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Mobile robot fleet management software
14 March 2022
OMRON HAS announced the launch of Fleet Operations Workspace (FLOW) Core 2.1 software that enables short-term introduction of mobile robots. This is achieved through running data analysis, simulation functions and integrated control of multiple robot types.
In recent years, mobile robots have been introduced to automate intralogistics efficiently and safely, with the aim of reducing labour shortages at manufacturing sites and freeing workers from heavy tasks. There is also a growing need for robots to handle different payloads and sizes, from material transport to processing and product shipment. However, companies often face a challenge in finding experts with the right know-how to verify the effectiveness of the system and design before introducing it on the factory floor.
The FLOW Core 2.1 software from OMRON clarifies installation efficiency and issues before the actual installation of mobile robots. Thanks to a fleet simulation function, start-up is quick. It also enables integrated control of multiple types of mobile robots with different payloads, eliminating the complexity of building a system for each type. Even after the system is installed, it is easy to collect travel data and identify bottlenecks, making it possible to visualize the gap between the effects of the system and those targeted at the time of installation, and improve travel efficiency. This shortens the adjustment and verification period of the mobile robot, and allows the user to immediately experience the effects of transport automation, supporting the shift to smart factories in the manufacturing industry. These functions can also be used with mobile robots that have already been installed by updating the existing software to FLOW Core 2.1.
Miguel Garcés, European mobile robots product marketing manager at OMRON Europe, comments: “OMRON is continuously driving innovation on the production floor. We are putting the knowledge we have gained from our own factories and customer sites into the development of our mobile robots and fleet management software together. We will continue to contribute to the innovation of manufacturing by freeing people from the simple, monotonous, and hard labour and allowing them to engage in more creative work.”
Main Features of the Newly Expanded Software
1. Travel data visualization and analysis functions (FLOW iQ)
FLOW iQ visualizes information such as heat maps (where autonomous transfer robots are stagnating), path maps (where automated transfer robots are traveling), and robot usage rates (activity analysis) based on travel results. FLOW iQ makes it easy to troubleshoot complex fleets and supports continuous improvement.
2. Fleet simulation function
Simulate the workflow and travel volume of a fleet of autonomous transport robots (the ability to control multiple mobile robots as a swarm) in digital space without actually deploying the robots. Potential bottlenecks can be identified, implementation time can be shortened, and workflows can be optimized.
3. Integrated Fleet Control Function for Multiple Models (MobilePlanner6)
Enables customers to easily build fleets that combine multiple sizes and payloads, and improve manufacturing throughput by controlling them in an integrated manner.