Reconditioned Creform AGV Fleet Allows Automaker to Capitalize on Original Investment


After the closing of an automotive assembly plant Creform reconditioned its fleet of BST style AGV units to better-than-new condition at a cost far less than replacement.

When an automotive manufacturer recently closed one of its assembly plants it decided to have its fleet of Creform® BST style AGV tuggers reconditioned and redeployed to some of its other facilities rather then scrap them. The company had originally made a significant investment in these AGVs and consulted with Creform, the original supplier before making the decision to have them refurbished. When they compared the cost of new AGVs to the cost of refurbishing the used units, it just made sense to have them done.

"The Creform BST tuggers used in this auto assembly plant had been in service for several years and suffered the rigors of heavy industrial use", stated Keith Soderlund, Creform vice president sales. "Since we were the original manufacturer, our customer contracted with us to refurbish the units for use at some of their other facilities. In addition to the AGV's worn appearance, they had been heavily modified by our customer at the original plant to meet their specific purposes."

He goes on, "Our first step in the process was to strip off all the non-original equipment add-ons to return the AGVs to their original specs. The next step involved removing all components and wiring then preparing the main AGV bodies for sandblasting to remove all the chipped and scratched paint. After repainting and the replacement of Creform signage, the main bodies had a like-new appearance.

"We evaluated each removed component for reuse or replacement. Parts that were deemed reusable were cleaned prior to installation while questionable wear items, modified and/or missing parts were replaced.

He went on to say, "The refurbishment process was also a good time to upgrade these AGVs with items such as the latest safety devices and components not included on the original build. In addition, we added new software to support the new applications where these units would be operating. With our goal being reliable service, we performed complete preventative maintenance on each AGV then fully tested its performance and function prior to crating and shipping."

"Now the best part" stated Soderlund, "Our customer now has a fleet of fully rehabilitated and up-to-date AGVs at about a 40% savings over buying new. A major attribute of the Creform System of pipe and joints is that its recyclable and now so are our AGVs. We also provided technical assistance, planning and on-site installation services in their other facilities using the refurbished AGVs."

A Creform BST AGV tugger drives under a stationary cart, extends a tow pin and delivers the cart to a predetermined location. It then lowers the tow pin and drives off to transport another cart. One single Creform BST can manage an entire fleet of carts.

Creform offers several models and styles of AGVs and control systems to meet a variety of in-plant material and component delivery and distribution needs for assemblers and manufacturers while eliminating the need for manned vehicles for these tasks.

The Creform System can be used to create an array of material handling devices. These include kitting carts, tool carts, workstations, flow racks and other material handling devices. The Creform System is a proven component in Continuous Improvement and Lean Manufacturing programs and Creform Corporation partners with customers in developing and implementing them.

For further information about Creform and its products visit www.creform.com

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