Warehouse operations around the world can benefit from the latest automation. FM Logistic has implemented systems from Mobile Industrial Robots ApS as part of a joint investment with client IKEA. The companies said the autonomous mobile robots will improve logistics at a warehouse in Jarosty, Poland.
“This implementation for our client requires transport of significant amounts of empty wooden pallet columns due to their use in storage in automatic warehouses,” said Edyta Śmiechowicz, platform director in Jarosty for FM Logistic. “It is an ideal process for automation.”
FM Logistic Central Europe is part of FM Group, a global third-party logistics provider (3PL) in Roissy-en-France. FM Group has a presence in 14 countries on three continents, and its Central European unit operates in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary.
FM Logistic invests in innovation
FM Logistic CE has 17 logistics platforms, 30 transhipment warehouses, and a fleet of about 2,500 vehicles. The company employs more than 5,500 people and has a total of over 750,000 sq. m (8 million sq. ft.) of warehouse space, creating over 1 million pallet places.
The logistics operator offers services related to warehousing, stockpiling, co-manufacturing, and co-packing, as well as transport and distribution of goods. In recent years, FM Logistic said it has focused on comprehensive supply chain solutions supporting customers in implementing their omnichannel strategies.
The company chose the MiR500 autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) from Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR) to speed up warehouse operations.
“In order to build a competitive advantage of the company and our clients, we invest in innovative solutions that are flexible, easy to use, and therefore cost-effective,” explained Alexander Damie, innovation and process manager at FM Logistic Central Europe. “Mobile Industrial Robots’ technology is much cheaper in use than the competing concept of AGV [automated guided vehicle] trucks. In this particular case, it is a solution more than two times cheaper than an AGV.”
Founded in 2013, Mobile Industrial Robots said its collaborative AMRs can automate internal logistics. The Odense, Denmark-based company reported that its sales have risen by 1,246% from 2015 to 2020.
MiR, a subisidiary of Teradyne Inc., has a distribution network in more than 60 countries, with regional offices in New York, San Diego, Singapore, Frankfurt, Barcelona, Tokyo, and Shanghai. Mobile Industrial Robots' customers include multinational manufacturers and logistics providers, as well as several hospitals around the world.
MiR mobile robots move empty pallets for FM Logistic and IKEA at Polish warehouse. Source: Mobile Industrial Robots
MiR500 demonstrates value in tests
Mobile Industrial Robots said the MiR500 is designed to easily avoid obstacles, be responsive, and avoid time-consuming configuration. The robot and its included software can create area maps to dynamically navigate and choose the most convenient routes before driving – all without human assistance, claimed MiR.
The AMR will cooperate with employees the IKEA distribution center in Jarosty to transport pallets and other loads weighing up to 500 kg (1,102 lb.). FM Logistic's main goal is to relieve employees of unproductive activities, improve work safety, and optimize warehouse costs.
Warehouse employees and people who will supervise the robots are currently being trained, and within a few weeks, the MiR500 will work fully independently 24/7, said the companies.
“The ongoing implementation in the distribution comprises of integrating an autonomous robot that transports empty pallets into the stream of internal flows of goods,” said Śmiechowicz. “During the tests, the robot travelled over 60 km (37.2 mi.), successfully completed 180 missions, and transported over 1,500 empty pallets. Thanks to this, it was possible to optimize the movements while maintaining the full safety of employees and guarantee the profitability of this investment.”
“The implementation of the MiR robot at the IKEA distribution center in Jarosty is another step in optimizing processes, as well as implementing innovative solutions to our warehouse operations,” added Sebastian Kaczmarski, central fulfilment operations manager for Poland at IKEA. “It is an example of using the synergy between our companies and joint learning to improve and adapt warehouse processes to the new reality – a hybrid between manual and automatic processes.”
Robot mapping and operations are designed to be easy, according to MiR. Source: Mobile Industrial Robots
Use of Mobile Industrial Robots to widen
This is not the first implementation of Mobile Industrial Robots' systems at FM Logistic. ASTOR and ABZ Automatyka carried out another deployment last year. The MiR200, a slightly smaller model, started working on the logistics platform in Mszczonów, where it supports co-packing operations. It transports production waste, such as foil and cardboard, to the sorting plant.
One such robot covers an average distance of about 18.5 km (11.4 mi.) per day. That distance previously had to be covered by employees.
FM Logistic said it is considering further implementations of AMRs in other units.
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