Mobile Robots Collaborate with People and Trucks and Save 40 Hours a Week
The high-reach truck operators use a map on a tablet in the truck to see at all times where the small robots are, and the mobile robots make themselves noticeable using audio signals and lights in the busiest areas. This means that there is a close collaboration between the trucks and the robots and in a company with constant internal traffic, communication between vehicles is vital to avoid different machines blocking each other’s path.
ICM has made a dedicated route for the mobile robots, freeing space for other traffic in the logistics centre. Previously, space was very cramped because of the many operations with manual stackers on the main traffic routes, which have now been replaced by the MiR robots. MiR’s fleet management software, MiR Fleet, also ensures that the tasks are distributed between the mobile robots, so that it is the robot that can carry out the task in the shortest time that is chosen, and it also ensures that the three mobile robots automatically move to a charging station and charge up between tasks, so that downtime is optimised.
Overall, the mobile robots have saved approximately 40 hours a week at ICM, time that the staff previously spent on internal transport, moving goods between the receiving area and the positioning areas. These employees can now focus on higher value activities, i.e. planning and optimisation: Assessing, handling and prioritising the pallets and the contents is a complicated task that requires insight and experience because many parameters must be taken into consideration. Therefore, these tasks must be solved by people.
“The robots have saved time, which we can now use to optimise the warehouse and fine-tune flow. We have become used to the new technology and have learned to work in a completely different way. The more we apply it, the more time we save through automation using mobile robots,” says Jesper Lorenzen.