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Konica Minolta Australia eyes up manufacturing market with new industrial robots

By Catherine Knowles
Thu 28 May 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Konica Minolta Australia has launched the MiR 500 and MiR 1000 mobile industrial robots, with added safety and financial features.

Targeted towards manufacturing and logistics organisations, the robots are designed to help increase efficiency and drive productivity.

Essentially, the robots can help move pallets and heavy material around factories and logistics hubs. This is especially useful for organisations that rely on forklifts and conveyors to move pallets.

The MiR Pallet Lift 500 ensures stable handling and transport of pallets and shelves. The MiR 500 lifts pallets autonomously from the MiR Pallet Rack and lowers the pallet for stable transportation of payloads up to 500 kilograms. It can integrate with conveyors and with customers’ Warehouse Management Systems.

The MiR Pallet Lift 1000 ensures stable handling and transport of pallets. The MiR 1000 can lift pallets autonomously from the MiR Pallet Rack and lowers the pallet for stable transportation of payloads up to 1000 kilograms. It can integrate with conveyors and with customers’ Warehouse Management Systems.

In addition to ease, the robots enable organisations to improve safety, Konica Minolta states. According to the Worksafe Queensland website, since July 2013, there have been 178 notified forklift incidents involving crush injuries or the risk of serious crush injuries and 114 statutory notices for the risk management of an incident involving a forklift crush injury have been issued.

Furthermore, on average each year, 281 workers' compensation claims are accepted for crush injuries involving forklifts. Forty per cent of these involve serious injuries requiring five or more days off work.

Konica Minolta national manager of robotics and innovation Martin Keetels, says, “Workplace injuries involving forklifts represent a massive cost to the industry. Workplace safety is paramount in these industries to protect staff but also to protect the bottom line and organisations’ reputations.

“The MiR 500 and MiR 1000 can assist organisations with this as well as offer economic efficiencies associated with deploying the right technology to complete tasks autonomously, giving organisations the opportunity to redeploy people to higher value tasks. In a 24/7 manufacturing or logistics facility, the MiR can offer a return on investment inside a year.”

According to Konica Minolta, COVID-19 has highlighted the potential for an overall uplift of manufacturing in Australia.

Robots have a role to play in assisting smart manufacturers leverage smart technology, and, in the instance of widespread crises, robots offer a unique solution in both scaling up operations to handle increased workload as well as helping with government restrictions such as social distancing, Keetels states.

He says, “The MiR 500 and MiR 1000 will have a critical role to play in the manufacturing and logistics organisations of the future and will play an important part in protecting workers and businesses, and helping them de-risk and future-proof their operations.

“Konica Minolta is excited to play a role in that by bringing these robots to the local market backed by Konica Minolta’s service and support expertise.”

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