Automatic Guided Vehicles are the Future for Manufacturing, says AECOM

28th September 2017 – Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGVs) have huge potential to shake up the manufacturing industry, argued AECOM’s Lars Skogmo today at an Automotive Circle conference focused on electrification. AGVs, the independently operated battery powered vehicles, can rationalise manufacturing processes such as conveyance between processes, parts supply to production lines and cellular manufacturing lines. This can deliver great efficiencies when compared with traditional conveyer lines.

Using AGVs in the automotive production environment can bring numerous advantages, including increased safety, reduced resources, a carbon footprint reduction and flexibility through combined technology. In his speech today, Lars argued that the car itself could also be the future AGV, which completely changes the dynamics of return-on-investment.

AECOM also believes that the factories of the future will have ‘swarm intelligence’, an emerging field of biologically inspired artificial intelligence based on the behavioural models of social insects and animals such as ants, bees, wasps, termites, fish, and birds. This can be used to develop self-learning systems, so every piece of equipment has infinite flexible paths. These self-learning algorithms will be based on output and efficiency and their cells may also move to other products for parallel accessible processes.

Lars Skogmo, Chief Technical Officer, Process and Automation, AECOM, said: “AECOM’s Process and Automation team works on the design of new technology and working processes, helping our clients optimise their factories so they are ready for future advances. The continuous advances in technology are very exciting for the sector and will deliver cost efficiencies and improved safety.”

Lars spoke today at Automotive Circle’s Electrification and Connected Car: Impact on Manufacturing at the British Motor Museum in Gaydon, UK.