An automotive powertrain supplier was looking to optimize its production facility and called on Creform (Greer, SC) engineers to provide bi-directional AGVs with dual-conveyor deck that essentially act as transfer vehicles between work stations. The AGVs feature two powered conveyor decks. The parts are transferred off both sides to preserve load orientation. The top deck handles two sub-assemblies atop internally used pallets, transferring it to the next step in the manufacturing process, while the lower deck returns two empty pallets back to the line. The conveyor sections of the AGV are covered to help keep carried parts clean, while removable panels provide access for easy maintenance. Specifically:
- Photocells were placed along the AGV’s path for slow-down and stop functions. The cells are also used for secure load verification while the AGV is traveling. Any load shift is detected and will stop AGV.
- Mechanical load-safety stops drop down when pulling into stations to allow transfers and they rise when leaving transfer point to ensure that the load is secure.
- The bi-directional AGV (shown) is a model FH-B50066 bolt-on AGV drive unit that is mounted on a heavy-duty fabricated steel base for strength and rigidity, all to ensure precise load transfers. Each end of the AGV follows a magnetic guidepath independently to ensure accurate and repeatable movement and is ideal in space restrictive areas.
- The unit can travel with speeds up to 164 ft. (50 M)/min and can carry a load capacity of up to 1460 lb. (660kg). This application uses an approximate 150-feet of guide path.
- The AGV features complete equipment for compliance to safety category 3 and includes safety circuit to cut power, audible warning device, flashing light, E-stops and laser scanners (one at either end).