These AGV’s, four SAE160 stacker trucks, are equipped with a 1400mm fork length for oversized goods and fork tip bumpers for tight stacking. The Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV’s) drive in the opposite direction, which is both safer since the load cannot fall from the back of the truck, but also more productive since the truck is able to pick up speed this way.
Each vehicle is equipped with a shock sensor that connects to I_Site so the AGV’s can be monitored in terms of productivity, battery management and impact or shocks.
The Autopilots boost DSV’s productivity by handling up to 400 pallets per shift, compared to a capacity of 250 pallets by a human operator. The Autopilots are designed to handle Euro pallets, which make up 80% of the loads handled by DSV.
By having automated trucks take care of the standardised Euro pallets, human operators can handle the scanners and special loads, which adds more value to their daily tasks. This shows how automation does not imply the elimination of human operators. Working with Autopilots requires the operator to scan the barcode of the loads with a handheld terminal, which sends a signal to the AGV to come and pick up the load and displays the origin and destination of the load. Since this task is pretty simple and doesn’t require a lot of physical labour, it is perfect for employees that are older or have mobility issues.
The benefits gained by implementing the AGV’s at DSV Road are numerous. The operators experience less stress since the workflow is evened out thanks to the AGV’s. Therefore they are less prone to making mistakes or causing damage. In addition to this, more volume can be handled with the help of the AGV’s in combination with the same amount of operators, which boosts productivity. In the future, DSV Road plans on expanding the Autopilots to a setup spread over 3 shifts.
DSV is a leading logistics provider in Europe. Among one of its three divisions is DSV Road in Puurs, which manages cross-docking of goods throughout Europe. The majority of the goods come in and go out in one day, which means speed and productivity are key. Therefore DSV Road chose for automation to level their workflow: during peaks in the workflow employees can experience stress which makes them prone to causing damage.
Avoiding these peaks also eliminates the need to hire temporary workers that require extra time and costs for education. DSV chose for Autopilot trucks from Toyota Material Handling since they were able to offer a complete solution with rental and maintenance included, for both manual and automated trucks on site.