Cascade News

Automated – AGV Solutions for Any Industry

Posted by Cascade Corporation on Thu Jun 18 12:00:00 PDT 2020

Automated – AGV Solutions for Any Industry

Cascade remains at the cutting edge of innovation with solutions that integrate with AGVs wherever you need them. Using automation is an effective strategy for minimizing costs and increasing throughput, and with Cascade you can make this revolutionary technology an effective and rewarding part of your materials handling.

From all-electric solutions like our new, incredibly energy efficient Electric Multiple Load Handler that handle multiple pallets at the same time to hydraulic attachments like our Paper Roll Clamps that handle large tissue rolls, Cascade works closely with the customer to design solutions that are fully integrated with the AGV and provide high quality performance.

Cascade products are known for reliability and our AGV solutions bring that same dependable performance to driverless materials handling. Our design and development strategies take every aspect of the attachment into account in order to deliver a product with reduced maintenance needs, minimized downtime, and a low total cost of ownership. For example, our new Electric Sideshifter, which is 90% more energy efficient, allows for longer battery life, resulting in lower operating cost. As with our standard products, Cascade's AGV solutions are customizable, which opens up powerful new opportunities for customers, harnessing automation to meet the needs of very specific workflows.

While Cascade provides solutions for virtually every application, here are some industries that have adopted AGVs in a big way, and how we can help.

Warehousing & Logistics - dependable handling

AGVs can be especially effective in warehousing and logistics, particularly in very narrow aisle (VNA) and high stacking applications where the efficient utilization of space is paramount. Cascade's Bilateral Forks are a specialized attachment that can provide improved workflow in such applications.  With this attachment, there is no need for a vehicle to turn in order to approach a warehouse racking system and then place the load onto the rack. Bilateral Forks traverse the carriage horizontally and extend from the left and right sides. This functionality allows for the vehicle to simply travel straight down a warehouse aisle and deposit the load onto a rack from either side of the vehicle - no turning necessary. This is a particularly effective solution for facilities using narrow aisles to optimize warehouse space, but used anywhere it can save time and increased efficiency.

Other high-density warehouse environments require customization for their particular application. Cascade can provide Telescopic Forks for double-deep pallet racking and a Trilateral Head mechanism that enables the forks to turn left or right 90 degrees. These tools combined allow the automated trucks to manipulate the load with great precision, ensuring that the customer can accurately and securely store the load while maximizing warehouse utilization. The Trilateral Head is another Cascade attachment that can be electrically powered for maximum energy efficiency.

Digital solutions can also be integrated into Cascade forks and attachments to further enhance the capabilities of an AGV. Our mobile weighing solutions have the ability to automatically capture and track essential data. Cascade Weigh Forks weigh loads during transfer and can collect that information through Bluetooth technology for tracking the weights of individual loads, for piece counting and many more applications. Cascade Sensor Forks offer a suite of digital sensors, including distance sensing, vertical object detection and fork tilt angle information, that enable even more precise handling and reduced product damage.

Food & Beverage - moving high volumes

Food and beverage handlers move incredibly large volumes of goods every day, and our AGV solutions in these applications are equipped to do exactly this. From Carton Clamps to Push Pulls to Multiple Load Handlers, Cascade has the solutions to meet massive demand.

With a fully electric system and no hydraulics, our latest Electric Multiple Load Handler performs with revolutionary energy efficiency, which means extended battery life and reduced downtime for your AGV. The all-electric actuation eliminates the need for hydraulic components and the potential for a leaking attachment. Not only is this environmentally friendly, but it results in less cost for the attachment and AGV combination plus it reduces maintenance required, resulting in a lower total cost of ownership. Forks can position individually or in pairs to handle one or multiple pallets, and sideshifting capability ensures accuracy in loading and unloading. This is one powerful solution that represents the growing availability of Cascade electric attachments.

Multiple Load Handlers are typically implemented when workflows dictate side-by-side handling of multiple pallets, but Cascade has you covered for any load configuration you need. Telescopic Forks are effective when handling more than one pallet deep and can handle two loads in tandem, or long loads, and then retract for maneuverability when not in use. Load Stabilizers are available to provide extra secure handling when needed, particularly for tall loads with Multiple Load Handlers and Carton Clamps. Cascade's expertise is in finding the right tool for your task at hand.

Paper & Tissue - handling with care

A fundamental requirement in the paper roll industry is damage-free, highly efficient handling. Our AGV solutions are an excellent option here thanks to the precision they provide. Cascade Paper Roll Clamps, in conjunction with AGVs, offer effective damage reduction in paper roll handling, from large tissue rolls to small, compact packaging rolls. We offer a full range of clamp pads that have been specially developed to match different types of paper and reduce the risk of damaging rolls. Clamps can be outfitted with 360 degree rotation or tipping capabilities to meet the exact needs of your workflow. Fork Positioners with special shaped forks can also be used to cradle a horizontal paper roll in applications such as reel handling.

A uniquely specialized workflow within the paper industry is that of tissue roll facilities. Due the qualities of tissue paper rolls, Cascade Tissue Roll Clamps are highly customized to meet each customer's needs. Taking a recent customer order as an example, Cascade was asked to develop a Tissue Roll Clamp to be implemented on an AGV fleet. Our designs take into account the logistics of the customer's facilities as well as the specifications of the automated vehicle itself. The result is a fully sensorized Tissue Roll Clamp that integrates seamlessly into the customer's systems and enables them to achieve new levels of productivity.

Look Ahead with Cascade

In addition to the attachments detailed here, a wide range of Cascade solutions can be adapted for use with AGVs. Cascade has worked for many years with AGV projects of varying scales, from one machine to several hundred. Working in conjunction with the OEM, we provide installation support and sensor adaption for seamless integration into an AGV. As a worldwide company, Cascade guarantees an unmatched level of after-sale service on all of our attachments. With our dedicated customer support and comprehensive knowledge of materials handling, a Cascade solution is a smart investment for any company working with AGVs.

As the materials handling market evolves, Cascade will be there for our customers. As global leaders in the material handling industry, we are committed to continuous improvement and delivering the latest technology. With the expertise of global engineering and sales teams and the largest selection of lift truck attachments available, Cascade can take your business to the next level. Contact Cascade today to discuss AGV solutions with a member of our team.

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