In Logistics, cobots are used to handle products that enter and exit the warehouse. Nearly all of the repetitive tasks carried out here, can be automated.
Make your supply chain as efficient as possible
Cobots and AMRs are designed to work with and alongside people. They take over part of the tasks of operators that are repetitive and therefore often physically straining or even dangerous. They are a good way to automate and to achieve the efficiency you need. Whether you are automating tasks in a distribution centre or in a fulfilment centre for FMCG, cobots increase your productivity. And let’s not forget the logistic operations for supplying work cells, for example during the assembly of finished product. Whatever the purpose of your warehouse, there are plenty of reasons to robotise your logistics, beyond increasing productivity:
Responding to peaks in production,
Reducing the physical strain on workers,
Reducing the travel time of order pickers,
Delivering consistent quality,
Keeping better track of goods.
Number 1 for more work-efficiency
Every warehouse has its own working methods. Because this is how things developed, because of the type of product or because of the frequency and size of orders. Examples are:
Pick and pack to cart
Order by order picking (Discrete picking)
Batch picking (Multi-Order picking)
Whatever method of order picking you use, they can all be automated. Reduce the travel time of your warehouse staff by letting AMRs carry the picks. By combining an AMR and a cobot with vision system, you have a fully automated order picker, without having to alter your current warehouse layout.
The Autonomous Mobile Robot is a special type of cobot (by cobot we mean a robot arm). It is a self-propelling cart. AMRs map the space in which they drive by means of cameras and sensors. Unlike an AGV (Automated Guided Vehicle), you don’t need magnetic strips in your floor. The MiR250 (with a load capacity of 250kg) can also drive through narrow aisles (80cm). This means you probably don’t need alterations to your warehouse layout. So you don’t need a major investment to automate the internal transport of goods. The cameras and sensors provide the AMR ample view of its environment, so that it can avoid unforeseen obstacles. That is why they can be used in the same space where people are working or where forklift trucks drive. This characteristic also makes it easy to move and deploy them quickly in different locations.
But there are more activities in your warehouse that can be automated. Think of the following:
The autonomous moving of roll containers or complete pallets by Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR),
Pick & Place on conveyor belts,
Packing boxes and crates,
Checking and sorting packages during batch picking,
Labelling and erecting boxes,
Sorting products and parcels,
Palletising boxes, crates, buckets and bags,
Cobot applications in the logistics sector
Cobots (usually) use a graphic user interface on a tablet or telephone. This makes programming them very user-friendly. You don’t need to hire or train an expensive robot programmer.
This also makes a cobot very flexible: a cobot can be switched over relatively fast to a different product or even deployed on a different location or a different task. The difference with traditional industrial robots is clear: the latter are riveted to the floor. Another difference is that traditional robots should be physically separated from people. This means that they are in a different room or are separated from people by fences. Cobots are limited in force and speed, and can be stopped by hand. Therefore, after a risk analysis, they can usually carry out their tasks beside workers, without the need for extra safety precautions. And no fencing also means less investments.
Cobots are very precise and do not tire or fall ill and are not distracted. This leads to less accidents, mistakes, damaged inventory or products and less incorrect orders being sent to customers.
Cobots en AMRs are modular, which means you can quickly scale up when needed. Within the logistics sector, activities are often subject to change, for example due to seasonal influences. This may make it cost-effective to rent a cobot set when needed.
E-commerce: meet expectations
The impact of the 24-hour economy, the expectation of same day delivery, puts great pressure on the logistics sector. Customers expect fast, accurate deliveries and will go to a competitor if you let them down. Increase customer satisfaction by deploying cobots and AMRs in your warehouse, because they take care of fast and accurate order processing.