Material Handling

Material Handling

A single illuminated buzzer enables automatic guided vehicles to have flat loading surfaces and safe operation

The demand for low profile automatic guided vehicles at production sites is increasing

Automatic guided vehicles (AGV) are often used to automatically transport objects inside factories. Recently they are increasingly being used to transport products between processes instead of conventional belt conveyors, and their use is expected to further increase into the future. Among the various types of AGVs, low profile models with a flat upper surface that is low to the floor are being used for a wide range of applications such as transporting baskets of various sizes and pulling trolleys. We expect that demand for these types will continue to rise.

Although AGV manufacturers are carrying out extensive R&D to deliver low profile models to their customers, they are facing the particularly tough problem of developing models that have a low profile without sacrificing safety and practicality. In order to notify surrounding workers of the AGV operating state, conventional AGVs generally were equipped with devices such as tall signal light towers, buzzers, and speakers that could reliably alert workers even when the AGV was fully loaded. However, when designing vehicles with strict height limitations, it is difficult to install vertical signal towers. Even if installed to the front or rear of the vehicle, it ends up blocking the installation of other components such as emergency stop buttons, or the lamps may become difficult to view. This causes various safety and design problems.

This has been a problematic issue for AGV manufacturers who want to fulfill customer requests for low profile vehicles without sacrificing practicality and safety.

Using laser scanners helps to detect falling objects, and provides extra safety measures