Overcoming Perceived Barriers of Automation with AMRs

Singapore | 5 September 2023

With the rapid progression of industrial robotic technologies and the growing interest in robotics in various industries acting as driving forces, Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) have been making their mark in a long list of industrial applications.

Add to that the challenges businesses had to face in terms of labour shortages and a standstill in the movement of goods in and out of warehouses due to the pandemic, and the boom in the implementation of AMRs into an operating environment seems like a practical step. Efficiently addressing the demands for customised order fulfilment, easily acclimatising to the increasingly complex production environments, and solving the looming problem of labour shortages, companies are being pushed to leverage more agile technologies such as these to stay on top of their game. However, despite many robotic industry players pushing for the adoption of AMRs in various industries, business leaders remain apprehensive about the impacts robotics will have on their operations.

A Vast Range of Automated Mobile Robots Applications

Getting even smarter and more efficient, AMRs are slowly but surely making their way into various business facilities like warehouses and Biotech facilities, especially since it has long been established that Autonomous Mobile Robots can improve efficiency in a range of sectors. Capable of navigating any environment with its built-in sensors and cameras, the benefits that AMRs bring to the table are not hard to imagine. Requiring close to no additional infrastructure prior to deployment, AMRs optimise workflows and lean out production operations at a fraction of the cost while simultaneously leaving one of the most valuable commodities, plant floor space, free for rapid changes in the increasingly adaptive manufacturing landscape. Beyond the manufacturing industry, Automated Mobile Robots make for a strong case for investment in logistics, where the meteoric rise of e-commerce calls for innovative ways to enable faster order fulfilment and an increase in efficiency. Rather than hire more staff or reconfigure warehouses, AMRs just might be the solution to solving the global e-commerce fulfilment problems as well.

Addressing the Common Misconceptions About Automated Mobile Robots

As clear as the benefits may be for AMRs and the adoption of such technologies are a must to have an upper hand, the proliferation of Automated Mobile Robots in Singapore and beyond remains slow. But why? Some of the critical barriers in their way of rapid adoption can be directed back to the common misconceptions many have about robotics in general.

For one, many assume that the adoption of Automated Mobile Robots is a zero-sum game. While it is true that AMRs can lower labour costs and can handle planned inter-logistics tasks without any human intervention, the truth of the matter is that these automation solutions are merely there to increase competitiveness and create newer growth opportunities. Designed to be collaborators with human workers rather than replacements, deploying Autonomous Mobile Robots means taking repeatable tasks or heavier workloads off the hands of workers so that time and energy can be expended on more valuable tasks.

Another reason for the hesitation to scale up is the assumption that such automation solutions are too disruptive and require a huge investment. However, when looking at the big picture, it is clear to see that automation technologies have become more accessible while the cost of labour has become more expensive. Capable of playing a big part in the way we work, the benefits that AMRs offer in terms of productivity will also eventually translate into an earlier return on investment.

Rethinking the Reality of AMRs with Konica Minolta

AMRs have much to offer, especially in terms of building an agile and robust workflow process to cope with the ever changing demands in different industries and its ability to effectively reduce labour costs through the creation of a digital ecosystem. Aiming to redefine the workplace of the future, help you work smarter and more productively, Konica Minolta sees robots playing a big part in many companies. As such, we have collaborated with Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR), a leading manufacturer of Collaborative Mobile Robots (CMR) to make available autonomous mobile robots to businesses of all sizes. Already used by a wide range of industries and sectors to automate in-house transportation, it is only a matter of time before these AMRs make their presence known in other more common environments.

To capitalise on the prospect of a flexible AMR, consult with our dedicated specialists and learn how Konica Minolta and our fleet of AMRs can transform your business.