Latest developments in AGV positioning technologies

With increasing process automation, the cost-effective automation of vehicles is playing an increasingly more important role. Automated guided vehicles (AGVs) are encountered in vast warehouses, order-picking areas and production halls. Every one of these vehicles must find its way and its exact position - and do so automatically. For some time now there have been various technologies in this area with specific properties, in testing and also in actual use, and with each further enhancement - for example in sensor technology - new opportunities result.

Today, the diversity of technologies offers numerous versions and performance classes: from systems that follow a wire or tape, through to laser positioning and wireless systems. When developing a new idea for an application, all versions are equally available and on the test bench. A combination between a positioning, navigation and safety system is frequently striven for. However, it is worth taking a closer look at and comparing the different technologies, since not every technology is suited to every application in equal measure. For example, small and simple applications commonly have different requirements than larger ones. As a rule, though, two issues should always be considered together: safety and navigation. In terms of safety, area scanners may be worth considering, for example, which prevent collisions between vehicles and people or objects. With regard to navigation, one should investigate whether an additional scanner system or a different technology should be used to navigate the vehicle safely. With scanners, the data usually comes as bitstream per beam with the angle and distance to the object. Software with a suitable level of hardware performance is required for evaluating the navigation data of the vehicle. Equally, a shutdown mechanism via the safety function must be considered.

Current developments and performance increases of safety laser scanners are enabling the output of navigation data via recognised and standardised bus interfaces, thus combining both functions in one device. This simplifies system integration and significantly reduces installation and interface complexity. An example of this combined system is the RSL400 safety laser scanner with Profinet interface from Leuze electronic. The safety laser scanners are also readily used in combination with systems that contain reference positions by means of transponders or code reading. This is especially the case in areas where there is an overlap of automatic AGVs and manned vehicles for supporting pick assistance systems; in goods receiving, dispatch and in order picking, for example. In such cases there is a corresponding reader moving along inside the vehicle. Transponders or codes are arranged on the floor or in the ceiling at crossings and reference positions, which are connected to assistance systems for additional information, amongst other things. In these applications, too, the vehicles are appropriately equipped to a technically high grade. Systems that work with reference positions or navigation scanners are usually flexible in terms of changes. Often there is a change to the new situation merely from the teaching-in or graphical drawing of new reference points. This flexibility has many advantages, thus justifying its price. However, in the case of application a critical assessment should be conducted, since this flexibility is not always necessary.

In enclosed areas where there is hardly any human traffic, a more simple type is highly popular: tracking with induction wires or magnetic tape. In this process the vehicle unwaveringly follows the wire/tape on the floor. On the vehicle itself only relatively simple control system functionality is required. This technology is therefore also suited to simple AGVs. The wire itself is robust and durable, but not flexible because it has to be installed in the floor screed. Magnetic tape offers somewhat more flexibility. The floor structure has to be taken into account with this method, however. In numerous warehouses and distribution centres - and also in many production environments, too - soiling no longer poses a real problem, meaning optical systems represent a good alternative. They are frequently much easier to build or modify. Optical versions that follow a line are particularly flexible in this performance class, since the line can easily be installed or even modified; especially if it is formed from adhesive tape. Cameras or sensors are commonly used for the optical detection and tracking of the line. Depending on the environment, narrow curves and ambient light are more critical for cameras than for sensors.

New optical tracking technology

A new technology based on contrast detection comes in the form of the OGS 600 from Leuze electronic: a new sensor for optical tracking. This sensor allows for a detection width of 140 to 280mm on an illuminated adhesive tape with a line and contrasted trace. With the standard, simple vehicle interfaces, it is suited to use in AGVs of all sizes.

The diversity of AGV applications across a broad variety of industries and sectors shows how frequently the necessity of a large range of technologies and technical options arises. It is only this way that a system tailored to the respective application can be achieved at a good price/performance ratio. This is why a large number of AGV providers and sensor manufacturers offer various technologies.

With the OGS 600, Leuze electronic is presenting a new sensor that enables cost-effective vehicle automation for the transport of materials and goods in production and storage areas. With its edge detection and control signal transmission to the steering motor, the trace can be guided optically, which means that driving can be automated in the simplest of ways. The routes of the driverless transportation systems can be flexibly adapted. The compact design of the OGS 600 and its low minimum distance to the ground of 10mm means it can be integrated even into flat vehicles. Models with different detection widths and response times cover a wide range of possible applications, even for tight curves and at high speeds.

Parameterisation and interface integration are implemented via the Sensor Studio software. An assistant analyses the contrast between the ground and the trace and recommends the ideal trace colour. A high level of functionality and ambient light protection are provided, much like fast commissioning and easy address adaptation.

Follow the links for more information about the RSL400 safety laser scanner and OGS 600 optical guidance sensor.

Leuze

Terek House, Sandpiper Court
Phoenix Park
St Neots
PE19 8EP
UNITED KINGDOM

+44 (0)1480 408500

mail@leuze.co.uk

www.leuze.co.uk

More from Leuze

Quick-action integration via IO-Link

Posted 6 days ago

White Paper: Optical sensors and light curtains

Posted 2 weeks ago

Sensor expert Leuze enjoys strong growth

Posted 3 weeks ago

Reliable detection of shrink-wrapped packages

Posted 2 months ago

New distribution centre for Leuze

Posted 3 months ago

Improving safety in harsh environments

Posted 3 months ago

Time and money savings pledge for conveyor system manufacturers

Posted 5 months ago

Greater safety in harsh environments

Posted 7 months ago

Container and tray identification made easy

Posted 7 months ago

White Paper: Industry 4.0 and the dual channel principle

Posted 7 months ago

Bar code reader range enhanced

Posted 8 months ago

Industry 4.0 technology report – the dual channel principle

Posted 8 months ago

Leuze sensors take the biscuit

Posted 10 months ago

Dynamic safeguarding of AGV/robot transfer stations

Posted 1 year ago

Advances in reference diffuse sensor technology

Posted 1 year ago

Sweet success for sensors in confectionery manufacture

Posted 1 year ago

2D-code readers key to success of tyre automation system

Posted 1 year ago

Work progresses on Leuze's new distribution centre

Posted 1 year ago

Leuze electronic launches volume measurement system

Posted 1 year ago

Vision-based sensor for precise control of double-depth position

Posted 1 year ago

Leuze code reader gains Blockchain authentication capability

Posted 1 year ago

Leuze electronic wins Best-of-Industry-Award at SPS show

Posted 1 year ago

Is it still acceptable to use two-beam safety light barriers?

Posted 2 years ago

What are the options for AGV navigation sensors?

Posted 2 years ago

Safety light curtain incorporates SPG muting technology

Posted 2 years ago

Process-controlled access guarding without using muting sensors

Posted 2 years ago

How machine tools and systems can operate safely and efficiently

Posted 2 years ago

Leuze electronic safety expertise at LogiMAT 2019

Posted 2 years ago

What is dual channel technology for sensors?

Posted 2 years ago

Customised sensor developed for lab automation robot

Posted 3 years ago

Latest laser area scanners for static and AGV applications

Posted 3 years ago

Compact cylindrical optical sensor housed in M12 body

Posted 3 years ago

Leuze sensors used in automated powder coating system

Posted 3 years ago

Leuze electronic looks back at its 55-year success story

Posted 3 years ago

Leuze electronic launches new distance sensors

Posted 3 years ago

High-speed quality check with high-performance camera technology

Posted 3 years ago

Sensor data available globally: beyond the local company cloud

Posted 3 years ago

Smart Process Gating: Leuze reinvents light curtain muting

Posted 3 years ago

Intelligent sensor cable prevents downtime by predicting failure

Posted 3 years ago

Efficient automation of life science laboratories

Posted 3 years ago

Compact camera-based IPS200i sensor is quick to commission

Posted 3 years ago

Safety for man and machine

Posted 3 years ago

Safe position monitoring in industrial automation

Posted 4 years ago

Leuze electronic collaborates with Microsoft to accelerate IoT

Posted 4 years ago

High-performance sensors in a compact package

Posted 4 years ago

Non-contact, reliable detection of objects and fill levels

Posted 4 years ago

Light curtains for safeguarding packaging systems

Posted 4 years ago

New safety relays and safety controllers from Leuze electronic

Posted 4 years ago

New economical type 4 single-beam safety devices

Posted 4 years ago

CML 700i measuring light curtain features Profinet interface

Posted 4 years ago

See Industry 4.0-ready sensors at Hanover Messe 2017

Posted 4 years ago

Leuze electronic sensors for packaging machines at Interpack

Posted 4 years ago

White paper explains Industry 4.0 collaboration with Microsoft

Posted 4 years ago

New machinery risk assessment white paper from Leuze electronic

Posted 4 years ago

Data transmission photoelectric sensor with remote diagnostics

Posted 4 years ago

Optoelectronic safety devices cut machine tool cycle time

Posted 5 years ago

Reading 1D, stacked and 2D codes is quicker and easier

Posted 5 years ago

Safety locking devices feature uniquely coded RFID technology

Posted 5 years ago

Safety light curtain withstands shock and vibration

Posted 5 years ago

Avoiding overflow with light section sensors

Posted 5 years ago

See new smart sensors at Drives and Controls 2016

Posted 5 years ago

Safety laser scanners: what are the most important requirements?

Posted 5 years ago

Sensors and systems for intralogistics

Posted 5 years ago

Optical sensors are tolerant of target materials and finishes

Posted 5 years ago

New top-end laser scanner from Leuze electronic

Posted 5 years ago

Sensors for packaging

Posted 5 years ago

Setting up access guarding with muting is easy with MLDSET

Posted 5 years ago

Light section sensors: reliable detection of medicine packages

Posted 5 years ago

IO-Link and connectivity in the age of Industry 4.0

Posted 5 years ago

New warehouse, new sensors

Posted 6 years ago

AC/DC SR 49C all-voltage sensors now suitable for outdoor use

Posted 6 years ago

Smart cameras for smart inspection systems in beverage industry

Posted 6 years ago

Quality control with LRS 36 light section sensors at dairy

Posted 6 years ago

Leuze RSL 400 scanners are more versatile and easier to use

Posted 6 years ago

MLC safety light curtains now with integrated AS-i interface

Posted 6 years ago

Barcode positioning system with wide range of bus interfaces

Posted 6 years ago

Photoelectric sensor transmits Ethernet data interference-free

Posted 6 years ago

New guard switch incorporated in stainless steel hinge

Posted 7 years ago

CR 50 bar code reader for medical instrumentation

Posted 7 years ago

Pluggable relay module for safety controllers

Posted 7 years ago

Light-band RK46c-VarOS detects object over 50mm band area

Posted 7 years ago

Modular muting safety light beams - easy to specify and install

Posted 7 years ago

Two new ultrasonic sensors for switching and measuring

Posted 7 years ago

New high-performance sensor series 18B from Leuze

Posted 7 years ago

Bar code reader with Ethernet/IP interface

Posted 7 years ago

Leuze MSI safety relays now have interchangeable terminal blocks

Posted 7 years ago

Leuze's HRTR46B Teach opto-sensor is two sensors in one unit

Posted 9 years ago

Cylindrical photo-electric sensors with unique swivel mounting

Posted 9 years ago

Win a Blackberry Playbook at Drives & Controls 2012

Posted 9 years ago

New Leuze salesman for East Midlands and Central England

Posted 10 years ago

Three-dimensional sensing versus machine vision systems

Posted 10 years ago

Bin-picking robot is guided by laser profile sensor

Posted 10 years ago

New modular safety controllers from Leuze electronic

Posted 10 years ago

Free training on machinery safety and SISTEMA

Posted 10 years ago

Free machinery safety and safety controller training workshops

Posted 11 years ago

EN ISO 13849-1 simplified procedure for assessing PL

Posted 11 years ago

Three-beam multiple light beam safety devices save cost

Posted 11 years ago

Single device reads barcodes and 2D codes

Posted 12 years ago

Explosion-proof housings upgrade standard optical sensors

Posted 12 years ago

Smart camera features improved integral lighting

Posted 12 years ago

Free brochure for Leuze Electronic's SOLID safety light curtains

Posted 12 years ago

Leuze electronic continues to expand UK operations

Posted 12 years ago

New Managing Director for Leuze Electronic UK

Posted 12 years ago

Optical sensor saves cost in high-bay warehouses

Posted 12 years ago

Laser distance sensor offered with a choice of spot sizes

Posted 12 years ago

New catalogue for Leuze machine safety products

Posted 12 years ago

Forked sensor offers higher processing speed

Posted 13 years ago

Optical sensors gain EHEDG certification

Posted 13 years ago

Ultrasonic forked sensor achieves higher processing speed

Posted 13 years ago

New catalogue of photoelectric sensors

Posted 13 years ago

Photoelectric sensor for small targets is ultra-compact

Posted 13 years ago

Ruggedised safety light curtains have 14mm resolution

Posted 13 years ago

Tougher safety light curtains to be shown for the first time

Posted 14 years ago

Tactile safety devices explained

Posted 14 years ago

Ultra-compact opto sensors have big specification

Posted 14 years ago

Safety light curtains cope with arduous environments

Posted 14 years ago

Laser measuring sensor achieves +/-3mm over 200mm

Posted 14 years ago

Can Character Verification System checks text on concave end

Posted 14 years ago

Safety light curtains are sealed to IP68

Posted 14 years ago

Measuring light curtain helps check pallet stability

Posted 14 years ago

Ethernet-enabled device reads damaged bar codes

Posted 14 years ago

More technical articles

Login / Sign up