Mecalux Launches Robotic Picking System With Siemens AI Technology

Mecalux designed its new picking robot in Barcelona to enhance order fulfillment in warehouses and logistics centers.

Mecalux


Mecalux robot autonomous picks apparel in Spain.
Mecalux said its collaborative robot incorporates Siemens' SIMATIC Robot Pick AI technology based on deep learning algorithms to streamline picking.

Mecalux SA today announced a robotic picking system incorporating Siemens' SIMATIC Robot Pick AI vision software. It uses deep learning algorithms to streamline picking in warehouses, said the Madrid-based company.

The new system integrates artificial intelligence into the SIMATIC S7-1500 programmable logic controller (PLC) to enable the collaborative robot to autonomously and accurately pick orders, said Mecalux in a release.

“The technology partnership with Siemens has allowed us to join forces to create a highly flexible, safe, and user-friendly robotic solution that adapts to the specific needs of our clients,” stated Javier Carrillo, CEO of Mecalux.

Mecalux is the parent company of Chicago-based Interlake Mecalux Inc., which claimed to be a leading provider of metal storage and gravity-flow racks, automation for moving pallets and boxes, and warehouse management systems (WMS), which were recognized in the 2023 Gartner Magic Quadrant for WMSes.

Mecalux provides precise picking

Mecalux said the new picking robot is the result of its long-standing collaboration with Siemens to implement industrial automation to address logistics industry challenges. It developed the system at its technology center in Barcelona.

The system can operate 24/7 and execute up to 1,000 picks per hour, said Mecalux. The company has launched two robots—a cobot programmed to safely share workspace with operators and a system that works autonomously in high-performance pick stations.

A camera above the cobot’s picking box captures a 3D image of the goods to prepare the orders.

Once the item has been selected, the cobot deposits it in the picking box with high precision, making the most of the available space. Mecalux has devised an algorithm to ensure that the cobot places the goods in the correct location.

Because cobots can handle a wide range of items, the technology is suitable for businesses from all sectors looking to optimize order processing, Mecalux noted.

Siemens Simatic S7-1500

Siemens said its SIMATIC S7-1500 executes the algorithms for accurate robotic vision and picking. Source: Mecalux

Siemens offers 'out-of-the-box' vision performance

Guided by Mecalux’s Easy WMS software, the collaborative picking system can automatically change its grip depending on the type of merchandise to be handled, said the company. Upon receiving a new box, Siemens’ vision system and AI identify the items inside and determine the most appropriate way to pick each product.

Siemens said its S7-1500 PLC range is the most powerful hardware that it currently offers. With the TM-MFP (Technology Module-Multifunctional Platform), it is capable of executing the necessary algorithms. This is achieved while respecting cybersecurity standards and employing the SCALANCE X family of intelligent switches, said the company.

“The AI algorithm has been pre-trained with millions of items to offer out-of-the-box performance,” explained José Ramón Castro, CEO of Siemens Digital Industries in Spain. “It’s able to make decisions in milliseconds on robust, collision-free picking positions for products presented completely arbitrarily.”

“One of the key aspects of this solution is that it doesn’t need to know the 3D model of the item in question beforehand,” he added. “The advanced artificial intelligence algorithm acts as the brain, enabling the smart picking process.”

The companies concluded: “With the launch of this innovative collaborative picking system, Mecalux and Siemens reaffirm their commitment to delivering cutting-edge technological solutions that improve operational efficiency for their clients.”

Mecalux has unveiled a collaborative robotic picking system based on the latest artificial intelligence technology.

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Mecalux

Mecalux robot autonomous picks apparel in Spain.


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