A genuine door opener
Thanks to the mobile goods transportation helpers at Flex, there is now a fully automated 600-metre stretch running without interruption from the main warehouse to the production area, with the load weight of the robot up to 100 kilograms. There are certainly some obstacles to the robots on this stretch, in the shape of high-speed interior doors for example. "But on a day-to-day basis these aren't a problem. The communication system in the MiR100 is connected to the doors and tells them when they need to open. This is working very well," says a confident Christoph Schaller.
Work time is more productive thanks to mobile robots
The automation of internal goods transportation has already paid off for employees. Thanks to the new technology, they have largely been freed from monotonous transportation tasks. The resulting increase in time available has enabled them to focus more on the area of logistics. In this way, substantial process optimisations have been achieved, as Christoph Schaller explains: "Transporting goods from A to B is now carried out by robots, and the activities of the employees have therefore increasingly shifted to goods receipt. For this reason, there is now much more time available in the main warehouse for pre-portioning of the goods deliveries to the production facility, likewise for the filling of fixed locations. As a result, the portionings are now much more equitable, which ultimately benefits the employees at all stages of our production chain.
The use so far of the two MiR100 robots has proved a very positive experience. In the medium term, however, the potential of mobile robotics will be even more fully exploited. Its scope of activities in the company will be gradually expanded – and to this end, will now also use the patented MiRHook system from Mobile Industrial Robots. This new product component can be connected directly to the MiR100 and will enable the fully automated transportation of carts weighing up to 300 kilograms. "The first step was the use of robots for transporting goods from the main warehouse," explains Christoph Schaller. "When we saw that working perfectly, we asked ourselves: what other possibilities does this technology offer for us? And of course, the possibilities are even further extended by the Hook system, with the system also becoming more flexible to use as a result. The next logical step for us is to use the robots in combination with the Hook system for the transportation of finished goods to the dispatch department."