Manitou and Effidence advance robot technology with Datalogic collaboration

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Effidence, a pioneer in collaborative mobile robots, and Manitou Group, world reference in handling, lifting and earthmoving, have adopted the security and identification products of Datalogic for their pallet order picking robots. 

Most of the solutions on the market focus solely on moving already assembled pallets. Very few companies address the issue of order picking through the use of robots. Yet, it is a significant productivity lever for 3PL logisticians. Effidence answers this problem with robotic solutions connected in real time to the WMS. Its robots assist the pickers by providing them with a visualisation of the items to be picked, with their arrangement to be respected on the pallet, as well as mobile devices for the identification of the packages.

Within the same aisle, these collaborative robots automatically follow the pickers’ movements, remaining constantly parallel to the shelves. For items to be picked from other aisles, the robots, equipped with their order in progress, automatically transport their pallet to the next pick destination. Once the order has been completed and dropped at the automatic filming machine, these AMRs transport the pallets to conveyors or shipping docks, ensuring their traceability. 

For each of these stages, Datalogic has been able to provide relevant technological solutions: SkorpioTM mobile handheld computers, Laser Sentinel security laser scanner, and onboard laser barcode reader.

“We build robotic solutions that are part of an ecosystem,” says Cédric Tessier, president and founder of Effidence. “Datalogic has become an obvious partner in this ecosystem, contributing to our end-to-end robotic logistics solution: security, identification and traceability. This leader meets our core values: it is a company with cutting-edge expertise, especially in data capture, an international reach and customer proximity all over the world.” 

Newcomer on the safety laser scanner market, Datalogic’s Sentinel product offers impressive performance: one of the lowest reaction times on the market combined with a large number of safety zones, high-resolution perception with an angular step of 0.1° including connected slaves, hybrid operation with personal safety (SIL-2/PL-D) and navigation measurements. All in the same sensor. The safe reaction time of the Datalogic scanner was a key feature.

Given the collaborative nature of the robot and its interaction with nearby operators, a very short reaction time and multiple zones ensured that the safety zones were kept small and optimal, allowing operators to move naturally and very close to the AGV in complete safety and without generating unwanted stops. The high angular resolution of Sentinel, with a range of 40m and a 360° perimeter view around the machine thanks to three chained Sentinel sensors, allows these sensors to be used for robot location and navigation functions. It is no longer necessary to add an additional 360° sensor on top of the machine. 

“Our aim is to offer machines that are built to last and we are working against programmed obsolescence,” says Thibaut de La Bigne, managing director of LMH, Manitou Group’s warehouse storage subsidiary. “The Datalogic Group’s maintenance policy is in line with our values: strong, sustainable products, designed for easy maintenance and repair, all with a global and efficient customer service.”

Maintenance of the Sentinel is eased with a diagnostic screen; the scanner can be repaired by changing only the necessary parts; if a sensor fails, the operation is made easier with a removable memory that keeps the sensor configuration and does not require the use of computers. 

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Saul Wordsworth is deputy editor of the iVT brand - which includes digital and print editions of a quarterly magazine and Off-Highway Annual, as well as ivtinternational.com. He is a keen cyclist and lives in north London.

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