A complete warehouse autonomy and process efficiency forms the hallmark of an effective supply chain practice. As more and more companies embrace Industry 4.0 benchmarks, investments in automation and advanced technologies are at the forefront of savvy company’s strategic decisions. With a wide gamut of optimization available for warehouses, Autonomous Guided Vehicles (AGV) remains one of the best investments to look for, and rightly so. Here are a few reasons why:
With solution-oriented AGV providers, you break the common myth that technological advancement= replacing humans. While AGVs are more than capable of performing the crucial tasks of a supply chain, they are here to collaborate, not replace. Investment in AGV provides an opportunity to reorganize your existing task force into more value- added services like production or manufacturing processes. By retraining your task force, companies today can increase their productivity and output capacity whilst limiting the cautious and repetitive tasks of load transfer to AGVs.
One major benchmark warehouses look at is safer handling of both loads as well as the operators. Almost 23% of unplanned downtime in manufacturing is due to human error. This makes investing in an AGV a smart idea. By allowing advanced AGVs with precision handling and robust performance, your goods transfer and handling ability will be safer, faster and completely autonomous. With integration to factory WMS, ERP companies will have greater control over inventory and thus increase operational efficiency.
AGVs can be a potential capex investment. However, for an effective analysis of your investment, calculating the estimated rate of investment (ROI) as accurately as possible will give you the big picture. Over a period of time, continuous and complex operations break-even at a remarkably early time, and within the span of AGV operations, will save you $$$ in operating cost, manpower and employee benefits, reduced goods damages, and better inventory control.
With the help of an ROI tool, today most companies can calculate the potential savings in minutes.
It is quite common for AGVs to be compared with a fixed automation like conveyor belts since both are essentially used to transfer goods from one station to another. However, one major advantage of the AGV system is the ease of implementation. Advanced AGVs today run with a breakthrough navigation system, which maps the warehouse simultaneously and uses cameras and lasers to move pallets. This means that there is no additional infrastructure or other requirements needed to implement an AGV system. Keeping your existing operations intact, an AGV system also scores when there is a potential need to scale up the operations after a few years.
* Note : AGV = Autonomous Guided Vehicles