Survey the modern warehouse or DC and you just might overlook the carts, tuggers and casters that literally keep the wheels turning in these expansive facilities. Sure, they may not always be the focal point in the push to automate, digitize and modernize these operations, but all three pieces of equipment continue to play a vital role in warehouse and DC operations worldwide.
The global pandemic expanded that role as facilities scrambled to accommodate new social distancing rules, implement “touchless” processes and protect workers from the outbreak. Through it all, most companies were also working with fewer human resources.
“A lot of companies are shorthanded right now and trying to do more with less,” says Creform’s vice president of sales Keith Soderlund. “As a result, our automatic guided vehicle (AGV) business has been pretty strong this year.”
Companies that were already adding AGVs and other automated tools to their warehouses and DCs ramped up those efforts when Covid-19 emerged. “It was coming anyway, but Covid reinforced it a bit,” Soderlund says. “It’s certainly one way to keep workers apart.”
Over the last year, Creform has developed several new AGVs (some of which are tuggers). The company also provides carts for customers who need them. Creform’s newest models include enhanced functionalities like more integrations to other equipment and Internet of Things ( IoT) connections to upper-level production systems.
Read more: Carts, tuggers and casters: The unsung heroes of the warehouse