FORVIA, a Czech-based provider of automotive technology, has announced that it increased its logistics productivity, strengthened the stability of production processes and decreased safety risks following a deployment of a fleet of robots from Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR). The company said it got a return on investment (ROI) from the 14 autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) working in its Faurecia Clean Mobility plant in Pisek, Czech Republic, in less than two years.
Seven of the company’s heavy duty MiR robots, mainly MiR600s, work in finished goods, bringing empty pallets to the assembly lines and picking up full pallets to transport to the logistics area. The second area, where MiR250 robots operate, moves components from the warehouse to assembly lines. FORVIA said the robots in the plant work 24 hours a day seven days a week, covering all three operation shifts.
Before FORVIA began the project, the logistics on the shop floor relied mostly on manual processes, forklifts and stacking equipment that did not have any automation. FORVIA said it decided to automate the heaviest and most dangerous processes, with the main goal to bring technology that increased safety and productivity.
“One of the main challenges of the project was to deploy a flexible logistics environment capable of meeting the ever-changing needs on our plant’s shop floor,” said Martin Horacek, supply chains operations manager in Faurecia Clean Mobility Europe. “Our shop floor environment is extremely live and intense, with various logistics equipment including palletizers, carts, forklifts, etc., encountering people serving production lines. Autonomous mobile robots from Mobile Industrial Robots appeared to fit the best in this plant.”
FORVIA uses the MiR Fleet software to organize missions, optimizing the logistics flow to the lines and between the lines. All communication with doors, gates, a strapping machine and other equipment is automatic without the need for operator assistance. The company said a target for next year is to integrate MiR Fleet into the company’s ERP system.
“Mobile robots help us bring more discipline to the shop floor and make our production processes more stable and reliable, especially important is stability for operating all three shifts,” said Horacek. “What we appreciate most about these robots is their autonomy, meaning they move freely on the shop floor without any specifically needed equipment.”
To read a full case study on this deployment, visit the MiR website here.