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Autonomous robots for internal logistics @ Boers & Co
Boers & Co
Boers & Co is a brand that stands for innovation. Last summer, for instance, we started implementing Autonomous Mobile Robot, also known as AMR. These robots connect to our Lean production chain, in which we strive to manufacture and deliver products with as little handling as possible. For this purpose, Boers & Co has developed in an earlier stage the so-called TechRacks® crates, in which the products are stored. These TechRacks® can stand up to the conditions in the cleaning installation and are delivered along with the products to our clients and suppliers.
Project AMR aims to start transporting these TechRacks® in an automated way through the production environment. Besides the fact that our employees will have fewer logistical operations to perform, the system will provide other additional benefits. Think of a much better flow between the production steps, but also a much better registration of the current stock locations.
Our own vision and this specific case required a very flexible supplier with knowledge and skills of AMR vehicles. Romias Robotics from Enter turned out to be the perfect match for us. As an official partner of Otto Motors AMR vehicles and their broad experience in customized automation solutions they know what they are doing. Boers & Co wanted to implement the robots as much as possible in-house, because the system is very intensively linked to the TechRacks® system and ERP software. Romias is very flexible and always willing to think along with us. They have helped us with a very challenging course on level, in which we specifically went into the parts that apply to our case.
Proof of Concept
For Boers & Co it was important for us to gain practical experience as soon as possible. That simply means driving the robot as much as possible. This first phase of the project is aimed at transporting stacks of up to 3 crates between two manual stations. By manual stations, we mean locations where an employee can place his crate and enter a command to the robot. The manual stations are completely passive, i.e. no moving parts. This makes the stations comparatively affordable and also reliable. The intelligence is thus incorporated as much as possible into the central fleet manager of the robot(s).
Our robot “Otto” is now driving TechRacks® from the quality control department to the packaging department! The first results are successful and there is more to come. In the coming period, we will continue with the realization of 8 new stations and an automatic unloading station for a connection with our cleaning installation.