Everybody is thinking about automating their business. And that also holds true for warehouses. In the warehouse trade the two automated systems most considered are Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) and Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR). Which one is best suited for your warehouse operation?
What’s The Difference Between AGV And AMR?
Both systems have only one thing in common. They move products from point A to Point B.
The greatest difference between the two is the onboard intelligence. AGV offers minimal onboard intelligence. You can program them. However they carry out simple programmed instructions. They need external installation and devices for navigation and use sensors, lasers, cameras, wires, or magnetic strips along the route to do this. If an obstruction is in the path of the machine, it stops and waits for assistance.
On the other hand, AMR actually uses maps to navigate through a warehouse. They include software when you receive them and it is this software that maps out the entire warehouse on site. An alternative of physically mapping out the warehouse is to feed your warehouse design drawings to the software. It uses onboard sensors, cameras, and laser scanners to navigate. It has the intelligence to make decisions and recalculate the route and it doesn’t need help if confronted by an obstacle.
Autonomous mobile robots after the same advantages as AGVs, but use different technologies. The fact that AMRs can adjust their route in real-time make them the more flexible alternative.
Benefits Of Relying On AGV Robots
Warehouses that use manual carts, forklifts, and conveyor systems to move large loads and products favor AGVs. They are ideal for warehouses that rely on logistics that include fixed drop-off and pick-up points as well as fewer routes.
AGV robotics can be used in a plethora of ways to serve your warehouse. They include:
• Automatic guidance under carts
• Guided tow trucks
• Forklift AGVs
Some industries in which AGVs are used include:
• Food and Beverage
• Healthcare and Pharma
• Paper and Printing
• Warehouse and Distribution
Benefits Of The More Sophisticated AMRs
AMR is more sophisticated than AGV. AMRs can make independent decisions. They don’t always follow the same path from point A to point B. The technology can navigate around obstructions, making them ideal for complex warehouse layouts.
Their versatility makes them perfect for distribution centers that cater to individual items and packages. And they will probably become the most popular alternative. They will grow with a CAGR of 45 percent between 2020 and 2026.
AMRs are capable of stopping when a human walks into their path and they can recalculate an alternative route.
They can be used to help overcome problems with tracing materials and equipment. They can be connected to an AMR management system. They feed data on labeled containers and packages they transport back to the management system.
In addition, AMRs are better when used in coordination with projects with several destinations and longer routes.
It shouldn’t be surprising that AMRs are more expensive than AGVs. The ballpark cost of an AMR is about $30,000 while such a cost for an AGV is about $15,000.
Obviously, double the cost can make warehouse managers pause. Still, there are a number of other cost savings elements to consider. For example, the more costly AMRs have navigation technology, the ability to carry payload, they’re robotic forklifts so they have lifting height capability, they run on a battery that can easily be charged, and their easy to maintain. Moreover, they don’t require external installation as does AGVs.
When considering AGVs, you have to account for the installation costs as well as the cost to maintain magnetic tracks and laser navigation. In a large warehouse with complicated routes to deal with, the cost of a guidance infrastructure can add a substantial amount to the final sum.