09/09/2020 - 15:56 pm

AutoGuide introduces the industry’s first fully autonomous robotic high bay forklift

AutoGuide Mobile Robots has launched a fully autonomous mobile robot designed to automate racking and picking operations at high bay warehouses. The new AutoGuide Max-N High Bay is an autonomous counterbalanced forklift that can travel up to 4mph and lift 2400lb payloads up to 36ft high.

The Max-N High Bay works seamlessly with existing warehouse infrastructure so there’s no need to invest in new racking systems or pallets, and installation can be complete in weeks. Like all AutoGuide autonomous mobile robots (AMR), the Max-N High Bay exceeds ANSI safety standards and travels along a network of approved, predictable paths to decrease workplace risk for employees in shared workspaces.

Using SurePath Enterprise software, Max-N High Bays receive data from existing order management and warehouse management systems (WMS) and can be quickly deployed to complete a wide array of high bay operations. SurePath Enterprise defines the most efficient route for each job.

“Traditional high bay operations can be complex and potentially dangerous,” said Rob Sullivan, president and CEO of AutoGuide. “Due to this complexity, operations risk product damage and employee injury. Autonomous solutions like the Max-N High Bay, on the other hand, increase efficiencies and keep both employees and products safe, providing an excellent return on investment in high bay environments.”

The Max-N High Bay is part of AutoGuide’s innovative, patent-pending modular autonomous mobile robot system designed to maximise fleet flexibility and uptime. The Max-N High Bay is one of multiple high-payload adapters designed to fit the Max-N Base AMR. With a change of adapters, the base AMR is converted from a high bay forklift to a pallet stacker or tow tractor.

AutoGuide claims it is the only manufacturer that engineers and builds AMRs from the ground up to be fully autonomous, high performance material transport robots. The majority of robotic solutions are retrofitted manual vehicles, built from parts supplied by various vendors.

Other key features of the new Max-N High Bay include:

  • High-tech LiDAR scanners and SLAM technologies that map the facility in real time for no-tape-required navigation and obstacle detection—even in low-light conditions.
  • Smart pallet and rack detection sensors for precision picking, providing the ability to identify empty pallets and track down a specific LPN among a full stack of pallets.
  • Non-contact collision avoidance technology to protect employees and built-in sensors to detect overhung obstacles for safer autonomous lifting in narrow aisles.
  • A flexible on-board touchscreen so floor workers can quickly switch to manual mode.
  • Counterbalance mechanics built into the base AMR so it can drive right up to the rack for faster picking and placing on tall storage racks.

In addition, with inventory management software, the Max-N High Bay becomes part of the new AutoGuide Mobile Autonomous Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS), also a new launch. The inventory management software connects with facility WMS and inventory management applications to keep track of facility inventory, manage finished goods or WIP inventories; speed reconciliation; and provide daily cycle counting digitally.

“As part of the new AutoGuide Mobile ASRS, our autonomous Max-N High Bay can safely and efficiently transport materials from the receiving dock directly to the storage racks without the need for conveyor systems or other inflexible material handling infrastructure,” Sullivan says, “When connected to detailed, facility-wide inventory awareness, the MAX-N High Bay can get material exactly where it belongs.”

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