The Chinese power industry has been accelerating its pace of digital transformation in recent years. An extensive array of automation technologies including robotics are now being progressively deployed in different application scenarios throughout the industry chain.
Cummins Power Generation (China) Co., Ltd. (“CPG China”) is among the successful practitioners. The Autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) from Mobile Industrial Robot (MiR) have been successfully introduced and deployed at CPG’s generator assembly plant in Wuhan. AMRs are used for automating the transportation of materials on production lines.
MiR previously carried out many successful projects in collaboration with CPG’s parent company Cummins for its global markets in China, Europe, and the Americas. The latest AMR project represents another automation project completed in China. As one of Cummins’ key business lines, CPG offers high-quality power solutions to industries worldwide. The generator assembly plant in Wuhan is one of CPG’s five main standard generator assembly factories around the world. The MiR250 AMRs at the Wuhan plant are mainly assigned to supporting the medium-horsepower, heavy-duty generator assembly line where it carries out edge feeding, return of empty containers and transportation tasks. The robots will be progressively deployed to the high-horsepower generator assembly line in the future.
“We are pleased to have a global cooperation and contribute to Cummins achieving their productivity goals by deploying our flexible and safe mobile robots” said Christian Clausen, VP of Strategic Accounts at MiR. “In general, the automotive industry has been fast at adopting our AMRs. By taking over the time-consuming and non-value-adding tasks of moving materials across the plants, our robots redeploy the human workers to production and help increase productivity, while improving safety.”
MiR250 AMRs can meet the exacting requirements of material transportation on the assembly line in an efficient, safe, and intelligent manner. In terms of efficiency, each MiR250 saves CPG China at least 2.5 man-hours on manual return of empty containers and replenishment of materials. Not having to spend excessive amounts of time on trivial, non-technical tasks every day allows for greater optimization of personnel assignments. In terms of safety, the production lines inside the Cummins plant are highly dynamic and surrounded by forklifts, pallet trucks and workers. There are people and vehicles moving everywhere so very high standards of safety and reliability are expected of the AMR. The MiR250 AMR is designed to comply to the latest safety standards, and its autonomous navigation enables it to work in challenging plant environments and reduce the risk of ergonomic injuries to zero.
The MiR AMRs can automatically identify and navigate around obstacles. It is also very easy to deploy. Its SLAM laser navigation means that there is no need to install magnetic stripes or other guidance along its route. There are no requirements to change the facility layout, as the AMRs only needs a map of the facility in order to navigate autonomously. The operating system and user interface of the MiR AMRs are simple and logical. Processes and tasks can be adjusted in response to production line requirements. This includes adding/removing stations, as well as the setting and adjusting of paths, frequency, and operating speed, and it can all be done by the employees on site, so Cummins can take full ownership of their MiR robots.