Equipment News

60 Seconds with Bryan Knott

Modern Materials Handling Magazine sat down with Bryan Knott, Vice-chair, MHI Automatic Guided Vehicle Systems industry group (AGVS); senior global production manager, mobile automation for Dematic (a KION Company) to discuss Automatic Guided Vehicle systems

Title: Vice-chair, MHI Automatic Guided Vehicle Systems industry group (AGVS); senior global production manager, mobile automation for Dematic (a KION Company)

Location: Charlotte, N.C. and Milwaukee, Wisc.

Primary Focus: The AGVS industry group promotes the use of automatic guided vehicle (AGV) systems in manufacturing, warehousing, distribution and other key markets and aims to be recognized as the independent authority for end users and suppliers on market trends, standards, technology developments and applications.


Modern: How would you describe the AGV industry today?

Knott: The landscape is changing. There has been a lot of merger and acquisition activity among manufacturers that may change the makeup of the industry leaders. We’re also seeing some non-U.S. manufacturers of AGVs looking for distribution deals to import their vehicles into the U.S. market. Similarly, fork truck manufacturers are looking to partner with technology providers to begin offering AGVs. There is also a strong push toward the non-palletized materials handling and even order fulfillment areas. Finally, we’re seeing the emergence of further innovation including autonomous mobile robots, or AMRs, and vehicles that combine the mobility of an AGV with robotic arms for picking. That’s being driven by some of the leaders in e-commerce.

Modern: Are those innovations translating into sales?

Knott: While the AGVS industry group doesn’t have formal sales numbers at this time, anecdotally, our members are seeing 10%+ in year-over-year growth. There has been research suggesting that the worldwide AGV market experienced better than 38% growth year over year.

Modern: What does the industry group believe is driving the increase in sales?

Knott: AGVs and automatic guided carts (AGC) are not new, but the technology is proven in reliability and efficiency. Technologies that enable navigation and finite motion control are becoming commoditized, which improves the economics of operating AGVs and AGCs. Several years ago, manufacturers and warehouse operations needed at least two shifts and typically three to meet 36-month ROI projections. Today, we are seeing two-shift operations as standard candidates for automation. Further, the labor pool is shrinking, which also increases labor rates. Lastly, product and facility damage can be significantly mitigated through automation, which is now becoming part of a typical ROI calculation.

Modern: Are there developments that will impact the future design of AGVs?

Knott: Yes. There has been an explosion of AMR manufacturers in the materials handling space in the past three years, driven by interest in the robotics industry. Many of these new entrants are supported through venture capital, and some of the first product offerings are similar to vehicles that AGV members have been selling for years now. The innovation they are bringing to the market is the application of navigational technologies that allow for smaller, more agile vehicles to navigate in and around human counterparts for small quantity order picking. The technology is not proprietary to these companies, but it is driving market demand due to their marketing efforts. We are actively working to grow our organization to include these companies and help showcase their value.

Modern: Do you see these navigation technologies finding their way into what we’d think of as traditional AGVs and AGCs?

Knott: I think so. The new entrants are primarily offering the horizontal transport of goods. They aren’t capable right now of vertical movements, such as putting pallets away in a rack, where tolerances are very tight. Some do not have a traffic management system or the ability to integrate with an enterprise system. However, traditional AGV manufacturers are paying attention and are


Article Topics
AGVs   Automatic Guided Vehicles   Dematic   KION Group AG   All topics


Comments
You must be logged in to post a comment. Login.

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.
 
Latest Equipment News
Five Keys to “Click and Collect” Order Fulfillment
To meet consumer demand for more convenient delivery options, many retailers have adopted the buy online and pick-up-in-store (BOPIS, or "click-and-collect") order fulfillment model.

5 Ways to Assess Your Warehouse Technology Needs
When looking to leverage new technology, each warehouse must assess their business and determine the solutions that offer not only best practices that are tried and true for today’s customers, but also…

Material Handling Tips For Maximizing Warehouse Space
Warehouse storage space is expensive, so it makes sense to make the most of your warehouse storage capacity in order to reduce carrying costs and increase material handling efficiency.

Swisslog Optimizes Efficiency at the North Pole
Swisslog automation and software is making Santa's job easy...


 

24|7 Pro Team

The 24|7 Team is your direct pipeline to solutions for your business challenges. It's your opportunity to have supply chain and logistics experts look at your specific challenges and needs, and give you free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information.

The 24|7 Team will simplify the task of creating a database of likely partners, building your knowledge base, and preparing your Request for Proposal list.

1
  Choose a topic for your RFP

Transportation RFP/RFI

The Transportation RFP is your direct pipeline to solutions for your transportation challenges. It's your opportunity to have logistics experts look at your specific transportation challenges and needs, and give you free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information specific to your request.

Choosing the perfect software or system can be an indomitable challenge. Using this transportation/TMS RFP will simplify the task of creating a database of likely partners, building your knowledge base, and preparing your Request for Proposal list.

Warehouse/DC Management RFP/RFI

The Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) RFP is your direct pipeline to solutions for your WMS challenges. It's your opportunity to have logistics experts look at your specific WMS challenges and needs, and give you free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information specific to your request.

Choosing the perfect WMS solution can be an indomitable challenge. Using this WMS RFP will simplify the task of creating a database of likely partners, building your knowledge base, and preparing your WMS Request for Proposal list.

Supply Chain RFP/RFI

The Supply Chain RFP is your opportunity to have logistics experts look at your specific challenges and needs, and receive free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information. It simplifies finding a pool of likely partners, building your knowledge base, and preparing your Request for Proposal list. The companies in the Logistics Planner have agreed to respond to your request for in-depth information and follow-up, and your request is totally confidential.

Software/Technology RFP/RFI

The Software/Technology is your direct pipeline to solutions for your logistics information technology challenges. It's your opportunity to have logistics experts look at your specific technology challenges and needs, and give you free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information specific to your request. Whether it's WMS, TMS, Mobile or Cloud, our pros can help.

The companies listed below have agreed to respond to your request for in-depth information and follow-up. Your request is totally confidential.

Executive Education RFI

The Logistics and Supply Chain Education RFI can help you identify the schools, coursework, continuing education, distance learning and certification opportunities available from leading logistics educational institutions.

Upgrade and improve your logistics and supply chain skillsets. Whatever route you choose—advanced degree, executive education, certification or distance learning—the time and money you invest in your education today can pay off in continued career success tomorrow. Contact leading universities and professional institutions for the information you need to prepare for the future.

Third Party Logistics RFP/RFI

This 3PL Request for Proposal (RFP)/Request for Information (RFI) can help you find the 3PL and 4PL providers that can meet your specific 3PL service challenges and needs. The 3PL companies below will provide free, no-obligation third-party logistics advice, solutions, and information.

Ask your 3PL questions, you'll get answers. Simply complete the information, and detail your 3PL challenges. Then, check off the third-party logistics companies that you want to review your request.

1. Choose an RFI topic.
2. Enter your contact information and challenge.
3. Select companies and optional categories.
4. Submit.


2

Your Information



Your Challenge, Problem or Request *

3

Select Transportation Companies

  • Select All

  • 3Gtms
  • BluJay Solutions
  • CSX Trans. Intermodal
  • Kuebix
  • Landstar
  • Legacy Supply Chain Svs.
  • One Network
  • Pitt Ohio
  • Purolator
  • Quintiq
  • SEKO Logistics
  • SMC3


Select Relevent Categories

  • Air Freight
  • Intermodal
  • Motor Freight
  • Ocean Freight
  • Rail Freight
  • TMS

Select Warehouse/DC Management Companies

  • Select All

  • 3PL Central
  • Apex Supply Chain Tech.
  • Honeywell Intelligrated
  • Kuebix
  • Legacy Supply Chain Svs.
  • Swisslog
  • Westfalia Technologies
  • Zebra Technologies


Select Relevent Categories

  • Auto ID & Data Capture
  • Automation
  • Conveyors & Sortation
  • Lift Trucks
  • Packaging & Labeling
  • Pallets & Containers
  • Shelving & Racking
  • WMS

Select Supply Chain Companies

  • Select All

  • 3Gtms
  • 3PL Central
  • Amber Road
  • Apex Supply Chain Tech.
  • APICS
  • BluJay Solutions
  • CSX Trans. Intermodal
  • Frontier Business
  • Kuebix
  • Legacy Supply Chain Svs.
  • Logility
  • One Network
  • Purolator
  • Quintiq
  • SMC3
  • Synchrono
  • TAKE Supply Chain
  • Westfalia Technologies
  • Zebra Technologies


Select Relevent Categories

  • Global Trade
  • Inventory Management
  • Risk Management
  • Sustainability

Select Software/Technology Companies

  • Select All

  • 3GTMS
  • 3PL Central
  • Apex Supply Chain Tech.
  • BluJay Solutions
  • Honeywell Intelligrated
  • Frontier Business
  • Kuebix
  • Logility
  • One Network
  • Quintiq
  • SMC3
  • Swisslog Logistics
  • Synchrono
  • TAKE Supply Chain
  • Zebra Technologies


Select Relevent Categories

  • ERP
  • Sales & Operations
  • Sourcing/Procurement
  • Optimization
  • Transportation Mgmt
  • Warehouse Mgmt

Select Executive Education Choices

  • Select All

  • Graduate Courses
  • Online/Distance
  • Executive Education
  • Certifications
  • Undergraduate
  • Seminars
  • Associations
  • Conferences
  • Tradeshows


Select Third Party Logistics Companies

  • Select All

  • 3PL Central
  • Landstar
  • Legacy Supply Chain Svs.
  • Purolator
  • SEKO Logistics
  • Westfalia Technologies


4
 

24|7 Company Profiles