AGVs, also known as unmanned ground vehicles, are used for material handling in an industrial setup. AGVs safely handle and transport all kinds of products; eliminating the need for human intervention in production; and logistic, warehouse, and distribution environments. They can increase efficiency and productivity, as well as reduce product damage and labor costs. AGVs are an integral part of manufacturing processes and are indispensable in the material handling industry. The growth of the market is propelled by the growing demand for automation in material-handling across industries, the rising popularity of e-commerce, improved safety standards at workplaces, and shift in demand from mass production to mass customization.
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“Laser-guided AGVs to hold largest share in automated guided vehicle market from 2019 to 2024”
Laser guidance is the most flexible system for vehicle movement and offers accurate navigation. It allows the vehicles to operate in a warehouse without the need for invasive barriers. A laser-guided AGV has reflectors mounted on walls along the vehicle’s route. A rotating laser mounted on the vehicle sends out a laser beam and detects its reflections, gathering information on distance and angle, which gets stored in the vehicle memory. The growth of the market for AGVs based on laser guidance can be attributed to the flexibility, scalability, and accuracy associated with their operations. It also improves safety, increases throughput, and minimizes downtime. Moreover, the use of flexible reflective strips in AGVs helps improve the functionality of warehouses in many industries, including automotive, manufacturing, and aerospace.
“AGV market for distribution to grow at highest CAGR during forecast period”
The distribution center is a key facet of order processing as various operations, such as order fulfillment, cross-dock facility, bulk break, and package handling, take place there. Distribution centers face challenges such as the requirement of high workforce cost to manage inventory, delay in order fulfillment, and low accuracy and throughput during operations, among others. These centres widely use AGVs as these are ideal for transport from end-of-line equipment to shipping. The growing e-commerce industry is causing a significant increase in the number of warehouses, thereby creating huge demands for AGVs in distribution centers.
“AGV market for retail industry to grow at highest CAGR from 2019 and 2024”
The retail industry is increasingly accentuating on automation in material handling. The use of such vehicles leads to efficient material handling with a reduction in operational cost. It further escalates its bulk material handling capability without any downturn. The growth in the retail sector, due to the growth of the e-commerce industry, is one of the major factors driving the growth of AGV market. The increasing globalization and emergence of online retailing and bulk retailing have escalated the demand for automated material handling equipment in the retail sector. With the growing pressure on retail companies to meet the ever-increasing demand of its customers, the companies are focusing on operating more efficiently. The implementation of AGVs in warehouses and stores helps them achieve this, which is expected to propel the AGV market for retail to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period.
“APAC to be fastest-growing market for AGVs during forecast period”
The AGV market in APAC is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during 2019–2024. The growth of the market in this region can be attributed to growing awareness about automation and its success among users, which encourages more number of companies to install AGVs. China and Japan are the countries driving the growth of the AGV market in APAC. The rapid growth of automotive, food & beverages, and healthcare industries in emerging economies, such as China, India, and Korea, has contributed to the growth of the AGV market in APAC. Moreover, governments in APAC countries are increasingly emphasizing safety and security on production floors, which can be best achieved by the implementation of AGVs. The AGV market is witnessing rapid growth in countries such as China and Japan owing to increasing investments by manufacturers and suppliers in the installation of these vehicles at warehouses and distribution centres.
Major players involved in the AGV market include Daifuku (Japan), JBT Corporation (US), KION Group (Germany), KUKA (Germany), Toyota Industries (Japan), Hyster-Yale Materials Handling (US), Oceaneering International (US), E&K Automation (Germany), Kollmorgen (US), Seegrid Corporation (US), and SSI Schaefer (Germany).
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