Those of us who are familiar with the wonderful world of material handling may think it's pretty exciting. But who would think it was glamorous enough for the small screen? Producers at The Discovery Channel, apparently.
Earlier this year, the cable channel's series "Some Assembly Required" included an episode filmed at a John Deere plant in Wisconsin. The episode, which followed the manufacturing and assembly of lawn mowers, included footage of Jervis B. Webb Co.'s SmartCart automatic guided carts. According to Webb, the factory uses 80 SmartCarts to transport tractors throughout the assembly process.
The carts are available as pallet handlers and heavyweight tuggers and come in counterbalanced fork and single conveyor versions (for use with roller conveyor systems). The vehicles follow magnetic-tape trails on the facility's floor, but they can also be programmed to travel off the tape. After they have completed their tasks, they return to the magnetic path and continue on their way, either forward or in reverse.