The Toyota automated guided vehicles (AGVs) are utilised at every stage of Primafruit’s mission critical storing and packing operation.
Fresh fruit arrives from Primafruit’s suppliers and grower partners across Europe and South America and is taken by the automated trucks from the goods-in bay to the chilled very narrow aisle storage area.
The AGVs are then deployed to transfer palletised loads of fruit from the chilled storage system to the facility’s packhouse area where two production lines are in operation.
From the packhouse the automated trucks take palletised loads of individually packaged fruits to the building’s despatch bay where orders are loaded into vehicles by manual trucks for onward delivery.
In all Primafruit operate seven Toyota Autopilot OAE120CB counterbalanced trucks. The models specified have a 1.2 tonne load capacity and a lift height of 4.15 metres.
All models in the Toyota Autopilot range are programmed to complete tasks and work alongside manual operators in total safety. The trucks use built-in safety scanners and obstacle detection units to negotiate obstructions, while load sensors and multiple sensor devices further ensure accurate and safe load handling.
The trucks are controlled by Toyota’s in-house T-ONE automation software. Capable of working as a standalone system or as a communications layer in tandem with the client’s warehouse management and production systems.
Since switching to automated forklift technology, Primafruit report that the Vale of Evesham facility has become a more serene working environment, as the company’s general manager, Jordan Beckley, explains:
“The implementation of the Toyota Autopilot AGVs has certainly had a calming effect on our operational areas due to the controlled manner in which they complete the work,” he says.
“We have also seen the system reduce a huge amount of manual pallet movements around the site, which has allowed our teams to focus on other more profitable tasks,” Jordan continues.