Robots in motion

OttoIf you weren’t aware, autonomous robots (AMRs) moving materials around factory, warehouse and manufacturing floors is a booming business. According to US AMR maker OTTO Motors by Rockwell Automation, it’s a billion-dollar market today, with market intelligence firm Interact Analysis predicting growth of 30% per year, with the field projected to be worth almost $6bn by 2027.

OTTO Motors’ VP of Product Jay Judkowitz says there’s an increasing imperative around reshoring manufacturing, and the best method to compete with the low-cost overseas manufacturing we’ve been using for a few decades is automation; what he calls ‘more plants in more places with fewer roles per plant, but more production and a greater number of safer and more fulfilling manufacturing jobs in aggregate’.

One of the areas most ripe for savings is in materials handling, with Judkowitz citing research that says it uses about 25% of the workforce, 55% of the floorspace and 87% of the production time in a factory. Showcasing their work in September 2023 at a trade show in Boston, an OTTO Motors company rep said their customers were seeing ROI within just 12 months.

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