What comes to mind when you think about Italy? Certainly many of you will think about wine, pasta, Ferrari and Gucci. Others will think about architecture, music, textiles and other esthetically pleasing products. But few know that many things “Made in Italy” were at some stage handled by automated guided vehicles (AGVs).
Automation and automated guided vehicles (AGVs) have supported numerous Italian industries for decades, especially those working with large, heavy and/or hazardous materials and products. Moreover, Kollmorgen has been helping these industries improve their efficiency since the 1980s.
"Made in Italy"
One industry that realized early on the benefits of using AGVs in their processes was Italian Ceramics and Tile. In the 1980s, tiles had become, primarily, a mass manufactured, industrial product. Decorative styles had to adapt to the new production methods, which emphasized economies of scale.
To keep up demand, manufacturers introduced automation into their production, including AGVs for managing and storing raw and baked materials, and for handling pallets containing finished products. Many of these AGV installations were designed and developed by Kollmorgen partners in Italy.
Simplified logistics through automation
Designed to handle goods and products inside a plant, AGVs easily integrate with existing manual operations and other automated machines. AGVs move autonomously—automatically and without the need of an operator or fixed structures on the ground—guaranteeing a high degree of flexibility for future developments of a plant or warehouse. They can operate unrestricted in confined existing workplaces, leading to savings in time, energy and space requirements.
Increased safety in all environments
One of the greatest advantages of AGVs is workplace safety. Designed and programmed to execute their tasks without an operator, AGV movement is not hampered by visual limitations, common when handling large materials and products.
Built into all AGVs are components and routines that prevent collisions and accidents with human workers, workplaces fixtures and other AGVs.
Avoiding accidents helps maximize worker safety and reduce equipment maintenance/repair costs. Ultimately, AGV safety contributes to a harmonious workplace, increasing job satisfaction and product quality consistency.