Flexible Inductive Power Transfer AGV Solution
A leading heavy equipment manufacturer sought out RedViking for a flexible assembly process to increase capacity and improve efficiency. The assembly line needed to be flexible so they could quickly change their line without an increase or decrease in their workforce. They also wanted technology that they could replicate to other plants. RedViking designed, built, and installed a fully integrated flexible assembly line solution, using wireless power supply AGVs with synchronized lifts.
- No Batteries or Charging Stations
- Speeds From 3 to 100 Feet Per Minute
- Synchronized AGVs on Parallel Paths
- Synchronized Lifts for Heavy Loads
- Continuous Operation for 3 Shifts
- Engineered, Fully Integrated Solution
Eliminate the Battery
Assembly line AGVs were the logical choice, but our customer’s management team wanted to avoid a battery-powered solution. They had a negative experience with work stoppage due to AGV battery drain. Additionally, their need for tooling to provide onboard lift as well as their heavy payload required a robust AGV. Since their line runs 24/7, unpredictable battery life created unacceptable risk.
RedViking’s designed a system around AGVs powered by Inductive Power Transfer (IPT®). IPT® provides continuous power for transport and onboard lifts. Also, these AGVs can handle speeds ranging from 1 foot per hour to well over 100 feet per hour.
Optimizing Floor Space
Our customer was also looking for a solution that could be phased in gradually, without creating monuments or taking up extra floor space. This approach does not require charging stations or spare AGVs, they are not losing valuable floor space.
Speeds from 3 to 150 feet per hour
Finally, the AGVs had to be capable of moving from 3 feet per hour to as quickly as 150 feet per hour on the return path. Some of the traditional AGVs they considered ran at the lower speeds, and some ran at the higher speeds, but none of them could do both.
Synchronizing with Other Factory Automation
With onboard PLCs, AGVs synchronize with each other and with other forms of conveyance. Two AGVs asynchronously enter the production area at a time and align parallel. They then receive the frame base from an overhead conveyor and lift the frame so that it’s ergonomically positioned. The operator uses a pendant to raise the lift until it passes its pinch point, then the synchronized lifts continue automatically. From here, the AGVs move in parallel to convey the frame to the next station.
Engineered, Integrated Solution
While traditional AGV companies will set up the positional system and start up the AGVs, RedViking does much more. We prove out every AGV in advance on our one-of-a-kind induction test track in Michigan. All of the controls and mechanics are designed and proved out before they’re delivered. Since AGVs are intelligent systems, we can integrate them into your MES or get you started with Argonaut™ MES.