Machinery : Industrial Robot : Material Handling
OTTO Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) automate common material handling tasks, big and small, to help manufacturers tackle labor shortages, scale their business, and outperform the competition.
A.I. Fuels Aerospace Manufacturing Automation
In a quest to find automated process solutions for its production of aircraft transparencies (windows and canopies), U.K.-based GKN Aerospace Services Ltd. worked for 10 years with experienced automation integrators using off-the-shelf robots and controls. Despite its efforts, the number of failed systems configured “well outnumbers” the successful deployments, according to Martin Philo, principal research engineer. GrayMatter’s experts agreed with the aerospace supplier’s conclusion that providing a robot as a complete solution along with software for off-the-shelf robotics were the sources of failure in previous projects. Its Scan&Sand technology uses optical scanning and custom, physics-informed A.I.-driven software to support industrial robotic arms mounted on a gantry and equipped with an abrasive tool. Based on initial estimates, Scan&Sand will increase productivity by completing a part in less than four hours, giving GKN Aerospace’s production a boost by a factor of three or four. In addition, automation has the potential to significantly reduce its scrap, repair, and rework costs associated with sanding, which can reach $5 million yearly.
While Otto Motors builds its AMRs to offer customers the best total cost of ownership, longest life, and highest uptime, its real power lies in its software. The technology behind Rendall’s description is appealing: The fleet management software is one of the biggest reasons why customers choose Otto over its competitors, he said. “It’s the fleet management software that interfaces your AMR fleet into your manufacturing execution system, your SCADA system, your PLC network,” he said. “It is what gives you seamless, end-to-end integration and handoff of materials from a piece of processing equipment to a material transport solution like ours.”
Mauser Improves Throughput by 600% with OTTO
GE Healthcare Achieves Lean Efficiency With Autonomous Mobile Robots
Germain likes the OTTOs because they get material where it needs to be, when it needs to be there. This is essential, as the AMRs must deliver parts for more than 2,000 equipment repairs per week. Material flow efficiency is improved, notes Germait, because the robots enable pull-type supply chain management, where material movement is based on actual demand. However, material handling is not standardized because the facility receives different-size parts every day, and the parts often need to be delivered to different repair cells.
Hundreds of technicians work in the West Milwaukee facility, in repair cells that are 40 percent smaller since implementing AMRs. Downsizing the cells has also enabled GEH to increase its productive floor space by 66 percent and greatly improve throughput per square foot.