Automate Demanding & Repetitive Work
With Fleets of Omron Mobile Robots
In mid-2016, a well-known tyre brand manufacturer approached Omron's team of engineers to help address the issues they were facing at the manufacturing plant.
- Overcoming high turnover rates of unskilled labours to meet a demanding production requirement.
- Workplace injury (manually pushing a large-sized cart hinders their view of any oncoming obstacles).
- Concerns over the flexibility and futureproofing of the infrastructure. Overhead Tyre Transfer Line vs Omron's Mobile Robots.
- Employee fatigue from long hours of shifts, which also lead to frequent human error.
The manufacturer wanted to investigate whether Omron's AIVs (Autonomous Intelligent Vehicles) can be used to automatically transport tyres in between work processes to cut down mundane tasks and improve productivity.
To help address these challenges, Omron's Mobile robots were brought in with a customised rack configuration that can hold six tyres simultaneously.
Mobile Robot Material Handling Stages:
- Stage 1: Tyres are loaded onto the rack manually at the Tyre Curing Press (TCP).
- Stage 2: Robot collects the loaded rack from TCP and moves towards the Warehouse.
- Stage 3: Robot reaches the Warehouse. Tyres are unloaded manually.
- Stage 4: Robot moves back to TCP for the second collection.
- Stage 5: Robot collects the second rack and moves towards the Warehouse.
- Stage 6: Robot reaches the Warehouse, collects the first empty rack for reloading and goes back to TCP.
- Stage 7: This sequence continues in a loop.
What Omron's AIVs delivered.
The use of mobile robots allows the manufacturer to automate the movement of pushing these heavy loads, subsequently reducing fatigue. Omron mobile robots are also equipped with on-board intelligence and sensors to avoid obstacles, which improved the safety of the workers.Increased Productivity and Quality
The innovative technology is having a positive effect in the productivity of the site. Automating the once manually demanding task promoted overall well-being of the workers. Hence, reducing the rate of human error and improving general quality.Reduced Manpower Concerns due to High Turnovers
Managers/Supervisors no longer have to worry about labour shortage or high turnover rates and be able to focus on more complex tasks.
In contrast to conventional AGVs (Automated Guided Vehicles), which require modifications to the existing infrastructure (embedded magnets, magnetic strips, laser sensors, etc.), Omron's AIVs do not involve any changes to the building infrastructure, are completely autonomous and are also easily integrated by the company's employees.
The engineers at the production site were pleased with the ease of deployment with single point of contact for integration with factory systems and easy to use PC-based software user interface to manage the robot or the fleet.