Durability, Meet Productivity
It’s true of almost every facet of technology: as things become more advanced, “smarter,” and smaller, they become less durable. Electronics like phones and televisions become easier to break and more disposable. Think about mobile phones in the past; you could practically throw a “brick” phone down a flight of stairs and it lands in one piece. These days, if you set your phone down too hard the screen could crack. While the technology is certainly indispensable, the casing it comes in is not—except, perhaps, in the world of automated guided vehicles.
AGVs have certainly gotten smaller and more compact over the years, as they are being built to maneuver a number of different layout configurations. But this doesn’t necessarily mean they are losing any of their durability. Take FRED and FREDDiE, for example. They are built like tanks, inside and out. Despite requiring far less maintenance than standard heavy equipment, they can outlast forklifts, tuggers, conveyors, AMRs and other AGVs. They’re both powered by the industry’s most robust wheel drives, with a heavy-duty steel construction and smart design that makes them nearly impervious to damage.
Today’s AGVs can tow far more than you’d think based on their size. For example, adding FRED to your capabilities gives you a powerful new competitive edge, as its towing option can carry loads of up to 5,000lbs depending on dolly capacity. This option also enables the quick removal of loads without needing to wait for an available forklift. In the past, you’d need a much larger vehicle to manage that much towing — now it’s as easy as applying a hitch to a small AGV. Even without towing, FRED can carry 2,500lbs and FREDDiE can carry 400lbs, making them among the mightiest of the lower-cost AGVs.
Even though we’ve long heard the myth that robots will someday replace the human workforce, there are some things that a robot can and will do better than humans. And while machines will never be able to fully operate without humans, we believe that the durable, dependable nature of FRED and FREDDiE make them ideal for tasks that would otherwise put a huge strain on humans. For instance, palletizing is enormously strenuous for humans, causing both mental and physical stress, which is why we’ve seen automatic palletizers at work in factories and warehouses since the 1950s. FRED/FREDDiE continue to take the strain off humans, made even more accessible by the lower price point—meaning you won’t need to sacrifice worker pay to install your AGV.
It seems the more technologically-advanced electronics and heavy-duty equipment becomes, the more specialization it requires to make repairs or fix software issues. But advanced doesn’t have to mean complicated, and for some AGVs, pushing forward means paring down. For FRED and FREDDiE, less is more. Their lack of complicated software puts you at an advantage, because if either happen to have any maintenance issues, you won’t need to hire a specialist. This also adds an extra layer of durability, because there’s less opportunity for the software to go down if there isn’t actually any software. When we set out to make FRED and FREDDiE, we wanted to make them remarkably easy to set up and integrate. In fact, setting up the magnetic tape should only take around two hours. They do not use WiFi, GPS or Bluetooth so connectivity is a cinch, and there won’t be any programming or IT integration.
No matter what AGV you use, designers have, more likely than not, considered all the hazards of an industrial workspace. While we know that FRED and FREDDiE are built to last, most AGVs are built to withstand things like dust, fluctuating temperatures, and the wear that comes with performing repetitive tasks. If you choose to start automating your workflow, FRED or FREDDiE could be a great, relatively inexpensive first step you could take toward faster productivity. And we bet they outlast the screen on your new phone.
Businesses across many industries are now turning to automation technologies as powerful solutions to once unforeseeable material-movement challenges. We’re here to help you navigate the automation landscape, and drive your business forward. To learn more about how FRED and FREDDiE provide easy-to-implement solutions to complex challenges, contact an Automation specialist today at firstname.lastname@example.org.