The IRX and eDelivery trade shows were disappointingly cramped together in a very small location in the very large NEC trade show event location.
However, despite this, the 2-hour train from London to Birmingham was worth it as we found out that one of the UK software houses have been working hard on developing their own G2P AMR system over the last two years.
Orderwise will be launching their own, internally developed AMR, with one of their customers - an iron monger. According to Orderwise staff at the IRX show, the first sample of their AMR is expected to arrive in about 4-6 weeks.The AMR is relatively unique in that it can take payloads up to 1.5tonnes and the thinking behind this is that the pods should be able to hold pallets as well.
The company has signed two customers and the first deployment will consist of 14 robots and 450 pods. The second will have fewer robots with a similar number of pods.
However, the AMR is guided by magnets which have to be inserted in the floor (an easy drill according to sales staff) and some may object at calling this an AMR instead of an AGV. These 'navigational magnets' will sit some 70cm's apart so are not part of a guided track per se. However, it will add extra work to the installation of a solution.
We are definitely looking forward to a UK addition to the AMR market! It remains to be seen if the WMS to AMR route is a good one... and whether or not it can recruit more customers for Orderwise