Adding industrial and ergonomic casters to automated systems in today’s modern production facilities can look like a scene out of a sci-fi movie. As robotic arms perform various functions, Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGV’s) are maneuvering around the plant on their cart casters and wheels. All while automated conveyor systems move items around to all corners of these huge facilities.
The efficiency benefits of automated systems are a given. But automation also consumes various resources, especially electric power. So much so that facility managers are always looking for ways to increase performance. Increasing the battery life of AGVs, tuggers, and other machines that use a battery as their power source is a good start. Especially when you consider that manufacturing plants can run production around the clock, leaving little time for charging a battery.
One way to improve battery performance on AGV’s and battery-powered carts like the Conceptual Innovations Drive Cart, is by reducing the amount of power needed to move the cart. In other words, reducing the push force.
The harder it is to move a cart, the more power the motor must exert, which causes a greater demand for power from the battery, hence reducing battery life. Ergonomic AGV cart casters and wheels like the SoS Caster and TWERGO® wheels can significantly reduce the amount of force needed to roll and maneuver, and help reduce the drain on batteries, extending the use time between charges.
Swivel on Swivel on a Twergo Wheel
By placing a swivel section on top of a swivel section, we are able to achieve a longer swivel lead than conventional casters. This design reduces the force required to rotate the caster and start rolling. The design also virtually eliminates any side-to-side shifting when the wheels rotate 180 degrees forward or backward in a straight line. These benefits all result in reduced operator fatigue.
TWERGO® Twin- and Triple-wheel designs have independently spinning wheels that can rotate in either direction and at any rate, minimizing friction when turning and maneuvering. These wheels are ideal for long Tugger trains.
The effect is compounded on battery-powered Tug Vehicles that pull a train of carts. Using ergonomic casters and wheels on the carts in the train increases the battery life of the Tugger. This improvement can be exponential, depending on the number of carts. And for manual material handling carts, reducing initial and continuous push force has been a goal of engineers for years. The primary reason being the reduction of risk of injury due to overexertion.
Another way to extend a battery’s life is to make sure you also don’t overcharge it. Overcharging can cause damage to the battery’s positive plate. When a new battery is used, a battery terminal protector should be added. This helps protect battery life and reduces corrosion. It’s also worth scheduling time to clean your batteries regularly to prevent build-up of dust and dirt, which can also damage the batteries over time and reduce their lifespan.