Daifuku North America Blog

How Magna Automates with SmartCarts

Posted by Bruce Buscher on 1/22/15 4:56 PM

What does the leading global automotive supplier with 312 manufacturing operations, and 83 products use to automate their manufacturing operations? SmartCart Automatic Guided Carts

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Magna has 36 SmartCarts which form a mobile assembly line for front and rear bumper fascias and front-end modules at their plant in Toledo, Ohio.

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Topics: Material Handling Industry, Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGVs), Automated Systems, Automotive, Automatic Guided Carts

The Story Behind the Cars at Detroit’s Auto Show

Posted by Noel Dehne on 1/14/15 2:06 PM

Right now, the North American International Auto Show is celebrating its 27th year here in Detroit. As I walk around the show floor, I feel proud to know that our systems help build many of the vehicles I’m seeing here today. And while everyone is buzzing about the latest vehicle unveilings at the auto show, I am reminded of my company’s 100-year history providing material handling innovations that improved the automotive manufacturing industry.

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Topics: Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGVs), Automated Systems, Automotive, Conveyor

Automatic Guided Carts, New and Improved

Posted by Bruce Buscher on 10/10/14 1:51 PM

There’s a new Automatic Guided Cart (AGC) in town! The 300TT is here with towing capacity up to 4,000 lbs. and carrying capacity up to 2,400 lbs. SmartCart® AGCs offer so many benefits to assembly and warehouse applications including:

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  • Automatic coupling
  • Automatic decoupling
  • Flexibility
  • Quick to install and modify

What’s different about the 300TT than the other AGC products?

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Topics: Material Handling Industry, Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGVs), Automated Systems, Automatic Guided Carts

Top Five Reasons Everyone Is Talking About AGVs

Posted by Sarah Carlson on 5/2/14 10:00 AM

Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGVs) are one of the most buzzed about products in the material handling industry.  Everyone is talking about them lately, including Inc. Magazine, which named AGVs one of the best industries for starting a business in 2014.  We couldn’t agree more.  Jervis B. Webb Company has been selling AGVs for the past five decades, but recently the market has grown significantly.

AGVs have been around since the 1950s so why the sudden interest?  Below are the top five reasonJohn_Deere_Horicon,_WI_plant_022compresseds.

  1. Affordable – AGVs are more affordable today than ever.  Back in 2005, Webb showcased the first Automatic Guided Cart (AGC) at ProMat, which we named SmartCart® AGC.  Today, and more than 2,000 carts later, SmartCart is our most popular product on our website and in the media.  SmartCart AGCs are guided by magnetic tape, which makes them more affordable and easier to install and modify than traditional AGVs.  Finally, the savings that AGVs provide in terms of labor and inventory, make them easy to justify to companies looking for a quick payback.  
  2. Increased Flexibility – Companies need to be able to make changes quickly and easily or risk becoming obsolete.  Using AGVs instead of conveyors, allows plants to modify assembly lines without tearing out equipment.  That’s why AGVs and AGCs are the assembly line of choice for automakers like Tesla (click here to check out Tesla’s assembly line that features our SmartCarts).  
  3. New Marketplaces – While AGVs still remain most popular in the manufacturing industry, they are gaining traction in warehousing and distribution, as well.  AGVs are increasingly being used to support order fulfillment, end-of-the line delivery, and delivery to and from shipping docks.
  4. Safer – All AGVs are equipped with lasers that automatically stop a vehicle when an object or person appears in its path.  In addition, AGVs travel at a controlled speed compared to fork trucks, which results in a more predictable and safe environment. 
  5. Better Controls and Software – AGV controls and software have significantly advanced in the past few years providing increased vehicle management (dynamic routing, battery monitoring, etc.), better integration with other systems (WMS, PLCS, etc.) and more graphical and comprehensive reports.   Webb’s System Automation Manager (SAM™) Controller. SAM is a vehicle system controller that includes:  vehicle management, traffic manager, plant floor controller interfaces, user interface, enterprise system interfaces, and inventory control capabilities.
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Topics: Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGVs)