Last October, The LEGO Group announced that the Inside Tour would be making a return in 2022, following 2-year hiatus due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
For those that are unaware, the LEGO Inside Tour is the ultimate fan experience, giving LEGO fans unprecedented access to the inner workings of the LEGO Group, where you can see how LEGO bricks are produced, meet the designers and take a tour through the LEGO Group’s unique history in Ole Kirk’s original house.
One of the highlights of the Inside Tour is the Inside Tour set, a specially designed set that is only given out to Inside Tour attendees. There’s a different model each year, making this one of the most exclusive and sought-after LEGO sets in the world.
Check out the complete list of LEGO Inside Tour sets on Brickset
One of my readers, Andrzej Antoszkiewicz was lucky enough to attend the LEGO Inside Tour 2022, and very kindly offered his time, and photos retelling his experience.
I’ll have a full writeup of Andrzej’s Inside Tour experience soon, but wanted to share the Inside Tour set first.
So… *drumroll please*, here’s an exclusive look at the 2022 LEGO Inside Tour set – 4000037 LEGO Factory AGV!
Here’s a look at the packaging, which is signed by Stuart Harris, the instruction book designer as well as The LEGO Group’s Senior Vice President Engineering & Corporate Quality (John Hansen).
As you can tell, the sets are numbered, and so there are at least 80 of these sets in existence.
The text on the back of the box contains various facts about the AGVs at the Danish Konmarken Factory:
- The AGVS run on electricity and are charged each time they collect and offload boxes at the terminal. Each charging takes around 1 minute.
- 1 minute is enough for the vehicles, to regain the power used for driving one trip around in the molding hall, collecting 4 boxes.
- On average, each AGV drives 23.5 kilometres per day.
- During a full production year, each AGV covers almost 8,500 kilometres.
- Each AGV transports on average 420 boxes per day.
- With an average box weight of 17 kilos, each vehicle transports 71 tons per day, which adds up to around 2,600 tons per year.
- The combination of the AGV, the fully automated warehouse logistics and the fully automat ed packing process means that LEGO bricks are not touched by human hands until the set is unpacked and built
And here’s the complete text:
On an average day at the LEGO factory “Kornmarken”, each of the robot-like AGVs lifts and transports around 7.1 tons of LEGO bricks – and they do it all by themselves with no one to steer them around. In this year’s exclusive LEGO Inside Tour set, we salute the hard-working AGVS.
When visiting the LEGO factory “Kornmarken” in Billund, you of course notice the huge moulding machines that each day pour out millions of LEGO bricks. But what you will also notice is the robot like vehicles that move around on the factory floor. collecting big plastic boxes that the moulding machines have filled with LEGO bricks, and replacing the boxes with new empty ones. These are the Automated Guided Vehicles – or AGVS as they are commonly known.
The AGVS are part of the logistics flow in the factory. They collect and transport boxes with LEGO bricks, But looking closer at this process, it becomes more intricate: The AGV receives a message from one of the moulding machines saying that the box collecting the brand-new LEGO bricks will soon be full. The AGV then picks up an empty box and heads out to the moulding machine. It collects the filled box, replaces it with an empty one, and heads back to the terminal where the filled box is offloaded to the conveyer belt and then transported to the high bay warehouse for storing. All of this is done 100% automatically.
As the name suggests, the AGVs are driving around the factory without anyone steering them. Guiding
them and keeping them on track are magnets, placed in the floor half a metre apart. The AGVs are all equipped with laser scanners that can detect obstacles on their way, so that the AGV can either steer around, slow down or even stop completely. This combined with an average speed of 1.1 metre per second makes the AGVs very safe drivers.
AGVs since 1987
The LEGO factory “Kornmarken” has 41 AGVS in total. The oldest one has been working the factory
floor since March 2009, and the newest one is from 2016. But in fact, there have been AGVS at “Kornmarken” since the factory opened in 1987.
The AGVS have always been a textbook example of cutting-edge LEGO technology. Since 1987, the AGVS have been continuously updated and replaced in order for them to always meet the highest technological standards as well as the highest quality and safety standards.
On the back of the box sleeve, there’s also a photo of the Inside Tour group that Andrzej was part of, making this a really great personalised memento.
The initial design of the set was done by Stuart Harris, the Master Builder at LEGO House who recently worked on 40503 Dagny Holm, the 3rd LEGO House exclusive. The set was then finished off by Steen sig Anderson, a legendary designer who returned from retirement this year just to put the finishing touches to this model.
Now, let’s see what the set looks like.
This year’s set is quite simple, but I like that it features one of LEGO’s key advancements, around their operations. It’s quite a simple design, but the AGVs are so instrumental to how elements get produced, packed, and packaged into sets – all with nearly zero human intervention.
Andrzej describes learning about this on the Inside Tour, and how it’s truly special that when bricks or LEGO elements are formed in the moulding machine, they don’t come into contact with human hands – so the first touch that virgin LEGO elements have is with you, the consumer, when you open the numbered bags in a set.
It’s really profound when you think about it that way.
I believe the blue panels are printed, with LEGO Minifigure motifs that might look familiar if you’ve been to a LEGO Group office, or factory, as well as the AGV’s number (there are 41 in total in the Billund Kornmarken Factory!).
For the parts connoisseurs, I believe the Bright Light Blue crates are a brand new colour variant, and has never been produced ever – so I’m not sure if they will actually make their way to a regular production set, or if it will be exclusive to the AGV Inside Tour set.
For comparison, here’s what the real life AGVs look like.
You can also watch these videos below to see them zipping around
But wait, that’s not all.
One of the great things about LEGO is that they always seem to go above and beyond to deliver incredible experiences to their consumers. Sure, they don’t always get it right, but the intention is there – from the way they do customer service, to the incredible creations that come out of Billund.
Andrzej attended the Inside Tour with his wife, and daughter Ada, who was 3 months old at the time of the tour. Andrzej only had incredible things to say about the hospitality of the Inside Tour team, and how welcome and integral they made Ada (and his wife) feel throughout the tour.
As a special surprise for Ada (who is officially the youngest Inside Tour participant ever!), the designers went one step further, creating a one-of-a-kind miniature Inside Tour set, with a “baby” AGV!
The Baby AGV is adorable, firstly because its a scaled down version of the Inside Tour model, but also has a baby on it (cute), and some even more special inclusions. There’s a sticker, with the LEGO Ideas House mascot, and the number 90 (presumably to celebrate LEGO’s 90th Anniversary), making this a truly unique model.
I wonder if we’ll see this sticker appear somewhere, or if it was custom-designed for this event.
Super rare and cool, and such a great little memento to commemorate Ada’s Inside Tour presence, something that she might not remember, but a cool souvenir that she can appreciate when she’s older.
So yeah, I’m very honoured to be able to share some of the first photos of the 2022 LEGO Inside Tour set, and a very special thanks to Andrzej, for taking the time to share his story.
I’ll also be recapping Andrzej and his family’s Inside Tour experience, giving you an inside look at the Inside Tour, to help demystify what goes on inside the Tour.
If you want to one day attend an Inside Tour (you’ll have to join a ballot to be selected), check out the Inside Tour page on the LEGO House website.
A huge thank you once again to Andrzej for sharing these photos, and Inside Tour experience!
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