Automotive builds a new path.
"Transportation of parts and assemblies in auto plants is taking on a new look with its increasing use of guided vehicles and carts as well as autonomous mobile robots. In a word, it’s all about flexibility."
“In the last six months, there have been more requests for AGV and AGC systems than in the past two years,” says Kelsey Schell, senior sales manager at Daifuku America. At the same time, Schell points out, that doesn’t mean parts and assembly transportation in automotive is being overrun by AGVs and AGCs. Or AMRs, for that matter. It’s all gradual. Chain conveyor, including power and free, as well as friction-drive conveyors using skillets and skids still dominate paint shops and assembly lines. Schell doesn’t see that changing anytime soon. The shift already in motion is the move to line side delivery of parts and takeaway of assemblies with AGVs, AGCs and AMRs. But even those transportation modes account for less than 20% of all transport materials handling equipment in place today, says Schell. Yes, manned lift trucks, pallet jacks and tuggers continue to be widely used. Just ask Lockhart of GECOM. But the push is to minimize them whenever possible."