Jungheinrich Acquires Mobile Robot and Fleet Management Firm arculus

Jungheinrich says its goods-to-person systems and software are complemented by arculus' mobile robots and interoperable fleet management.

Industrial automation provider Jungheinrich and mobile robot and software startup arculus are teaming up.

Industrial automation provider Jungheinrich AG today said it has acquired mobile robot vendor arculus GmbH. The German companies said their complementary offerings will help automotive manufacturers and other industrial clients.

“With the acquisition of arculus, we have been able to comprehensively expand Jungheinrich’s expertise in the automation field,” said Dr. Lars Brzoska, chairman of the management board at Jungheinrich. “Important areas of application – like goods-to-person order picking – will see continued strong growth, not least because of the ever-increasing amount of e-commerce. ... Together, we are opening a new chapter in the history of the warehouse of the future.”

Founded in 1953, Jungheinrich is a family-owned business that has been in operation for more than 65 years. The Hamburg, Germany-based company's portfolio includes material handling equipment such as forklifts, automated guided vehicles (AGVs), and charging technology, as well as services to help customers with Industry 4.0 challenges.

Jungheinrich said it is represented in 40 countries with its own direct sales companies and in approximately 80 other countries through partner companies. Jungheinrich employs 18,000 people worldwide and generated revenue of €3.81 billion ($4.37 billion U.S.) in 2020.

arculus integrates European interoperability standard

Founded in 2016, arculus offers the arculee line of autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), the Warehouse software for goods-to-person logistics, Modular Production for dynamic product flow, and the Fleet management software. The Munich, Germany-based startup said its systems provide 99.96% uptime, moved more than 500,000 km (310,000 mi.) autonomously in 2020, and have completed 1.5 million picks.

The company obtained Series A funding and integrated the European VDA 5050 interoperability standard last year. The arculus Fleet traffic-control system enables AGVs and AMRs from different manufacturers to be operated via a common interface in a shared logistics and production environment. It does this regardless of the navigation technology, kinematic properties, and dimensions of the AGVs, said arculus.

“Back in 2018, we provided a proof of concept for a premium automotive manufacturer,” said Dr. Fabian Rusitschka, CEO of arculus. “We incorporated this experience into the standardization initiative of the VDA/VDMA, and we are very proud that it has become an industry standard that is used in practice.”

The company added that planning, simulation, operation, and optimization can all take place within its software. Core functions include dynamic route planning based on real-time traffic data and anticipatory route planning to prevent congestion, said arculus.

One automotive manufacturer has made Fleet its standard software for controlling AGVs across its production facilities, said arculus. In addition, arculus' system won the 2021 IFOY Award for best intralogistics software.

Jungheinrich pursues digital strategy

Jungheinrich noted that its acquisition of arculus follows its “2025+” strategy and complements its own digital fleet management products. DLA Piper advised the company on the acquisition but did not specify an amount.

“At arculus, we are excited about the synergies that we and Jungheinrich will be able to offer our customers in the future,” said arculus' Rusitschka. “Our companies also share common goals and values, like the commitment to making it easier for our customers to meet their automation needs quickly and efficiently.”

About the Author

Eugene Demaitre's avatar
Eugene Demaitre

Eugene Demaitre is editorial director of Robotics 24/7. Prior to joining Peerless Media, he was a senior editor at Robotics Business Review and The Robot Report. Demaitre has also worked for BNA (now part of Bloomberg), Computerworld, and TechTarget. He has participated in numerous robotics-related webinars, podcasts, and events worldwide.

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