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naperlou
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Blogger
Flexibility
naperlou   9/5/2013 8:42:57 AM
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This is truly a great innovation.  With the ability to reconfigure the production line quickly, without major investment, plants should be much more efficient.  The use of software to control the device makes it easier to reconfigure and reuse.  Smart devices make for smart processes. 

This could also make for some interesting dynamic programming problems. 

Rod Emery
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Blogger
Re: Flexibility
Rod Emery   9/5/2013 10:56:19 AM
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Thanks for the comment.  As you note, this innovation allows you to quickly make changes to your conveyance path and operation without significant demolition and installation labor or material.  The major risks associated with traditional assembly line automation and conveyance has been removed, the few remaining risks are mitigated by proving out every AGV on our test track prior to shipment to the customer site.

Any additional programming required for new or unique applications is developed and validated at our Plymouth, MI facility well in advance of deployment to the customer site.  

etmax
User Rank
Gold
Re: Flexibility
etmax   9/9/2013 12:10:58 AM
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Whaterver would have Henry Ford thought of this? It is truly taking it to the next level.

Debera Harward
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Silver
Re: Flexibility
Debera Harward   9/9/2013 12:28:53 AM
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Rod, no doubt this is really a very innovative approach. Few years back in every device and machinery alot of material wiring, cabling and hardware was required but as technology is moving ahead embedded and control systems are becomming more popular 70 percent of the machinery works on software and hardware has been reduces to 30 percent only . That is why these days there is a lot of demand of software engineers and embedded and control system experts.

Debera Harward
User Rank
Silver
Re: Flexibility
Debera Harward   9/9/2013 12:41:40 AM
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However control system and embedded system based machinery is more expensive but it requires less workers to operate it hence the upfront cost can later act as a profit as well because it drops down high salary paying tensions. On the other hand from employees perspective it is not good because it has dropped employement.

Secondly software based machinery and devices are although initially very costly but as we all know that technology is changing every moment it is very easy to upgrade them rather than replacing the whole machinery only the particular software can be upgraded.

Rod Emery
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Blogger
Re: Flexibility
Rod Emery   9/10/2013 9:51:34 AM
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I believe that Mr. Ford, being such an innovative thinker, would have fully endorsed and adopted the technology.

Rod Emery
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Flexibility
Rod Emery   9/10/2013 9:55:25 AM
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Debera,

Thanks for sharing your comments.

As you point out, the technology is very flexible and emphasizes the intelligence of the system rather than having a fixed asset that is very expensive to install, maintain and modify.

Cabe Atwell
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Blogger
Re: Flexibility
Cabe Atwell   10/23/2013 6:10:11 PM
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Incredibly informative. I was especially intrigued by the fact that AGVs can be reconfigured based on what's being manufactured.

Rod Emery
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Flexibility
Rod Emery   10/31/2013 9:42:34 AM
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Thanks for your comment Cabe.

Battery-free AGVs offer tremendous flexibility in the way systems can operate, essentially adapting to the needs of the assembly environment



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