ProMat roundup: The most important bulletins from Day 1 & 2

CHICAGO — ProMat 2023 is nicely underway, and the bulletins have been coming fas and livid.

The huge commerce present, working this week for the primary time since 2019, options 1,000 of the highest provide chain and logistics firms pitching their newest and biggest options to tens of 1000’s of visitors.

As you may think about, the five hundred,000-square-foot present ground is jam-packed with corporations throughout industries like robotics, automation, manufacturing, meeting, supply, success and knowledge know-how — every with their very own eye-catching show.

The crowded ground at ProMat 2023 in Chicago options the newest provide chain and logistics applied sciences. (Picture: MHI)

Unsurprisingly, a bunch of firms have used the present as a chance to share their latest improvements with the world. From Agility Robotics to Zebra Applied sciences, it appears that almost all people has information.

Having bother conserving monitor of all of it? Right here’s a breakdown of the most important bulletins from the primary two days of the trade’s greatest present:

Warehouse robots dominate the information …

The clear winner thus far at ProMat has been the warehouse robotics trade, which has seemingly taken over the occasion.

With applied sciences like autonomous cellular robots (AMRs) and stationary robotic arms starting to catch on, warehouse robotics corporations are actually clamoring to realize that essential early market share.

One of many largest bulletins this week was the U.S. launch of CoEvolution and its multi-robot orchestration platform. The agency, based mostly in Hangzhou, China, is exclusive in that it doesn’t provide its personal robots. Somewhat, it permits warehouses to deploy bots from any variety of totally different distributors utilizing a worldwide warehouse management system (WCS) and robotic management system (RCS).

Beforehand, operators would wish to combine their softwares, like their warehouse administration system or buyer relationship administration system, with every particular person vendor’s WCS and RCS. However CoEvolution integrates distributors’ programs into its personal WCS and RCS, permitting it to handle robots of all shapes, sizes and capabilities beneath one umbrella.

Wilmington, Mass.-based Locus Robotics did one thing comparable for its community with the launch of LocusOne. Whereas the answer doesn’t orchestrate robots throughout distributors, it repurposes the agency’s three AMRs — Origin, Vector and Max — to permit them to deal with quite a lot of new duties.

LocusOne additionally incorporates a new software program, LocusView, which assigns every bot a mixture of duties as a way to optimize effectivity. These could vary from selecting and packing to replenishment and even pallet constructing.

One other large announcement got here from PackSize, which is working with Walmart to automate its packaging course of. A brand new machine, the Extremely 5, has already been deployed at one of many retailer’s 4 next-generation success facilities, able to producing as much as 600 packing containers per hour.

However the important thing to PackSize’s providing is its right-sized packaging mannequin. The agency creates customized packing containers that reduce empty area, which is able to permit Walmart to suit extra packages on every truck — as many as 33% extra. Plus, these orders might be packed, labeled and able to ship inside half an hour, PackSize stated.

In the meantime, e-commerce options agency Radial introduced the opening of a second Indianapolis success heart … and it’s calling on warehouse robotics supplier Geek+ to automate it. The 600,000-square-foot facility will characteristic round 200 Geek+ P800 AMRs, that are designed to automate goods-to-person (G2P) workflows, bringing the shelf to the picker as an alternative of the reverse.

And the robotics agency made a significant announcement of its personal. Up to now 12 months, Geek+ robots picked greater than 10 billion objects worldwide, an astonishing quantity that solely figures to rise. The bots have collectively traveled farther than the gap between the Earth and the solar, saving 140,000 tons of carbon emissions within the course of.

One other milestone got here from French agency Exotec, which introduced the manufacturing of its 5,000th robotic simply three months after hitting 4,000. Collectively, they’ve saved warehouse staff greater than 16 million miles of strolling — the equal of going to the moon and again 33 instances. The corporate additionally highlighted the expansion of its North America enterprise, which might symbolize as a lot as 40% of its international enterprise inside two years.

Elsewhere, a number of firms introduced new robotic fashions. Tompkins Robotics, for instance, rolled out PickPal, a sequence of decide help AMRs. At the moment accessible in two fashions — the bigger of which might carry as much as 220 kilos — the product line is a part of the agency’s robots-as-a-service (RaaS) mannequin and can quickly develop, the corporate stated.

One other agency, Canada’s Otto Motors, launched its midsized Otto 600 AMR, constructing on its portfolio of robotic options. The brand new design is able to maneuvering payloads of as much as 1,300 kilos via tight or demanding environments and round folks and objects. Otto additionally rolled out a software program replace to enhance visitors management, facility configuration and interoperability with different options.

Additionally hailing from outdoors the U.S., Swiss robotics agency Swisslog unveiled its subsequent technology CarryPick system, which incorporates quicker automated guided autos (AGVs) to spice up effectivity. Like Geek+, CarryPick permits a G2P workflow — now, its bots can transfer cabinets to pickers quicker.

Different corporations launched new updates to their present robots. One of many extra eye-catching upgrades got here from Agility Robotics, which introduced the new-and-improved mannequin of Digit, its multipurpose robotic that appears and strikes (type of) like a human. The bot may very well be seen on the present ground carrying totes, utilizing its “fingers” to choose and put them away.

In the meantime, Seegrid added interoperability for its two Palion AMRs, the Raise and Tow Tractor. With the replace, the 2 bots can now work collectively to load and unload carts with out a human in sight. Palion Raise can carry as much as 3,500 kilos, whereas the Tow Tractor can pull as much as 10,000 kilos.

… however don’t overlook about different kinds of warehouse automation

That’s loads of warehouse robotics information, however different firms got here to play too. Amongst them are a slew of warehouse software program suppliers trying to optimize what these robots — and the people who work alongside them — can do.

For one, Synergy, the agency behind WMS software program SnapFulfil, launched SnapControl. A multiagent automation platform that orchestrates all units and robots in a warehouse in a single place, SnapControl automates activity allocation and workflows for all types of units, from AMRs to robotic put partitions, selecting the most effective robotic for every activity.

Like CoEvolution’s resolution, SnapControl is geared towards operators who work with a number of distributors and fashions. It’s capable of combine both regionally or within the cloud with any WMS, order administration system (OMS) or front-end e-commerce system, permitting for deployment in weeks.

Elsewhere, a pair of provide chain titans, Zebra Applied sciences and SAP, collaborated on Choosing Plus. An API for SAP’s Prolonged Warehouse Administration cloud, the providing will ship information from Zebra’s scanners on to SAP’s cloud-based database, decreasing repetitive duties and errors in information entry.

The API is a part of Zebra’s Enterprise Browser, an open-source utility that connects prospects to working programs like Home windows, Android and now SAP. The app runs on virtually all Zebra cellular computer systems.

One other pair of bulletins got here from provide chain administration software program firm Tecsys, which rolled out a digital twinning resolution and a brand new OMS. The previous, a Digital Twin 3D Warmth Map, creates digital fashions of real-world amenities to assist operators determine inefficiencies. 

The brand new OMS, in the meantime, is now decoupled on the entrance finish and again finish. That offers manufacturers added flexibility to optimize their tech stack for various use instances, resembling market promoting and in-store success.

Rounding out the foremost warehouse software program bulletins is Kaleris. The agency introduced three new instruments for the yard — a driver pre-check-in app, a gate kiosk and a collection of visibility instruments — geared towards boosting effectivity outdoors the warehouse partitions. Mixed, the three options can pace time via the yard.

Forklifts get a carry

Maybe probably the most shocking winner of ProMat 2023 has been the forklift trade, which traditionally has been accountable for a large chunk of warehouse accidents, accidents and emissions. However now the trade appears to be experiencing a makeover.

Watch: How do you enhance your warehouse security?

Fittingly, Yale’s rebrand to Yale Raise Truck Applied sciences and the expanded availability of its Yale reliant security system are two of probably the most noteworthy bulletins thus far. At ProMat, the forklift producer demonstrated a number of of its fashions to the general public for the primary time, highlighting options, like a shock-absorbent platform, which are designed to enhance security.

Yale additionally confirmed off its Reliant resolution, a collection of detection applied sciences that’s now accessible on a further 13 carry truck fashions. Along with routinely braking every time an impediment is detected, the system additionally supplies warnings — within the type of a buzz or different notification — to staff within the path of a car.

To not be outdone, Yale’s rival The Raymond Company showcased 5 new electrical forklift fashions, every suited to a special use case. The Raymond 8530 rider stacker, for instance, is good for low-level order selecting and vertical pallet dealing with, whereas the 8630 tow tractor is constructed for high-capacity, high-volume transport.

And talking of electrical forklifts … Plug Energy got here out with an expanded resolution to affect fleets with 100 forklifts or fewer. The providing, GenKey, goals to spice up hydrogen gas cell adoption by offering sourcing, supply and storage of inexperienced hydrogen, a lower-cost and lower-emission various to conventional hydrogen fueling.

Hold eye out for extra ProMat bulletins

As of Tuesday afternoon, the bulletins above symbolize a few of the greatest thus far at ProMat. Warehouse robotics firms had been clearly probably the most prolific, however loads of different warehouse corporations, from software program suppliers to forklift producers, additionally had a lot to speak about.

And the present remains to be rolling. With one other day and alter remaining, there can be extra information to come back. Test again with FreightWaves for the newest updates from one of many largest gatherings of provide chain and logistics professionals on the planet.

Click on for extra FreightWaves articles by Jack Daleo.

Yale rebrands to Yale Raise Truck Applied sciences, demos know-how at ProMat

CoEvolution introduces multi-robot orchestration platform to US at ProMat 2023

Nimble Robotics raises $65M in pursuit of totally autonomous success community

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