Ultimate flexibility is a premium when it comes to maneuvering on a plant or factory floor during the aircraft manufacturing process. And AIT’s Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) – customized to a customer’s exact requirements – are designed with the maneuverability needed to transport and position any precision tooling, assembly equipment, people, and large structures.
Two frequently used types of AIT AGVs are the complete fuselage transporters and section transporters, with integrated functions for lifting and positioning. These omni-directional vehicles can move their load axially, laterally, or as needed to maneuver safely and efficiently through a facility and into/out of work cells.
For load carrying capacity, each vehicle is equipped with a multi-wheel design with all-wheel synchronized steering.
The transporters can also function in tandem mode, where two AGVs work together as one unit. The vehicle’s steel structure offers the utmost in stable and durable construction, while maintaining flexibility. The chassis is a low picture frame style design containing a wheel system in each corner. This design allows the AGVs to slightly articulate to adapt to deviations in the factory floor.
What makes the AGVs so flexible is the design of the drive modes, giving our AGVs unrivalled mobility to maximize floor space and reduce the costly labor associated with moving and positioning aircraft components.
For precise, controlled movements, the AGV is outfitted with an advanced onboard control system, including sensors and cameras, for unparalleled performance. Users can easily maneuver the equipment from either a graphical user interface (GUI) touchscreen or joystick.
Using the GUI touchscreen on the main control panel, the user can make command mode and function changes, such as lifting modes, tandem mode, etc., from a single screen. From the joystick, the user can drive the vehicles. Because of its intuitive design, training a user is an incredibly simple process, which equates to reduced cycle time and fewer errors.
The larger transporters are equipped with twin drive units, each powered by electrical motors: a drive motor that controls the speed and a steering motor that adjusts the wheel angle. All drive units are controlled with the Programmable Logic Controller.
Unlike conventional fixed wheels that can only roll forward and backward, the AIT drive unit can rotate on its own axis and move the machine in any direction. Again, this flexibility results in maximized use of a facility as well as optimum maneuverability in tight spaces.
(See AIT Sweden for more information.)