The iCart can turn on a track radius as small as 300mm and if a dual catch and tag arrangement is fitted to the trolley it is possible the present the opposite side of the trolley to operators. This is useful for giving good ergonomic access to trolley mounted bins but is equally applicable to fixture mounted trolleys allowing easy access to product during assembly applications.
Cycle Independent Stations
Many AGV cart systems operate on a simple loop basis. This can be a severe limitation as everything must queue in turn. This limits the utilisation of AGVs and forces a sequential route with cycle times limited to the slowest operation.
The diagram below shows how a cycle independent station can be set up where a station is set back from the main loop to allow traffic to pass by while work is being carried out in the station.
The iCart has a built in routing system so that the cycle independent station is only visited when this is required. Other iCarts will simply remain on the main loop.
The following diagram shows a method of replacing a typical conveyor system feeding work to and from operators. While a conveyor remains a good solution when cycle times at stations are very fast they become inefficient at longer cycle times and also provide barriers to movement of people and materials. Here 2 iCarts fitted with driven conveyor smart trolleys offer an efficient solution that is easy to expand or modify.
Junctions tags that direct the iCart to a particular station. Sometimes in larger systems there are a number of different loops and there is a requirement to direct traffic to groups of stations located along a route from a particular junction. It is possible to “trick” the iCart by using a dummy station number that actually directs it to stations on another loop but ZONE tags offer an easier way to do this. The zone tag allows the setting up of up to 16 operational zones. Zone direction tags then allow you to specify the route to each of the different zones in a single tag.
The safety laser scanner mounted within the iCart also enables multiple iCarts to negotiate junctions without external control inputs. As iCarts approach junctions they alter the priority of the scan fields to determine who has right of way.