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So far, we’ve discussed the financial benefits of AGV systems that businesses begin to see immediately. AGV technology is also future friendly – it provides an ideal high-value entry point to full automation, and paves the way to easier and more efficient facility updates down the road:
IMMEDIATE FINANCIAL BENEFITS OF AGVS
A basic calculation for a greenlight project ROI might look something like this hypothetical example, which is based on replacing four manually operated forklifts with fork-style AGVs (AKA driverless forklifts).
LONG-TERM OPERATIONAL BENEFITS OF AGVS
- System flexibility. AGV systems are modular by nature, and they are available with multiple types of navigation technology. This allows facilities to start with a small number of vehicles and systematically scale up as needed. AGVs can be easily integrated into both new and existing facilities, and they support a high level of reconfiguration as operations grow and change.
- Space savings. Depending on the type of AGV, vehicles can interface directly with other systems, maneuver in tight spaces and underneath or around other equipment, and perform in close proximity to people. This flexibility saves businesses money through space optimization and the ability to create unique transportation routes.
- Protection against the skilled labor shortage. The skills gap hurts industrial productivity and profit margins, and there’s no sign of it letting up. AGV systems reduce the overall volume of workers needed. They also transport hazardous materials and work in demanding, harsh environments, freeing people to work in more favorable settings.