Hi, today I want to tell you about FRED. FRED is an AGV that is designed to move material around your facility. FRED follows a magnetic tape put on the floor. There’s other videos that will show you how that’s applied and how that works, but let me show you FRED. In this case, we have FRED in manufacturing operation. The assembly line is there. The finished goods are put on top of FRED and then Fred is sent off the shipping and receiving, leaving the skilled valuable workers to continue making more products. FRED has aluminum top. You can put anything you want on the aluminum top up to 2500 pounds. At both ends, there is a go switch and there’s also a E stop. There’s also a safety laser that will detect anything in its path, people so that it stops before any collisions occur. Again, there’s other videos to show you that. Now, let me show you FRED in action. Okay, the assembly line workers have finished filling the box. They’re a little camera-shy but now it’s my turn. I’m going to send Fred down to shipping and receiving. Normally, the production line workers will do this. It’s a simple operation, push to go switch. The workers continue manufacturing product. FRED finishes taking the load to shipping and receiving where it’s unloaded. A new skin is put on. FRED is sent back, and they continue to load and build the next box.
To turn FRED on, turn the key switch to the second position. Clicks on the first position, clicks on the second. The side lights light up on the second position. Now, you’re ready to send FRED. Press the foot switch and off he goes. The lasers require 15 seconds to boot up, so if you turn the power on and press the foot switch within that 15 seconds, you may see a fast blink at the laser. And while the laser completes its safety checks, once everything is good to go, FRED’s on his way.
So, what happens when FRED comes upon an obstacle, say a video camera? He stops. He will sit here flashing and beeping until the obstacle is removed.
Proper floor prep is important to ensure good adhesion of the magnetic tape to the floor. After sweeping the area, apply a good surface cleaner like Windex or Simple Green. Then, wipe off any residual cleaner and let it dry. It is important to remove any residual cleaner before installing the magnetic tape. This will ensure proper adhesion.
Installing a section of tape is relatively easy. First, peel back the white backing from a few inches, line up the tape where you want. Make sure your gap is less than three-quarters of an inch. I use a piece of gaffer’s tape to hold it in place while I’m applying the rest of the strip. Peel three or four feet off if you’re doing… only doing four feet. That’s easy if you’re doing more than three or four. You can leave the roll sitting behind you. Sometimes this is easier with two people. Get it on your mark where you would like it. Put a little tension on it to make sure it doesn’t have any wrinkles in it. Press it down to the floor and you’re pretty much done. Now, this is an acrylic adhesive, contact adhesive so it’ll take about 24 hours to completely set. Press it down as firmly as possible. I use my weight to do that. And that’s it, you’re done.
If you have an area that has a lot of forklift traffic, you can cover your magnetic tape with safety tape. It’s very easy to do. Simply roll out the length you need, cut it, remove the backing and press it to the floor. FRED is not going to be impacted by the safety tape. The magnetic field passes right through it. You can use as little or as much safety tape as you need.
Today I am going to show you how to install a turn off on your tape run. The key is your exit must be 30 degrees and if you remember from your trigonometry, 30 degrees has a rise over run of .5. So here I measured 8 inches along and 4 inches over. This gives me the .5 ratio that I need. Now you can roll out a section of tape, mark it and cut it accordingly. The key here is that you don’t want the tape to overlap at the joint. Once you complete the start of your exit, you can then continue your path a variety of ways. One way is to continue with a fully radiused turn. I’ve showed you this in other videos. You can also continue with a straight path if that’s the direction you wish to go. Or you could continue with multiple short straight sections, maintaining the same 30 degrees as you go.
Installing curves is a little trickier than installing the straight section. We usually use a piece of Lexan cut in the proper radius. Peel back about 18 inches of the backing. Stick about three inches to the floor and then with a heat gun, warm the magnetic tape a little bit. This will allow it to bend and lay a nice curve on to the floor. After it’s heated, you have a little bit of time, carefully stretch it around, so you’re basically stretching the outside radius and press it onto the floor. Repeat this 18 inch sections at a time. Once you’ve heated the last section, you’ll be able to place that down on the floor. Sometimes in the summertime, the tape is warm enough to stretch without the heat gun. But in this example, it was in January and the heat gun was required. Again, press it hard to the floor, put a little bit of weight on it. You can roll a pallet jack across it to make sure it’s tightly adhered to the floor.
After we’ve run our travel tape, we need to put a stop marker at the end of the run. A stop marker is two pieces of additional tape on either side. The difference is these pieces of tape have opposite polarity. Therefore, they will only lay on top of your travel tape upside down. They need to be placed approximately one inch from your travel tape. To do this, we take a piece of stop marker, lay it right next to the tape since it’s one inch wide. Peel the backing from the second piece. Lay that down next to it. Press it to the floor. You can use the backing from the first piece as your guide for the second piece. I happen to have three pieces here but you might only have two. Press the second piece. Again, it’s approximate, it doesn’t have to be exact. Press it down on the floor. That completes your stop marker.
I’m going to show you how to repair a section of tape that’s been damaged. Now, this section of tape although it is broken and kicked off to the side would not cause FRED to fail. He may shimmy a little as he goes over it but it will still function. The next step is to cut out the section of tape. Go a little bit beyond the bad section. Then, cut the tape as close as possible to the floor. The idea is you’re gonna have to stick this little tail back down. Now, you have to clean the floor. I’m using alcohol here. It works very well but you could also use Simple Green. The goal is to get the major debris off of the floor. You don’t have to remove all the leftover adhesive but make sure there’s no oily residue left before you try to stick the new tape down. Now, roll out a section of new tape just to get an idea how long a piece you need. Go a little bit extra, you can trim it off at the end. Now, I’m using a heat gun here to heat the floor a little bit, mainly because it’s January. I also heat the tape strip a little bit just to make it a little more pliable so I can get a nice radius when I put the piece down. Now, peel the backing off. Line it up at your start, it doesn’t have to be perfect. A gap up to three-quarters of an inch is acceptable. Now, lay it down, try to follow the arc. Got a little bit to cut off, trim it back and push it down. Make sure it’s tight on the floor. You can walk on this, you can roll a roller over it, whatever you need to do to keep it tight. Here’s our finished piece. Notice there’s a little gap there. Again, as long as it’s less than three-quarters of an inch, you’ll be fine. And that’s your repair.
If you have a temporary location where you want FRED to stop, you can place a stop marker mounted to a piece of LEXAN onto the floor and then call FRED. FRED will stop on this temporary marker. Once FRED leaves, you can simple pick up the marker preventing FRED from stopping there again.
To turn FRED on, first find the key switch. You can find which end it is located by finding the orange sticker labeled “Off, Neutral, and On”. The key itself is inside the opening at the end of FRED. It works just like your car, straight up and down is off. The first click is neutral which releases the brakes and the second click is on and you’re ready to go.
The foot switch is easy to operate. Find the black rubber pad at the end of FRED. Place your heel on the ground near it, slide your toe across it and off he goes.
ASI offers optional wireless “GO” buttons for FRED. The buttons can be programed to function just like the “GO” buttons on FRED. Range is 100 meters line of sight. The buttons never require batteries and multiple buttons can be programed to operate FRED. Please contact the factory for more details.
One of the ways FRED can be used is transporting loads on pallets. You can put your cargo on FRED from any side using standard material handling equipment. This allows FRED to be versatile and used in many areas of your facility, even areas without a lot of extra room for maneuvering.
If your load is on a pallet, it can be easily removed from FRED from any side. Although FRED can accommodate loads other than on a pallet, pallets are the easiest way to move heavy loads. FRED is very flexible and can be used many ways in your facility, even in locations with very little room.
FRED can also be used in optional towing applications where you might have multiple pick up locations. You could place a temporary stop marker on the floor in a marked location. Then, using the optional wireless call button, call FRED. In this case, FRED is close by, but he could be up to 100 meters away. FRED will pull in and stop on your stop marker. Then, disconnect your empty dolly. It is always convenient to have an empty dolly available so that you can continue production after FRED takes away the full dolly.
Once the empty dolly is out of the way, use the handle to move your full dolly into position. In this case, we’ve put marks on the floor to make it more convenient for the operator. This dolly has 1,600 pounds on board and as you can see, it’s relatively easy to move. After the dolly is positioned on its marks, remove the handle, press down the tongue, coupling it to FRED. Then press your wireless “Go” button again, sending FRED off to shipping and receiving, in this case.
To charge FRED, first find the end that has the charging port. Note the orange sticker, the charging port is in this opening. Note your charger LED lights when it’s plugged in even if it’s not plugged into FRED. Note the orientation of the terminals on the connector and then plug it in to the connector on FRED. We recommend leaving your charger plugged in whenever FRED is not in use. The LED color on the charger will indicate the state of charge of the batteries. To remove the charger, press the release button and pull out the connector. Here’s a close-up of the connector to show you the orientation and the release button.
To remove FRED’s top, simply remove the four screws holding it on. You might need to use a screwdriver. Once the screws are removed, then it’s easy to lift off the top, exposing the inside of FRED.