Drives & Controls April 2024

range of logistics operations. They are exible and anything but static. AMRs o er many bene ts over static conveyors. Operations can be expanded simply by adding more to a eet. They can therefore accommodate periods of rapid growth or peak demand more easily than conveyors. Furthermore, if new picking or sorting destinations need to be added, robots can be programmed quickly to travel to them. Robots can handle growth and increasing complexity simultaneously. While they still need room to manoeuvre, AMRs need nowhere near as much space as conveyors. This means they are ideal for sorting operations in smaller facilities. Additionally, unlike conveyors, they can be relocated easily. They are ideal for localised or temporary facilities set up close to the point of delivery, allowing businesses to optimise last-mile logistics. In terms of safety, robots are preferable too. Single robots, or an entire eet, can be deactivated at the touch of a button. If an emergency occurs, personnel don’t have large conveyors blocking potential escape routes. Robots are also more resilient than conveyors. A single faulty robot can be replaced easily, or others rerouted to cover for the shortfall, without halting the entire operation. Maintenance can be carried out and the robot returned to service without any interruptions, saving time and cost. For sorting applications where high volume and complexity are factors, robots can easily work together with conveyors, combining the bene ts of each to overcome traditional pain points. More than simply overcoming challenges, robots can integrate with xed infrastructures as well. Warehouse operators are increasingly recognising the bene ts of AMRs. In a 2022 study, 23% of intralogistics businesses surveyed by Peerless Research Group said that they were already using robots including AMRs in their facilities, while a further 21% were planning to do so within the next three years. Clearly, robots will play an increasing role in future sorting operations. n CONVEYORS AND MATERIALS HANDLING n Fleets of AMRs can move packages to their destinations exibly without out taking up a lot of oor space Our safety light curtain MLC 530 with Smart Process Gating (SPG). For efficient access guarding on conveyor lines without additional muting sensors. In combination with the system control, SPG guarantees you a high protection against manipulation while simultaneously providing increased reliability. The access guarding solution. For a space-saving system design on conveyor lines.