March 11, 2021
Vecna Robotics’ Senior VP of Sales, Jeff Huerta appeared on SME’s Advanced Manufacturing Now Podcast to discuss Vecna Robotics’ autonomous pallet movers with Brett Brune. Huerta speaks on how successful companies are advancing their operations with fully autonomous material handling equipment. In addition, he reveals how some facilities are achieving immediate ROI.
The interview begins with Huerta sharing a simple explanation of what autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) do. He says, “AMR equipment allows you to move material through your facility autonomously, without the need for an operator”. Vecna Robotics makes standard pallet moving vehicles like fork trucks and tuggers robotic to perform fully autonomous functions. Host Brett Brune questions Huerta on a common concern in the industry, the safety of AMRs. Jeff shares robotic material handling history explaining that self-driving vehicles have been operating in the industry since the 1950’s. The industry is familiar with the grandfather of the AMR, the AGV. Automated guided vehicles (AGVs) have more limited function but set the original standard for safety. At Vecna Robotics, safety is a number 1 priority, our vehicles surpass the ANSI B56.1 and ANSI B56.5 industry safety standard.
Though our vehicles have similar safety regulations, AGVs differ from AMRs because they operate on a guided path. AGVs follow the same route to perform their task while AMRs can “path plan”. Huerta breaks this difference down with an easy-to-follow example: when we walk around our homes, we move from point A to point B. If a dog or a child were to interrupt our path we would redirect around the obstruction. An AGV will react to this situation by stopping until the obstruction is cleared from their intended route. AMRs react to obstructions using intelligent “path planning” and sensors to move around the obstacle autonomously. This flexibility is valuable in a facility that relies on maximum efficiency and increased throughput.
Lastly, Huerta prescribes ways to begin implementing this equipment, including what upfront costs companies should be prepared for. Huerta addresses two possible purchasing options offered for Vecna Robotics’ pallet movers. The first relies on capital expenditure to purchase the equipment upfront and cover the cost of implementation and training. The newest and most popular purchasing option is the Robot-as-a-Service program. Flexible pricing options were created for customers who want to leverage the power of AMRs without the hassle of upfront costs and capital expense approval. In addition, RaaS provides immediate ROI.
Learn more about Vecna Robotics AMR technology here:
Listen to SME’s Advanced Manufacturing Now Podcast here: