For replenishment of production, tow trains are very efficient as they carry more pallets at one go and they offer safe fork-free material handling in busy areas such as assembly lines. Depending on your needs, the Autopilot tow tractor can be programmed to run in a single loop with one or more trains, or operating in multiple loops with several trains to support just-in-time delivery of goods. Using the “teach-in” method, the AGVs are manually driven to teach them the loops, ensuring the trolleys follow in the correct way.
The automated towing tractors can be hooked onto a variety of Toyota carriers. Depending on the type of load, its weight, and the loading / unloading operation, you can choose the right load carrier.
Autopilot trucks from Toyota support two highly accurate and adaptive navigation technologies: reflector or natural navigation, or combined as dual navigation. With reflector navigation, reflectors are installed in the warehouse that allow the scanner on the automated truck to define its position based on its distance to the reflectors.
For most automated towing solutions natural navigation can be used. Natural navigation is a method for automated trucks to navigate with the help of the environment. This navigation method utilises recognisable reference points or landmarks within the warehouse, such as walls, racking and fixed objects, to calculate the truck’s location. Natural navigation is a lower-cost alternative if the surroundings in your warehouse remain fairly constant. The truck can utilise the existing environment to navigate without the need for extra equipment such as reflectors, avoiding extra cost and installation of additional equipment.
The Autopilots can be equipped with Lithium-ion batteries that are up to 30% more energy-efficient whilst reducing CO2 emissions. With the ability of auto-charging, the trucks can charge quickly in between tasks without the need of personnel or charging rooms, making it fully automated.
Automation optimises the flow of goods while minimising damage, time and cost. Workers become available to handle more complex tasks instead of repetitive processes. Automated pallet handling also requires less maintenance and energy, and contributes to productivity and safety, achieving a return on investment within typically 2 years.
In TINE's new warehouse dairy goods are automatically picked up on a conveyor belt and stored in a rack by an automated reach truck from Toyota. Automating this process delivered many benefits to Tine.