After the end of World War II, the Marshall Plan objectively promoted the reconstruction of industrial production in the West. At that time, industrial design developed rapidly, and the automotive industry became an important field for design innovation of major enterprises. The first truly AGV was born in this context. . In 1953, the AGV, which was developed by Basrrett Electronics of the United States and modified from a towed tractor, received a lot of attention. By the mid-1970s, Europe had about 520 AGV systems and 4,800 AGV cars. The main applications in the machinery manufacturing industry were the automotive industry.
Since the development of AGV, the current mainstream method is to divide the foreign AGV into AGV produced in Europe and America and AGV produced in Japan according to the characteristics of AGV, the degree of automation of application scenarios, and industrial mode.
It should be noted that Japan introduced European and American AGV technology in the 1970s, but Japan has carried out localization to make it more suitable for the industrial characteristics of Japan's high-end light industry. The easily modified AGV is called AGC in Japan, both of which The difference can be seen from the name. Cart and Vehicle, the dictionary's interpretation of the two are: trolleys, trolleys; vehicles, vehicles, obviously the latter is more formal, more in line with European and American AGV products" High-end temperament.
The following table is based on the two dimensions of Europe, America and Japan. Six companies with headquarters in different countries are selected for analysis.
Through the combing, it was found that the foreign AGV producers generally have a deep historical precipitation, which has a very direct relationship with the development stage of the country.
As mentioned above, the AGVs produced in Europe and the United States mainly use large-component assembly forms, and the overall appearance is relatively cumbersome. However, most of them can adapt to complex and diverse path planning and production processes, so they can be used in various handling places. Japan's AGV wins lightly and emphasizes the flexibility of its products. Some companies even produce AGC series kits, that is, component parts, and customize products according to users' needs. From the perspective of the entire industry, AGV is widely used in industrial, military, transportation, electronics and other fields.
JBT (USA) is John Bing Technology, whose customers are mainly concentrated in food processing and air transportation. JBT provides customers with large-scale food machinery and various aviation-specific guided vehicles. When providing solutions, JBT Four important factors are proposed: technology, leadership, customer relationships, and global influence. JBT Automation Systems provides automated material handling solutions to customers in a wide range of industries including automotive, food and beverage, healthcare, manufacturing, and packaging.
As mentioned above, compared with European heavy-duty and high-automation AGV products, Japan's AGV technology is simple and practical. This type of product is generally suitable for a single path, a fixed process, only for handling, and the degree of automation is not high. The company's AGC kit is a simple example of a highly scalable, simple AGV.
Founded in 1897, Meiden, as the name suggests, is a power-related company, just like SLOGAN on the company's website: there is a place where electricity is available. While deepening the power business, Meiden has gradually expanded its business in the logistics field, automobile, water environment and ICT. Among them, the logistics field mainly focuses on the unmanned van system, from the low-cost combination to the AGV system, providing a wide range of product lines for users in the handling and use environment. Service households are also relatively extensive, including manufacturing, power, energy, and petrochemical industries.
As can be seen from the above table, even with high load and heavy load, the AGV load is only 1000KG, which is still far from the weight of the JBT enterprise above 3600KG. In addition to the slimness of the body type, the AGC kits introduced by Meiden can be freely combined according to customer needs, and the degree of flexibility is greatly improved.
Looking at the Belgian company, Yingjie Ming, Yingjie is positioned as an automation system solution integrator, mainly implementing automation projects and consulting services for companies in the pharmaceutical, food, petrochemical and other industries. The main products are as follows:
It is understood that due to development problems, in March 2017, Yingjieming was acquired by Dematek, an automated logistics equipment manufacturer.
First, the wire is buried in the floor, the antenna on the AGV detects the wire signal, the encoder on the AGV wheel automatically calculates the distance; secondly, it develops to mark the tape on the guide groove, the tape is placed on the floor surface; finally, by identifying the tape In contrast to the ground, the camera and image processing sensors are used to guide the AGV, but these three navigation methods are gradually replaced by lack of flexibility.
Ranging mode navigation is to let the AGV determine its position based on the feedback given by the three devices: that is, the sensor on the AGV passes the reference point to detect the reference point, the gyroscope on the AGV measures/maintains the vehicle heading, and the wheel encoder on the vehicle Calculate the distance that has already traveled; later is the more popular laser navigation, the laser scanner is installed on the top of the vehicle, the laser scanner flashes against the reflection target, and the vehicle control algorithm calculates the exact position of the vehicle through triangulation. In the end, it relies on walls to run directly, and this is the unique guidance technology developed by Axter – without any ground infrastructure, relying solely on simple environmental identification. The following is an overview of its production:
In 1995, KUKA was established in Germany, and a brief introduction to KUKA can be found in the enquiry. However, as early as 1898, Johann Josef Keller and Jakob Knappich set up an acetylene plant for lighting in Augsburg, with the goal of producing affordable home and street lighting. The acronym for these two companies, KUKA, means that KUKA has become a brand in 1898. Until 1995, KUKA transformed from Welding Equipment and Robotics Co., Ltd. to Robotics, which is familiar to KUKA today.
It can also be seen from the above table that KUKA's positioning division of its own AGV is relatively clear, and both flexible and heavy-duty types are involved. It is worth mentioning that KUKA is the most advanced product, the product is light AGV, can work within 1 square meter; it is a heavy-duty AGV, its load capacity can reach 90 tons, and while paying attention to load capacity, Flexibility is also better balanced. KUKA's AGV is mainly used in the fields of material processing, machine tool loading, assembly, packaging, stacking, welding, surface finishing and so on.
In the face of the long history of other companies, the MiR, which was established in 2013, is very "young." MIR's collaborative mobile robots are easy-to-use, flexible and secure, helping companies improve production and operational efficiency. Automated automation is made more flexible through natural navigation and custom navigation.
As can be seen from the above table, MiR focuses on light AGV, focusing on the modularization and flexibility of products. Applications are also concentrated in light industrial scenarios such as automotive, textile, electronics and food products.
Since the development of AGV, the AGV characteristics produced by European and American companies and Japanese companies have merged with each other. The method of classification based on light and heavy industry may no longer be popular, just as the vice president of China Logistics Association, Mian Mian, said in an interview with Yiou Logistics. The application scenarios of AGV are more and more extensive, and the requirements are also increasing. Therefore, different AGVs may be differentiated according to various scenarios in the future.
In view of the development status of foreign AGV industry, Maiwei Robot CEO Li Weijun introduced to E-Logistics, and the foreign AGV field is also booming. Many start-up companies are headed by Amazon to acquire KIVA, such as Fetchrobotics, Invia robotics, etc. The development prospects are good. However, because they are start-up companies, their current development is similar to that of China's current AGV robot company. In some areas, China still has a slight advantage.
According to market research and consulting firm Tractica, by 2021, the global warehousing and logistics robot market will reach $22.4 billion. Among them, China's AGV market is also growing at a rapid rate. According to market research company Reportlinker, it is expected that in 2017-2021, China Mobile Robotics and AGV sales will grow at an average annual rate of 43%, and will reach 61,000 units in 2021. Yan Mian believes that China's broad market prospects and the inevitable trend of supply chain, service chain and value chain globalization make the foreign AGV should enter the overall situation of China's economic development as soon as possible.
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