With numerous providers of autonomous mobile robots, or AMRs, serving the supply chain market, some consolidation is inevitable, especially when brands are complementary. Teradyne Inc. today announced that its Mobile Industrial Robots ApS and AutoGuide Mobile Robots units have merged to become a single supplier of AMRs as of the end of September.
The integrated company is officially known as Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR), and Teradyne named longtime executive Walter Vahey as president. He led Teradyne's acquisitions of MiR in 2018 and of AutoGuide in 2019.
“By joining forces, we will uniquely meet our customers’ need for automation of internal logistics, from a single supplier offering easy-to-deploy, reliable, scalable AMRs with common fleet management software,” stated Vahey.
Customers in the global market for internal logistics have asked for a full product line including low-, medium-, and high-payload vehicles to automate and optimize materials handling, he said.
Mobile robot market continues to mature
After Teradyne's acquisition of AutoGuide and Mobile Industrial Robots, MiR was more active. Chelmsford, Mass.-based AutoGuide provided automated guided vehicles (AGVs), which use magnetic tape or other infrastructure markers to navigate. The company offered tuggers, pallet stackers, and other system configurations.
By contrast, Mobile Industrial Robots has been growing its line of AMRs, newer technology using lidar and other sensors to safely move around warehouses, factories, and other facilities. The company said its robots can free employees to perform higher-value activities.
MiR offers AMRs capable of carrying payloads and pallets weighing up to 1,350 kg (3,000 lb.). In June, the company released updated planning and navigation software.
The global market for mobile robots could experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.4% between 2022 and 2030, reaching $25.3 billion by 2023, according to Market Research Future. Similarly, IMARC Group forecast a CAGR of 18.86% for AMRs between 2022 and 2027.
AutoGuide and MiR collaborate on fleets
While North Reading, Mass.-based Teradyne is primarily known for testing equipment for semiconductors, electronics, and wireless devices, it has made a significant commitment to industrial automation. In 2021, the company reported revenue of $3.7 billion, and it currently employs more than 6,300 people worldwide.
As part of Teradyne, AutoGuide and Mobile Industrial Robots have already been working together to get their robots to operate on the same fleet management software.
“This close collaboration accelerated the merger,” Vahey added. “Being one organization helps ensure we deliver a broad AMR product line operating on a common fleet software to our customers.”
MiR's portfolio now includes high-payload AMR tuggers and forklifts that will operate on the MiR Fleet software. The company noted that its AMRs can pick up, transport, and deliver pallets or other loads automatically and safely in dynamic environments as a safe and efficient alternative to AGVs, lift trucks, and pallet trucks.
Mobile Industrial Robots has global presence
Founded in 2013, Mobile Industrial Robots said its AMRs serve small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) as well as global customers in industries ranging from manufacturing to healthcare. The company has nearly 220 distributors and certified systems integrators in 60 countries.
MiR said it has already sold more than 7,000 AMRs. The new combined company employs 450 employees, including 250 engineers.
MiR's headquarters will remain in Odense, Denmark, and the company has regional offices in Holbrook, N.Y.; San Diego; Chelmsford, Mass.; and Georgetown, Ky., as well as Singapore; Frankfurt, Germany; Barcelona, Spain; Tokyo; Seoul; and Shanghai.