Author Archive for Steve Banker – Page 2

Laser Guided Vehicles, a Robotic Solution that Navigates with Precision

Laser guided vehicles (LGVs) area a flexible automated guided vehicle (AGV) solution. LGVs are a more flexible solution than older forms of AGVs that follows markers or wires in the floor or where navigation is based on following a magnet crumb trail. LGVs can move through a facility on multiple paths and the paths can change as needed. This article explains how a “typical” LGV implementation would take and the steps involved.

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NextShift Robotics, An Autonomous Mobile Robot that Optimizes the Picking Process

313 million dollars has been invested by venture capital companies in developing autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) solutions in the last several years. ARC’s recent global market study on this market shows it to be a very rapidly growing market. An autonomous mobile robot is a vehicle that requires no change to a facilities infrastructure to implement and operate. Often, these vehicles are led around a facility and then create a map of the facility that […]

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A Provocative Interview with the CEO of OTTO Motors

The CEO of OTTO Motors, a provider of autonomous mobile vehicles (AMRs), has some provacative ideas about what is occurring in the AMR market. Mr. Rendall also pointed out that the automated guided vehicle market in the U.S. has grown to less than $200 million in thirty years. Bolted to ground warehouse automation has its limitations. “There is a pressing need for flexibility.” 

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HIROTEC Experiments with Next Generation Robots

Historically, companies looking at a technology solution would put together a detailed business plan, and then only implement the technology if the forecasted financial returns exceeded their return on investment (ROI) target. But more companies are experimenting with next generation robots and other digital technologies, regardless of whether the ROI is there or not. HIROTEC AMERICA, part of the HIROTEC Group, is one such company.

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A Maturity Model for Supply Chain Design

LLamasoft has developed a maturity model related to supply chain design solutions.  As a leading supplier of supply chain design solutions, this is a natural extension for them. Developing a maturity model, however, is not for the faint of heart. The model explicity ties ROI from a design project to the maturity level.

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Warehouse Robots Enable a Digital Transformation

Lufthansa Technik Logistik Services began their digital transformation three years ago.. Because about half of this company’s 2017 revenues are related to warehousing services, several of their digital projects have been related to improving efficiency in their warehouses. This case study describes their approach to testing out mobile logistics robots.

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Blockchain Gains Traction in the Food Supply Chain

12 of the world’s biggest companies, including Walmart and Nestlé, are building a blockchain to remake how the industry tracks food worldwide. The group is focused on solving the traceability problem is known as Food Trust. There are many initiatives using Blockchain. This initiative is further along than any other.

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Robots with Swarm Intelligence

Robots with swarm intelligence. Austrian headquartered Agilox designs and manufactures mobile logistics robots that use “swarm intelligence” to intelligently navigate through warehouses and factories, delivering pallets and totes where they are needed. This article discusses this technology.

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Reshoring Isn’t Happening

A.T. Kearney publishes an annual study on reshoring. Their July 2018 release – their fourth annual “Reshoring Index” – shows record imports from traditional offshoring countries in 2017. “Imports of manufactured goods into the United States from the 14 largest low-cost-country trading partners in Asia rose by a staggering $55 billion, or 8 percent—the largest one-year increase since the economic recovery of 2011. Tariffs and political pressure is unlikely to change things very much in the near term because changing global supply chains is not quick or easy.

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No Driver Working Today Will Need to Change Careers Because of Autonomous Trucks

Mike Reid, the Chief Operating Officer at Embark Trucks, said that “Anyone employed as a driver today will be able to retire as a driver.” What makes that statement surprising is that Embark is a leading developer of autonomous trucks. One might think that the goal of an autonomous truck company is to render drivers superfluous.

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