Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) – ‘Material Handling’ Made Easy


AGVs, also known as self-guided or automated guided vehicle, are material handling devices or load carriers that navigate autonomously within a warehouse, fulfillment center, or manufacturing plant without needing an onboard operator or driver. This post will look at the many sorts of AGVs, their meanings, how they function, and their advantages. 

AGVs are used in a variety of contexts. For example, they’re typically used to transport raw materials like metal, polymer, latex, and paper. AGVs, for instance, can transport raw materials from receiving to warehousing or deliver commodities straight to production lines.

AGVs reliably deliver raw materials without human intervention, ensuring that production operations never run out of supplies.

Automated guided vehicle solutions are used to carry massive volumes of material in a repeatable manner for operations traditionally performed by forklifts, material handling, or manned carts. 

AGVs are utilized in work-in-process operations and with finished items to assist production or manufacturing lines and move raw materials. 

According to experts, “work-in-process” refers to “partially produced commodities, such as manufactured goods, that are often changed from origin to the end product in a short amount of time.” 

Automated Guided Vehicles are available in a variety of configurations, shapes, and sizes. Many AGVs are meant to run without direct human interaction or guidance, comparable to other human-operated vehicles.

  • AGVs for forklifts

Another prominent form of AGV is forklift automated guided vehicles, sometimes known as forklift AGVs. They’re meant to transfer pallets in the same way as a human-operated forklift does but without the necessity for a human operator.

  • Guided Automated Carts

The most basic sort of AGV, an automated guided cart (AGC), has the fewest features. 

  • Handlers of Unit Loads

Unit load handlers transport individual loads such as specific items or a single unit containing many things, such as a stack or tote.

  • AGV Towing

Towing vehicles, also known as tugger automated guided vehicles, are vehicles that tow one or even more non-powered, massive amount vehicles in a train-like pattern behind them. Powered towing vehicles, sometimes known as driverless trains, run on wheels. 

  • Carriers of Heavy Burden

Heavyweight movers are a kind of AGV utilized in industries such as big assembly, casting, and coils and plate transfer for the largest loads.

Advantages of AGVs

AGVs have a lot of advantages in storage and manufacturing.

  • Costs that are consistent

AGVs are usually purchased on a per-unit or per-rental-period basis; thus, costs are less volatile than human workers, which can change depending on market circumstances and demand.

  • Boost productivity and efficiency

AGVs boost efficiency and production by operating independently and are predictable and dependable for repetitive operations. As a result, AGVs remove the need for unneeded walking as well as the physical effort involved in moving products.

  • There’s less room to work with

AGVs take up less area than other automation options, such as conveyor systems. However, because AGVs are smaller than typical warehouse equipment like forklifts, floor layouts with shorter lanes and higher space utilization are possible.

Automated guided vehicles have specifically been developed to automate operations that do not require the use of people. They reduce the physical demands of a typically physically demanding profession by automating long treks in warehouses, setting the pace for workers, and automating the physical difficulties of a typically physically demanding job.