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Topper advocates forklift-free systems

Wednesday, 28 Feb 2018 ( #861 ) - Sturtevant, WI, United States
News Story
A Topper quad-steer cart
Automated guided vehicle (AGV) manufacturer Topper Industrial is advocating forklift-free operations "wherever it is practical".

It argues that AGV tugger cart systems can complement lean manufacturing by shortening lead times, minimising waste on the production line and maintaining an even flow of activities. A tugger cart system reduces the need for many forklift trips.

A forklift-free system typically requires less than half of the equipment and labour because one tugger can tow from four to eight loaded carts, while a traditional system needs four employees to operate four forklifts.

However, the choice to go forklift-free is not easy and requires much preparation.

Before switching from forklifts, the workflow throughout the operation must be evaluated to examine how each department and its suppliers will be impacted and what, if any, size or weight limitations may be involved. If carts limit certain material from converting to mobile queues, then a forklift will work better.

Topper argues that the savings and value proposition of AGV tuggers pulling carts have been detailed repeatedly.

Topper Industrial is a leading manufacturer of materials handling equipment, providing lean handling solutions to the supply chain.
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