Cost Estimating

Rules of Thumb for Estimating the Cost of an AGVS

Utilizing a survey of installed systems, an estimate of total system cost can be derived based on the number of vehicles in the system and the level of system functionality and complexity. Per vehicle cost estimates (fully burdened) are provided for systems with 1 vehicle; 2-4 vehicles; and 5 or more vehicles, all with three levels of complexity each.

Rules of thumb for pricing anything can be useful & or misleading if they are not used with care. We present what are believed to be fair estimates for vehicle costs given a range of conditions. However, several points are important to remember.

  • Cost projections for future years should at least account for inflation using an appropriate inflationary index.
  • The price point on anything can be influenced by volume. AGVs historically have not been produced in high volume. Any number of events could cause this to change in future years including demand or a move towards more standardization and less customization.
  • The numbers provided are not absolute. Although based on actual experience, they are still estimates based on a qualitative description of vehicle and system functionality and complexity. Nothing can beat working directly with suppliers to get budget pricing on a specific project.
  • Historically, improvements in technology have reduced the cost of owning an AGVS. One would expect future technological advances and improvements to have the same effect.

Examples of complexity as used in the 4 tables to follow are:

Level 1: Simple
Manual Vehicle Dispatch, Load/Unload, No Central Controller, No Host Interface.

Level 2: Medium
Automatic Vehicle Dispatch, Load/Unload, Central Controller, Product Tracking, Multiple Path Options.

Level 3: More
Automatic Vehicle Dispatch, Load/Unload, automatic coupling/uncoupling (applies to tuggers only), Central Controller, Complex Host Interface, Ethernet Link, Product Tracking, Multiple Path Options Multiple Transfer Heights, etc.

For information on the data and requirements you will need to get an accurate cost estimate from a supplier see our On-Line Training Program Module 6: How to proceed with AGVs?

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