Fast Five: Strategies for Scaling a Fleet of AMRs

May 13, 2024
To unlock peak efficiency when scaling up a fleet of AMRs, Tim Ideker, applications engineer at MiR offers essential strategies for productivity and integration.

In this final part of a three-part educational video series on autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) with Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR), we focus on scaling a fleet of AMRs. Tim Ideker, an applications engineer with MiR, provided valuable insights and strategies for expanding an existing fleet of AMRs effectively.

Key factors include:

  • Modularity and flexibility
  • Playbook for traffic management
  • Small-scale testing
  • Employee involvement
  • Upgrade technology
  • Monitor key performance metrics to ensure efficiency and productivity.

Ideker talked about the importance of planning for modularity, flexible applications, traffic management, the development of a playbook, integration into larger systems, backups and a robust maintenance plan. These considerations play a major role in optimizing efficiency and productivity when scaling the fleet.

To ensure seamless integration, Ideker suggested conducting small-scale testing, involving proof of concept, testing during downtime and production, providing employee training, and engaging them in the new workflow. Employee input and gradual implementation are necessary for successful integration.

When scaling up the number of AMRs, Ideker highlighted the need for technology upgrades such as smart integration, improvements in warehouse management systems (WMS), introduction of programmable logic controllers (PLCs) or sensors, and the use of analytical tools for tracking and management of a larger fleet.

Challenges, Performance Metrix, Key Indicators

Challenges that companies may face when scaling up include small task efficiency, robust mission design, employee engagement, knowledge transfer, advanced traffic planning, recovery methods, issue escalation and performance monitoring, Ideker said, noting that strategies to overcome these challenges involve streamlining workflow, ensuring employee engagement, implementing traffic management techniques and establishing clear escalation procedures.

Key performance metrics to monitor when scaling the fleet include mission duration, mission failure rate, fleet and robot communication time, and resolution time, he said. Monitoring trends, outliers and specific areas of improvement are key for maintaining optimal efficiency and productivity.

Watch additional parts of this interview series with MiR:

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