Safe and flexible mobile robots enhance intralogistics and optimize human resources allocation
Exploring new features
The main advantage of AMS is their extreme flexibility, as they can be equipped with various top modules depending on the desired task. TE Connectivity uses top modules with compartments, shelves and conveyor belts, but has also experimented with towing hooks. Ongoing testing will identify other applications for AMRs.
“The project initially began as a simple investment in intralogistics, but over time, it has transformed into a broader pilot program,” said Gábor Schvamberger, logistic analyst at TE Connectivity. ”Our goal is to find the most efficient technological solution that can be implemented in other locations within our global group of companies as well. To this end, we work closely with MiR and the Hungarian distributor to test new robotics solutions that are still under development. For example, a system using artificial intelligence-based software and webcams to help navigate robots is being tested under operating conditions. We use several types of robots at the same time, and with AI technology, MiR robots are able to detect if another non-AMR-type robot is in the area to avoid possible collisions.”
Another key advantage of AMRs is that MiR robots did not require any modifications in the production area after the loading/unloading areas and the charging stations were installed.
Fast employee onboarding
The warehouse workers who use the MiR200s each day have received basic training to learn how to launch missions and operate the robots. Currently two employees from each shift have been trained, with plans to implement more advanced programming training such as mapping and task assignment. ”Honest communication and persistence helped the employees accept working alongside the robots. Once they started to use the robots, they realized the value the technology brings to the facility,” said Gábor Miszler.
Effective management with MiR Fleet
MiR Fleet software facilitates the management of the robotic fleet as well as the training of the staff. Once the basic setup and programming tasks are complete, employees can easily master how to deploy the AMRs each day through a user-friendly interface. The software simultaneously manages and prioritizes missions, coordinates the movement of the robots working in a given area, and monitors charging levels.
Esztergom is not the only TE Connectivity site using MiR robots. Through a global collaboration, a local team oversees and evaluates automation projects running in separate locations, including the Hungarian factory.
“The greatest advantage of the MiR robots is that they are capable of navigating without special markings on the floor or the installation of guidance hardware, making them easy to re-program according to the quickly changing dynamic environments of our 100+ sites,” said Roberto Lu, VP technology at TE Connectivity. ”Esztergom is one of the most important sites for the AMR program. The staff there has done an excellent job.”
Investing in the future
The partnership between TE Connectivity and MiR includes further robotics projects aimed at fully automating internal material handling processes.
The robots work seamlessly, are simple to program and relieve the workers from tiresome tasks. As a result, the speed of internal logistics processes has significantly accelerated. “It’s no secret that with MiR robots, we have invested in the future and made a very good decision,” Miszler added. ”Our achievements definitely encourage us to expand with automation. Our new production hall, which is currently under construction, has been designed with a layout already optimized for robots. We wish to expand the automated injection molding technology and further automate material handling and warehousing by deploying the robots in more and more applications.”