The production of paper and fabrics includes the handling of rolls and reels at the end of the production process. These rolls must be moved from the forming or primary processing machines to other machines for further processing, or they must simply be stored correctly. Automatic guided vehicles (AGVs) are often used to automate the movement of these reels.
In this article we find out what are the reasons that lead us to use AGV for the activities of handling and storing of the reels and rolls, which is the most frequent field of use.
AGV for handling reels: market motivations
While the Chinese market needs to increase productivity in a structured way and the US market aims to reduce costs, the European market focuses on increasing internal factory safety. Each country meets its own standards, although there are more and more international standards that standardize states. Vehicles with autonomous driving for the transport of reels (but not only) can solve all these three needs, since they have many advantages.
For example, AGVs guarantee greater operational safety because they eliminate the risks associated with the use of forklifts and other machinery by personnel. Then, the use of AGV vehicles makes it easier to reach just-in-time delivery targets. No destination error and more precise inventory management allow you to use the warehouse much more efficiently.
Furthermore, AGV vehicles offer the best value for money, based on low maintenance costs and high operating rates. Thus, all kinds of markets can benefit from the use of these solutions.
AGV and reel transport: four practical examples
Below you can find four practical examples on how self-guided reel transport vehicles can improve warehouse and product management.
1. Management of the raw material
- take the bales of raw material from the warehouse;
- load them automatically on the opening machine;
- reduce fouling and contamination risks;
- reduce possible human risks and errors.
2. Transport of Master Rolls
Thanks to the AGVs it is possible to:
- transfer the Master Rolls hygienically and without risk to personnel;
- store them in waiting areas;
- automatically take the coils from the Winders;
- automatically place the Master Rolls on the Slitter Rewinders.
3. Palletized coils exiting the packaging
The AGVs allow:
- take the palletized coils out of the packaging;
- transfer pallets to the automatic warehouse;
- pick up pallets from the warehouse;
- transfer pallets to the truck loading area.
4. Non-palletized coils exiting the packaging
With AGVs it is possible:
- take the non-palletized coils out of the packaging;
- transfer the coils to the traditional warehouse and stack them efficiently;
- transfer the coils to the automatic warehouse, if present;
- take the rolls from the warehouse;
- transfer them to the truck loading area.
Coils and AGV: from physical transport to data management
The advent of Industry 4.0 integrated with IIoT stimulates market growth. The global economy is currently recording the adoption of industrial automation in various end-user industries, not just with regards to warehouse automation. However, the common tendency is that new technologies must be able to exchange data both at the production level and in all other business processes.
Robotic computer-controlled systems with machine learning are used to process a wide range of information with minimal human intervention. This also applies to AGV vehicles: the software solutions for controlling and managing autonomous driving vehicles not only regulates the activities of these solutions, but it can also integrate the warehouse with other areas, such as production and planning.
The advantage of obtaining data also from the storage process lies in the total traceability of the production. Therefore, it is possible to achieve better visibility in real time, planning inventory management and analyzing data to predict peak operations or new opportunities. Autonomous driving vehicles therefore become a critical success factor for the management not only of stock rolls, but for the entire company production system.
In conclusion, in order to better organize the management and storage of the coils in the warehouse, it is necessary to have specific autonomous driving vehicles, equipped with the accessories suitable for transporting and transferring the materials.
The AGV allows for more performance, optimizing costs and safeguarding the health of warehouse operators. If in your warehouse you have always referred to manual solutions for the activities of handling and storage of the reels, you will certainly be interested in more details about A.Celli R-WAY AGV and other tools to automate the warehouse: download the free report now!