Creform Corp., a manufacturer of adaptive material handling systems, has introduced a drawbridge cart with NSI AGV system. An ideal solution for manufacturers that need synchronized inventory presentation or for a kit of parts. In one case the system was the right solution for an automotive parts manufacturer of anti-vibration rubber parts such as engine mounts, strut mounts, bushings, dampers, CV boots to name a few.
The system features a cart designed to be towed by a Creform NSI AGV. It is built so that the AGV can tunnel underneath and features an A-HPL hitch that accepts the tow pin of the AGV unit. The AGV provides strategic help in moving carts carrying material and parts. It works as an automated tugger, traveling along a magnetic tape guidepath. It slips under a stationary cart, extends a tow pin into the cart's frame and then conveys it to a designated area. The cart is picked up and dropped off automatically and once it is released, the associate in the area then can easily move cart into its optimal position of use.
The Creform BST NSI AGV offers a sophisticated control system. It is programmable and can control 50 courses with up to 128 commands on each. Programs can be entered via HMI, USB memory, Ethernet cable or radio (with optional equipment). The unit runs on 24-volt power and can run a full shift prior to recharge.
A unique feature of the cart is tilt-up drawbridge style shelves for enhanced access where four of the five levels tilt out of the way. This is ideal for a sequential operation that needs to empty one shelf before tilting it up out of the way to access the shelf below.
The tilt-up shelves let the user minimize the space between the levels as there is no need to build in clearance for part removal on each level because the shelf above tilts up out of the way for easy access. By tightening up the space between the levels, the user can fit more levels in the cart making better use of plant's floor space.
The shelves are held up with gas struts like those found on a hatchback of an SUV. The gas struts help control the raising and lowering speed. They also help to counterbalance the weight of each tilt-away shelf. The shelves are made of light weight plastic with edge banding for product retention which ensures that parts stay on the shelf as they may vibrate during transport.
Shelves can feature simple flat surface shelves of wood, plastic or metal and can be enhanced with foam dunnage or shadowboard for protection and organization. Another feature of the cart system is that during over-the-road transport, the shelves can be configured so that when in the lowered position, parts are sandwiched to the shelf below, thus minimizing the chance of product damage and parts loss.
The cart features four 6 in. dia. casters with urethane wheels for easy, stable and safe rolling. The casters are ideal for the rigors of repeated towing by the AGV. All swivel for easy positioning in the manufacturing environment. The cart pictured is 54" L x 35" W x 48" H and is designed to hold up to 500 pounds. It can be used for standard or ESD applications and can be customized with only simple tools. Higher capacity and custom sizes and configurations are possible, as are a variety of colors.