One-ton AGV tugger

One-ton AGV tugger

June 6, 2017

Creform Corporation
Automation Material Handling

Greer, South Carolina – In developing a hands-free system to move production parts and supplies from the warehouse to the assembly area and to transport finished goods to the warehouse, engineers developed a single-direction, one-ton drive Creform Tugger automatic guided vehicle (AGV). It operates in a multi-shift mode with heavy-duty usage in mind, but with the need to be lightweight, flexible, and affordable. The Tugger AGV was constructed with a heavy-duty steel base and a top structure built with rigid 28mm Creform pipe and metal components.

The AGV can tow two carts. The hitch is affixed directly to the steel base and is designed to handle the rigors of industrial towing where starting and stopping forces are high. The hitch is mounted to a plate that bolts to the frame and is easily height-adjustable with basic tools to match the height of trailer tongue. In addition to towing, the AGV also features a utility load deck for miscellaneous boxes and supplies that can ride along with the tugger. Although heavy-duty in nature, the unit can be easily and safely lifted for maintenance with a forklift.

The Creform AGV Tugger follows a peel and stick magnetic tape guidepath that is easily and quickly installed and changed depending on the need. It follows a 1,000ft path with a long single run and a loop at either end to reverse direction. In this application, the guidepath is covered with heavy-duty protective cover tape to give the surface mounted tape visibility and durability. An embedded guidepath is available for high traffic areas. RFID tags embedded in the floor can provide unique routing decisions and initiate other functions such as speed and obstacle sensor view changes.

The AGV tugger also features a handle for manual movement. By raising the spring-loaded drive wheels off the floor with the electrically powered drive wheel release, the AGV can be pushed around as a manual Creform cart.

The system also features an application-specific countdown alarm. If the AGV is stopped or otherwise delayed for more than 30 seconds, an alarm sounds to get the attention of nearby associates. Other features of the unit include PLC with HMI interface on-board controls, 50 course and 128 commands control. The AGV Tugger offers a 2,200 lb (1,000kg) load capacity, 121 lb (55kg) draw bar, can travel up to 131ft/min (40mm/min) and brakes for stopping and parking.

Its 24-volt system is powered by two 12-volt AGM batteries. In regular operation, the batteries are maintained by an opportunity charging system. The connection between AGV and the charging station is made via mechanical contacts and the charge station features a smart charger and 8-bit optical transmitter/receiver so the AGV and charge station can automatically communicate. Batteries are carried in boxes on a tray that is supported by Creform Placon rollers on the AGV as well as the battery transfer cart and back-up charging station. With matching roller heights, no lifting of the heavy batteries is required. The AGV unit features a Category 3 safety system with safety equipment that includes an audible warning device, flashing light, no- contact obstacle sensor (laser scanner), and E-stops.