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Konica Minolta's new Aussie partnership pledges more automation in manufacturing

18 Sep 18

Konica Minolta and mobile robot manufacturer Mobile Industrial Robots say they’re about to bring even more automation to their Australian clients as a result of the two companies’ new partnership.

Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR) develops robots that help organisations in the goods and manufacturing sector increase operational efficiency. 

The robots use in-built sensors and cameras to help transport trolleys, move pallets, and goods.  The technology is designed to collaborate and interact safely with human workers. No cages or designated human or robot areas are required.

According to Konica Minolta’s national manager of Robotics and Innovation, Martin Keetels signed the landmark agreement during a visit to MiR’s headquarters in Odense, Denmark. Keetels was hosted by MiR CEO Thomas Visti as part of a two-day trip to MiR’s facility.

Speaking about the partnership, Keetels says automation is key.

“Innovation and automation have a significant role to play in manufacturing and distribution environments in Australia. Konica Minolta is excited to bring another level of automation to its customers,” Keetels says.

“With Australian businesses requiring greater efficiency to remain competitive in the region, and globally clients are beginning to demand robotic technology. Robotics will be a growth and productivity engine of Australia’s future economy. With more than 150 service engineers in-house and the equivalent number in the channel that can potentially service robots, Konica Minolta is in a unique position to prepare our clients for the workplace of the future.”

Keetels adds that he was impressed by the calibre of MiR’s management team and market-leading robots.

"It’s a great combination to find in a partner and we are excited by what the future holds,” he says.

“Konica Minolta is committed to continued investment in this space through partnerships and by developing internal resources to deliver the best outcomes for its customers. Konica Minolta’s role is to work with robotics companies to support their growth by harnessing its capabilities of distribution, services, and maintenance while our partners continue designing, manufacturing, and supplying the robots. 

“Konica Minolta’s robotics capability is just beginning with MiR with many opportunities to extend across different industries and applications in the future.”

MiR has quickly established a global distribution network in more than 40 countries, with regional offices in New York, San Diego, Singapore, Dortmund, Barcelona and Shanghai. MiR has grown quickly since its founding in 2013, with sales rising by 500% from 2015 to 2016, and 300% from 2016 to 2017.