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Houstex
HOUSTEX
February 23-25, 2021
HOUSTEX has been good for us. We’ve gotten quite a bit of traffic at our booth. We’ve seen a lot of our current customers, but we were very excited to see a lot of new customers come by. Even our competitors came by the booth. We’ve shared a little bit with them, they’ve shar...

Equipment & Manufacturing West Africa
EQUIPMENT & MANUFACTURING WEST AFRICA
April 27-29, 2021
The Equipment & Manufacturing West Africa  Exhibition and Co-Located Events will serve as a professional business platform for manufacturers and business operators involved throughout the  supply chains from west Africa. The event gives you the opportunity to showcase new & innovat...

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COVID-19: Making the Case for Autonomous Forklifts By Thomas R. Cutler

THOMAS R. CUTLER
SHARESHARESHARE

Nic Temple (pictured left) Vice President of US Sales, Global AGV shared the rationale for autonomous forklifts: any manufacturer operating two or more forklifts currently, must consider the merits of replacing one unit as a critical return-to-work strategy during the pandemic.

 


Fewer than 2% of forklifts sold in North America are automated, yet there has never been a greater need for this technology. Many manufacturers are looking to automate material handling processes because it reduces the potential for COVID-19 exposure by reducing human contact.

Essential manufacturers working throughout the pandemic have been forced to deal with social distancing and PPE (personal protection equipment) required for employee safety. The money that manufacturers must spend on masks, gloves, face shields, and Lexan plastic partitions is difficult to recoup for a small or midsized operation. Temple shared that automated material handling helps a company keep working through these challenges as the only viable return-to-work strategy.

A single autonomous forklift can achieve 60% savings on day-to-day operations

With a single autonomous forklift these smaller manufacturers can easily achieve a 60% savings on day-to-day operations shifting away from driver-operated forklifts.


60% Savings on Day-to-Day Operations


The reason small manufacturers or smaller manufacturing manufacturers have not invested in autonomous forklift technology is due to the fact that traditional AGVs lack a simple solution from a programming perspective. A traditional single AGV requires the commission and programming time of two months onsite at considerable costs. Ten AGVs installed carries similar costs, making the ROI (Return on Investment) unattractive for a single unit.

Breakthrough: Autonomous Forklift

Autonomous forklifts finally offer a simple interface solution: a simple point to point horizontal movement of pallets. Temple shared Global AGV is happy to work with small manufacturers who have never ventured in the mobile space and simply want to see the merits of a single autonomous forklift, particularly during the pandemic. He added the breakthrough is selling an automated forklift as a product rather than a project. Instead of a $200k installation cost, it can be $0 when using salaried labor. If the manufacturer wants a turnkey solution, a local network of system integrators is available.

Simplicity is essential for small and midsized manufacturers
purchasing their first autonomous forklift.


Nic Temple, Global AGV
COVID-19:
Making the Case for Autonomous Forklifts 
By Thomas R. Cutler
COVID-19: remote demo and remote installation

Traditional AGVs are often custom-built vehicles with long (six-month plus) delivery times.  They use navigation which requires additional infrastructure versus a natural feature-based navigation where no infrastructure modifications are needed.

Temple shared manufacturers are ordering a standard product which can be remotely demoed and delivered in weeks. Local partner integrators help to ensure a low-cost quick installation in just days rather than months (and ensures a qualified service arm is there to help when manufacturers need them). This is a critical differentiator during the pandemic ensuring labor is kept safe and following the safety protocols to keep the doors open. 

A remote installation process means a manufacturer can install the
autonomous forklift technology immediately.
About The Author
Thomas R. Cutler is the President and CEO of Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based, ,TR Cutler, Inc., celebrating its 21st year. Cutler is the founder of the Manufacturing Media Consortium including more than 8000 journalists, editors, and economists writing about trends in manufacturing, industry, material handling, and process improvement. Cutler authors more than 1000 feature articles annually regarding the manufacturing sector. More than 4400 industry leaders follow Cutler on Twitter daily at @ThomasRCutler. Contact Cutler at trcutler@trcutlerinc.com.

SPOTLIGHT

At Global AGV we help or customers with optimising their production by means of automation solutions with driverless forklift trucks. We have developed a simple solution that is easy to install and implement in existing production environments. As a part of BILA A/S – a professional automation company founded in 1998 in Denmark – we have several years’ experience. All our competencies are gathered one place – from consulting to development to implementation and service.

EVENTS

Houstex
HOUSTEX
February 23-25, 2021
HOUSTEX has been good for us. We’ve gotten quite a bit of traffic at our booth. We’ve seen a lot of our current customers, but we were very excited to see a lot of new customers come by. Even our competitors came by the booth. We’ve shared a little bit with them, they’ve shar...

Equipment & Manufacturing West Africa
EQUIPMENT & MANUFACTURING WEST AFRICA
April 27-29, 2021
The Equipment & Manufacturing West Africa  Exhibition and Co-Located Events will serve as a professional business platform for manufacturers and business operators involved throughout the  supply chains from west Africa. The event gives you the opportunity to showcase new & innovat...