New Warehouse Innovations: AUTOMATED VNA AGV (ATT)

VNA (Very Narrow Aisle) vehicles have been a major segment within the industrial truck market and their OEM’s. These manually driven trucks provide vertical storage in rack structures with minimal aisle width and allow aisle to aisle travel as well.

AIM has now taken this VNA vehicle type, commonly referred to as a turret truck, and combined the best features of an industrial truck with the automation element of AGV technology to achieve an automated, in rack storage and retrieval operation.

 

Our ATT vehicle is automated to provide both an automatic and manual mode of operation. In automatic, the ATT is directed by a system  controller to position at a horizontal/vertical address and either store or retrieve a pallet. This is similar to conventional ASRS except the vehicles can travel aisle to aisle without the limitations of captive floor rails. These systems generally will operate in conventional, 30 ft. high warehouses, with no special floor conditions or requirements.

The automated vehicles are wire or magnetic guided and captive to an aisle by sensing the frequency of a floor embedded wire or magnetic field. To exit the aisle the vehicle would then sense a different frequency to guide form aisle to aisle. Once in an aisle, the vehicle will use a laser measuring system to determine a horizontal and vertical position in the aisle. Each storage location would have a unique X and Y position that is constantly measured by the vehicle mounted laser and allow the vehicle to accurately position for the storage and retrieval of loads.

The vehicles are equipped with a multi staged mast and a turret mechanism to allow load access to either side of the aisle. The vehicle can actually rotate the load within the aisle width Especially important is the vehicle can store to the floor, saving vertical storage space and the vehicle utilizes a post and beam type rack that offers considerable savings over other racking.

 
                           Automated Turret Truck


This battery powered equipment eliminates costly rack mounted power systems. The vehicle, upon reaching a pre-defined discharge level, will drive to a battery exchange station and an operator can replace the spent battery with a charged unit. For those with total automation in mine, the battery exchange process can be automated as well.

The main advantage with this type of storage and retrieval system is cost and flexibility. When comparing to typical ASRS installations, the ATT System offers a variety of features. The ATT system can go aisle to aisle and uses standard post and beam rack providing a system solution at a fraction of the cost.


 It is ideal for existing warehouse buildings with mid-range throughput, high SKU count and under 30 foot ceilings.

System Controls

A PC based system controller handles the order queue, vehicle routing within the aisle and continuous communication with the vehicles over a WLAN. The PC is interfaced with the WMS to receive transport requests, along with product ID’s to store and retrieve pallets. WMS will provide a bin location to retrieve pallets and a destination location to deposit that pallet. For stores, WMS will provide a pickup location and the AGV system controller will select an empty storage location. After all moves the PC will provide an audit message to the WMS noting that Product 123 was picked up at location XX and delivered to location YY.


ATT Vehicle Features
  • Capacities to #3,000 on 24" Load Centers
  • Vertical Elecations to 28' (prorated based on weight/load center)
  • Electro/Hydraulic Lift Multi-Stage Mast Configurations
  • Man-Up Cab for Manual Operations
  • Travel Speeds at to 300 fpm (Feet/Minute)
  • Laser Measuring System for Horizontal & Vertical Positioning
  • Laser Safety Bumbers for 360 degree Coverage
  • Continuous WIFI Communication
  • Meets ANSI B56.5 2012 Safety Standards
  • Touchscreen HMI Operator Display


   Touchscreen HMI Operator Display                    Load Overhang Sensors

   
 
 


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