Warehouse AGVs Deliver Immediate Safety & Productivity Gains in Automotive Manufacturing
As the second largest automotive parts supplier in the world, DENSO Corporation, ships to numerous top brand car manufacturers including Honda, Subaru, Toyota, Nissan, Ford and GM. To transform their primarily manual operation, DENSO had two primary objectives in mind, to overcome labor shortages and improve warehouse operation safety for associates driving vehicles inside the facility.
The result – 48% reduction in process defects and 33% reallocated labor to better positions with no eliminated roles.
Together, DENSO, Bastian Solutions and Toyota Material Handling integrated five AGVs, Toyota Core Tow Tractors, supported by BlueBotics ANT® monitor and Bastian Solutions’ traffic control and routing software. For their Maryville, Tennessee warehouse, this meant a fast setup and install that immediately delivered reliable productivity and improved employee safety. Prior to deployment the AGVs underwent numerous testing with safety related items. “Quality and safety are a given in the industry. And those can never be compromised. We found our heaviest pallets that we’re ever going to have and put them on there and we sent it at full speed,” said Matthew Summit, DENSO Manufacturing DMNT Effective Factory Planning & Logistics. Sensors can be tested at any time by any employee for continued safety assurance.
Now able to automate the transport of product pallets from receiving to production lines via software, DENSO is able to better leverage their human labor force for improved manufacturing distribution productivity. “We have not had a lot of automation in the warehouse. So, it’s new for all of us. And most people feared for their job. Bastian has provided an easy way for us, where we did not lose any jobs. We allocated those jobs in other areas where they were needed,” said Nate Rose, DENSO Manufacturing Production Logistics Section Leader.