Manufacturing Essay

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Navigation & Guidance AGVs guide and navigate using one of 3 principal methods. Although nearly all new systems employ some type of non-wire navigation, some systems still utilize wire guidance. Here the AGV uses a sensor under the vehicle to detect the RF signal emanating from a wire placed in a slot approximately 1 inch below the floor surface. In the mid-1980s non-wire guidance and navigation was first introduce using laser target triangulation. Here, reflective targets are mounted above the floor on columns, walls, machines or posts approximately 25 feet apart. Each facility target is surveyed and given a unique ‘X,Y’ coordinate. These coordinates are loaded into each AGV’s memory. Onboard each AGV is a rotating laser light beam source and receiver. When the laser light reflects off a facility target its distance and angle are automatically measured. Be processing several laser reflections at a time, and comparing them to the stored target coordinates, the AGV can calculate its position. The AGV then compares its calculated position to a coordinate map of the preplanned path stored in its memory and determines it steering instructions as it proceeds throughout the facility. A new form of non-wire guidance and navigation was introduced in the mid-1990’s. This technology is called inertial or gyro navigation. Each AGV is equipped with a solid-state gyroscope. This device senses very small deviations in the AGV direction of travel. Like laser navigation, the AGV path is a virtual set of coordinates stored in each AGV’s memory. A small marker (magnet) is installed in the floor approximately every 25 feet along the AGV virtual path. The markers are flush with the floor surface and surveyed for their unique X/Y coordinates in the facility. This information is also stored in the AGV’s memory. As the AGV negotiates the virtual path the onboard gyro detects slight

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