Why gearboxes are important to AGVs and AMRs?

Why gearboxes are important to AGVs and AMRs?
Applying new technologies and automated machines to increase production and efficiency has been the crucial way for factory's operation in the time of smart manufacturing. AGV (Automated Guided Vehicle) is one of the important core devices of initial automation technology. It moves by following a guide line technology on the ground. AMR (Autonomous mobile robot) is able to follow commands from a central server by on-board sensors and manage its own route map and navigation, to respond rationally or avoid obstacles autonomously. AGVs and AMRs are changing the face of manufacturing and logistics courtesy of smaller, more efficient and more functional motion control technologies.
 

How Do AGVs and AMRs Work

Both AGVs and AMRs can be used to move material within a facility. AGVs are guided by preset routes or some types of fixed infrastructure such as embedded wire, magnetic tape, QR code stickers or laser targets, and often require operator supervision. AGVs are widely used in industrial applications to transport products, parts and raw materials across  production lines or in a logistic warehouse.

In contrast, AMRs use camera, built-in sensors and laser scanners to detect their surroundings and positions on the map, and navigate the most efficient path between a starting point and a destination in their operational space. AMRs not only avoid obstacles, but actively and safely maneuver around obstacles by alternative route to continue the mission. It needs only simple software adjustments to change mission, so AMRs are highly adaptable for production lines that require flexibility and modification in modern manufacturing environments. They are usually used in replacing complex labors such as  warehouse distribution, security, medical and healthcare, retail and deliveries.
 

Why gearboxes are important to AGVs and AMRs?

The developments of autonomous mobile robots are more intelligent, capable of autonomous navigation, speed up, higher loading capacity, improved positioning accuracy and have a wider range of applications. Lower cost but higher power output are required. So the performance of gearboxes used in the driving unit becomes particularly important in response to the above requirements. The autonomous mobile robots may be used in different applications and need to be low noise, low starting torque, low temperature resistance, waterproof and 24/7 operation. Thus these gearboxes have to be impact design with high torque density, high precision, high radial load and high rigidity to allow AGVs and AMRs to move quietly and smoothly in various occasions. Lifetime lubricant and maintenance-free features provide excellent reliability in continuous operation. Furthermore, customized conditions may be required such as low temperature environment or steering endurance. The PGV planetary gearbox from Sesame Motor is specific designed solution and a cost-effective choice for AGVs and AMRs manufacturers that want to remain competitive in a fast-changing market.
 

What are the required features of gearboxes used in AGVs and AMRs?

  1. Compact size and structure, light weight, saving installation space.
  2. Planetary gearboxes, which can withstand higher torque density.
  3. Low backlash and high positioning accuracy.
  4. High rigidity and radial load capacity, to carry more loading.
  5. High efficiency, to utilize limited motor power as efficient as possible.
  6. Service life lubricant and maintenance free design, to reduce downtime and save cost.
 

Conclusion

AGVs and AMRs are optimizing traditional processes significantly and providing more flexibility to manufacturing and warehouse management. Autonomous movement robot is not a state-of-the-art technology, in fact, commercial applications have only begun to appear in decade due to real-time navigation and execution capabilities result from rapid development of sensors, vision,  analytics and mobility. Modern manufacturing depends on intelligence, automation, efficient and flexible productivity, which greatly promotes industrial transformation and upgrading while reducing manpower. The gearbox plays one of the important roles in efficient power transmission that benefits AGVs and AMRs to bring new levels of efficiency and productivity to manufacturing, warehousing and logistics.

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