The current status of AGV application

- Jun 11, 2019-


In 2011, Foxconn proposed the “Million Robot Project”. What is the status quo now in the past 8 years? According to its 2018 annual report, Foxconn and its subsidiaries currently have more than 80,000 robots, more than 1,600 SMT production lines, more than 170,000 mold processing equipment, more than 5,000 test equipment, and third-party developers 3000. Multiple, more than 1000 apps. Among them, naturally, the logistics handling AGV figure is indispensable.


Foxconn has spared no effort in promoting the unmanned lighting factory. In April this year, Li Junqi, chairman of Industrial Fulian, told the media that based on the accumulation of production data, production scenes and production contents of the Foxconn Group in the past 30 or 40 years, 2018 The attempt of Industrial Fulian in the “light-off factory” is an internal test. At present, the company has completed the “de-lighting factory” model transformation in the precision tool and communication equipment manufacturing sector. In 2018, its “light-off factory” realized revenue of 4.766 billion yuan. . Li Junqi also said that the "light-off factory" is currently only in its infancy.


Smart Manufacturing + Industrial Internet, Foxconn's light-off factory is to create a new manufacturing form. In the future, the head enterprises of the entire 3C electronics industry will strengthen the 5G business and continue to explore how the Industrial Internet can create manufacturing enterprises and promote smart manufacturing.



Exploration of logistics automation

Like Foxconn, the 3C industry's head customers are also at the forefront of the application of AGV in various industries. At the same time, such as ZTE and Foxconn, the selection of AGV suppliers is also very strict. For large manufacturing companies, safety and stability are very important. Therefore, it is necessary to enter the factories of 3C industry head customers such as Foxconn and Huawei. AGV products must undergo multiple rounds of verification. However, unlike the brands such as Huawei, due to the nature of the company, Foxconn and other foundries will have higher demand for product flexibility.



Beyond safety and stability, flexibility becomes needed

As the world's largest electronics OEM, Foxconn's production line is extremely rich. As far as the mobile phone is concerned, in addition to producing well-known Apple mobile phones, he also produces mobile phones of domestic famous brands such as Huawei, Xiaomi and OPPO. Therefore, the production line changes very frequently, even once every month, to reassemble the combination. This kind of flexible production requires more flexible and rapid conversion of workflow, deployment and low-cost operation, efficient and reliable operation. Therefore, in the selection process of AGV manufacturers, such as Foxconn and other 3C industry large-scale foundry companies, the ability to adapt to this flexible demand has been placed in a more important position.


For example, in the SMT workshop of a 3C foundry company, the AGV car that runs is from the Stand Robots that aim to create a more stable and reliable flexible handling.


In the SMT workshop, the automatic delivery of warehouse electronic materials is realized by the AGV handling truck. According to the production instructions, AGV automatically transfers materials from the warehouse to the production line to improve production efficiency, reduce labor costs and reduce labor intensity. First, according to the production plan and the condition of the production line, the warehouse workers will equip the materials on the material truck, put the material truck at the dispatching station, and then issue the dispatching instructions. After receiving the dispatching instruction, the AGV dispatching system deploys the AGV to automatically perform the task. The AGV sends the dispatched materials to the designated loading site in turn according to the production instruction. After the delivery is completed, the empty skip is returned to the kitting bin to unload the empty skip. Complete the entire distribution process.


In addition to the automatic loading and unloading of the workshop, the distribution of other materials in the workshop is also active in the Stade AGV. The composite AGV in the figure below can be used in one car. It can transport pallets on the 1st floor and send the trucks to the SMT line on the 3rd floor from the warehouse area of the 1st floor. At the same time, it can communicate with the elevator to realize materials. Automatic delivery across floors.


This project uses 11 traction Oasis300 robots, 8 Oasis300 robots with rotating composite modules, and 1 Oasis600 robots for automatic loading and unloading, totaling 20 sets. The application scene runs through the raw material warehouse-line side warehouse-production line, covering more than 8,000 workshops. Flat, instead of manual 48 people, can completely replace the material distribution staff and some loading and unloading workers in the workshop. Only a small number of adjustment personnel remain in the workshop, and the production efficiency is increased by nearly 10%. The ROI is about 13 months, which satisfies the customer's needs. , achieved the effect of the customer plan.


The difficulty of implementation of this project is that the production workshop environment is complex and the personnel flow is frequent. The natural navigation AGV can be safely and stably operated in the dynamic environment. The material handling information is automatically sent to the FMS dispatch management system by the MES system, and the information transmission needs to be guaranteed. The reliability and quality management traceability; AGV adopts the method of trackless natural navigation, some channels are relatively narrow, long-term operation requires high positioning accuracy; a large number of cargo backlogs easily cause channel blocking problems, for robots and dispatching systems Agility and intelligence are required.


At present, the project has been delivered to the line for 5 months. The site has been running without trouble for 65 consecutive days. It works 24 hours a day. The average number of handling per AGV is about 50 baht per day, and it works 7 days a week. The minimum channel size of the running route is 900mm, and the minimum clearance of the AGV is only 20mm. In the field of laser slam, meeting such demanding requirements is also an embodiment of the company's technical level.



Standardization and synergy still need to be explored

Safe, stable, flexible... After applying the convenience brought by AGV products, there are actually some problems that need to be explored.


First of all, for the head enterprises such as Huawei and Foxconn, the volume is too large, and it is impossible for suppliers to have only one or two. When AGVs from different manufacturers gather in the same workshop, how to make their contracts work together? The person in charge of the relevant 3C company once said that "the choice of automation equipment is carried out through bidding, so that we can have better bargaining power, so it is impossible to use only one automation equipment, and the equipment interface is not uniform, the system does not Compatible, it is very difficult to achieve large-scale application of the entire plant."


In addition, the current AGV technology is iteratively faster, and the products purchased by the enterprise in large quantities are likely to be “outdated” immediately, especially for 3C head enterprises like Foxconn, how the new generation technology comes out after the existing Is the AGV product effectively upgraded? How the previous generation of equipment should be used will not cause so much idleness, and how to maximize the economic benefits is a very real problem.


In addition, there may be other different problems in the specific application environment, for example, some may also involve the utilization of the site, the maintenance of the equipment and the impact of the special environment on the operation of the AGV. In general, how to better apply AGV in the 3C industry will be solved in the future by the application side and the supplier.