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Megan Ray Nichols Don’t allow your steps into the future to create an unsafe facility. Sensors with your automated equipment can make using it much safer for your workers and those around them. But if you use automatic machinery for material handling, you also need to know how to minimize risks at your facility. The Problem With Automated Guided Vehicles Automating material handling frees the need for forklift drivers by using automated guided vehicles (AGVs) or automated guided carts (AGCs). These devices mean fewer human operators are needed to tend them. But, without a driver, these vehicles may run into people or objects. If you think older sensors are all you need to protect your employees, think again. These sensors still do not prevent accidents from occurring. According to the CDC , nearly 100 workers are killed annually in forklift related incidents while another 20,000 are seriously injured. Having well-trained operators and updated sensors may help increase the safety of AGVs and AGCs. Types of Sensors Unlike older sensors that guide a vehicle regardless of obstacles, newer sensors increase the area an AGV can “see,” making it safer. Depending on the sensors, you could even minimize human input in the AGV’s operation. With predictions estimating 25 percent of future manufacturing functions reaching full automation, it’s in your facility’s best interests to adopt AGVs and appropriate sensors for automation. Magnetic tape works best with AGCs and other light vehicles. Though you must mark out the path on the ground with tape, the AGC reliably follows the tape using magnets. It’s easy to lay and change as needed. But it does not allow for immediate route changes. Laser-guided AGVs integrate reflectors in the warehouse with lasers on the vehicle to triangulate the location of the AGV. Unlike magnetic tape, which requires […]
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