In a current name with a buyer, I used to be informed they have been trying to construct a brand new facility and investigating putting in a tow-line to index our construct carts down the meeting line. The corporate actually preferred the pliability and scalability of an automatic information automobiles (AGV) or autonomous cellular robots (AMR), however they believed a tow line could have a better ROI.
On the floor, this buyer’s preliminary inclinations appeared believable. The meeting line below analysis was 20 construct stations, with shifting construct carts that have been designed for as much as 4000 lbs every. As we dug into the applying, nevertheless, we rapidly realized that it was not essentially true that tow traces are vastly extra price environment friendly than AGVs. The identical holds for AMRs, however given the burden of the product on this meeting line, an AMR resolution was not applicable.
The evaluation started with a evaluate of the method’s takt time, that’s, the time wanted to finish a product to satisfy buyer demand. The client’s course of was set to 46 minutes. We additionally examined how a lot time is allotted to every workstation earlier than the road should index ahead.
When assessing a course of with lengthy takt instances for AGV vs tow line conveyance, there are two key issues:
- If AGVs have been for use, is it crucial for every construct cart to have its personal devoted AGV?
- If the method takt is lengthy, how nicely balanced is the work content material throughout the a number of stations?
Construct Carts and AGVs
With extra time in station, AGVs have extra time to maneuver between stations. It’s due to this fact vital to grasp if the AGV have to be devoted to every construct cart or if the carts and AGVs may be separate entities.
In lots of situations, there isn’t a technical want for the AGV to be completely linked to its companion body cart that sits on prime of it. In these eventualities, tunneling AGVs are a possible resolution that may result in price financial savings. This simulation highlights how solely a small variety of AGVs can be utilized to index a whole meeting line.
Because the title implies, a tunneling AGV is a car that tunnels beneath a construct cart and engages through a pin mechanism. Whereas the pin is engaged, the cart is coupled to the AGV and strikes to the place the AGV takes it. As soon as the AGV positions the carts of their subsequent cease, the AGV disengages and is free to go transfer one thing else.