Utilizing Mobile Industrial Robots
MiRs (Mobile Industrial Robots) have a multitude of applications for manufacturers looking to increase efficiency and safety in their lines. These versatile robots with customizable top module conveyors can transport product, create product kits for assembly and decrease forklift traffic. MiRs come in many different load capacities, transporting anywhere from light carton loads with a max of 100kg to pallet loads weighing 2,200lbs.
With Hyperion’s customizable top module conveyors, these robots can be essential equipment for any manufacturing floor. Depending on your needs, top module conveyors can come in front-loading or side-loading models.
These robots with customizable conveyor units have applications in any industry, from furniture manufacturing to automotive to plastics, adding predictability to processes and saving labor costs. Autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) decrease forklift dependency and reduce potential human error, thereby increasing safety as they transport anything from heavy engine blocks to lighter plastic components from one line to another.
Top Module Conveyors
Of the two top module conveyor systems, front-load modules are more common with rollers that load and unload product from the front and back of the robot. This orientation takes full advantage of the front-mounted 3D camera on MiRs, enhancing the robot’s 720 degree corner scanners to see beyond the single plane of the scanner.
Side-load modules differ from their front-load counterparts mainly in the orientation of the rollers. Instead of docking on the front or back, these robots can dock to the left or right sides. With the robot’s ability to pull up to a side docking station instead of having to swing in and out of a front or back-oriented dock, manufacturers benefit from greater efficiency and customization in floor configurations or product transportation.
Front Load Advantages
As mentioned above, front-load modules are the more commonly requested conveyors. This is primarily because they feature greater precision docking. Front-mounted 3D cameras and corner safety scanners are designed with front and back docking in mind.
Beyond the precision afforded by front-loading modules, they are also more stable for large loads. The robot’s length exceeds the typical pallet length of 48”, allowing it to immediately support loads on the conveyor. Being longer than it is wide, this provides an assurance of safety and stability with extra wide loads.
The main advantage of side-loading modules lies in their efficiency. Think of docking a front-loading MiR like parking a car on a busy road. The tighter the parking space, the farther you need to back out your car to ensure clearance. Likewise, docking a front-loading robot requires backing up farther into the aisle, blocking forklift or foot traffic and causing potential hazards and delays. Side-loading modules do not require this space and can simply pull up to either their left or right side to dock.
By merely changing the roller direction, the side-load modules can save cycle time, provide safer transportation with fewer potential hazards and improve space efficiency by conserving aisle space.
While the basic functions of MiR robots and their top module conveyors provide great measures of efficiency and value to many customers’ floors, they can be further customized to provide the best solution for each situation. All of these listed capabilities can also apply to other AMR models.
One such solution involved creating quadrants on each robot’s conveyors, allowing the robot to pick up multiple pieces and create a “kit” of parts to then deliver to the assembly area. Beyond customization of rollers, both types of conveyors also feature stops and brakes to prevent loads from sliding off the opposite side of the conveyor. This redundancy provides additional safety for workers and can be individually programmed for your needs.
The robot’s malleable software interface also allows customizations to make a “smarter” robot. With precise robot programming, customers can identify quantities needed to be picked and can even connect with their ERP or inventory software for tracking purposes. Whatever your need, Hyperion Automations can customize your solutions to add efficiency and safety to your systems. Want to learn more about top modules or other customizations? Reach out to start a conversation today.