Automatic guided vehicles are designed to perform their operation without direct human guidance. They are used in wide variety of industrial application. AGVs consist of one or more computer controlled wheel based load carries (normally battery powered) that runs on plant floor without the need of onboard operator or driver. AGVs have defined paths or areas within which or over which they can navigate. Navigation can be achieved by means of inductive wires, magnetic strip or by laser guidance. There are three main types of automated guided vehicles: unit load, fork lift and tugger. Unit load AGV are powered wheel based transport vehicles that carry a discrete load such as individual items (e.g. large roll of papers, coil of steel) or items contained on the pallet.
Automated material handling (AMH) systems improve efficiency of transportation, storage and retrieval of materials. Examples are computerized conveyors, and automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) in which computers direct automatic loaders to pick and place items. Automated guided vehicle (AGV) systems use embedded floor wires to direct driverless vehicles to various locations in the plant. Benefits of AMH systems include quicker material movement, lower inventories and storage space, reduced product damage and higher labor productivity.
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