Taking the Trash out: how AMRs can help minimize waste and maximize efficiency
Labor shortage and global competition force companies to prepare to operate with fewer people, which has led many manufacturers to embrace many of the values of lean manufacturing including removing non-value added activities. The handling of leftover materials is one of these activities.
Throughout industries and whether companies are looking at returns, packing, or manufacturing processes, there is often a lot of leftover material that takes up space in the revenue generating areas within facilities. This material is often handled manually by dedicated employees who remove recycling and trash to the right areas, but this is inefficient and in a market that is highly challenged on finding labor, this is a task that could and should be automated, so that workers can be redeployed for higher value tasks.
AMR moves used packaging 24/7 six days a week at FM Logistics
International 3PL, FM Logistics, acts as an integrator between producers and retail chains with an integrated vision of all processes; from storage, through co-packing, co-manufacturing, to transport and distribution.
Co-packing, i.e. unpacking, re-packaging, re-labelling, and shipping goods, especially those produced in short series, allows producers to focus on selling and promoting their products. Every day, about 70 different products go through the co-packing processes at FM Logistic, packed once again using 20 different packaging technologies, also combined. Annually, FM Logistic's co-packing activity generates 200 tons of used cardboard packaging - it has to be transported and recycled.
To increase efficiency of the transport of the used packaging, FM Logistics has deployed a MiR200 equipped with a container to transport used packaging between the co-packing line and the tippler, with which it works without human intervention. The MiR200 works around the clock in a three-shift system, five to six days a week. One robot alone covers a distance of 300 (three hundred) meters at a time, and 18.5 kilometers a day, and thereby relieves employees from monotonous tasks and reduces the costs of waste handling significantly.
Because of the autonomous navigation, there is no need for extra infrastructure when implementing AMRs from MiR and it’s easy to scale the solution:
“The incredible advantage of this solution is that we do not interfere with the building's infrastructure. Another undeniable advantage is that it is a mobile solution, we can transfer it to other locations, it is safe and easy to use” said Arkadiusz Buczek, Director of the Copacking Department at FM Logistic in Mszczonów.
See different waste removal applications
A flexible solution to be used throughout sectors and industries
Removing waste materials and recyclables is today one of the very common applications for MiR’s robots throughout industries.
The robots are used in the healthcare sector to pick-up, transport and deliver waste bins and trolleys through the long hospital basement halls or in nursing facilities. The AMRs take over the heavy lifting and pushing of carts, and at the same time they save employees from walking many kilometres in the hospitals, creating a better work environment for the staff that get more time for patient care.
Manufacturers also use AMRs in different applications to automatically transport waste to processing areas away from busy production areas pack-out stations to keep aisles and floors organized while redeploying workers to higher value tasks. Visteon Electronics in Slovakia has deployed a MiR robot equipped with a shelf carrier that can pick up and deliver shelves to drive continuously in a bus route throughout the facility to make sure that waste material is picked up and the production area stays lean. Visteon has deployed several MiR robots to automate different internal logistics processes from transporting components between production lines to picking up waste materials, all of which help Visteon optimize processes:
“MiR robots provide labor related advantages in two main areas: simple and monotonous tasks can be now done by robots, which implies cost-savings for us. Also, in terms of ergonomics, it’s very useful that workers are supplied with material in a precise time and comfort without having to carry out heavy physical activities themselves,” said Richard Čiernik, Industrial Engineer Manager in Visteon Electronics Slovakia.