• Autonomous cart- could it change how factories work?

    Traditionally, factories install conveyor belts to move goods from one place to another. Many warehouses use similar systems to move items around before they are shipped out. However, this method is very inflexible as once the belts are installed they cannot be easily altered so manufacturing processes or storage plans have to adapt to the physical infrastructure.

    Canvas a US based started wants to smash this assumption of expensive, inflexible, factories by replacing infrastructure with autonomous vehicles.

    Their autonomous cart can be reprogrammed easily and can quickly adapt to the needs of the factory. It can also easily move around the stock that may be stored ready to be despatched or other workstations with the factory or warehouse.

    Check out the autonomous cart in action in the video below.

    Please click here to see the video


    Do you see this as being a useful addition to your factory/warehouse in the future? Share your opinions the community below.

    Thanks

    Amy
    1
  • Traditionally, factories install conveyor belts to move goods from one place to another. Many warehouses use similar systems to move items around before they are shipped out. However, this method is very inflexible as once the belts are installed they cannot be easily altered so manufacturing processes or storage plans have to adapt to the physical infrastructure.

    Canvas a US based started wants to smash this assumption of expensive, inflexible, factories by replacing infrastructure with autonomous vehicles.

    Their autonomous cart can be reprogrammed easily and can quickly adapt to the needs of the factory. It can also easily move around the stock that may be stored ready to be despatched or other workstations with the factory or warehouse.

    Check out the autonomous cart in action in the video below.

    Please click here to see the video


    Do you see this as being a useful addition to your factory/warehouse in the future? Share your opinions the community below.

    Thanks

    Amy
  • Hi @Amy Brunsdon,

    Thanks very much for this video. For me this plays right into cellular manufacture and how you manage a materiel handler within the takt rate of a cell or group of cells.

    Line balancing a cell is one activity, but the cell then has a host of support activities around it to ensure that the cell can actually produce. A key component of this is material.

    Many challenges exist when increasing output of a cell. Assume you were to double the productivity of an cell from 50 widgets to 100 widgets per hour. How do the materiel handlers manage this ? Do they work twice as fast or do you require double the support associates ? What about paper work or works orders or even quality control checks that now take place twice as frequently.

    I see a flexible cart like this as something that can help in lieu of a manufacturing area re-org. There are of course many cart systems but the benefit here is the flexibility. I did not see on the video but if you can then get a signal to the cart and have a smart system in place to react autonomously to the demand signals it sees it could begin to manage its own work content.

    This then changes a stores dynamic as you can track these carts and see mean time to arrival etc. A couple of practical things to think of is quality of floor and general working environment so may be more suited to controlled environments at this stage. Overall a good idea as a next stage in automation.
    1
  • Hi @Amy Brunsdon,

    Thanks very much for this video. For me this plays right into cellular manufacture and how you manage a materiel handler within the takt rate of a cell or group of cells.

    Line balancing a cell is one activity, but the cell then has a host of support activities around it to ensure that the cell can actually produce. A key component of this is material.

    Many challenges exist when increasing output of a cell. Assume you were to double the productivity of an cell from 50 widgets to 100 widgets per hour. How do the materiel handlers manage this ? Do they work twice as fast or do you require double the support associates ? What about paper work or works orders or even quality control checks that now take place twice as frequently.

    I see a flexible cart like this as something that can help in lieu of a manufacturing area re-org. There are of course many cart systems but the benefit here is the flexibility. I did not see on the video but if you can then get a signal to the cart and have a smart system in place to react autonomously to the demand signals it sees it could begin to manage its own work content.

    This then changes a stores dynamic as you can track these carts and see mean time to arrival etc. A couple of practical things to think of is quality of floor and general working environment so may be more suited to controlled environments at this stage. Overall a good idea as a next stage in automation.