Logistics & Material Handling
Topper Industrial carts and tuggers promote forklift-free operation
March 7, 2018 by Manufacturing AUTOMATION
Mar. 7, 2018 – The lean goal is to move toward a forklift-free operation wherever it is practical, according to Topper Industrial. An Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) tugger cart system is a forklift-free system that compliments lean manufacturing by shortening lead times, minimizes waste of the production line, and maintains an even flow of activities, it describes, adding that a tugger cart system will reduce the need for many forklift trips.
A fork truck-free system typically requires less than half of the equipment and labour because one tugger can tow from four to eight loaded carts while a traditional system needs four employees to operate four forklifts, says Topper Industrial. However, the choice to go forklift-free is not easy and requires much preparation. Before switching from forklifts, the workflow throughout the shop must be evaluated to examine how each department and its suppliers will be impacted and what, if any, size or weight limitations may be involved. If carts limit certain material from converting to mobile queues, then a forklift will work better, the company says.