The principles of physics in the transport technology often constitute a natural barrier for many visionary ideas, with regards to the methods of movement of people, goods or equipment. In general, however, the continuous technological progress constantly opens new possibilities, which allow many such opportunities to come true. Perfect examples of this principle are AGVs - Automated Guided Vehicles.
Unmanned transport vehicles with a reduced weight - the new version of AGVs
Logistics in manufacturing plants, using the AGVs is nothing new. The applied technology limited the functionality due to the weight of batteries and their charging time. Owing to the technological progress, both barriers have been eliminated and the AGV’s concept starts to appear more and more often.
Technological progress has enabled:
- The application of supercapacitors with low mass and short charging time to store the energy
- Contactless (inductive) and automated charging of the supercapacitors during the vehicle’s travel or at target stations
- Wireless communication and navigation of vehicles - Bluetooth, WLAN, laser
- The guarantee of safe movement of vehicles in manufacturing and warehouse halls for the people and the surrounding environment - Safety systems based on safety scanners
In many factories, mobile transport equipment, as a complementation of the existing conveyor system, are the only solution, in order not to close the transport routes or passageways. Although forklift trucks can also constitute a certain solution, they are not provided with safety systems and require human operation. In the case of AGVs, simple and repeatable transport operation may be performed automatically, maintenance-free and ensuring safety to the environment.
The reference point for such a case is the AGV, designed and installed in the assembly plant of SEW-EURODRIVE Polska in Lodz. We would like to invite you to become familiar with this solution; we will be willing to advise you and share our experience.
Get in touch with us.
- Our experts understand your industry and requirements
- Our global network ensures we are there wherever and whenever you need us.
- We have the expertise and the tools to provide optimum advice and support.
- Professional, local technical support from SEW-EURODRIVE already at the design stage
- Guarantee of solid workmanship of complete vehicles
- Complete systems for independent integration on vehicles by users, delivered as an option
- Transport system control start-ups by experienced automation specialists from SEW-EURODRIVE Polska at Client’s facilities
- Support in the integration of transport by means of AGVs with the transport system used by the Client
- Factory, professional warranty and post-warranty service, including the HOTLINE 24/7
- Possibility of remote monitoring and supervision of the system during the operation of the vehicles via the website, mobile telephony
- Assistance in changing the transport functions and vehicle routes
Variants of mobile AGVs
The variant with the rotary table and the roller conveyor
In this variant, the vehicle can collect the cargo (e.g. pallets) in a straight line and unload it after turning by 90 degrees across the guide track. The reverse order is also possible.
The variant with the transverse roller conveyor
The vehicle may collect and unload the cargo both ways in relation to the driving direction.
The variant with the chain conveyor and transverse roller
This vehicle can collect and unload the cargo in the driving direction, as well as collect and unload it without turning, across the guide track.
|Linear speed||up to 48 m/min. for the compact design
up to 90 m/min. for split designs - guided vehicle + trailer
|Range||no limitations at Movitrans® wireless power supply
up to 100 metres with power supply from supercapacitors
|Turning radius||typically 1.5 metre|
|Communication||binary, using Bluetooth for short distances
binary/Profinet/Profibus, using WLAN at long distances
|Travel drive||CMPZ servomotors|
|Navigation||Antennas for tracking of the wireless Movitrans® power supply or optical heads for tracking the tape glued on the floor|
|Positioning||by means of the head and RFID tags|
|Safety||two laser SICK safety scanners|
|Functionality||collection, transport and issue of the euro-pallet in the automatic mode
monitoring of the guide track
access to the set positions in the automatic mode
control from the operator panel for the manual traffic
programmed safety zones
assignment of numbers to RFID tags
Properties of the offered vehicles
Power supply systems
- Vehicles equipped with the set of supercapacitors inductively charged on the routes or/and at target stations (MOVITRANS®). In this variant, the vehicles are provided with the energy management system, which does not require coverage with inductive loops. Travelling times, using this technology, depend on their number. The modularity of the system allows for its expansion depending on the needs, and the charging time of the supercapacitor is about one minute.
- Powering of the vehicles from induction loops embedded in the ground along the whole routes. In this technology, neither supercapacitors nor energy management systems are required. Necessity of the alternative source of power supply exists only in the case of power failure.
- With the lack of any power supply, it is possible to decouple the drives and push the vehicle through manually.
Navigation in the case of vehicles which do not move on rails and are not guided mechanically
- By means of cameras tracking the specialist tape glued along the route. The tape is extremely resistant to mechanical damage, and the change in the route requires the gluing of the tape in another place.
- The antenna guiding onto induction loop cables in the ground for the vehicles powered on permanent basis from the MOVITRANS® system.
- Manual selection of target stations by means of the operator panel or buttons on the vehicle
- From the master controller via Bluetooth
- From the master controller via WLAN
- RFID tags on the route, which update the information about the location of the vehicle
- Typically, the vehicles can travel in any direction in the manual mode
- When AGV move in the areas where the presence of people is expected, safety is ensured by the safety scanner system with preprogrammed safety zones.
Optional safe driving functions of the following type:
- Safe brake control
- Safe stop
- Safe speed
- It is also worth paying attention to the fact that the possibility of safe application of automated guided vehicles does not refer only to the situations where safety to people present along the routes of these vehicles must be guaranteed. In many situations, the maintenance-free AGVs can also relieve people at sites where heavy traffic of e.g. forklift trucks constitutes a danger.
- Vehicles are driven by angle gear motors with synchronic servomotors that ensure precise turnability and make the vehicle stay solidly on the set guide track.
- Each time, the transport functions of the vehicles are agreed upon with the Client and may be adapted to its needs, taking into account the basic standards referring to power supply, navigation and control. Basic solutions include vehicles that allow for transporting pallets or boxes with the weight of 1-2 tonnes and several options for collection and unloading of the cargo - see the variants listed above.