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Automated Guided Vehicle

Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) are material handlers that can operate independently of an operator. Instead, they navigate along predetermined paths that the vehicle might follow with machine vision guidance cameras, laser target navigation, or guide wires. AGVs are used in production and distribution in such processes as assembly, kitting, delivery, picking, put away, and staging.

Facilities look to AGVs to help fill gaps in labor, to supplement a workforce struggling to maintain high throughputs, and to achieve and maintain accuracy goals, among other objectives. Because AGVs can be integrated into a facility with little to no change to its infrastructure, they are a flexible, scalable material handling solution that can be implemented in a matter of weeks.

Some of the benefits of AGVs

Rapid implementation and start-up

AGVs can be implemented into warehousing and production facilities with little to no disruption to ongoing processes. Unlike traditional conveyor systems, AGV routes can follow the same paths as manually operated forklifts. After implementation, these paths can still be used as throughways for operators and other equipment.

AGVs require that their paths be mapped and programmed. Depending on the exact technology deployed, this may require guide wires or QR-code appliques attached to fixed infrastructure. Once installed, these paths can be easily and quickly reconfigured, making AGVs one of the most flexible material handling solutions on the market.

Improved safety and fewer damages to product and infrastructure

The nature of the improvements to health and safety a facility will realize depends on their current processes. Generally speaking, the manual transportation of heavy goods, and the operation of heavy machinery, are among the most dangerous activities in warehousing and production facilities. By incorporating industrial automated guided vehicles into its processes, facilities eliminate the risk of injuries and damages associated with operator error.

AGVs are programmed to follow specific routes and to interact with product in precise ways, with little room for variance. They do not miss their turn and clip infrastructure, they do not turn too quickly and topple loads and, if confronted with an unexpected obstacle (such as a pedestrian or other equipment), they are equipped with a suite of safety features that enables them to stop quickly to prevent injury or damage.

Lower operating costs and labor requirements

AGVs can both fill gaps in a labor pool and enable operators to do more work, more easily and more accurately. Operators no longer have to move heavy pallets with manual jacks, and they don’t have to wait for slow-moving robotic carts. AGVs can move at the pace needed to balance loads across a facility’s different processes, maximizing productivity and minimizing cycle times.

Depending on the exact nature of the application, AGVs can eliminate unproductive time operators might otherwise spend walking to or from pick faces or parts storage. And they can deliver goods where the goods are needed, when they are needed, and at an ergonomic height for the operator.

Applications of AGVs in the warehouse environments

Trailer loading and unloading

AGVs offer a safe and efficient automated solution to trailer loading and unloading. They can be programmed with loading patterns that optimize the efficiency of the loading and unloading processes, and help balance processes up and down stream.

With laser or optical navigation, they can pick up and place loads precisely, eliminating damages and creating a safer work environment than manually operated forklifts.

Receiving to warehouse

AGVs are connected to a Warehouse Management System (WMS), which controls the vehicle’s movement and tracks the location of its goods. This helps improve inventory management, as the entire warehouse’s catalog of goods is kept up to date in real time. AGVs can either move pallets of goods directly into warehousing or to staging or flex areas.

Properly tooled, AGVs can deposit goods on inbound conveyors or remove goods from outbound conveyors. Or, they can be equipped with forks to lift single- or double-pallet loads.

Long-haul transportation

The basic function of an AGV is to move goods over routes that are repetitive and programmable. This removes that burden, and its associated costs and risks, from manual operators.

In large facilities, or business parks with multiple buildings, AGVs can form the backbone of goods transportation, moving pallets long distances efficiently and economically, and freeing up operators to focus on more value-adding tasks.

Warehouse to manufacturing line or pick face

The same features that enable AGVs to efficiently slot goods in storage — their precision, speed, and safety — also makes them ideal for bringing goods from storage to operators. In manufacturing, they might be used to bring raw materials or parts to line operators. In a warehouse environment, they are commonly used to bring product to a picking station.

AGVs can then be used to bring a finished order to a packing station and on to receiving.

Important considerations when evaluating a systems integration partner for an AGV implementation.

Are they consultative?

When partnering with a systems integrator, one of the risks material handling companies face is trying to work with a partner that promises more than they can deliver. The integration partner smiles through consultations and then, behind the scenes, desperately tries to invent the technology they need to deliver on their promises. They miss deadline after deadline until their client reaches a point of no return – they’re willing to justify their costs by seeing any kind of benefit from their investment. Even if those benefits are well below what was originally planned and agreed to.

PeakLogix is not that kind of partner. We are fully consultative, and prioritize your goals and needs. We undertake a thorough discovery process so that we understand both the roadblocks you face now and the goals you have for the future. Our solutions are designed to help you move past your roadblocks, and scale with your business growth. We don’t offer solutions in a top-down fashion that refuses input and denies questions, but collaborate with you and provide the recommendations we believe will best suit your needs.

Are they vendor agnostic?

Vendor agnostic solutions providers like PeakLogix don’t push their favorite suppliers onto their customers. Instead, we work with our suppliers to find and test the applications for which their product is the best fit. We don’t pitch untested products as viable solutions, but rather look for the best solution that already has a track record of solid performance.

Being open to integrating the best solutions on the market — regardless of their manufacturer — means we can truly optimize solutions for our clients, and quickly adjust to changing demands.

Is there a robust software ecosystem?

AMRs and AGVs are uniquely versatile, flexible material handling solutions. One of their few prerequisites is that the facility has a robust computer networking system. Depending on your exact use-case, AGVs need to be able to track their surroundings for collision avoidance, to follow their preprogrammed mapping, and to interface with conveyors or other machinery and operators. And they need to do this in the right way and at the exact right time.

This means that, to integrate AMRs and AGVs into your operations, you’ll need one of two things. Either a software solution flexible enough to interface with and control these disparate technologies, or an integration partner that can provide an appropriate software system.

Can they scale to your needs?

The changing urban landscape, an aging workforce, the large-scale adoption of ecommerce, and the increased use of artificial intelligence and machine learning have created challenges and brought opportunities that are continuing to change industries in every sector. Businesses need solutions that are more responsive than ever, with the ability to scale both up and down to meet a company’s growth as well as periodic changes in demand.

PeakLogix has been solving the material-handling needs of companies of every size, and in many industries, for over 30 years. We are dedicated to our own continuous improvement because we know that designing systems that will adapt to your changing business needs means being knowledgeable about changes in the industry. By offering adaptive solutions where appropriate, we bring added value to our partners.

Can you contact support when you need them?

PeakLogix started in 1989 as a material handling and systems integrator serving clients across the Mid-Atlantic. Over the past 30 years, we’ve completed thousands of successful projects and have grown to become a thought leader in the industry and a national provider of innovative solutions, software systems, and automated technologies.

From the beginning of our working relationships with clients, our team works to discover your goals and challenges. We collaborate with you to develop solutions that meet your needs today and also lay the groundwork for your future growth. When your project is complete, we offer services including 24/7 system support, operator training, and maintenance and repairs.

At PeakLogix, our partnerships are our priority.

What AGV solutions should you consider for your inbound handling?

WMS Software (PickPro®)

ScottTech PickPro® is our proprietary Warehouse Management Software (WMS). It’s a fully independent, system-agnostic, web-based software solution that can control all aspects of distribution, and can be tailored to meet the specific needs of any material handling company.

ScottTech PickPro® can serve as a standalone solution, or integrate with your ERP. It can incorporate AS/RS equipment and all the peripherals, control AGVs as well as AMRs, track and manage inventory of both parts and goods, and layer seamlessly with your software architecture to provide granular feedback on, and control of, your operations.

Pick to Light

Pick-to-light is a cost-effective solution that streamlines warehouse picking operations and increases picking speed, accuracy, and productivity. Especially in omnichannel fulfillment centers, pick-to-light solutions enable the reliable processing of high numbers of SKUs, while increasing efficiency.

Pick-to-light solutions are often a good entry point for a warehouse’s automation transformation. They can work as standalone systems, or integrate with Warehouse Management Software, enabling them to easily scale with a company’s growth.

Pick to Voice

Voice picking technologies allow operators to wear a headset and wrist scanner, enabling a hands-free, eyes-focused picking system. This helps create an environment that keeps operators safe by allowing them to be better aware of their surroundings, while also creating an efficient system that doesn’t require constantly looking between a clipboard or display to verify the location of their next pick.

With pick-to-voice technologies, voice prompts direct operators through the facility. The hand scanner validates the order by registering the item’s barcode. The software supports many languages and the system has a very shallow learning curve.


Especially in large warehouse environments, deep lane, high density pallet storage is key to an efficient process that maximizes pallet density. PALLET RUNNER® can be configured to operate either with both first-in, last-out (FIFO) and last-in, first-out (LIFO) inventory models, making it ideal for nearly all large scale inventory models.

With the semi-automated PALLET RUNNER storage system, you can store more while optimizing the flow of your operations. With deep lane storage, each item has a discrete channel in the racking system, which makes both put away and retrieval more efficient and keeps items properly rotated.


Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) enhance productivity and workflow in both manufacturing and distribution facilities. AGVs help streamline processes, decrease delays, and move heavy, bulky materials efficiently and safely.

Guided vehicles use a number of navigational methods, tailored to your facility’s needs. They can be customized and programmed to follow the paths in a facility that are safest for staff and most efficient. They can be an integral part of a facility’s material handling and also programmed for complementary tasks such as trash collection or other housekeeping tasks.

Robotic palletizers

Robotic palletizing and depalletizing increases the accuracy, consistency, and efficiency of your operations. Automated palletizing increases throughput, lowers shipping fees, and helps optimize the use of space in a warehouse and shipping container by palletizing items more compactly. Automated depalletizing allows your processes to maintain a steady throughput, increases worker safety, and increases efficiency.

Automation can eliminate, or at least reduce, the manual labor associated with palletizing and depalletizing, freeing that labor to move on to more value-adding and rewarding tasks. With the right end-of-arm tool, they can handle everything from the heaviest boxes and pails to the thinnest slip sheets and dunnage.

Advance your automated guided vehicle.

Schedule a consultation.

Tell us about your needs and we’ll have someone contact you to talk about the various automated material handling solutions for the automated guided vehicle.