Equipment and Solutions

What Are AGVs?  

Automated Guided Vehicles for Sale

An automated guided vehicle (AGV) is a robot that follows a specific path or route to transport materials independently. In large industrial or warehouse spaces, automated guided vehicles are essential in high-productivity areas that involve consistent and repetitive movements. There are different types of AGVs for various purposes, from towing machines to forklifts to guided carts and more.

Automated Guided Vehicle System Technology

Automated guided vehicles move through a combination of sensor-based guidance systems and software programs. Because they travel on calculated paths with precisely controlled speeds, they provide safe and secure movement of materials. AGVs navigate a facility using several guidance technologies, including surface-mounted magnetic tape and bars, optical sensors, lasers or magnetized inertial guidance. 

By having the ability to change or program new routes quickly, these guidance systems provide a material handling solution that’s both flexible and scalable.

What Is an Automated Guided Vehicle Used For?

AGVs continue to grow in popularity among industries everywhere. They have become the preferred choice of material transportation in distribution centers, warehouses, manufacturing facilities, hospitals, food processing plants and more. 

When a facility has handling needs that are uniform and consistent, automated guided vehicles can reduce employee labor demands, decrease accidents, eliminate downtime, and improve overall efficiency and safety.

An automated guided vehicle might be used for:

  • Material transport: Tasks may include delivering raw materials throughout a manufacturing facility.
  • Assembly lines: AGVs can assist in moving products from one manufacturing cell to another. 
  • Pallet handling: Pallet handling can cover transporting pallets from work stations to warehouse racks or shipping docks.
  • Trailer loading and unloading: You might use AGVs to take goods to and from a trailer or other means of transport.

AGVs are ideal for applications with the following characteristics: 

• Invariable movement of loads over uniform distances 
• Consistent delivery of stable materials 
• Small- to medium-volume load requirements
• When on-time delivery is vital and late deliveries are causing inefficiencies 
• Processes that need strict tracking of material

Types of Automated Guided Vehicles

The most common types of automated guided vehicles are:

  • AGV forklifts: An automated guided forklift performs the same tasks as a standard forklift without requiring an operator. They are ideal for floor-level pallet pickup and stacking pallets at low- to medium-range heights. Forklift AGVs are widely used in sorting and storage systems and are highly efficient in automatic warehouse racking.
  • Unit load vehicles: Unit load AGVs, also known as lift decks, transport bundled or unitized goods throughout a facility. This type of AGV does not lift the load off the floor, as it requires the assistance of other lifting equipment like conveyors or forklifts to load material onto its deck.
  • Towing AGVs: Towing or tugger automated guided vehicles pull undriven trailers and carriers. They are self-propelled towing tractors with a tugger robot acting as an AGV locomotive. 
  • Automated guided carts: An automated guided cart is the most basic AGV. It lifts a load by driving underneath it and raising it slightly off the ground. A popular application for automated guided carts is delivering and picking up food trays in hospitals.

Trusting RAKA for All Your Automated Guided Vehicle Needs

You can count on RAKA to provide the most comprehensive selection of automated guided vehicles and other material handling equipment for purchase or rent. We also offer complete service and maintenance packages specific to your operation’s needs. Contact us today for more information.