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Questions and answers on the subject of AGV automation

Questions? We have the answers!

1. What is the difference between FTF, FTS and AGV?

FTF, FTS and AGV are abbreviations that are often used synonymously in the context of automation by means of driverless vehicles. But do they mean the same thing? An FTF is a “fahrerloses Transportfahrzeug” – in English, an “automated guided vehicle”, AGV for short. It is to be distinguished from the FTS (fahrerloses Transportsystem), an automated transport system. Such a system contains both vehicles and a central control system, so that all AGV act as one unit.

2. Can vehicles with lane guidance and natural navigation interact within one system?

The integration of different navigation technologies presents a particular challenge for existing and new systems. Many guidance control systems can only integrate the navigation they support. The more intelligently the vehicle searches for its own route, the more complex global fleet optimisation becomes. Regardless of whether outdoor or indoor, small or large vehicles, SLAM navigation or lane guidance: with movizon CONTROL, all integrated vehicles drive on the same map and can interact with one another. Each driverless vehicle receives the information it needs to do its job and reach its destination.

3. Can vehicles interact with machines via the control system?

The integrated Target API is a universal interface to vehicles and machines and systems with at least one PLC. In this way, vehicles and machines can exchange information via movizon CONTROL. An approaching vehicle can thus automatically trigger the opening of a door or a machine can call a vehicle for material removal.

4. At what point does a neutral and centralised control system become worthwhile?

AGV automation offers a wide range of solutions, transport vehicles and navigation technologies. These include small vehicles for simple transports, vehicles with lifting devices, autonomous forklifts, as well as tank transporters and trucks. These ATS can use simple navigation, such as lane guidance with magnetic tape or transponders or, in some cases, independently calculate a route in a flexible environment.
In which areas does the use of a separate guidance system in addition to the vehicle’s navigation make sense? The answer is simple. Everywhere where your driverless transport vehicles interact with other objects, such as plants and machines, vehicles from different manufacturers are to be used together in a fleet in an optimised manner, or simple industrial trucks are to be equipped with intelligence, you have an advantage with a central control system. This manufacturer-independent control unit also offers you the possibility of flexibly expanding your existing AGV systems and implementing complex logistics processes with the appropriate vehicles from specialised suppliers.

5. Do vehicles need to be upgraded with movizon hardware?

In contrast to solutions from other suppliers, driverless vehicles controlled by movizon CONTROL do not require any additional hardware, as long as they can communicate via UPD, in the VDA 5050 standard or by means of other proprietary formats. In this way, we can use all the data provided by the vehicle to optimise your processes and transmit the information you need to all vehicles.

6. How much will the movizon CONTROL system cost me?

The price of the software depends on the complexity and individuality of your processes. movizon CONTROL has a modular structure, which means that many functions are already adapted to your needs during the configuration of the standard software. You can realise simple driverless transports with an AGV type from as little as 5,000 euros. Let us know the requirements of your transport system and we will provide you with an initial price indication for your solution.

7. Which processes benefit from AVG-based automation?

AGV-based automation offers companies the possibility of freeing processes from manual intervention without, however, having to forfeit flexibility, as would be the case with a classic automation solution. The reduction of these interventions, particularly in monotonous and repetitive processes, has the advantage that employees can concentrate on other, value-creating activities. Automation also avoids the possible health hazards to employees caused by dust, toxins, radioactivity, heat, cold, night shifts, etc. In particular, labour costs can be significantly reduced in multi-shift operations. In particular, labour costs can be significantly reduced in multi-shift operations. Furthermore, a high level of process accuracy and reliability can be exploited.
Classic conveyor systems are, however, still justified in many processes. For example, rigid processes with a high transport volume and high throughputs benefit less from the use of AGV than those with multiple source-drain relationships. Nevertheless, the overall system of such processes can definitely be optimised through the utilisation of AGV in ancillary processes.

8. What types of AGV are there?

In recent years, the technology field of “driverless transport vehicles” has developed enormously, allowing the AGV market to grow strongly. As a result, the number of vehicle providers and the variety of vehicles on offer are constantly increasing, enabling the prices and fields of application to become more and more attractive. Based on your processes and requirements, you can group the available vehicles and find the best solutions for your needs. Through the use of a manufacturer-independent control system, you can combine different vehicles within one system, independent of the manufacturer, and increase the benefits of the technology even further. Learn more about our control system movizon CONTROL.


9. Why start with a simple project?

In contrast to traditional mechanical-engineering projects, driverless transport systems are easily scalable and expandable. In this way, processes can be expanded step by step. Such an approach offers the opportunity to gain experience in small projects and to make investments on a sound basis in increasingly complex processes.

Would you like to take a look at our software or are you interested in a consultation on the topic of AGV automation? We will gladly take the time to discuss your questions personally and, of course, without obligation.

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