Tier 1 automotive supplier delivers rapid return on investment with secure, flexible mobile industrial robot AMRs tasked with moving materials around its 800,000 square foot powertrain component production facility in Athens, Tennessee
DENSO, a leading transportation provider, increased efficiencies, improved employee morale and work environment, and managed a tight job market by deploying six MiR250 autonomous mobile robots to move materials in its 800,000-square-foot powertrain component production facility In Athens, Tennessee. According to a new case study from Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR), DENSO has successfully executed more than 500,000 missions since the deployment of its first MiR robot in 2020, recognizing the return on investment (ROI) in less than a year along with the continued need for more AMRs For additional logistics applications.
One of MiR’s largest global customers, DENSO has MiR AMRs operating at two other US locations, as well as three facilities in Europe and two in Asia. According to Travis Olinger, logistics and automation engineer at DENSO, the company chose AMRs over automated guided vehicles (AGVs) because AMRs can navigate on their own with rapid mapping and rapid changes without the need for costly infrastructure built into the utility floor.
“Autonomous mobile robots were an obvious choice for our highly dynamic environment, which we knew would require robots to make regular changes of lane,” Olinger said. After testing AMRs from a few different vendors, we realized that MiR bots offer significant advantages in flexibility, security, and ease of use. MiR stood out for the ability to use REST API calls to communicate with bots; the intuitive nature of MiR fleet software; ease of mapping; ease of creation tasks, and the ease of changing locations. MiR was very intuitive compared to other platforms we looked at.”
Olinger said the MiR250 robots were particularly compelling because of their speed of two meters per second, payload of 250 kilograms (550 pounds) for handling heavy metal parts, and ability to navigate tight spaces. Standardization on the MiR250 rack lift pulling trolleys from partner MiR ROEQ has allowed DENSO to rapidly expand into other areas using the same trolley base and customizing it for each use. As the engineering team receives additional requests for automated transport, it can easily design racks around the trolleys, which helps save space, increase flexibility, and gain advantages more quickly.
AMR improves employee morale and retention while transitioning to higher level tasks
Olinger said Denso employees were walking up to 12 miles a day moving materials between production areas and the warehouse, and were spending about 60 percent of their time just pushing carts. The initial pilot program to automate this transportation with AMRs eliminated this manual task, allowing six workers to transition to more value-added work. The enterprise rapidly expanded to bring components directly to the production line for just-in-time efficiencies. Support for bots has grown rapidly among employees, with workers in other departments requesting bot support to move goods such as maintenance supplies and spare parts. DENSO recently purchased five MiR500 robots for future transportation projects that require heavier payloads.
“Automating these repetitive and tedious tasks with new technologies that make jobs easier has helped us retain our existing workforce,” Olinger said. “We had a lot of jobs open for value-adding activities within the production environment. We wanted to pay people to make parts for us that made us money, and not pay them to move parts that cost us money.”
For more details on how Denso can benefit from autonomous mobile robots and the company’s future plans, watch the full video and case study written at
About Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR)
MiR develops and manufactures one of the industry’s most advanced suites of Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR) that can quickly, easily and cost-effectively automate internal logistics and optimize material handling. MiR offers one of the most advanced fleets of mobile robots used by large corporations and small and medium customers in a range of industries from manufacturing to logistics to healthcare. Founded in Denmark in 2013, MiR has grown into a global leader with approximately 220 distributors and certified system integrators in 60 countries. Teradyne acquired MiR in 2018, and in 2022, Teradyne has combined AutoGuide Mobile Robots with MiR to offer an extensive product line for AMR from low to heavy payload. MiR is headquartered in Odense, Denmark, with regional offices in Holbrook, New York; San Diego, California; North Reading, Massachusetts; Georgetown, Kentucky; Singapore, Frankfurt, Barcelona, Tokyo, Seoul and Shanghai. For more information, visit www.mobile-industrial-robots.com
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