5 Reasons Why You Should Automate your Internal Logistics with AMRs
Businesses of nearly any size and in nearly every industry are looking to automation to help improve competitiveness and employee safety. Manufacturing processes were early targets for automation, and advances in cost-effective, safe, and easy-to-deploy collaborative robots quickly made this type of automation accessible. A prime target is material transportation. In manufacturing, even highly automated plants, however, still use skilled workers to manually push carts or transport pallets with forklifts, or use rigid, inflexible systems like line-guided AGV’s or conveyors. Today, these traditional logistics systems are being challenged by the more sophisticated, flexible, and cost-effective technology of autonomous mobile robots (AMRs).
1. AMRs increase the flexibility of your internal logistics
Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things (IoT) enable optimization, individualization and flexibility for production concepts, and the need for exactly those promises are today larger than ever for companies in all types of industries. Manufacturers are increasingly moving to mass customization models, where they must be able to quickly switch between a higher number of smaller batch sizes, which requires high flexibility and agility in the production.
This need should be supported by the logistics solutions, that must be able to adapt smoothly to changing production layouts and processes. By introducing AMR’s, you no longer have to move the fixed conveyor belts, and create new magnetic paths for your AGVs – you just change the map of the robot's user-friendly software when changing your factory layout. At the same time, you can customize the robots according to your needs. If you need the AMR to be the flexible link between conveyor belts, a roller conveyor can easily be integrated on the robot. The same can be done with shelves, pallet lifts, a hook for moving carts, a robot arm and more. There is a solution for all your transportation needs.
2. AMRs shorten the lead time
These robots are able to calculate the fastest route from A to B, and if they encounter obstacles, they re-route or call for help. In this way, AMRs ensure that materials are delivered on time, both to and from the production, and thereby reduce bottlenecks and waiting time.
3. AMRs free up employees for more valuable tasks
Globally, companies are facing labor shortages while focus on reducing costs to stay competitive continue. Therefore, companies need to use the human resources the best way possible and use robots for what they are best suited for. AMRs take over the monotonous and non-value-adding task of transporting your goods, for example, within the production or between warehouse and production, and thereby enabling employees to focus on their actual work.
4. AMRs offer fast ROI
The easy integration and the fact that companies do not need to make changes in the existing factory layout when integrating AMRs allow low initial costs. Moreover, AMRs are a reliable workforce that can run for around 12 to 15 hours without brakes. They can charge automatically, when they do not have tasks to perform, ensuring a smooth workflow and optimizes the internal logistics. The ROI is typically less than a year, due to this easy integration and because the robots free up employees to perform higher value tasks.
5. AMRs improve the working environment
AMRs are collaborative and can work side by side with people without safety measures . They will always avoid obstacles - including people - and stop if you get too close. AMRs are therefore a safe alternative to indoor driving with forklifts, stackers and trucks, which traditionally cause many collisions and other work injuries. Employees can also save steps and exhaustive lifting, and stress can be reduced when robots take over the logistics tasks. That the robots are collaborative and created to work with people does not only relate to safety, but also the ease of use of the robots. With an easy and intuitive interface, the AMRs can be programmed and operated without previous experience, which empowers the employees, and everyone can now learn how to program robots.