Robotics & Automation News

Market trends and business perspectives

Nord Modules Fully Automates Material Handling

Nord Modules has announced the Quick Mover 180, which it is calling the most flexible and easy-to-deploy top module to enable autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) to perform multiple material handling tasks. When coupled with Nord’s automated load-transfer gates with collaborative robot (cobot) arms, the space-efficient QM180 creates the first fully autonomous material handling system, with material flowing seamlessly from production lines to the AMR to the warehouse. This autonomy—along with the QM180’s speed, space and flexibility benefits—optimizes logistics, increases productivity, lowers overall costs and delivers a superior return on investment.

With a single top module, the QM180 handles a plethora of materials—gates, half pallets, plastic boxes, carton boxes, carts and cobot solutions. Without changing top modules, this unmatched flexibility gives manufacturers the ability to:

Transport multiple types of containers from A to B to C
Pick up goods from gates and deliver to a drop-off point
Precisely re-position goods to another automation area (e.g., a CNC machine)

“While AMRs transform material transport, increase plant efficiency and reduce employee injuries, their benefits are only maximized with top modules and high-quality gates that transfer the materials,” said Kenneth B. Henriksen, chief commercial officer, Nord Modules. “With the QM180, for the first time, customers can use a single top module on their AMR to transport materials to a cobot-armed gate that can autonomously pick up and transport multiple types of materials.”

The QM180 transports materials to gates installed at production lines, storage systems and conveyors. The gates can include Nord’s CT155 (cobot tower), with an attached cobot arm that picks up the materials and places them where they need to go next. With this “one system fits all” strategy, material handling becomes faster, easier and much less expensive because the AMR doesn’t have to be refitted with various top modules to transport and deliver different kinds of containers.

Speed, Space and Flexibility = Superior ROI
Before the launch of Nord Modules in 2018, top modules and gates for AMRs were custom made, requiring custom engineering, safety approvals, production and testing before they could be installed and deployed. Nord simplified that, delivering innovative, reliable and standard robotic applications for load transfer. To maximize customer ROI, Nord focuses on developing space-efficient systems that are highly flexible and quick to deploy.

Today, Nord’s well-tested standardized top modules deliver:
Fast time to deployment—customers can set up and install most top modulesand gates out of the box within 30 minutes
Reduced docking time as sensors guide the connection at the gates
Versatility with one top module enabling multiple tasks
The smallest footprint (31×24″/80x60cm instead of traditional 32×32″/80x80cm), optimizing valuable floor space
The QM180 is delivered with integrated software and a tablet for manual control. Using the touchscreen, users can also manually control the robot, if needed, and adapt the system for specialized work processes.
“Speed, space and flexibility are what manufacturers and warehouse operators need, and what the QM180 delivers,” Henriksen added. “With the QM180, these operators can deploy their AMRs quickly, and since one top module moves multiple types of material, more floorspace is saved and material handling is faster as no one needs to stop the AMR to change out the top module for different production layouts. This results in superior ROI.”

Leave a Reply