In a latest name with a buyer, I used to be instructed they had been seeking 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 favored the flexibleness and scalability of an automatic information autos (AGV) or autonomous cell 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 underneath analysis was 20 construct stations, with shifting construct carts that had been designed for as much as 4000 lbs every. As we dug into the appliance, nevertheless, we shortly realized that it was not essentially true that tow traces are vastly extra value environment friendly than AGVs. The identical holds for AMRs, however given the load of the product on this meeting line, an AMR answer was not acceptable.
The evaluation started with a assessment of the method’s takt time, that’s, the time wanted to finish a product to satisfy buyer demand. The shopper’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 occasions for AGV vs tow line conveyance, there are two key issues:
- If AGVs had been for use, is it essential for every construct cart to have its personal devoted AGV?
- If the method takt is lengthy, how effectively 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 know if the AGV have to be devoted to every construct cart or if the carts and AGVs might be separate entities.
In lots of cases, there isn’t any technical want for the AGV to be completely linked to its companion body cart that sits on high of it. In these situations, tunneling AGVs are a possible answer that may result in value financial savings. This simulation highlights how solely a small variety of AGVs can be utilized to index a complete 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.