Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Siemens, Mecalux partner to offer AI integrated material handling solution

December 28, 2023
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Two Mecalux collaborative robotics solutions feature Simatic Robot Pick AI 3D vision software. Photo: Siemens

Siemens and Mecalux, a global provider of automated warehouse solutions, warehouse management systems and stacker cranes, have partnered to offer a new artificial intelligence-driven solution that optimizes picking tasks in warehouses and logistics centres.

Siemens shares in a press statement that the new automated solution from Mecalux is built on Siemens’ Simatic Robot Pick AI technology, an image processing software for robot solutions based on machine learning. The 3D image processing software reportedly allows robots to pick any item in warehouse picking tasks, regardless of its shape and size. A pre-trained deep learning algorithm controls the ability to identify 3D positions for picking. Simatic Robot Pick AI also offers integration into the TIA Portal automation platform. The Simatic Robot Library can also be used to establish standardized communication between robot and PLC systems.
“The technology partnership with Siemens has enabled us to develop a highly flexible, safe, and user-friendly robot solution that adapts to the specific needs of our customers,” says Javier Carrillo, CEO of Mecalux.
Mecalux has reportedly launched two collaborative picking solutions based on Simatic Robot Pick AI: a cobot that’s programmed to safely share the workstation with operators and another cobot that works autonomously in high-performance picking stations. The Mecalux picking solution is designed for 24/7 operation with up to 1,000 picks per hour.
A camera positioned above the cobot’s picking box captures a 3D image of the goods in order to compile the orders. Once the item has been selected, the cobot places it in the picking box with precision. Mecalux has reportedly developed an algorithm that ensures that the cobot places the goods in exactly the right place. With the help of Mecalux’s warehouse management software, the collaborative picking solution can automatically change its gripping system depending on the type of goods. After receiving a new box, the vision processing system and the AI algorithm from Siemens identify the items it contains. Both determine the most suitable way to pick each product. Both cobots perform the picking process completely autonomously and with maximum accuracy.
“The picking robot solution from Mecalux shows how AI-controlled picking robots will now be more flexible, allowing different shapes, sizes, and types of packaging to be processed quickly. The effects of the labor shortage can now be mitigated and operational efficiency in warehouses increased at the same time,” explains Alexander Bollig, vice-president of the Vertical Market Intralogistics at Siemens Digital Industries.

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