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When will my AGVs turn into money machines?

15 Mar 2017
Samuel Alexandersson

When will my AGVs turn into money machines?

This is the question every AGV buyer wants an answer to. Automated guided vehicles (AGVs), such as mobile robots and carts, often give a high return on investment (ROI) with a payback period of only 1-2 years. Here is a general description of how to calculate the point in time when you can expect years of profits ahead of you—and where to turn for further advice.   

Many things to consider

The accuracy of your investment calculation will depend on the precision of your input.

To start your investment calculation, you need to consider the following:

  • Daily transport flows including seasonal variations (check your WMS)
  • Bottlenecks such as pick up and drop off stations
  • Load types and load carrier types
  • Site conditions and organizational experience from implementing AGVs

The return on investment also depends on what kind of business you are in. AGVs perform best at even workflows where waste as a result of empty driving is reduced to a minimum. You can use AGVs in a wide variety of industries and get quick and significant efficiency gains. In the e-commerce sector, you also need to consider what the potential for fast expansion with AGVs (versus fixed automation) is worth to your company.

Getting a rough indication

You can calculate the return on investment and payback period for AGVs in many ways. Our channel partners Rocla and Transbotics have put together value calculation tools for AGVs. Test the Rocla calculator and the Transbotics calculator for a first ROI indication. We are also a member company of MHI, who has put together an excellent presentation for businesses thinking about buying AGVs.

The way to the best answer

Every manufacturing plant or warehouse is unique. Our channel partners can give you the detailed ROI calculation you need for an investment decision and take the project to the next level with simulations, test installations and reference site visits. Talk to them directly or go via us to find the right partner to work with depending on where you are and what you do. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to strengthen your knowledge of AGVs.

About the Author

Samuel Alexandersson

Samuel Alexandersson

What I enjoy most about my work is the constant challenge to be aware of the changing needs of the marketplace. Business is booming and my role of finding opportunities and then addressing them with insights is highly rewarding. As Product Marketing Manager my main work is to analyze and join the dots to successfully segment and position a strong portfolio of products for the future market. A strong source of motivation in this global environment is all the great people you meet. Not only colleagues, but stakeholders from all over the world. Studied: Industrial Management and Engineering, The Faculty of Engineering at Lund University. Samuel can be reached at samuel.alexandersson@kollmorgen.com

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