Quality build and robustness are vital characteristics for autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), according to industrial mobile robot supplier iFollow.
The company has stressed choosing a quality AMR will ensure a longer lifespan for the unit, as well minimising downtime due to repairs.
Frazer Watson, UK – Ireland country manager at iFollow, said: “There and numerous predictions for AMR market growth through the coming decade and while there are many lower cost units that will have limited uses, market growth will be boosted as the limitations that preclude many units from broader applications are being overcome by higher quality mobile robots.”
Increased payload capabilities up to 1.3 tonnes will give mobile robots the potential to carry out tasks such as moving barrels or pallets of paint cans. This is just one example of how improving AMR capabilities will broaden the possible deployment, Watson explained.
The ability to work between different temperatures, which can risk strain on internal components, is another. Moving between temperature zones from as cold as -25°C to as warm as +40°C, in constrained environments, presents more of a challenge for mobile robot technology.
As the number of mobile robot brands and models available on the market increases customer choice, the quality of the design and build is set to be a crucial differentiator. While many mobile robots look similar on the outside there remains a great deal of difference when it comes to quality, the AMR manufacture said.
“Check that the AMR has all the required registration and certification” continued Watson. “Buying a fleet of a couple of hundred mobile robots, for example, without certification is a huge risk. Has the machine been through a quality process? Is it CE certified? Does it meet the latest standards that are in force for the region where it is being used? What about support – can parts be supplied locally for quick response?
“A supplier that both designs and manufactures its own AMRs, as well as providing the supporting software, can better respond to customer problems with solutions adapted to particular needs. It will be able to tune the mobile robot solution to the application – for example adapting the lifting platform to the needs of the application. This ability often allows a supplier to adapt a single type of robot to fulfil a customer’s entire needs.”
iFollow operates in the food, industrial, pharmaceutical, chemical, cosmetic, logistics and mass distribution sectors.