Sales of automated guided vehicles (AGVs) will nearly triple by 2024 thanks to persistent product innovation by leading vendors, a report released Wednesday says.
The worldwide AGV market is forecast to be worth $2.3 billion by the end of 2024, up steeply from its value of $838.3 million in 2015, according to the report from Albany, N.Y.-based industry analyst firm Transparency Market Research.
Vendors are helping to drive this fast growth by investing heavily in research and development to meet customer demands for improved automation and worker safety, according to the report, "Worldwide Automated Guided Vehicle Market is Projected to Rise at a CAGR of 12.4% by 2024: Demand for Automation and Safety Generates Lucrative Opportunities."
Leading the pack in that trend are four AGV providers who hold a collective market share of about 56 percent, including Toyota Industries Corp., JBT Corp., Hyster-Yale Materials Handling, and Dematic, the report says. Additional players include: Egemin Automation Inc., Bastian Solutions LLC, Swisslog Holding AG, E&K Automation GMBH, Oceaneering AGV Systems, and Seegrid Corp.
The fastest growing segment of the AGV market will be the tugger AGV sector, which is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.9 percent between 2016 and 2024. That will outpace sales growth of other AGV designs, including forklift AGVs, pallet trucks, load transfer AGVs, light load transporters, and assembly line vehicles.
Most of those new AGVs will go to customers in the booming Asia Pacific automotive industry, which is forecast to grow even faster than that, with a predicted 13.7 percent CAGR between 2016 and 2024.
Material handling companies in all industries value AGVs for their role in reducing the cost of labor and ensuring smooth operations with a safe working environment, the report found.
Vendors are helping them meet those goals by following safety guidelines from industry groups such as The America Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) and by equipping AGVs with radio frequency technology so the vehicles can boost productivity and accuracy through collaboration with warehouse control system (WCS) and warehouse management system (WMS) software platforms, the report said.