Material handling – the flow of material and the role of AGV/AMR in material handling

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Material handling – the flow of material and the role of AGV/AMR in material handling

Material handling, specifically the flow of materials, is a crucial process in many factories and manufacturing facilities. Numerous organizations are actively seeking new and innovative ways to improve operational efficiency, increase speed, ensure accuracy, and enhance safety. One of the solutions being explored is the application of Automated Mobile Robots (AMRs) and Autonomous Guided Vehicles (AGVs).

The necessary of AGV/AMR in material handling

Material handling, or the flow of materials, involves the movement, protection, storage, and control of materials and products throughout the manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, consumption, and disposal processes. This process combines various types of manual, semi-automated, and automated equipment and systems to support the operations of the supply chain. AMRs and AGVs are essential vehicles for the operation of material handling and intralogistics (all logistics activities within the confines of a warehouse/distribution center/processing center, including design, implementation, management, monitoring, and optimization of the flow of raw materials and corresponding information).

Autonomous Guided Vehicles (AGVs) can be programmed in advance to transport goods within warehouses or production environments. The devices are guided by magnetic strips or rails installed on or beneath the warehouse floor.

Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) utilize sophisticated sensors, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and computing to autonomously plan their movement paths without the need for physical guidance or markers. AMRs are more flexible than traditional AGVs, utilizing lidar technology to create virtual maps and program diverse and flexible movement paths without route restrictions. They automatically navigate around obstacles and program the most efficient routes to their destinations with the support of AI.

AMRs and AGVs meet the need for monitoring and tracking material flow, thereby optimizing productivity and minimizing waste, improving efficiency, and freeing up labor resources

When designing a material handling system, it is important to apply optimization methods to ensure that all equipment and processes, including manual, semi-automated, and automated, work together as a unified system. A well-designed system will improve customer service, reduce inventory levels, shorten lead times, and minimize overall processing costs in manufacturing, distribution, and transportation.

Some considerations for material handling include:

  • Clear and upfront planning.
  • Standardization of methods, equipment, and software.
  • Simplification of tasks and processes.
  • Reduction of manual labor and prioritization of safety.
  • Maximization of space utilization.
  • Seamless material flow coordination.
  • Energy efficiency and environmental protection.
  • Automation deployment.
  • Cost savings.

Some type of AGV/AMR

Towing AGV: This type of AGV (Automated Guided Vehicle) is capable of towing materials to processing stations, providing quick connections between different stages of production. It serves as a replacement for traditional conveyor systems, lift platforms, and lifting tables, which often occupy space, are difficult to install, and are challenging to reconfigure when production scales change.

Lifting AMR: AMR (Autonomous Mobile Robot) operates highly efficiently, facilitating the automated transportation of large volumes of materials with high precision, without the need for manual intervention. In the case of lifting automotive frames and handling bulky and heavy materials, the transportation process becomes challenging and prone to risks. However, with an AMR system, these drawbacks can be mitigated. Unlike towing AGVs, AMRs for material handling offer flexibility in movement and have a smaller turning radius. Particularly in the automotive industry, the application of lifting AMRs is widely utilized for assembly and transportation between workshops and stages of production.

AMR transports pallet: Many businesses have implemented teams of AMRs specialized in lifting and transporting pallets or delivering various components on pallets or carts to production lines and removing unused components from previous production runs. This significantly increases productivity and cost savings for the factory. These devices are commonly applied after the packing and end-of-the-line stages. AMRs/AGVs can collaborate with robotic arms to form a complete automated system. Additionally, AMRs for pallet transportation are also utilized in warehouse operations, transporting pallets to storage locations.

PNC TECH – solution provider

PNC Tech is a leading provider of solutions for material handling challenges. With a deep understanding of the flow of goods in storage and transportation applications, their range of AGV/AMR products has helped numerous partner brands optimize production, enhance efficiency, and save costs. Some of their notable products include automated AMR systems for material retrieval and stacking, autonomous forklift systems for finished goods handling, and sorting AMR systems.

PNC Tech boasts an experienced team of engineers who have worked extensively in countries like South Korea, Japan, and directly with demanding enterprises such as Viettel Post, Vinfast, Vines, Nestle, among others. This experience serves as both an accomplishment and a driving force for PNC Tech’s confidence in creativity and meeting customer needs.

If you are looking to explore and find automation solutions for your business, please contact PNC Tech using the following information:

PNC TECH Automation Company Limited

Address: Building A17, 17 Ta Quang Buu Street, Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi.

Hotline: 0919 247 843

Email: diep.ns@pnctech.vn

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