APRIL™ Mobile Food Robots
APRIL™ Mobile Robots automate A to B material handling tasks in food factories.
Switch from operators moving ingredients and packaging around the food factory, to mobile robots distributing ingredients and packaging.
This high level of autonomy can provide food manufacturers with a new level of efficiency and cost savings.
What are mobile robots?
Mobile robots are fully autonomous intelligent vehicles that can:
- Improve productivity
- Increase output
- Reduce machine down time
- Eliminate human errors
- Improve ingredient and material traceability.
Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) vs Automated Intelligent Vehicle (AIV): What's the difference?
Automated Guided Vehicles (AFV) follow fixed routes, usually along wires or magnets embedded in the ground. These wires, magnets or beacons are usually the biggest barrier as they can require costly infrastructure changes for the AGVs to operate.
Automated Intelligent Vehicles (AIV) can self navigate areas because they use smart sensors and lasers to understand their operating environment. AIVs can recognize and avoid people, cars, forklifts, and unlike AGVs do not require any infrastructure changes.
How do you integrate mobile robots into a food factory?
One of the main elements of the APRIL™ Mobile Robot is that it navigates by the features of the food manufacturing facility, and therefore requires no expensive infrastructure modifications, is easy and quick to install and can work in the most dynamic of food manufacturing environments.
The APRIL™ Mobile Robot is managed by an "Internet of Things" based software programme that self-build maps for the robot to follow based on the information provided by the robots on-board lasers.
The information collected helps the software feed the mobile robots with information from multiple areas of the factory (e.g. an ERP system); assigning jobs and schedules, providing the robot with all the information required to complete the job as efficiently as possible and the quickest path to take. Example applications include:
- Ingredient transfer from storage to weighing.
- Packaging transfer from storage to the packaging line.
- Quality assurance samples from the production line to the laboratory.
The lasers are then used en route as a ‘self-learning’ tool gathering more information about the robot's working environment and to detect unplanned obstacles such as humans and pallets. As the robot is collaborative, it can either stop to let the obstacle pass or alternate its route around it ensuring that no time is wasted in making its delivery or pickup.
Can you have multiple APRIL™ Mobile Robots?
The fleet management system/software can coordinate multiple robots within a single manufacturing facility. Once the production cycles are programmed into the system, the software distributes the jobs to the APRIL™ Mobile Robot in the most efficient way as possible to help you increase and optimise your factory’s productivity.