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material-handling robots

by   -   June 9, 2012

What is it about automated robotic warehousing? Amazon just acquired Kiva Systems for $775 million and now Permira, a European private equity firm, announced that it was acquiring Intelligrated for an amount in excess of $500 million! The deal is expected to close after the summer.
Intelligrated designs, manufactures, and/or integrates and installs complete material handling solutions for warehouses, distribution centers and consumer product manufacturing operations and includes a line of palletizing robots along with more conventional conveyor systems.

by   -   June 7, 2012

Symbotic, formerly CasePick Systems, is providing mobile robots that grab closed boxes of goods and brings them to a pallet-loading robot. Different from Kiva Systems, recently acquired by Amazon, which moves racks of open boxes to an order-picker who removes items and packs them into shipping boxes.
Vetex and Yaskawa Motoman will soon be offering a combined mobility platform and robot arm for location to location material handling.
Underneath them all are the sophisticated software packages that direct the navigation, safely and efficiently move the arms and grippers of the robots, and sense and recognize the materials being handled. Case in point: Universal Robotics (not to be confused with Danish Universal Robots) and their new Neocortex control software for 3D sensing of random objects. It integrates random 3D data, processes it and determines what it is and how it is to be handled, and then integrates that information into user systems, for example, into Yaskawa’s Motoman 2-armed robots, or to robots loading or unloading pallets or to other software providing load sequencing or similar applications.
I wrote about material handling systems at MODEX 2012 earlier this year but many new products are changing the dynamic.
BOTTOM LINE: businesses are beginning to make long-put-off capital purchases to automate their warehouses and material handling and new sensing, software and robotic companies are emerging in the process, particularly those that can make sense of and use sensor data.

by   -   February 24, 2012

At the recent Modex 2012 in Atlanta, Kiva Systems’ booth featured a fully-functioning warehouse operation where attendees walked up and placed their orders on an iPad and then picked their order right from the Kiva system just seconds later.
It even validated the product was as called for and that the picker took only the number he ordered.
Supplychain magazine did a cover story special report about new-tech warehousing methods and featured Kiva as the disruptive player in the crowd.

by   -   February 15, 2012

There were more buyers than in previous years and they appeared to be holistic in their approach to material handling in the factory and picking and packing in the warehouse. Their reasoning and underlying economic drivers detailed in this report.
Brad Berger, editor-in-chief of SupplyChainBrain magazine, said that investing in automation for material handling is back after a few years of being put off because of the economy. Buyers are creating smart warehouses where RF, voice, barcodes, tablets and software all work together seamlessly as tools in the bigger picture of moving, handling, picking and packing our materials and products.
18-20,000 attendees of which 2,000+/- were international, 560 exhibitors, 170,000 sq ft of exhibition space. Very impressive; very busy (and very tiring).

by   -   February 15, 2012


In the emerging world of service robotics, many markets are opening to robotics that were once only handled by industrial robot manufacturers. Safely unmanned, or working alongside human workers, in a show focused on handling materials in the factory and also in the warehouse, Modex 2012, held in Atlanta (after 16 years in Cleveland), displayed the wares and solutions offered by 560 vendors and covered all aspects of picking, packing, handling and transporting material. Unlike industrial robots from the past, the newer robots displayed at Modex are able to adapt, easy to use and intuitive to operate.



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