As a facility begins integrating automated guided vehicles (AGVs) into their operations it’s critical to understand their safety systems. In order to help maximize efficiency and safety, your workforce will need to understand these safety systems and how to interact with AGVs. We’ll walk you through some benefits of AGVs and their safety systems to help you understand how they can help provide a high-level of safety in your material handling operations.
Benefits of AGVs
As Jungheinrich developed their most recent line of AGV forklifts, comprehensive security was a top priority throughout the process. Jungheinrich looked to set the safety standard with these vehicles, which is why they include comprehensive sensor technology that not only scans in the direction the AGV is traveling but also on each side. The sensors are dynamic and the field they scan adjusts depending on how fast the AGV is moving. If the scanner detects a person or obstacle in its path it will slow down in a matter of milliseconds, and if the object is in a more restricted scan field (i.e. closer to the vehicle) it will come to an abrupt stop.
These AGVs include additional features, such as visual and audio signals, to alert nearby workers when the AGVs are in operation. When the vehicles begin moving, they sound an audible alert to get the attention of nearby workers then slowly ramp up to speed as they continue their route. Another helpful factor in utilizing AGVs is their predictability, as they always follow the same routes.
5 Key Rules for AGV Safety
While Jungheinrich AGVs are built with a safety-first mindset, there are still some basic rules that every facility should educate their team on to help ensure a high level of safety.
Rule #1: Keep travel routes clear.
This is both a safety and efficiency issue. As mentioned above, AGVs use sensors for obstacle detection while they drive their routes. That said, not removing debris and obstacles in the route is inefficient and potentially dangerous for your equipment and your team.
Rule #2: Never walk directly in front of an AGV on its travel route.
While AGVs are equipped with safety solutions, it’s always best practice to stay out of their paths when they’re on their route.
Rule #3: Always allow AGVs the right of way.
AGVs are following their automated functions throughout the day, so let them do what they’re supposed to do and provide them the right of way during daily operations to maximize their efficiency.
Rule #4: Always stay out of the “danger zone”.
This rule holds true for any lift truck, so of course it is true for AGVs as well. When an AGV is handling a load, you’ll always want to steer clear of the travel route and the surrounding hazardous areas.
Rule #5: Raised objects may not be recognized.
While the safety systems and laser scanners in place on AGVs provide for reliable operation and object detection, they may not always detect objects raised high off the ground. Therefore, it’s especially important that raised objects are kept out of the path of AGVs.
Learn more about the safety systems of Jungheinrich’s AGV forklifts in the video below.
Learn More About AGV Safety Systems
If you have questions about AGV safety systems or want to learn more about integrating an AGV system into your facility, contact your local Jungheinrich dealer and they can help find the right solution for you.