Linde MH and Balyo to develop innovative robotic solutions

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Linde Material Handling and robotics specialist Balyo have agreed to enter into a strategic partnership. With this cooperation, Linde MH seeks to intensify its activities in the field of robotic industrial trucks, while Balyo aims to achieve greater market penetration for its innovative technological solutions. The two companies are planning to collaborate in development, manufacture and sales under the umbrella of ‘Linde robotics’, which is expected to extend Linde MH’s solution expertise in this field. The demand for automated industrial trucks is growing steadily. In particular, operators of warehouse trucks want to standardize their in-house material flow by deploying semi or fully automatic solutions, which will enable them to use their equipment flexibly regardless of worktime specifications, as well as to prevent incorrect operation and accident risks, and reduce personnel costs too.

“Our aim is to extend our range of automation solutions to offer our customers solutions having different levels of complexity. With Balyo we were able to persuade the technology leader in robotics for materials handling equipment to cooperate exclusively with us so that we can now combine the best of both worlds,” said Christophe Lautray, chief sales officer at Linde MH, who is convinced that the envisaged close cooperation will be successful. “Our plan is to integrate Balyo’s innovative technology into most of our products step by step, while utilizing synergies in production and sales at the same time. At the LogiMAT trade show, we will be presenting the first jointly developed products, with more to follow soon.”

“Linde MH is the European market leader in industrial trucks and comprises great product knowledge and a very densely knit consulting and service network. For us, they are the ideal partner to create the most advanced robots to best-serve our common customers,” said Fabien Bardinet, CEO of Balyo, explaining the decision to start this joint development. “At Balyo, we produce a unique driving system for materials handling; together with Linde MH we will offer disruptive solutions to help our customers to optimize their in-house material flows and achieve major cost savings.”

Based on standard Linde trucks, robots driven by Balyo technology do not require any navigation infrastructure such as laser reflectors, tracks or magnets. Rather, they use an embedded autonomous laser-assisted technology, which relies on structural features such as walls, racks or columns. This exclusive technology allows a fast and easy installation process. First, the warehouse is charted and the data is converted into a two-dimensional map. Next the order of the routes through the warehouse and the missions assigned to the robots are defined. Equipped with laser, processor unit and digitized map, the vehicle locates itself in real time.

Changes in the warehouse, missions or routes can be implemented at any time, very simply. A comprehensive software suite ensures a full integration in the warehouse environment, including connection of the robots to WMS and ERP and a simple control of the robots for the warehouse operators via an intuitive user interface.

The new robot family comes with a very advanced security solution allowing an easy cooperation with the operators and an automatic restart of the truck after a previously detected obstacle has been removed and the route is clear again. Contrary to other solutions, the robots analyze in 3D its environment and can restart autonomously.

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Tom is editor of ivtinternational.com and iVT magazine. During his 20 year career in journalism Tom has worked for a diverse range of titles including Men's Health and Cosmopolitan. He also edits iVT's UKi Media & Events stablemate Traffic Technology International.

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