Ultimation Industries' new warehouse robots provide solution for building the fully integrated warehouse of the future

With the global industrial robot market projected to grow at a 9% annual rate and reach $75.84 billion by 2025, Ultimation Industries LLC is expanding its Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) line-up to include automated solutions that allow companies of all sizes to transform their facilities into fully integrated warehouses.

Richard Canny, president of Ultimation Industries, says: “To compete today and in the future, manufacturers and distributors will need the productivity and efficiency gains that come from integrating AMR technology – or warehouse robots – into their existing material handling systems. The best planned and best-run industrial facilities will likely use a combination of a warehouse robots, floor conveyors and overhead conveyors to maximize productivity.”

Ultimation is now offering warehouse robots developed by OTTO Motors of Kitchener, Ontario, Canada as part of their full line of material handling solutions. Canny said the addition of OTTO products is a strong complement to the company’s recently announced strategic partnership with Denmark’s Nord-Modules, which manufactures top modules for AMRs. Together, these alliances position Ultimation Industries as a one-stop shop for the complete AMR package.

The new OTTO 1500 available through Ultimation is designed to autonomously move pallet-scale loads up to 4,000 lbs. through busy factories and warehouses. With a top speed of two meters per second (about 4.5 mph), OTTO 1500 swiftly and safely delivers more payload than any other AMR in its class.  Unlike manual pallet jacks and forklifts, the OTTO 1500 moves the heaviest payloads with speed, safety and agility in dynamic environments. It is most commonly used to connect existing automated processes, such as connecting machining centers, welding cells, packaging cells, palletizers, or stretch wrappers.

Unlike automated guided vehicle (AGV) or cart (AGC) systems, which require a path or track to navigate or use wires or lasers, warehouse robots use integrated sensors to read their environment. Once an AMR is mapped to the warehouse, it can maneuver from point A to B on a single command without human interaction.

When implemented correctly, AMRs can also help improve the overall safety performance of a warehouse operation. AMRs can carry loads that would be too heavy for humans and, when fitted with an appropriate top module, they eliminate the repetitive bending and stretching from loading and unloading. They are fast to implement, flexible to adapt and complement existing material handling systems without reconfiguring production lines or factory footprints.

While warehouse robots have enormous advantages with respect to their flexibility, some tasks – such as accumulating or buffering – are best suited to floor-mounted motorized roller conveyors or to overhead power and free conveyors. “The optimal facility plan will take this into account and link material handling systems together as an integrated whole,” said Canny.

Ultimation is a direct-to-consumer conveyor manufacturer and specialises in solving productivity challenges with fast-to-deploy solutions. The company designs, manufactures and installs material handling equipment and has the capacity for automation component manufacturing and subassembly.

“Lean production methods have required modern factories to re-think how they use space, time and people,” says Canny. “Although many of Ultimation’s customers have sophisticated manufacturing and industrial engineering teams, a lot of our customers need help and fresh ideas. We can assist in how to best use floor space and overhead space to meet productivity needs.”

Ultimation was named to the 2020 Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest growing private companies and was a 2019 finalist for Amazon’s Woman-Owned Small Business Spotlight Awards.

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