The global automated guided vehicle market size is expected to reach USD 9.1 billion by 2027, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc. The automated guided vehicle (AGV) market is anticipated to witness a CAGR of 14.1% from 2020 to 2027. AGVs have transformed the way materials can be moved within the manufacturing and distribution facilities. In a production environment where several operations are carried out simultaneously, these vehicles ensure a predictable and reliable transfer of raw materials as well as manufactured products from one point to another point within the facility, thereby eliminating any potential disruption in production. These vehicles can operate safely around structures, machinery, and employees, as they are equipped with accessories, such as camera vision and LiDAR sensors, which help in detecting junctions, identifying floor signs, and avoiding collisions with any obstacle.
Several manufacturing plants and warehouses are deploying material handling equipment for various activities, such as locating stock, picking orders, and moving products and raw materials. Transportation and logistics firms are mainly focusing on the deployment of such equipment to boost the efficiency of their operations in line with the growing demand for their services. For instance, in September 2019, a U.S. based robotic solutions provider AHS, LLC partnered with Exotec, which is a France-based mobile robot picking system provider. The former company introduced 3D mobile robots that can move in three dimensions and enable warehouse team members to focus on packing and shipping and neglecting the long-distance-walks to access inventories. Also, material handling solutions are used to increase the efficiency of transportation, decrease physical damage to the material, and reduce overheads by limiting the number of employees.
The AGV market is witnessing a progressive switch from lead-acid batteries to lithium-ion batteries. Lithium-ion batteries offer several advantages over lead-acid batteries. They tend to be lighter and compact. They can charge faster, provide longer runtimes, and support more charge cycles. Hence, they are ideal for AGVs, as they need not be charged frequently during operating shifts or in 24x7 operating environments. AGVs running on lithium-ion batteries can offer higher round-trip efficiencies.
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Further key findings from the report suggest:
- The adoption of material handling equipment and automation solutions is growing significantly across several industries
- The growing adoption of AGVs by the automotive industry as well as the automotive supply industry to move intermediate products within the facility is expected to drive the growth of the automated guided vehicle market
- The manufacturing industry is increasingly adopting AGVs to save on labor costs. While AGV can operate on a 24x7 basis, the costs associated with the procurement and maintenance of AGV tend to be lesser than the costs incurred on salaries and employee benefits
- The logistics and warehousing segment happen to be the largest user of AGVs. The segment generated the highest revenue in 2019 and is expected to retain its dominance over the forecast period
- Europe dominated the global market in 2019. However, Asia Pacific is projected to witness the highest CAGR from 2020 to 2027
- The key players in the market include Swisslog Holding AG; Dematic; Bastian Solutions, Inc.; Daifuku Co., Ltd.; JBT; Seegrid Corporation; TOYOTA INDUSTRIES CORPORATION; Hyster-Yale Materials Handling, Inc.; BALYO; E&K Automation GmbH; Kollmorgen; KMH Fleet Solutions; ELETTRIC80 S.P.A.; Fetch Robotics, Inc.; inVia Robotics, Inc.; Locus Robotics; Schaefer Systems International, Inc.; System Logistics Spa; and Scott.