AGV Technology

NDC Automated Guided Vehicles represent the cutting edge of automation technology. Many of the core components of an AGV use systems that were pioneered here at NDC Automation.



Safety Systems

Safety is always a number one concern in automation. Our AGVs are designed to maximise safety, for your staff who work with and around them and for the products that they carry. Automated Guided Vehicle systems are often safer than traditional forklifts as they never make mistakes and never get tired.

Collision Detection

All NDC vehicles are fitting with laser safety scanners for 360 degree obstacle detection. These scanners detect objects within their field of view and calculate the distance to that object. As obstacles get too close the vehicles will slow down and then stop to prevent collision.

Audio / Visual Signalling

All vehicles are equipped with an array of signalling devices which will produce visible flashing light signals or alert sounds indicating the AGV’s status or to warn staff members of its presence.

Manual Controls

Each AGV has a suite of manual controls and emergency stop buttons so the vehicle can be controlled directly by staff if required.

 

Navigation Methods

Which navigation method to use on an AGV depends on the environment in which it will operate. NDC has a wide variety of navigation system setups which allow our vehicles to operate in any environment, from open outdoor spaces to extremely narrow warehouse lanes. Some of the most commonly used navigation systems are shown below.

Laser

Laser navigation is always our first choice for an AGV system. Laser allows for the most precise vehicle positioning and new rugged housing units keeps laser navigation systems running in even the most demanding conditions.

Magnetic Spot

Magnetic Spot navigation is often used in conjunction with laser navigation to allow vehicles to operate in extremely confined sections of a warehouse.

Vision

Vision navigation uses a live video stream from cameras mounted on the vehicle to determine the AGV’s location in the warehouse

Range

Range navigation uses a laser safety sensor to navigate by seeing walls and other solid objects. This technology is specially designed for navigation in narrow corridors often found in hospital environments.

Other / Legacy

Older navigation methods such as magnetic tape or wire guidance have been used in AGV systems for over 30 years and can still find applications today.



Reliability

All NDC Automated Guided Vehicles are built for reliability. This comes from their rugged construction and engineering along with the best in control systems and parts. High quality battery and recharging systems with the option to use opportunity recharging or automated battery exchange systems.

NDC vehicles typically achieve up-times around 99.8%.