WALTHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Vecna Robotics, the leader in flexible material handling automation solutions, today announced a major software release and hardware upgrades to its AFL-class autonomous forklift. The new capabilities expand the company’s reach within warehouse and factory floors by optimizing material transport between other machinery and equipment, with specific focus on low-lift workflows. The update supports numerous above-ground workflows including: inbound staging to AS/RS induction; delivering materials to ergonomic lift stands for work-in-process flows; and loading and extracting from robotic palletizers and stretch wrappers.
The warehouse automation market is expected to double over the next five years. With 15-20% of warehouses currently using robotic palletizers and stretch wrappers, automated storage and retrieval systems, and other conveyor-fed automation equipment for palletized loads, the need for flexible material handling systems that can seamlessly integrate with robotic packaging and storage systems will only continue to grow. These workflows can account for 10-15% of activities in a typical warehouse and up to 70% of manufacturing production time.
Vecna AFL – with a 3,000 lb. capacity and lift heights up to 60 inches – was designed to optimize work-in-process, packaging and finished goods workflows via autonomous material handling to and from conveyors, risers and third-party automated or semi-automated equipment. The system can improve efficiency and reduce material handling costs by up to 30% for most common workflows while maintaining greater than 99% uptime via Vecna’s PivotalTM Command Center.
“This upgrade to our AFL platform is a response to customer need to automate more workflows – including low-lift with conveyors and risers – in the midst of chronic labor shortages,” said Anthony Moschella, SVP of Product Management at Vecna Robotics. “The ability to coordinate autonomous material transport with other automated systems and common warehouse equipment is the first critical step in our mission to help warehousing and manufacturing re-balance their worker-robot mix and free up labor for more valuable tasks.”
Detailed features of the major release and hardware upgrade on the AFL include:
- Better forklift performance and vision with next-gen fork carriage sensor fusion that supports enhanced smart payload identification capabilities, improved adjustments to misaligned pallets, and real-time remote camera views of the forks through Vecna’s PivotalTM Command Center
- Smoother navigation in tight spaces with new compact bumper design
- More flexible integration mechanisms including tablet UIs, APIs with leading WMS systems like Manhattan and BlueYonder, and built-in barcode scanners for payload verification
- Advanced orchestration with dynamic mission planning and swapping that allows PivotalTM to immediately reroute and re-task robots as needed to deliver the right payload to the right location at the right time
For more information on how Vecna AFL can help maximize your throughput, visit www.vecnarobotics.com/AFL. If you are in Chicago next week at Pack Expo, you can visit Vecna Robotics at booth #N-6366 in the North Building.
About Vecna Robotics
Vecna Robotics is an award-winning flexible, intelligent material handling automation company with solutions engineered for seamless work between autonomous mobile robots (AMR) and the labor, equipment, facilities, and systems that make business go. Our self-driving forklifts, pallet trucks, pallet jacks and tuggers –– powered by Vecna’s Pivotal™ orchestration software and 24/7/365 Command Center –– help distribution, warehousing, and manufacturing organizations automate their most critical workflows, maximize throughput and scale operations fast. For more information, visit www.vecnarobotics.com. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.