Coventry-based Brose UK is using ground-breaking technology to optimise its logistics operation, improve efficiencies and win new business.
The company, which provides seat structures and window regulators to Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan and Toyota, has invested nearly £2 million over the last two years in the introduction of automated guided vehicles (AGVs) that will speed up the movement of finished goods and eliminate any prospect of human error.
The factory has fully embraced driverless vehicle technology, with AGVs expected to make more than 650,000 different journeys every year in seat production.
Travelling at 1m/sec, the AGVs will cover 67,000km annually. Typically, they are used where high volumes of repetitive material movements are required and where little or no human decision-making is required.
Steve Wilkins, Brose UK managing director (www.brose.com
), said: “The automotive sector is extremely demanding, and there is a continuous need to produce parts quicker and to react to fluctuating patterns in demand — logistics is crucial for us to achieve this.”
The AGVs have laser reflectors for navigation purposes and are programmed by CAD-based software. Using the Brose Transport Guidance System, they can communicate with each other to ensure that materials are moved smoothly through the warehouse, whether these are being stored for future use or sent for shipping.
Mr Wilkins continued: “The AGVs have little down-time and operate at a fixed rate, so it is easier to plan operations.
“In addition, they are computer-controlled, which eliminates human errors in terms of damage to the facility — or employees.”