Autonomous mobile robots or AMRs increase production line flexibility by moving materials between robotic work stations. Instead of adjusting and rebuilding whole production lines to accommodate different products or materials, manufacturers need only reprogram AMRs integrated with robotic smart factories. AMRs can supply materials to production lines and move products off main lines into specialized assembly stations to achieve different outcomes. This versatility decreases factory downtime by eliminating a lengthy retooling of an entire production system.

Affordability Driving More Robot Adoption

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The automotive industry has long been a leader in robotic factories due to automakers’ deep pockets. Financial barriers to entry for other industries have eased in recent years. The expense of adding new robots has gone down, but robot capabilities continue to rise.

Vector 3D HD omnidirectional autonomous mobile robot docking to EnZone wireless charging station. Credit: PattyK33

The packaging industry has noticed the ROI potential of AMRs. Packaging operations have always involved highly automated systems, and AMRs represent a natural next step. They offer an affordable way to increase packaging output and expand product packaging capabilities. Packaging industry experts expect reprogrammable AMRs to give packagers a competitive edge. Facilities with integrated AMRs could switch between products quickly and avoid costly adjustments to a whole production line.

Safety Improvements On Top Of Efficiency Gains

Supply chain specialist K. Hartwall has introduced an AMR called A-Mate. It is a robust AMR capable of moving loads up to 1,000 kg in tight spaces. The K. Hartwall CEO said that the A-Mate was designed with safety in mind. It can lift heavy loads up to one meter without supportive scissor lifts. Programmable movements allow it to mesh predictably with other automated production equipment and reduce human interactions with heavy machinery.

OTTO 1500 self-driving vehicle (SDV) for heavy-load material transport in warehouses, distribution centers and factories. Credit: M P Hennessey

Has the facility where you work added AMRs to the system? Comment about your experience or suggest how an AMR could improve your operation.

ABOUT K. Hartwall

Logistics is entering a transformative phase in which the speed of innovation will increase and handling volumes will grow exponentially.

Key industry trends such as robotics and automation, prediction enabled through IoT and data analytics and increased demand for sustainable solutions will shape the way forward for logistics in all industries.

At K.Hartwall we strive to create future-fit logistics solutions that answer the needs of our customers and bolsters their industry development. Over the years, we have become specialized in smart logistics solutions for the retail, post and parcel and automotive industries.

K.Hartwall is the driving force in logistics.

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