Yanmar America Corporation has introduced an advanced automated guided vehicle (AGV) solution to its Adairsville, GA, manufacturing facility.
According to the company, the addition of the modular AGV system to Yanmar’s Powerpack series generator production line has boosted its production capacity ten-fold and increased the quality of products delivered to customers.
“We brought Powerpack assembly inhouse to our Adairsville facility as a way to offer more solutions and maintain high levels of product quality reaching the end user,” said Zach Morgan, a production engineer at Yanmar America. “Demand began to quickly increase, far outstripping the ability of the small cell that was originally constructed to support the effort.”
Yanmar’s team came up with several potential solutions including conveyor systems, assorted carts, overhead cranes and the current implementation, automated guided vehicles. The AGV solution was selected as being highly capable, scalable, flexible and cost competitive. Also, the lead time, at 2-4 months, was significantly less than the conveyor implementation timeline of more than 6 months.
According to Yanmar, the system does not require in-depth programming knowledge or an automation engineer for implementation and can even be controlled using a mobile phone through an app from the Google Play store.
Looking forward, Yanmar America claims that its AGV solution has the flexibility to grow with its business. The engineering team can easily change the path, extend, shrink, change shape or add additional stops or stations to accommodate demand and meet market requirements.
“As we continue to grow not only in Powerpack, but also in the rural lifestyle and other businesses, we’re taking a step back and re-examining our manufacturing approach,” said Scott Shorrock, director of operations at Yanmar America. “Yanmar is all about embracing change and taking on new challenges.”