A typical application for manual operators is to drive tuggers pulling carts, with materials to be delivered to multiple locations, in a production facility, aka a milk run. A robotic lift truck solution automates tugger routes by removing the need for manual operators to drive in loops all day.
The robotic solution has a capacity of up to 10,000 lbs.. There is no limit on the amount of carts they pull, as long as the carts track well. This solution can be as simple as setting up a push button system to call for materials. A more complex may involve integration the robots with a Warehouse Management System (WMS) or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, with triggered missions and drop off points.
Alternatively, the OTTO 100 handles small lightweight loads from the warehouse to the production line. These loads can be tooling, or other materials needed during production. Cart delivery systems may be built up to allow people to load materials on one side of the facility and have them brought automatically to the line with the press of a button.
Solutions: WMS Integration, Push Button Configuration
Trucks to Use: Tugger, OTTO 100
As mentioned above, the robotic system can be fully integrated into a WMS system. The integration process is similar to, and about involved as installing traditional material handling trucks into a WMS. ELT Systems Group and their partners, work with the customer’s IT team, to come up with a fully customizable solution, to allow the tracking of multiple variables. Examples of these variables include dynamic drop locations and the ability to track inventory by the robot software signaling the WMS when a pick and drop have been made from and to specific locations.
After integration, the WMS will be able to assign missions to the robot software and create a fully automated process for any material handling application. The software integration is considered a custom software package.
Push Button Configuration
In any installation, missions need to be triggered by some sort of event. Without WMS integration, sometimes those triggers include manual interface with the robot’s human-machine interface (HMI) or intelligent pallet detection. If those are not options, then ELT Systems Group can offer a manual button option where each button can be assigned a mission trigger. These triggers can be anything from signaling a robot to pick from a single position and drop at another or empty out staging areas or specific lanes.
Why automation provides an advantage.
Logistics facilities, warehouse operations, and manufacturing plants all continue to be challenged by a lack of available human labor. This issue may be addressed with robotic lift trucks. Robots offer a solution for any type of operation that requires simple repetitive movement, allowing management to move existing labor to more skilled positions.
With the proper applications, a robotic material handling equipment can provide a fast return on investment (ROI) by reducing operational labor costs. Other potential cost savings include: increased productivity from increased cycle efficiency and solving poor attendance, as well as the reduction of damage to products and equipment.
Why ELT Systems Group
Support Across North America
ELT Systems Group is division of Eastern Lift Truck Co., Inc., and staffed with hundreds of qualified service technicians, as well as automation engineers, and manufacturing partners to bring you 24/7 support and the ability to travel anywhere across North America to support your operation.
ELT Systems Group’s robotic solutions require no additional infrastructure to navigate in your facility. This means no reflectors, no magnets or wires in the ground. This technology allows the robots to navigate and drive within an existing facility without any other considerations outside of safety.
The robotic Tugger and Lifter solution is a standard truck that has been built to be autonomous. This means that it can be used in manual mode as well as autonomous mode. Any operator (if the client allows for it) can take control of the robotic lift truck for any purpose.
Click this link to view our other application briefs.
If you are interested in automating your material handling application, make sure you reach out to ELT Systems Group and see how we can help.
Contact the systems group or Jason Dodge directly for further information and to get started on your project today.
Automation Manager | Systems Division
Eastern Lift Truck Co., Inc.
Cell: (609) 605-1043