Material Handling Robots

Material handling robotics are very common industrial tools. Robotic arms often hold production parts in place during their processing or move these parts on and off of conveyor belts. This includes machine tending, where robotic arms load and unload machines at a dizzying pace.

The purpose of material handling robotics is to transport materials from one location to another within a production. This can mean transporting materials just a few feet away, to a far end of the same room, to a separate floor, or even to another building entirely.

In comparison to human workers, this process can be handed more safely, efficiently, and quickly by robots built and customized by B2E Automation to fit and enhance your unique production plans.

Why Should I Turn to Material Handling Robotics?

Introducing robotics into the material handling process can provide incredible benefits to your manufacturing process. These benefits include:

  • A more consistent, fast, and productive process than can be achieved through manual material handling. Material handling by humans is an expensive and inefficient use of labor.
  • Reduced cycle times for production parts. Instead of waiting for finished materials to be transported by workers, a material handling robot and system can provide this service automatically, leading to increases in speed and predictability. This allows you to provide accurate time estimates for your customers.
  • Reduced potential for contamination. Bacteria and other dangers are spread more easily through human interactions. In contrast, material handling robotics can be specially built prevent these types of contaminations. Other manufacturing environments like semiconductor production also require a precise control of all air particles, which can be kicked up by human workers but not robots.
  • Significantly increased uptime. Unlike human workers, robots can work all day with an almost perfect level of consistency. Robots don’t become sick or require time off and are more precise and reliable than their human counterparts.
  • Material tracking systems that regularly update with an item’s location within the manufacturing process. If an item or part goes missing or becomes damaged, a material handling system staffed by robots can be easily examined to find these missing pieces.
  • Increased safety. Many manufacturing environments are dangerous for people but perfectly tolerable for robots. Material handling robots are a safe alternative to humans for high-intensity manufacturing processes.

The Robotic Art of Creating Unit Loads

A unit load is either a single item or a group of items that have been arranged and connected in some way to make them into one unit. Efficient unit loads can increase the number of items that can be transported at one time and can reduce the number of trips and handling time that is necessary during production.

Unit load designs resolve how the weight, configuration, type, and size of loads should be best arranged for building and then breaking down those loads. A robotic system can automatically develop and implement the most efficient loading process for your items at a faster speed than human workers.

Unit Packaging Example
Transporting Unit Loads Sky Shot

Transporting These Unit Loads

An efficient unit load design also needs to consider the parameters necessary for transporting these loads. Pallets and containers tend to come in standard sizes, and even if these containers are nontraditional, they will eventually need to fit within the limits of train boxcars, trucks, and cargo planes.

Material handling robotics can be easily designed and programmed to take all of these complex circumstances into account when making decisions. These systems can also be coded to allow for short, medium, and long-term factors so that your manufacturing and distribution process is always calibrated to make the best choice in any given scenario.

What to Consider When Implementing Material Handling Robotics

Each situation is different, so a number of factors need to be considered when introducing robotic systems into your material handling processes:

  • What level of human interaction will there be? Will robots and automation complete each step of the production process, or will they simply supplement human workers? Many workers fear that robots will replace them, but oftentimes these robots only serve to assist and provide additional safety for them.
  • What kinds of support systems do you need to implement to provide flexibility and additional capacity?
  • Will the system need to be flexible? Will these systems be performing the same tasks with the same products over and over again or will new products and operations be added later on?
  • What kinds of data do you want during the production process? Material handling robotics provide endless opportunities to generate and extract data that can be used to strategize and forecast later on.

These questions may seem complex and hard to answer, but a manufacturing and robotics expert like B2E Automation can provide the tools and know-how that is necessary to develop the right solutions for you.

Sustainable New Profits, Powered by Robotics

Material handling is a complex collection of tasks, and doing these tasks in the most efficient and cost-effective way can be incredibly challenging, if not impossible, without robotics. Robots provide a level of intelligence and adaptability to the material handling process that has never been achieved before.

Your robots may not be allowed to win the Employee of the Month award, but after seeing the profound levels of efficiency, speed, and data that they bring to the table, you just may give them a promotion.

By partnering with B2E Automation you can harness the benefits of robotics and bring your business to the cutting edge of manufacturing technology.

Reach out to learn more about how B2E Automation's solutions can help transform your business.