In order to reduce the risks and improve efficiency, industries all over the world are searching for better means of material handling. There are countless advantages of autonomous material handling over manual handling. It improves the efficiency as well as productivity by speeding up the transportation process and reducing the losses. There is minimum damage to the products because of the improved accuracy. It is safer as compared to manual handling, which is by far the most important gain of autonomous handling. All these factors contribute to lower the cost of production, which is the ultimate goal of both, the companies as well as customers.
The Rise of AGVs and AMRs:
One of the most prominent applications of automation has been material handling. It involves a large number of repetitive and labor-intensive tasks; thus, making it favorable to reap the benefits of automation. Furthermore, the material has to be moved over long distances within manufacturing plants, and labor negligence may lead to costly material damage. Such factors make a strong case for replacing manual labor in material handling with automation equipment.
Autonomous Guided Vehicles and their superior alternative, Autonomous Mobile Robots have, together, transformed the discipline of material handling. Easier movement of goods, reduction in material damage, and optimization of costs have led businesses to adopt these technologies globally. Research predicts that the global market of mobile robotics in material handling will become a $75bn market by 2027.
IoT applied on AGVs and AMRs:
While AGVs and AMRs prove highly beneficial to businesses, they add to the list of equipment that needs to be managed, maintained, and optimized. A warehouse owner who has deployed a set of AGV/AMRs to move goods within his setup must ensure that they are being used to their full capacity. And that they do not remain out of service due to technical issues.
To address these challenges and help businesses reap maximum benefits, the Internet of Things proves to be the right choice. Quite simply, IoT is about connecting anything and everything via the internet, thus creating a network of physical objects that interact with each other. It is about making physical objects ‘smart’ by enabling them to share (send/receive) information on their own. Real-time data capture and analysis, along with remote monitoring and control, enable the ideal usage and maintenance of AGVs and AMRs. Let us look at how IoT can enhance the value delivered by AGVs and AMRs.
- Condition monitoring: IoT sensors enable data capture of parameters that directly affect the health of the machine. Alerts can be set for extreme battery levels, load carriage, temperature, vibration, etc. Issues, if any, can be addressed immediately as the data is collected in real-time.
- Usage and performance tracking: Businesses can monitor the efficiency of AGV/AMRs by analyzing the data captured. Distance travelled, time in operation, and load carried are essential parameters that need to be tracked. When compared with manual labor, these can be translated into cost savings or output increased.
- Remote servicing and maintenance: IoT bring the cost and time required for the maintenance of AGV/AMRs down drastically. Maintenance teams can monitor AGVs remotely and can be called on only when issues arise; thus, making regular maintenance visits redundant. Furthermore, as the machines are run on sophisticated software, they can be controlled remotely through cloud-based applications. Technical issues can be corrected with ease, and instructions can be relayed remotely. Thus, maintenance becomes easy and cost-effective.
Yantra brings the power of IoT to mobile robots:
Being an R&D organization at the core, we continually try to take our products to the next level. We have made our products IoT-enabled and are excited to deliver the benefits to our customers. Remote assistance, real-time monitoring, and insightful analysis can help end-users reap maximum benefits from our product line.