Automation with Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) – Customized Extension of Manual Solutions

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Automated guided vehicles (AGVs) present an ideal first step into automation but they also serve to supplement semi-automated subsystems in logistics and production.

More and more companies have recognized that the only way to achieve additional increases in productivity and cost savings is by automating and interlinking intralogistics processes. While production companies have invested a lot of resources in the automation of their production processes to increase their productivity over the past few years, logistics processes and material transports are often still being performed manually. Automated guided vehicles (AGVs) present an ideal first step into automation but they also serve to supplement semi-automated subsystems in logistics and production. By integrating AGVs, a company is given the opportunity to adjust processes within manual or semi-automated systems progressively to new framework conditions. Consequently, they can at any time be retrofitted to modified customer needs or to a new market situation.

Incorporating AGVs in Integrated Solutions

Thanks to the partnership with DS AUTOMOTION, SSI Schaefer has further expanded its range of AGVs and can now offer integrated solutions for a wide variety of applications and industries.

Subsequent Automation of Existing Systems

Tried and true standard products from SSI Schaefer, such as static racks or semi-automated solutions such as the SSI LOGIMAT® vertical lift module, are easily expandable with an AGV. Standard interfaces between the systems allow for seamless integration of AGVs: from simple transport applications and point-to-point transport to the goods-to-person principle and full automation in an integrated and networked complete system. AGVs are solutions that quickly pay for themselves. Considering the battle for resources and the increasing cost pressure even in countries that have traditionally been low-wage alternatives, they represent an economically beneficial and reliable solution. Companies benefit from consistent system performances by utilizing AGVs. This is essential for maintaining on-time deliveries.

The following storage systems can be ideally extended with AGVs as examples:

Compact Channel Storage with SSI Orbiter for Heavy Load Carriers

Channel storage is a cost-efficient pallet storage solution for high level space utilization. Intelligent SSI Orbiter channel vehicles assume the task of storing and retrieving storage units in channels. This system can only access the front loading unit in each channel. As such, it represents an ideal solution for a small variety of items in large volumes, such as in the beverage or food industry, but also in shipment zone provisioning. A forklift places the SSI Orbiter and the docking station in the patented centering console of the desired rack channel. By using an AGV for heavy load carriers as a forklift, servicing heavy load carriers and implementing the SSI Orbiter can be fully automated.

Automating Mobile Racks for Pallets to Customer Specifications and Networking them in the Logistics Process

Mobile pallet racks from SSI Schaefer are designed to be particularly space-saving when storing pallets – even in deep-freeze areas. The systems are designed to meet the highest weight and size requirements for the products being stored. Their modular structure also allows an implementation of customer-specific solutions. In order to easily upgrade these systems to fully automated installations, SSI Schaefer offers the option to combine the AGV for heavy load carriers. This allows efficient networking of remote warehousing and work areas far from the mobile racks.

Retrofitting Manual Pallet Racks with AGVs

Pallet racking systems from SSI Schaefer include an extensive modular system that can be used to build customized racking solutions. Pallet racks such as PR 600 allow for modular assembly. Many customers benefit from the stable and robust solutions of SSI Schaefer. In addition to expansion with additional rack aisles, modular racks can be linked with AGVs for heavy load carriers. In this way, SSI Schaefer combines tried and true solutions with innovative technologies, making it possible to retrofit existing manual systems without any need for huge infrastructure measures.

Expanding the SSI LOGIMAT Warehouse and Picking Solution for Compact Load Carriers by Adding an Automated In-House Transport Option

The SSI LOGIMAT vertical lift module is a small parts storage and picking solution in one system. The solution focuses on ergonomics, safety and efficiency. The vertical lift module can be used in any industry sector and efficiently and expediently supports in-house processes. Connecting the SSI Compact Load AGVs for compact load carriers allows the fully automated transport of picked containers. This allows, for example, intelligent linking of the picking area, the incoming goods area, production line or shipping workspace.

Source: Automation With Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVS) SSI SCHAEFER

The SSI Orbiter and the docking station are moved by a forklift. By integrating AGVs, the transfer can also be fully automated.
The SSI Orbiter and the docking station are moved by a forklift. By integrating AGVs, the transfer can also be fully automated.
By linking manual racking systems with AGVs for large load carriers, SSI Schaefer makes it possible to retrofit existing manual systems without any need for huge infrastructure measures.
Connecting SSI Compact Load AGVs for compact load carriers with the SSI LOGIMAT vertical lift module allows the fully automated transport of picked containers.