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New automatic trailer loading technology

Jervis B. Webb Company will launch its latest product, SmartLoader, a 24/7 trailer loading and warehousing Automatic Guided Vehicle, AGV, at this year's NA 2006, the Material Handling & Logistics Show & Conference.

The Webb Company will run live demonstrations of SmartLoader removing pallets from a rack system and loading a trailer on the showroom floor. The unmanned and adaptable SmartLoader moves loads around a warehouse using a high-tech, inertial guidance system. SmartLoader delivers palletized loads in multiple configurations from palletizer output, rack or staging areas into any over-the-road trailer without guidance wires, lasers or magnets. It also has the ability to stack loads and remove items from a conveyor system.

The SmartLoader maneuvers around the warehouse utilizing a Vehicle Control Computer that accurately maintains the intended path and performs required tasks. Transponders embedded in the floor are sensed by the vehicle to identify its exact location. The vehicle integrates with Warehouse Management Systems to provide real-time control.

SmartLoader runs on an eight-hour battery, which the vehicle recharges itself without manual intervention. Other key features of SmartLoader include moving dual or single loads; adapting to various trailer sizes and skew angles; and packing loads loosely or tightly. Various safety features also are integrated into SmartLoader, including laser scanners that detect items in the vehicle's path, causing the vehicle to stop immediately. Each vehicle also is equipped with electronic 'touch bumpers' and beam optics as added precautions.

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