Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGVs) help Del Monte Foods be best in class

Del Monte Foods’ new Topeka DC brings laser-guided AGVs from manufacturing into distribution. The result is a best-in-class materials handling system that minimizes costs with room to expand in the future.

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Automatic guided vehicles, or AGVs, have been a staple of materials handling in a manufacturing environment for decades. It’s not uncommon to find a fleet of 20 or more vehicles delivering product to the assembly line in a large automotive plant.

But, AGVs in a distribution center? Not so much. In DCs, they have largely been relegated to moving product from the plant to an adjoining DC. That may be about to change, if the 420,000-square-foot distribution center opened by Del Monte Foods in Topeka, Kan., last October is any indication.

There, Del Monte has put to work a fleet of 39 laser-guided AGVs (Elettric80, us.elettric80.com).

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About the Author

Bob Trebilcock
Bob Trebilcock, editorial director, has covered materials handling, technology, logistics and supply chain topics for nearly 30 years. In addition to Supply Chain Management Review, he is also Executive Editor of Modern Materials Handling. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484.

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Global transportation isn’t getting any easier to manage. With new rules and regulations to learn, new compliance requirements to adhere to, and new customers and business partners to onboard, navigating the complexities of the global market can be difficult for any company. To fully leverage their global supply chains, firms need a robust, global transportation management system that helps them navigate this ever-changing environment.
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From the July 2016 Issue
While it’s currently a shippers market, the authors of this year’s report contend that we’ve entered a “period of transition” that will usher in a realignment of capacity, lower inventories, economic growth and “moderately higher” rates. It’s time to tighten the ties that bind.
2016 State of Logistics: Third-party logistics
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