BALYO and Körber Partner for Integration of Autonomous Materials Handling Trucks

Partners say integration of robotics with equipment and software will improve warehouse throughput, productivity, and safety.

Hyster-Yale Group Inc.

BALYO has partnered with Hyster-Yale and Körber Supply Chain.
BALYO, which provides autonomy technology to turn lift trucks into autonomous robots, will work with integrator Körber Supply Chain to widen adoption of warehouse automation.

BALYO SA this week announced a strategic partnership with Körber AG in which Körber will help integrate BALYO's robotic materials handling trucks with supply chains. 

“We are very pleased to pursue this collaboration with Kӧrber as we continue to develop a partner network that meets local and global needs for industry verticals and logistics customers,” stated Pascal Rialland, CEO of BALYO. “Kӧrber’s expertise in warehousing and logistics and their global presence reinforce the complementary nature of our two companies.”

Ivry-sur-Siene, France-based BALYO said its Driven by Balyo technology can transform standard forklifts into autonomous robots for moving pallets in distribution centers and factories. The company, which has subisidiaries in Boston and Singapore, recently also entered into partnerships with KION, the parent company of Linde Material Handling, as well as Hyster-Yale Group Inc. It reported €21.7 million ($26.46 million U.S.) in sales revenue in 2020.

Minneapolis-based Körber Supply Chain said it provides a range of supply chain systems for any business size, strategy, or appetite for growth. Körber's supply chain business unit not only delivers software, but also robots, voice technology, and materials handling expertise.

BALYO bridges gap beetween MHE, AMRs

“Humans around the world deserve enriching, creative jobs,” said BALYO. “We believe that pallet movements in DC [distribution centers] and manufacturing sites should be left to fully autonomous robots.”

The company said it can bridge the gap between traditional material handling equipment (MHE) and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs). This includes forklift trucks, stackers for floors and low-level pallet movements, and reach robots for high racks. BALYO added that has developed robots for warehouse applications including tugging, palletization, stacking, and very narrow aisle (VNA) tasks.

BALYO claimed that its geo guidance navigation system, which includes point-level detector (PLd) safety sensors, enables robots to locate their positions and navigate autonomously inside buildings without needing additional infrastructure.

Partnership to open opportunities

Warehouses and distribution centers worldwide are increasingly turning to robots to improve efficiency and competitiveness, said Kӧrber and BALYO. The companies said they plan to collaborate to integrate BALYO's technologies and overcome challenges associated with full pallets, bulk movements, and heavy goods. This will result in “flexibility, agility, and scalability—smoothly increasing throughput and productivity with company growth,” they said.

In addition, Kӧrber's integration of Driven by Balyo will enhance employee safety, according to the partners. Smart safety and stop-and-go features will scan the environment in real time for obstructions and instruct the robotic truck or tow tractor to move or stop accordingly.

Expanding use of robotic lift trucks can also help operators overcome labor shortages, said Kӧrber and BALYO. Rather than replacing employees, the technology enables people to carry out more valuable tasks while working alongside the robots, they said.

“Flexibility, adaptability and precision are everything in today’s supply chain,” explained Nishan Wijemanne, global leader for AMRs at Körber Supply Chain. “Our partnership with BALYO is a testament to Körber’s dedication to offer the right tools to make this a reality.”

“Robotics bring a new level of performance to warehousing and logistics,” he said. “Our expertise combined with BALYO’s unique solutions will empower business around the world to conquer today’s complexities and to evolve with consumer and industry demands to capitalize on all the future holds.”

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Hyster-Yale Group Inc.

BALYO has partnered with Hyster-Yale and Körber Supply Chain.

Robot Technologies