Typical applications of Solving AGVs
Solving AGV systems allow an efficient way of transporting both lighter and heavier materials in production processes and assembly lines.
3 reasons why
Solving’s handling systems are not off-the-shelf solutions, but tailored systems to suit each customer’s specific handling requirements.
Solving AGVs are reliable 24/7 installations designed to enable productivity and efficiency to be increased.
Safety devices such as scanners, bumpers, cameras, warning signals and lights, ensure that the AGVs slow down or stop whenever an obstacle is detected, which ensures safety for both personnel and products.
Which safety systems are available?
Solving AGV Movers are equipped with the latest safety systems to avoid collisions or injuries. These can be speed-dependent laser scanners for personal safety, and audible/visual warning signals, and emergency stop buttons to guarantee safety for personnel and load.
How are Solving AGVs navigated?
Laser navigation provides the customer with extensive freedom because the AGV does not need any tracks, wires or rails, but can be easily programmed for both indoor and outdoor driving. The driving routes can easily be changed with the software. A rotating laser beam detects reflectors that are placed in the building, and based on these locations the route is calculated in real time. This navigation method ensures high precision and is suitable for higher speeds.
Contour navigation, also called natural navigation, uses objects in the existing environment meaning that all boundaries for controlling AGV driving paths are removed. It requires only a short installation time and so costs are reduced and the effect on operations minimised. It is easy to expand existing AGV systems or create new AGV paths. Contour navigation is applicable when objects in the driving path do not change significantly. Contour navigation is mostly used in combination with an other navigation system.
Magnetic spot navigation
Magnetic spot navigation uses magnetic discs that are embedded in the floor and detected by onboard sensors. The AGV position is updated using measurements to spot magnets. Magnetic spot navigation is a durable and good complement to laser or contour navigation.
Magnetic tape navigation
The AGV follows a magnetic tape on the floor. Vehicle movements are tracked and their positions are updated continuously. The navigation is active at all times. This is a cost-efficient method, suitable for indoor use.
Inductive wire navigation
A wire is embedded in the floor providing very high precision. This option is appropriate for situations where the layout is planned to remain unchanged.
Barcode navigation uses position markers on the floor.
Barcodes provide precise navigation in open areas without walls, where other navigation methods cannot be used. It is a flexible solution if changes in the environment occur.
Multi-navigation is a combination of navigation methods and used where conditions dictate, or extended precision is required.
Overview of an AGV – system
What constitutes an AGV installation?
An AGV-system consists of the following main parts:
(also known as the high-level system)
An AGV system is a resource that works nonstop around the clock, save for a few periods to charge the batteries in the AGV units. However, a Customer Host is required to give clear orders to the AGV system, which only operates on demand.
Usually, the Customer Host is the customer’s ERP (Enterprise Resourse Planning), MRP (Material Resource Planning) or WMS (Warehouse Management System) system.
AGV System Controller
The AGV System Controller, or more precisely the System Manager, possesses information on everything that happens in an AGV-system. The System Manager is constantly communicating with the Customer Host and transfers the latest information from the floor and is constantly communicating with the AGV units.
The System Manager is also communicating with external sources, such as doors, load handling stations and fire alarms using the System I/O or Remote I/O. This communication is achieved using Kepware OPC.
Everything that happens in an AGV system can be viewed in the CWay software, the graphical user interface, showing what is happening in real time. Everything that happens is also documented in a log file.
AGV fleet and AGV units
The AGV units form the AGV fleet and carry out the job tasks in an AGV system. The AGV fleet can consist of different types of AGV units, each specialized in their own task. In an AGV system different types of AGVs can be mixed to suit the requirements. The AGV units receive their tasks from the AGV System Controller.
The System Manager sends out messages via the WLAN AP to the AGV units, which receive these messages via antennas onboard the AGVs.
System I/O and Remote I/O
These are used when the AGV System Controller needs to communicate with an external source. For example, such a source can be doors that must be opened to let an AGV-unit through or sensors detecting that a load is ready to be picked up.