Aug 25, 2011
Webb’s Innovation Leads to New AGV Patents
Farmington Hills, Mich. (August 25, 2011) – The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has awarded Jervis B. Webb Company – a subsidiary of Daifuku Webb Holding Company and leading provider of material handling solutions – U.S. Patent No. 7,980,808 for its Automatic Transport Loading System and Method and U.S. Patent No. 7,991,521 for its Variable Path for Automated Guided Vehicle.
The Automatic Transport Loading System and Method is Webb’s second Automatic Transport Loading (ATL) patent for its SmartLoader® Automatic Guided Vehicle (AGV), which loads and unloads standard, over-the-road trailers and other containers without requiring any modifications to the trailers. This patent applies specifically to loading and unloading the ends of trailers by actively adjusting the position or angle of the forks on the AGV. Normally, the forks of an AGV are parallel to the floor when it is picking up and dropping off loads. However, loading and unloading the end of a trailer requires the AGV to be outside of the vehicle on a loading dock or ramp that may be lower and/or at a different angle than the floor of the trailer. The newly patented technology enables the AGV to compensate for differences in height and position, as well as drop and pick up loads when the forks are not parallel to the floor.
The Variable Path for Automated Guided Vehicles patented technology is a method for controlling several AGVs in a system. The AGVs are instructed to not only follow a predetermined path, but to also vary that path in multiple, minor ways. This reduces wear on the floor because the AGVs are not following identical paths.
About Jervis B. Webb Company
Jervis B. Webb Company is a subsidiary of Daifuku Co. Ltd and leading developer of innovative material handling technology and systems, including Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGVs), conveyors, baggage handling systems and Automated Storage & Retrieval Systems (AS/RS). Webb specializes in the design, engineering, installation and support of integrated systems used in the automotive, airport, food/beverage, bulk handling, warehousing and manufacturing industries. Webb is headquartered in Farmington Hills, Mich., with manufacturing locations in Harbor Springs and Boyne City, Mich.; Carlisle, S.C.; Canada; India; and China. The company was founded in 1919 by Jervis B. Webb who invented the forged rivetless chain conveyor that helped revolutionize mass production.
SmartLoader® is a registered trademark of the Jervis B. Webb Company.