Automated guided vehicle’s true potential

by FM Media
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The true potential of automated guided vehicles (AGVs) for labour savings and safety improvements in hospitals is starting to be realised.

Hospitals worldwide are looking to automation like the TransCar AGV to address labour and budget shortages. Reducing the reliance on manual deliveries within the hospital allows staff to focus on delivering a greater patient experience – leading to better patient outcomes. Interest for AGVs are expected to grow, across all continents, as hospitals discover the value of automated guided vehicles.
Due to their flexibility and efficiency, new generations of automated guided vehicles (AGV) support hospitals by optimising cost-effective container transport. For more than ten years, previous generations of AGV systems have found great acceptance in the hospital market and have recently gained strongholds in Singapore.
A focus on developing the AGV business in Southeast Asia and Australia resulted in two significant orders from Swisslog, a provider of hospital automation for material handling and medication management, in Singapore and its first installed system in Sydney, Australia in 2013.
“We expect to see growing interest in AGVs in all of our markets in the coming months, as hospitals realise their true potential for labour savings and safety improvements,” notes Pieter Feenstra, head of Swisslog HCS Europe.
Swisslog sold its first next-generation TransCar automated guided vehicle (AGV) to an NHS Hospital in the United Kingdom in December 2013. The next-generation TransCar AGV, developed in partnership with JBT Corporation, was released for sale at the MEDICA trade fair in mid-November 2013 in Düsseldorf, Germany, where it attracted considerable market interest.
The latest evolution of the TransCar maintains industry leading safety systems and is considerably more maneuverable, making it easier to integrate into existing hospital structures. Furthermore, the TransCar fulfills the strict hygiene standards required in hospitals and performs as effectively and discretely as any colleague within the service team. The TransCar LTC3 Automated Guided Vehicle, like the previous model AGV, offers proven performance for routine and repetitive material transport activities.
“We believe this technology offers a unique opportunity for hospitals to reduce costs and improve operational efficiency,” adds Barry Douglas, general manager of JBT’s AGV business.

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