Lean transportation with the new automated guided cart from Toyota Material Handling

Automation of activities not only improves processes but also increases productivity and cost-efficiency. The new Autopilot TAE050 from Toyota Material Handling Europe, launched at the IMHX fair in the UK, simplifies, standardises and optimises customer operations. This low-cost solution can be installed easily and be up and running in no time. It will enhance the site’s internal flow, reduce labour and damage cost, all in an accurate and safe way. Operations are simplified and optimised especially in manufacturing sites, e-commerce businesses or healthcare facilities.

Loads below 500 kg are often handled with manual trolleys and many customers are looking for simple ways to optimise these types of processes and staff utilisation. The TAE050’s load carrier with telescopic arm can tow up to 500 kg and therefore replace the necessity for employees to do repetitive work, allowing them to handle more complex tasks. In more confined spaces, the compact tow version is ideal for handling lighter loads. Or for small items like in picking operations, the bolt-on racks can be an ideal solution.

One of the key benefits of the Autopilot TAE050 is the easy installation. The TAE050 follows a magnetic strip on the floor and receives commands along the way from the floor markers next to the guidance tape. After defining the material flow and (un)loading stations, simply stick the tape and markers to the floor and start the machine. Depending on the operation and needs, commands can be very simple from ‘slow speed’ or ‘stop’ to more advanced tasks. By using Excel, commands such as turning on the spot, driving at a predefined speed and enabling sound can be programmed. This delivers a simple automation system with high flexibility and consistent productivity levels.

“We integrated the Autopilot TAE050 into the production line at the end of last year, where it now runs next to the assembly line returning empty parts carriers to the kitting area,” says Peter Carlsson, Director Operations at Toyota Material Handling Manufacturing Sweden. “Previously, we had 1 full-time employee doing this repetitive work, however he had to regularly prioritise other tasks, which caused problems at the end of the assembly line as empty carriers stacked up. We are extremely satisfied with the TAE050,” Peter continues, “since it is a simple and flexible system that allows us to make quick changes following our kaizen-activities but also guarantees safety and less stress for our employees.”

Because safety is key, this fork-free solution works with a very high degree of accuracy and stops when detecting an obstacle or person close by to avoid accidents and damage. Moreover, the TAE050 follows fixed routes and is not subject to driver errors.

This simple automation system supports our lean philosophy. The vehicle helps to optimise our customers’ processes, truck fleets and staff efficiency, with higher productivity and lower cost as a result,” says Jakob Arvidson Klint, TAE050 product manager at Toyota Material Handling Europe.