Industrial automation giant Omron has started selling a new autonomous mobile robot for logistics, called the LD-250, with a payload capacity of 250 kg.
Omron says the LD-250 is the strongest and newest addition to the company’s LD series of mobile robots.
The robot’s integrated Fleet Manager software enables the control of multiple mobile robots with different payloads through one system, “for the first time in the industry”, according to Omron.
The new robotic system “will contribute to realizing a more flexible and optimized autonomous material transport system”, adds the company.
Factories worldwide are facing challenges in increasing the productivity and profitability of high-mix production with the decreasing workforce in industrialized nations and rising labor costs in emerging countries.
The mobile robot LD series can autonomously avoid people and obstacles while automatically calculating the best routes to transport material.
The new LD-250 mobile robot has a 250kg payload capacity and almost double the surface area, so it can be used to transport large automobile components such as transmission blocks and voluminous packaging materials – things that would traditionally be moved by human workers using carts.
To optimize the autonomous material transport system, Omron says its customers will use its “industry-first” Fleet Manager, which can control a diverse fleet of up to 100 of Omron’s mobile robots that can consist of different payloads and capabilities, by conducting traffic management, battery management, and navigation of vehicles.
Motohiro Yamanishi, senior general manager of the robotics business development project at Omron’s industrial automation company, says: “Omron has been putting great resources in helping customers realize flexible manufacturing with our robotics technologies since the acquisition of US-based robotics company Adept Technology, in 2015, as part of Omron’s ‘innovative-Automation’ initiative.
“The new LD-250 will be key in advancing that initiative a step further, by giving customers more choice when automating their material transport operation, an area rapidly being enhanced with mobile robots in industries worldwide.”
Tom Mathias, president and CEO of Omron Robotics and Safety Technologies, says: “Onsite logistics, the movement of products and material within the factory and warehouse, is becoming a real bottleneck for many companies due to the frequency and tediousness of the job, compounded by rising labor costs.
“Omron’s mobile robots can help companies solve this issue because they can work 24 hours a day tirelessly, punctually, and safely in the same environment as people.”
Omron says that, with the addition of the LD-250 mobile robot LD series, customers in a wide variety of industries including automotive, electronics, food and commodities, “no longer need to establish fixed material transport equipment, but achieve a system that can flexibly handle changing market demands”.
Omron will be exhibiting the new LD-250 at the International Robot Exhibition 2019 to be held in Tokyo, Japan, on Dec. 18-21, 2019.
Features of the new LD250 include:
Higher payload and sturdier structure: With a payload of 250kg, the LD-250 is an impressive addition to Omron’s LD mobile robot series, which until now was comprised of the LD-60 (payload up to 60kg), LD-90 (payload up to 90kg) and the Cart Transporter models that are able to transport up to 130kg.
The LD-250 is built with sturdier metal skins that can withstand unintended external impacts and more demanding duties. It can also automate the transportation of bulky materials that would traditionally be moved around by people using carts.
These would include items such as transmission blocks, seats, or wire harnesses in the automotive industry, as well as voluminous packaging materials in the food and commodities industry.
The LD-250 will help companies that are increasingly urged to shift workers from material transport operations to other higher value-added tasks.
Highly mixed fleet: With Omron, customers have the ability to easily manage mobile fleets up to 100 robots, which now includes the LD-250. With the LD-250 and the Fleet Manager, mobile fleets can be more diverse and still be controlled through the same system without worrying about compatibility or performance.
Faster return on investment: Omron says the LD-250 allows customers to load more onto a mobile robot, making fewer trips with heavier batches, increasing the return on investment. Customers can mix and match LD models to create the most efficient and flexible material transport system possible.
Customizable: The LD series offers the most customizable mobile solution for industrial environments. The LD-250 can easily be customized with conveyor tops, courier systems, and adaptive material handling mechanics to create a solution that best meets customer needs.
LD-250 also takes advantage of Omron’s ability to customize mobile fleets with accessories that improve performance, such as HAPS, side lasers, and the Acuity vision localization.
The integration of the LD-250 and Omron TM Collaborative Robots will also open up a new market for heavy-duty “mobile manipulators” that can handle manipulation tasks along with material transport.
Starting today, customers can now order the new LD-250 globally through Omron’s sales offices worldwide.
The fact that Omron’s global network is uniquely equipped to support the implementation of mobile robots throughout the world is another reason for customers to partner with Omron.