Visitors to the major German logistics fair, LogiMAT in Stuttgart, will this year be presented with a unique solution for logistics optimisation. It can be found at PALOMAT®, located at stand A16 in hall 7. Here, a mobile robot from MiR communicates with the PALOMAT® AMR pallet magazine, which acts as a pallet buffer and docking station. This ensures strong flow in a logistics chain, because with mobile robots, empty pallets can always be stacked or picked up in PALOMAT® AMR, which has learned robotic language.
A response to market needs
In March 2018, PALOMAT® launched PALOMAT® AGV and it was welcomed by the market. At the same time, logistics people expressed a new need. Dealers of various automated mobile robots, also called AMR – Autonomous Mobile Robots – requested a PALOMAT® AMR as a natural successor to PALOMAT® AGV.
”We listened to the market, and in 2019 we decided to start working with the world’s leading manufacturer of mobile robots, Mobile Industrial Robots. Thanks to a very constructive process, we can now offer MiR’s dealers a solution for the full automation of pallet handling. It makes sense in an industry with bottleneck problems,” notes Majbritt Svane, Area Manager, PALOMAT®.
The new invention will be available partly at PALOMAT®’s dealers and will be visible on MiR’s online platform for integrating products, MiRGo.
”When we can see opportunities for our end users to benefit even more from our mobile robots, naturally we are prepared to take a look. With PALOMAT® AMR, our dealers, together with PALOMAT®, can offer a solution with the MiR500 and MiR1000 robots that optimises the handling of empty pallets on any factory floor. In this way, PALOMAT® AMR fits perfectly with our strategy to be the most open platform in mobile robots,” ,” says Frederik Spangtoft Poulsen, Product Manager at Mobile Industrial Robots.
Common to PALOMAT® and MiR is that the two Danish technology manufacturers are both used to dealing with a global distribution network.
”We have to be able to do this if a PALOMAT® needs service, whether it is in Argentina or Australia,” ,” points out Majbritt Svane of PALOMAT®, adding that PALOMAT® is also positive about collaborating with other AMR manufacturers as long as service and ambition levels match PALOMAT’s high standards.
Fully automated solution frees resources
With the PALOMAT® AMR solution, a logistics manager can free up resources spent on manual logistics, lift 25 kilos of pallets and allocate them to other more value-adding tasks in a production or logistics centre. The invention thus creates both higher productivity and a healthier working environment; it reduces or eliminates truck driving and prevents back injury, pinched fingers or feet. A study has shown that in Germany alone, about 40 work accidents occur every day with forklift trucks and pallet trucks, and according to ESAW (European Statistics on Accidents at Work), approximately 10% of all injuries caused by forklift trucks have serious consequences for those involved. PALOMAT® AMR ensures that there is a smooth flow and that production areas are continuously kept clean, even when employees have their well-deserved breaks.
12-18 month payback period
As a rule, mobile robots can only retrieve one pallet at a time on a rack, just as they cannot retrieve pallets at floor level, but with a fully automated pallet magazine, a mobile robot can retrieve and deliver all the pallets needed without employees becoming involved or physically burdened. There can be 15 pallets in a PALOMAT® AMR, and automation ensures uniform pallet docking.
The payback period for PALOMAT® AMR is calculated at 12-18 months. The original PALOMAT® pallet magazine was invented long before mobile robots were a reality. It is Danish-produced and first saw the light of day in 1992. Today, it is used in the manufacturing industry, including in the pharmaceutical and food industry, as well as in the logistics industry. In Denmark, this includes Tulip, DSV, ABB, LINAK, Kvickly, J.A. Plastindustri and the Hospital of Southwest Jutland, which uses PALOMAT® to strengthen the workflow and the work environment.