AGV driving wheels Plastic
AGV driving wheels
Aluminum alloy hub with PU wheel
Ø125 x 30mm
anti-skidding AGV drive wheels
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What are automated guided vehicles?
Sometimes called self-guided vehicles or autonomous guided vehicles, automated guided vehicles (AGV driving wheels) are material handling systems or load carriers that travel autonomously throughout a warehouse, distribution center, or manufacturing facility, without an onboard operator or driver. In this post, we’ll explore the various types of AGV driving wheels, the meaning of them, how they work and their benefits.
Applications for AGV driving wheels
Automated guided vehicle systems are used for tasks that would typically be handled by forklifts, conveyor systems or manual carts, moving large volumes of material in a repetitive manner.
AGV driving wheels are used in a variety of applications. They’re often used for transporting raw materials such as metal, plastic, rubber or paper. For example, AGV driving wheels can transport raw materials from receiving to the warehouse or deliver materials directly to production lines. AGV driving wheels consistently and reliably deliver raw materials needed without human intervention, ensuring that production lines always have the materials they need without interruption.
In addition to transporting raw materials, AGV driving wheels are used in work-in-process applications and with finished goods to support production or manufacturing lines. According to Investopedia, the term work-in-process describes “partially completed goods, which are typically turned from raw material to finished product in a short period of time,” such as manufactured goods. In work-in-process applications, AGV driving wheels move materials or parts from the warehouse to production lines or from one workstation to another, providing repetitive and efficient movement of materials throughout the manufacturing process. Without AGV driving wheels, manufacturing processes may come to a halt when processing lines run out of materials. Manufacturing is then delayed while a human worker retrieves the necessary materials from storage and transports them to the production line.
AGV driving wheels are also used in inbound and outbound handling for replenishment and for picking. For example, AGV driving wheels may be used to transport inventory from receiving to storage locations or from long-term storage locations to forward picking locations to replenish stock. Moving inventory from long-term storage to forward picking locations ensures that adequate inventory is accessible to pickers, making the order picking process more efficient. AGV driving wheels such as collaborative mobile robots assist in the picking process by guiding warehouse associates through tasks and transporting picked orders to packaging and shipping workstations.
Types of Automated Guided Vehicles
Types of AGV driving wheels – Chuck by 6 River Systems collaborative mobile robot
There are several types of automated guided vehicles. Many AGV driving wheels are similar to other human-operated vehicles but are designed to operate without direct human intervention or guidance.
Automated Guided Carts
An automatic guided cart (AGC) is the most basic type of AGV with minimal features. Navigation systems can range from systems as simple as magnetic tape to complex, sensor-based navigation systems that use AI to navigate their environment. They can transport a variety of materials, from small parts to loaded pallets, and are often used in sorting, storage, and cross-docking applications.
One example of an AGC is an automated hospital cart transporter, used to efficiently transport compact loads throughout a hospital, such as meals and empty food trays, clean or soiled linens, biohazard waste or sterile supplies. Without the need for a staff member to manually push the cart from place to place, automated hospital cart transporters can help to reduce labor costs.
Forklift AGV driving wheels
Fork vehicles, or forklift automatic guided vehicles, are another commonly used type of AGV. They’re designed to perform the same functions a human-operated forklift performs (transporting pallets), but without the need for a human operator.
Towing AGV driving wheels
Towing vehicles, or tugger automatic guided vehicles, pull one or more non-powered, load-carrying vehicles behind them in a train-like formation. Sometimes called driverless trains, powered towing vehicles travel on wheels. Tugger automatic guided vehicles are often used for transporting heavy loads over longer distances. They may have several drop-off and pick-up stops along a defined path through a warehouse or factory.
Unit Load Handlers
Unit load handlers carry discrete loads such as individual objects, or a single unit such as a pallet or tote that contains multiple items.
Heavy Burden Carriers
For the heaviest loads, heavy burden carriers are a type of AGV used in applications such as large assembly, casting and coil and plate transport. Some heavy burden carriers have self-loading capabilities and may have standard, pivot or omni-directional steering.
Autonomous Mobile Robots
Autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) are typically more technologically advanced than other types of AGV driving wheels. While many AGV driving wheels use fixed navigation systems, such as wires or magnetic tape, many AMRs are equipped with intelligent navigation capabilities such as sensors and camera systems that enable them to detect and navigate around obstacles. Thanks to more sophisticated technology, AMRs can dynamically navigate a warehouse or other facility and plan the most efficient paths.
How AGV driving wheels work
How AGV driving wheels work – Chuck by 6 River Systems collaborative mobile robot
AGV driving wheels are self-propelled vehicles with movement guided by software and sensors. Most AGV driving wheels move along defined pathways, but as mentioned, AMRs typically have more advanced technology with dynamic navigation capabilities.
AGV driving wheels navigation
AGV navigation may be guided using one or more of the following mechanisms:
Magnetic guide tape — some AGV driving wheels have magnetic sensors and follow a track using magnetic tape.
Wired navigation — some AGV driving wheels follow wire paths embedded into the facility floor. The wire transmits a signal that AGV driving wheels detect via an antenna or sensor.
Laser target navigation — with this method, reflective tape is mounted on objects such as walls, fixed machines and poles. AGV driving wheels are equipped with a laser transmitter and receiver. The lasers reflect off of the tape within the line of sight and used to calculate the object’s angle and distance from the AGV.
Inertial (gyroscopic) navigation — some AGV driving wheels are controlled by a computer system with the aid of transponders embedded into the facility floor to verify that the AGV is on the proper course.
Vision guidance — No modification is required to the infrastructure for vision-guided AGV driving wheels. Cameras record the features along the route, and AGV driving wheels rely on these recorded features to navigate.
Geoguidance — Like vision-guided AGV driving wheels, no infrastructure modifications are required for AGV driving wheels that use geoguidance. Geoguided AGV driving wheels recognize objects in their environment to establish their location in real-time to navigate throughout the facility.
LiDAR — LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is a sophisticated navigation technology utilizing sensors that transmit laser pulses to measure the distance between the robot and objects in its environment. This data is compiled to create a 360-degree map of the environment, allowing robots to navigate the facility and avoid obstacles without the need for any additional infrastructure. 6 River Systems uses LiDAR navigation technology to enable their AGV driving wheels to navigate a warehouse without requiring changes to infrastructure as well as to adapt to new environments should the layout of a warehouse floor change.
AGV driving wheels steering
AGV steering is controlled by differential speed control, steered wheel control or a combination of the two:
Differential speed control — This is the most common type of steering control used by AGV driving wheels. Differential speed control uses two independent drive wheels. Each drive wheel is driven at a different speed to turn. To go forward or backwards, the two drives are driven at the same speed. The simplest steering control option for AGV driving wheels, differential speed control doesn’t require additional steering motors or mechanisms. It is commonly used for AGV driving wheels that operate in tight spaces or for those that operate near machines. It is not used for towing applications, as it can cause a trailer to jackknife while turning.
Steered wheel control — This type of steering control is similar to the steering control in a car or truck. In steered wheel control, the drive wheel is the turning wheel. Steered wheel control is more precise than differential speed control and offers smoother turning. It is often used for towing applications and may also be operator-controlled.
Combination steering — This is a combination of differential speed control and steered wheel control. AGV driving wheels using combination steering have two independent steer/drive motors on diagonal corners of the AGV and swiveling castors on the other two corners. AGV driving wheels using combination steering can turn in any direction like a car and also drive in differential steering mode in any direction.
AGV driving wheels traffic control
Traffic control measures include zone control, collision avoidance or a mix of both:
Zone control — Simple to install and easy to expand, zone control is a commonly used traffic control method for AGV driving wheels. A wireless transmitter transmits signals in defined areas, and the AGV contains a sensor that receives the signal and transmits it back to the transmitter. If the area is clear, a “clear” signal is sent that allows the AGV to enter or pass through the area. If another AGV is in the area, a “stop” signal is sent that alerts other AGV driving wheels attempting to enter that the area is not clear. In this case, the waiting AGV driving wheels will stop and wait until the first AGV moves out of the zone and a “clear” signal is sent by the transmitter. Another way zone control can be used is by equipping each AGV with its own transmitter, allowing it to send a “do not enter” signal to other AGV driving wheels approaching the zone.
Collision avoidance — AGV driving wheels using collision avoidance zone control are equipped with sensors that transmit a signal and wait for a reply to determine if an object is in front of it. These sensors may be sonic, which work like radar, or optical, which uses infrared sensors. Both work in a similar manner. Bumper sensors are another type of collision avoidance sensor. Many AGV driving wheels are equipped with bumper sensors as a fail-safe. Bumper sensors stop to avoid a collision when they sense physical contact.
Combination control — AGV driving wheels that use combination control are equipped with both collison control sensors and zone control sensors in order to offer more robust collision prevention in all situations. For instance, an AGV may use zone control as its primary traffic control system but also have collision avoidance sensors as a backup in case the zone control system malfunctions.
Benefits of AGV driving wheels
AGV driving wheels offer numerous benefits in warehousing and manufacturing.
Increase efficiency and productivity
Because they operate autonomously, AGV driving wheels increase efficiency and productivity, and they’re predictable and reliable for repetitive tasks. AGV driving wheels eliminate unnecessary walking and also eliminate the physical labor of transporting materials. They set the pace for workers, as well, keeping associates on-task. AGV driving wheels like collaborative mobile robots guide associates through each task, reducing human error, which helps to improve order accuracy and minimize loss and misplaced products. By leveraging AI to optimize routes and prioritize work, collaborative mobile robots improve resource utilization.
AGV driving wheels are typically acquired on a per unit or per rental period cost basis, so there’s less fluctuation in costs compared to human labor, which can fluctuate based on market conditions and demand.
Some AGV driving wheels offer the flexibility of easily changing routes (compared to others which require re-routing guide wires or other infrastructure to adjust a vehicle’s route). Automated guided vehicles are a scalable solution, as well, with the ability to add additional units based on demand.
Less space required
Compared to other automation solutions, such as conveyor systems, AGV driving wheels require less space. Some AGV driving wheels are smaller compared to traditional warehouse equipment, such as forklifts, which allows for floor layouts with narrower aisles and better space utilization.
Finally, AGV driving wheels are a safe automation solution for warehouses, distribution centers and manufacturing facilities. AGV driving wheels are equipped with sensors to avoid collisions. Advanced AGV driving wheels like AMRs have intelligent routing capabilities that enable them to plan the most efficient path through a warehouse or facility, reducing aisle congestion and preventing injuries.
Automated guided vehicles are uniquely designed to automate tasks for which humans are not necessary. They automate long walks in warehouses, set the pace for workers, and eliminate the physical rigors of a traditionally physically demanding job. Chuck by 6 River Systems is a flexible, scalable and cost-effective solution for warehouses and distribution centers offering innovative technology designed to tackle some of warehousing’s biggest challenges.
Is your operation ready for AGV driving wheels? Consult this IDC study to assess your warehouse or fulfillment center’s maturity level. We can also discuss the solution that’s right for you. Contact us today.
Stainless steel casters are highly durable and long-lasting caster wheels used in various applications in many industries. They can be used to transport different items and are very widely used. Stainless steel casters also come in various sizes and for different uses, making them highly versatile and making selection quite tricky. Therefore knowing as much as you can about stainless steel casters is essential for ensuring you select the right one for your needs.
What Are Stainless Steel Casters Used For?
Stainless steel casters are durable and ideal for use in any harsh environment. They are highly resistant to chemical wear and corrosion, so they can be used in carts and AGVs in chemical facilities.
Stainless steel casters are also often used in the food industry for service and processing since these environments require moving food items around, which can often get intense. Often, there could be temperature changes in the facility, which a stainless steel caster can easily withstand. These industries also require strict sterilization and cleaning, due to which they are exposed to harsh cleaning agents, which can easily corrode any other material.
They are also used in marine environments where they regularly come in contact with saltwater.
These casters are also used in medical and pharmaceutical industries since they have to resist damage from sterilizing chemicals. Stainless steel casters do not get rusted, preventing bacteria accumulation and creating a sterile environment.
Manufacturing facilities also make use of stainless steel casters since they use harsh chemicals in the manufacturing process, which are easy for stainless steel casters to withstand.
What Are The Advantages Of Using Stainless Steel Casters?
Stainless steel casters are very widely used because there are many advantages to using these caster wheels. Some of the advantages include the following:
Resistant To Corrosion
Stainless steel casters are resistant to rust and corrosion. This is why they can be used in different environments and be exposed to water and chemicals without any danger of rust and damage. Stainless steel caster wheels are also resistant to damage from extreme temperature changes since extreme heat and cold cannot damage the integrity of their structure, which makes them the perfect choice for harsh environments.
Stainless steel casters can easily carry hundreds of thousands of pounds in weight without buckling under pressure. They are incredibly strong, making them perfect for use with heavy equipment. You can rest assured that your equipment will be on safe wheels when you entrust them to stainless steel casters.
Stainless steel casters are also durable. They can last for years in harsh environments without needing replacement unless something unprecedented happens. This is also why they are ideal for carrying heavy loads and working in harsh environments. These environments will save immense maintenance costs just by using the correct caster wheels.
Easy To Clean
Since stainless steel casters are resistant to corrosion, they are pretty easy to clean. Once they have come into contact with an unsanitary environment, or if you see the wheel collecting grime, you can use powerful detergents and sanitizers on them without worrying about rust or corrosion. This is why these casters are ideal for the food, pharmaceutical, and medical industries.
Stainless steel casters also often contain antimicrobial properties. These wheels can be infused with active antimicrobial substances, which can prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi on the wheels. This property also makes the wheels perfect for environments where sanitation is of utmost importance.
Lastly, one of the biggest benefits of stainless steel caster wheels is that they are very versatile. You can use them in all sorts of environments and many different industries, making these wheels the correct choice in many instances. And there are so many types of stainless steel casters that you will indeed find the right fit for any use.
Stainless steel casters are usually sleek and can look professional and add aesthetic value to wherever they are being used. They do not accumulate dirt easily either, which is why these casters usually look stellar.
How Do We Take Care Of Stainless Steel Casters?
Stainless steel casters are very durable, requiring the least amount of maintenance among all types of casters. However, it would help if you did not skip routine maintenance with these casters since it will help them last for many years without causing any trouble.
Make sure that you inspect the caster wheels thoroughly every time you inspect the rest of the equipment. See if you see signs of wear on the coating or any rough or damaged spots. The quicker you find out about issues with the wheels, the quicker you can sort the problem out.
Keep Them Smooth
Stainless steel casters are resistant to corrosion, but they will rust if not correctly lubricated when it’s time. It is ideal to lubricate stainless steel casters at least once in six months to keep them smoothly rolling in motion. You must also lubricate the wheels immediately if you feel that the movement is less smooth or if the wheel has started to tug.
Check The Fastenings
Don’t just examine the wheel for wear; also check the fasteners. If the fastener wears away or loosens, the wheel will get compromised, and there might be some damage to the equipment it is carrying. Therefore remember to check the fasteners for wear and fix anything that needs attention.
Repair And Replace As Necessary
Always remember to repair anything that needs attention immediately. Letting damage to the wheels build up over time will compromise their integrity and cause wheel failure quickly.
Do not try to work with faulty and damaged wheels. If the caster has become damaged beyond repair, you should replace it as quickly as possible since not doing so can compromise the transit process and damage the equipment. Ideally, you should also know the lifespan of the wheel you have so you can prepare for replacements once the time is over.
Stainless steel casters are widely used in the market everywhere. These wheels are strong and incredibly durable, making them best for harsh environments. Stainless steel casters are also long-lasting, so they can go years without being compromised. Talk to the manufacturer before investing in the wheel, so you know what grade is best for your line of work.