Robotic Vehicles Made With Printers in Mind
All movement is observed and controlled by the FMC host computer-control system within the plant, as well as at FMC’s Chalfont headquarters, where a team of engineers can troubleshoot operations if and when necessary.
The host computer system also monitors input/output devices, which allow the AGV to open doors, stop at intersections and give right-of-way to oncoming AGVs that may cross its path.
With improvements that include easily changeable guidepaths, expandable off-the-shelf software (Windows NT platform), longer range and faster target sampling, improved target accuracy and improved laser reliability, AGV technology is opening the eyes of printers focusing on the future automation of their postpress operations.
Printers interested in the technology attended the function with that purpose in mind. Watching AGVs effortlessly loading, unloading and transporting reams of paper and pallets of other consumables, printing leaders were able to witness tomorrow’s technology in use today.
And for those printers already employing that technology, like R.R. Donnelley—a multifacility AGV user—the robotics road to the future is presently being paved.
By Cheryl A. Adams