robot Palletiser Speed & Space Savings

Conventional palletisers are faster, offering speeds of anywhere between 10 to 40 bags and 10 to 200 cases, cartons or bags a minute, depending on the complexity of its design, the model in question and the product being packed. It’s worth noting that it operates faster when building a single pallet at a time and can take up a lot of space in terms of height and width, as the products must be queued on a conveyor. 

Robot palletisers are usually slower, but also offer a range of speeds depending on their model and its capabilities. However, they require less space. As it picks up and places products it won’t require lengthy conveyors and can be installed in tight spaces without contravening safety standards.

What Makes Robot Palletisers Flexible?

Robot palletisers offer increased flexibility as their end-of-arm-tools can be customised with vacuum plates to magnetic grippers so they are capable of handling all types of products.

They can also palletise more than one product at a time (if it’s a case of products) and can handle multiple stock-keeping units according to any pallet configuration — ensuring each pallet is compressed and squared for increased stability.

Most robotic palletisers can also de-palletise products from many different containers. Although some conventional palletisers can do the above, most will require costly upgrades to do so.

Bag-Hand

Robot Palletiser Cost Savings

Robot palletisers often have a higher price tag but offer cost savings in other ways. As they become more popular on the market, they’re likely to become affordable while their performance improves. You can expect a robot palletiser to require maintenance less often compared to a conventional unit, as it has fewer electrical components. As it requires less downtime, has fewer breakdowns, and can fill multiple pallets at once — it can save you time. Conventional machines are usually more complex and will require specialised repair and maintenance — usually from the business that sold it to you.

Carton-Palletiser

Ready To Invest In One?

Ready to purchase a robot palletiser to replace or supplement your current setup? If the above advantages appeal to you, then contact Webster Griffin.

As specialists in palletising technology for bags, sacks, cartons and cases, we can match you with an automated system that meets your needs in terms of payload and throughput, so contact us today.

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What Solution Did Webster Griffin Install At Dubai Municipality’s Jebel Ali Plant?

What-Solution-Did-Webster-Griffin-Install-At-Dubai-Municipality's-Jebel-Ali-Plant

Who Is Dubai Municipality & What Did They Need To Pack? 

Dubai’s Municipality is one the United Arab Emirates’ largest government institutions. It offers a range of public utility services, including managing and operating waste treatment systems. The Municipality built a 670 hectare sewage treatment plant to dry wastewater into sludge, reducing its volume and converting it into safe to handle bio-solids. These bio-solids can be used to fertilise and condition soil and landscaped areas across Dubai. It also keeps the wastewater sludge from ending up in landfills, a process which is costly and bad for the environment.

The plant’s average daily treatment capacity needed to increase from 300,000 m3 to 670,000 m3, to manage the city's 3.35 million population. To do this, they added a module capable of processing an additional 370,000 m3 daily. The plant processed 1300 kgs of biosolids per line hourly which needed to be bagged and palletised at 2.1 tons an hour. They approached Webster Griffin for a solution that would bag, palletise and protect 25 kg bags of product. Here’s the solution we created for them.

Bag-hand

What Challenges Did Webster Griffin Encounter When Planning The Installation?

Webster Griffin were tasked with installing a bagging solution for Dubai Municipality. Due to the nature of the biosolids, the Form Fill Seal bagging machine needed a dust extraction/vapour control and filtration for clean and safe filling.

The biosolids were dried and shaped into pellets, the packaged products needed protection from the elements after being palletised.

In addition to the above, the entire system needed to be able to function efficiently in hot and windy conditions as the plant was located in the Jebel Ali desert.

Which Equipment Was Required On Site For The Installation?

Webster Griffin installed a UPS-500 Form Fill Seal bagging machine and Okura III Series robot palletiser.

These machines were chosen for their performance and ability to withstand the plant’s desert environment, well as limited moving parts requiring frequent replacement. The bagging machine also included a dust extractor, weigher, bag applicator, pallet wrapper and pallet magazine.

How Did The Installation Help Dubai Municipality To Meet Their Production Targets?

Fertliser

Webster Griffin's Form Fill Seal bagging machine provided Dubai Municipality with an automated, affordable, high throughput solution compatible with different bag weights and product types. Its series of belts and roller conveyors quickly transported the product from filling to palletisation. It also featured a dust extractor operating at 400m3/hour, ensuring a clean, safe working environment for employees. The automatic net weigher with an accuracy within +/- 0.5% ensured the product giveaway was at a minimum saving them time and money, and an automatic bag applicator provided flexibility for pillow and gusseted bags.

The palletiser robot came with a 9” colour touchscreen control panel and OXPA ‘Easy Teach’ programming software with 100 pre-configured stacking patterns to be customised to preference. The high speed pallet wrapper was equipped with a rotating turntable to waterproof the pallets before transportation, with a standard empty pallet magazine capable of stacking 15 to 20 empty pallets.

Dubai-Municipality-Palletiser

What Key Benefits Were Realised After The Installation? 

After the system’s installation, the Dubai Municipality experienced a better than projected throughput of 3 tons an hour, with reduced production costs thanks to the system neglecting the usage of pre-made bags.

The creation of waterproofed pallets ensured each package was protected for transport and distribution.

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How Can AGVs Improve Intralogistics In My Factory?

How-Can-AGVs-Improve-Intralogistics-In-My-Factory

How to Automate Your Logistics At Your Business?

As someone who oversees a warehouse or factory, you’ll know that time is often as valuable as money. Your logistics (if planned and executed correctly) can streamline and improve your business’s processes and responsiveness. It can reduce or remove existing bottlenecks, and if you take advantage of the latest technologies, you can also ensure your business remains competitive in today’s market.

Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGVs) are a popular choice when it comes to automating logistics in businesses. They often take the place of forklift trucks or other manually operated machines that move and arrange pallets and packaged products for storage and transportation.

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What Benefits Do AGVs Provide?

AGVs operate without needing hands on operation and can operate without taking a break. This means your business can immediately increase production and execute tasks without the presence of skilled workers. It also eliminates the costs of hiring an operator. As a result, you’ll recoup its investment cost more quickly.

AGVs make fewer errors and require less downtime. It means you can look forward to improved reliability in terms of meeting commitments as they’re less likely to hold up production. They’ll also ensure your workplace is safer and less prone to accidents or quality issues. 

Here’s how else AGVs could practically improve your business’s intralogistics.

How AGVs Can Improve Your Production Flexibility

AGVs can help you structure your production processes and spaces more flexibly. They’re especially suited to operating in storage areas as they can usually manage different sizes and types of loads and pallets. It’s easy to have multiple AGVs working in one space. Each one can operate at the same time but independently, while you centrally manage their navigation.

Their safety functions will stop or slow them if they encounter obstructions or pedestrians. You can also control their speeds and routes so they don’t enter unsafe areas or areas where other machines are working. On top of all of this, each AGV will constantly generate performance data that you can refer back to for insights on improving your performance.

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How AGVs Can Optimise Your Warehouse/Factory Navigation/Route Mapping

Using optimisation algorithms, you can design a path or route layout where each AGV one travels the shortest possible distance with minimal overlap and maximum effectiveness. You can also ensure that each AGV completes all its pick ups and drop offs in as little time as possible and that multiple jobs are combined into a single trip.

If executed correctly, this will ensure that tasks are allocated efficiently and logically and that if need be, you can scale up production by introducing more AGVs. It should also be flexible enough to adapt to constant changes in your space.

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Using AGVs In Your Warehouse Or Factory Space

The exact time and money savings your AGV will afford you will depend on many factors, including the layout of your space, how many aisles are present, and how many machines you'll have at your disposal. A custom solution will help you tailor your AGV to your business and its specific demands. To do so, make sure you partner with an experienced AGV supplier like Webster Griffin.

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When Are AGVs A Cost Effective Alternative To Operator Driven Fork Trucks?

When-Are-AGVs-A-Cost-Effective-Alternative-To-Operator-Driven-Fork-Trucks-Cover3

When Are AGVs A Cost Effective Alternative To Operator Driven Fork Trucks?

When you need to move heavy loads without an operator, laser guided forklift type AGVs (Automatic Guided Vehicles) are a suitable choice. They offer all the benefits of an operator driven fork truck, but can operate without taking a break. They also perform certain repetitive functions more safely, freeing up your employees for other work. While these benefits are undeniable, operator driven fork trucks are still popular as they remain affordable, reliable, and flexible. So how can you determine when to make the switch to an AGV — and if you should make it at all?

When comparing the two options, it’s critical that you compare their potential costs to the potential benefits you’ll receive. Here are some of the factors you should keep in mind.

Arla Case Study Square

In What Situation Would an AGV Be Better Suited To Your Business?

As AGVs can perform without human intervention or taking a break, it could help streamline your current workforce and make it more lean and productive. This especially applies when your workers are spending hours performing repetitive tasks that could be automated, key workers could be freed up for more important tasks further down the production line.

If your workers are falling behind on tasks that an AGV can undertake outside of standard working hours, introducing one or more into your production line will free your workers up to focus on other tasks that a machine couldn’t fulfil — such as customer facing interactions, flexible thinking or tasks requiring the human eye.

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Factories and warehouses experiencing extreme temperatures or exposure to hazardous materials and noise levels can be unsafe. Areas with lowered or narrow and awkward walkways can also be challenging for an operator driven forklift truck to navigate.

If this is reality for you, it might be a good time to automate or upgrade your pallet transport with an AGV with safety cameras, lasers and sensors. Object detection and anti collision devices will help to create a safer workplace, reducing your insurance costs and what you’d normally spend on employee safety equipment and training.

At What Point/Level Of Production Do AGVs Become A Good Investment?

It’s challenging to determine exactly when you should invest in an AGV or what it will cost you. You’ll need to know what payload capacity, stocking/lifting height, battery and charging system you’d prefer to use. You’ll also need to decide how many machines you need and what they’ll be used for. Your installation costs will be low if the AGVs will operate on a defined path, but will increase if you need more optional extras that are considered luxuries. Many AGV brands include traffic control within their price. However, adding lithium charging stations, marshalling detection scanners, blue spot front warning beams, equipment interface IO boxes or slippery floor tyres will often increase your costs.

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You’ll need to select software that will operate and manage the forklifts and how they’ll navigate themselves. Most AGV brands will include this in their quotation. However you should also consider the costs of installing and commissioning the AGVs as well as training the right people to use them, as well as any future maintenance and repair costs the AGVs might incur.

The best way to find out if it makes financial sense to switch to an AGV is to partner with an expert in forklift AGVs for businesses like yours. Webster Griffin can help you determine this so you make an investment that will benefit your business and doesn’t incur more costs than you can handle. Contact our team today for more information.

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