Autonomous mobile robot (AMR) supplier Mobile Industrial Robots A / S (MiR) and a leading material handling equipment manufacturer, Logitrans A / S, have entered into a strategic collaboration to build autonomous pallet trucks.
Designed to fill a gap in the market for safe, efficient and autonomous lifting of pallets directly from the ground, the autonomous pallet truck will combine the autonomous navigation and software capabilities of MiR with the functionality of electric pallet trucks developed by Logitrans over the past 80 years.
The companies plan to develop a new line of autonomous pallet trucks that will complement MiR’s current heavy payload mobile robots, which can transport pallets and goods smoothly and safely among people and other transport equipment in an environment dynamic. MiR’s existing robots can pick up pallets from specially designed pallet racks, and many MiR customers are requesting AMRs capable of picking up and delivering pallets from the ground. The collaboration allows both MiR and Logitrans to meet customer demands while creating many new business opportunities in an emerging market, company executives said.
“Our mission has always been to transform the way companies handle internal logistics so that they can be more productive and competitive, and this new initiative is another giant step in that direction,” said Søren E. Nielsen, president of MiR. “Combining our software skills with Logitrans’ decades of hardware knowledge will help us quickly fill this gap so that we can support our customers throughout their value chain. ”
While MiR has identified a need among its customers, Logitrans is also seeing an increased demand for the automation of existing pallet movement processes. “We know that the material handling industry is moving towards automation,” said Gitte Kirkegaard, CEO of Logitrans. “It is part of our identity to always be at the forefront of product development within our business line. Being able to automate our products will help us maintain our leadership position. We don’t have the internal capabilities for this type of product, so working with MiR is fine for us.
MiR and Logitrans plan to manufacture a fully automated and semi-automated stand-alone pallet truck to meet the different needs of logistics processes. The long-term strategic initiative to establish new business areas and new products for MiR and Logitrans leverages high-quality hardware equipment from Logitrans and the same advanced navigation technology and fleet software sophisticated than the traditional AMRs from MiR.
“When these AMR pallet trucks hit the market, companies can count on MiR as a solution provider for most of their intralogistics needs,” Nielsen added. “Working with Logitrans will help us respond even faster to the growing demands for these offerings, which in turn will help our customers achieve their business goals. ”
“With the joint competencies of MiR’s excellence in robots and Logitrans’s comprehensive product portfolio and ability to customize, we envision a future where customers can get the exact AMR solution for their needs,” said Kirkegaard.