GM, Toyota and their suppliers streamline manufacturing with modern AGV solutions from TOA SE Inc.

 

The automotive industry and other modern manufacturing facilities are constantly looking for ways to streamline their processes. This includes being able to move heavy parts between workstations, in a safe and reliant way to optimize the flow in manufacturing. TOA Systems Engineering Inc located in the US, offer customized AGV (Automatic Guided Vehicles) systems to manufacturers such as GM, Toyota, and their suppliers. In partnership with Kollmorgen, a leading global manufacturer of motor solutions for the robotics industry, TOA SE have been able to expand and modernize their offering with HMI solutions from Beijer Electronics.

 

Customizable AGV systems for efficient material handling

With AGVs (Automatic Guided Vehicles) you get a useful and safe way to handle material in your manufacturing facility. The AGVs will navigate in your facilities to move material to the right place in the right time. The design is customizable with regards to navigation, speed and capacities to scale to the specific needs of the customer. AGVs can handle most challenging tasks, and TOA specializes in a variety of navigation options, including reflective laser triangulation, natural surroundings navigation, inertial spot tag, classic magnetic path tape, and more. 

“The support we have been given by Kollmorgen, and the user-friendly software, has made the programming and customization really easy for us.” says Joe Rucker, Senior Engineering Manager at TOA SE, Inc. 

 

Operator communication with branded hardware

Kollmorgen has created a software application customized for AGVs, built on iX HMI software and X2 HMIs. The operator panels are branded and communicate via standard protocols which makes the integration with other onboard systems simple. Together, Beijer Electronics and Kollmorgen created a template project for AGVs which is easily customizable to the specific customer needs. 
“The support we have been given by Kollmorgen, and the user-friendly software, has made the programming and customization really easy for us.” says Joe Rucker, Senior Engineering Manager at TOA SE, Inc. 

Partnering up for reliable technology

TOA Systems Engineering was looking for a new and improved system to avoid the magnetic tape on the factory floor for navigation, which was causing reoccurring problems and need of constant maintenance for some of their customers. With support from Kollmorgen they could offer a reliable system and improve other functions and capabilities to modernize the material handling. One of the benefits with the new solution was being able to schedule automated battery charging during breaks, to avoid manual handling and batteries running low.  

 

“The data is collected by our customers for analysis to optimize the AGV route and the over-all manufacturing process. I can’t stress enough how the reduced downtime has been a big win for our customers! The demand of our systems is growing, and AGVs are definitely a part of future manufacturing.” says Joe Rucker.

 

Results and new opportunities

The new technology has given the operators a modern user interface by going away from a fixed push button-based solution and offering a far more flexible and user-friendly system. They can now check status updates, control the navigation, get alerts for maintenance and thereby shorten response time, all directly on the screen. 
The result has been reduced downtime and time saving for the operators. It has also opened up new possibilities and have made it easy for TOA SE to support their customers to expand and modify their AGV systems to fit their exact needs. 
“The data is collected by our customers for analysis to optimize the AGV route and the over-all manufacturing process. I can’t stress enough how the reduced downtime has been a big win for our customers! The demand of our systems is growing, and AGVs are definitely a part of future manufacturing.” says Joe Rucker.

Learn more about the products used in Kollmorgen’s and TOA SE’s solution:

 

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