Designing Multiple-Load Automated Guided Vehicle Systems for Delivering Material from a Central Depot

[+] Author and Article Information
M. Eric Johnson

Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37203

Margaret L. Brandeau

Department of Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305

J. Eng. Ind 117(1), 33-41 (Feb 01, 1995) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2803275 History: Received June 01, 1991; Revised December 01, 1993; Online January 17, 2008


We develop and illustrate an approach for design of shop floor automated guided vehicle systems (AGVSs) with multiple-load capacity. Vehicles provide material from a central depot to shop floor workcenters. The AGVS supplements an existing nonautomated material handling system. The design decision is to determine which workstations to service by the AGVS, and how many vehicles are needed, to meet a specified service level. We build upon an existing AGVS design model (a mathematical program) which assumes that vehicles visit workstations on a first-come-first-served basis, carrying one load per trip. We show how that model can be adapted to solve a design problem in which vehicles can carry more than one load per trip—yielding an improved system design. We illustrate our approach by solving six examples inspired by design problems faced at Hewlett-Packard Company.

Copyright © 1995 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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