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The application of unmanned forklifts in home appliance manufacturers has helped the group's "smart factory" advance layout
Date of issue:2021 / 04 / 21

 

Flexible unmanned logistics solution can play an important role in home appliance manufacturing enterprises. In this article, we take the example of a world-known home appliance group company, and fully introduce the unmanned application in their intra-logistics, from project requirement, proposal development, to project introduction and others. The project has realized automatic and unmanned management from the production line to finished goods outbound.

 

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In the past 40 years, China's home appliance industry has undergone the evolution from large-scale production, to mechanized production and to automated production. With the diversified consumer needs and the promotion of "new retail" model, traditional home appliance manufacturing model is quite difficult to meet market expectations. Thus many forward-looking companies have begun to seek a breakthrough for their development, using new technology to complete industry upgrades has become an industry consensus.


Project Requirement

The group company is the leading manufacturer of home appliances. Ranking world's top 500, it has a pivotal position in the home appliances industry. The group company owns 15 production base in and outside China. With the goal of “Smart Factory”, the entire group is working on intelligent upgrading in depth. The first batch of the projects are implemented in Zhuhai Guangdong, Meishan Sichuan, Ma Anshan Anhui and Nanjing Jiangsu, which are their main production bases, to enable unmanned intra-logistics during the enamelled wire production processes.

 

Enamelled wire is an indispensable material to many home appliances core components。 It’s heavyweight and special carrier shall be used for load and unload. Therefore, the operational requirement for internal transportation is relatively high. The process for this project includes: transporting material from high speed machine to temporary warehouse beside production line, from packing area to finished goods warehouse, and transportation of finished goods and semi-finished goods between different workshops. The bare wires will be transported by cylindrical baskets, pallets or roller cages, total self-weight is 1t to 1.5t. The goal is to achieve fully unmanned transportation and automatic management in above mentioned processes so as to increase operation efficiency and reduce labor cost.

 

Processes and Material Information

Material Name

Carrier

Weight (with carrier)

Carrier Size

Process

Transportation  Type

Bare wire circle

Wire basket

≤2000kg

Φ1100*H1720mm

opening spacing 616mm, opening width 245mm, opening height 100mm

Bare wire staging area ⇔ High speed machine

Fast-speed material transportation

Semi-finished goods

Chuan Pallet

≤1200kg

L1200mm*W1200mm*160mm

Drawbench– Buffer Storage -- Machine

Docking with conveyor, storage in 3 stacks

Finished goods

Chuan Pallet

≤1500kg

L1200mm*W1200mm*160mm

Packing -- Warehouse

Storage-in

Finished goods

Roller Cage

2-3 Storage cage≤6T

1.0m*1.0m*1.05m

1.0m*1.0m*0.72m

1.0m*1.0m*0.78m

Workshop – Workshop

Outdoor traction

 

Solution and Project Deployment

After site investigation, VisionNav proposed a smart and reproducible unmanned logistics solution based on automated guided vehicles and intelligent scheduling system. We use different automated guided forklifts for different processes: pallet mover AGV (VNT20), Slim pallet stacker AGV (SLIML14), reach truck AGV (VNR16) and unmanned tractor (VNQ60). VisionNav also provide our own central control system for the entire project. There is no reflectors or magnetic tapes installed, no need to modify the sites, giving more flexibility and scalability.

 

Software

Central Control System

Support to schedule over 100 vehicles, and dock with over 5000 automatic devices

Network

5G or Wifi

Hardware

VisionNav Automated Guided Forklifts


Bare wire area – High-speed machine

Drawbench– Buffer Storage –Woven Machine

Packing – FG Warehouse

Workshop -- Workshop

Facility

High-speed machine: 20

Drawbench, Woven Machine, Racking level: 3

Racking height: 7m

Racking level:3

3 workshop

Material

Carrier: wire basket + wire circle

Weight: ≤2000kg

Weight: ≤1200kg

Weight: ≤1500kg

Roller cage: 2-3

Total weight ≤ 6 tons

Difficulties

Customized racking with multiple specification, need to pick accurately

Operation collaboration of multiple devices and workshops

Pick cargo at 7m height, fork tilt angel adjustment, beam detection, location detection, arrival detection and other safety detection

Long distance traction outdoor, unmanned driving under changeable environment (light, rain and snow, etc.)

AGV Type

Pallet mover AGV

 (VNT20) 3 units


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Slim pallet stacker AGV

 (SLIML14) 7 units


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Reach truck AGV

 (VNR16) 2 units


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Unmanned tractor

 (VNW60) 1unit


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01.  System Deployment


Customer already has its own MES system, VisionNav central dispatch system can seamless integrate with existing system to realize data accuracy. Information control mode: Party A scans label by a handheld terminal (hereinafter referred to as "PDA"), the MES system sends transportation command information.

 

02.  Bare wire area – High-speed machine


  • High-speed machine: 20
  • Carrier: wire basket+ wire circle
  • Weight:≤2000kg
  • AGV Type: Palletmover AGV (VNT20) 3 units

 

Highlight: the baskets are customized carriers, there are fixed picking place for VisionNav’s AGV to detect the picking point and pick the basket with self-adaptive perception, to increase operational efficiency.


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03.  Drawbench– Buffer Storage –Woven Machine


  • Drawbench: 20
  • Woven Machine: 8
  • Racking level: 3
  • AGV type: Slim pallet stackerAGV (SLIML14) 7 units

 

Highlight: the use of slim design forklift AGV can reduce aisle width between racks from 3.2m to 2m, increasing storage capacity. In the meanwhile, forklift AGV will need to dock with auto roller doors automatically due to cross-workshop transportation. Safety scanner is installed in front of the forklifts, door status can be detected when AGV is passing through the doors and roller door lift up and down can be controlled as well.

 

Project Result


Solutions have been successfully applied in customer’s production base in Zhuhai, Meishan, Ma Anshan and Nanjing, to realize unmanned transportation from raw material to production line, from buffer storage to FG warehouse, replacing labor effectively and increase operation accuracy.

 

§  Reduce labor: after havingunmanned forklifts, customer can achieve 24/7 operation, replacing previous shifts operation, reducing at least 12 operators;

§  Smart management: scheduling system can interact information flow and material flow to realize digitalization, automation and smart management.

§ Increase accuracy: Auto replenishment, material transit and storage can be achieved in the production, achieving “in-time” logistics and adaptive to production frequency quickly and reduce human error.


Customer also comment that “VisionNav Robotics has a profound research and development foundation in automated guided forklifts, with advanced vision technology and stable products, I’m surely they can provide good service and help us to build ‘Smart factory’ in the future.”