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Robotics Automation Articles

4 Types of Robotics Software to Help Maximise Your ROI

Organisations have always been motivated to do more with less. Today, spurred by intensifying competition and rising operational costs, more organisations are turning to automation to win the race for greater efficiency and productivity.

Welcome to the Age of Automation

Organisations have always been motivated to do more with less. Today, spurred by intensifying competition and rising operational costs, more organisations are turning to automation to win the race for greater efficiency and productivity.

With the rise of Industry 4.0 technologies, including Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) , this trend is also bolstering growth in the global robotics software market, which is now projected to exceed US$47 billion by 2030.

Why do we need robotics software?

Robotics software is the neuro command centre of robots. Given the sophistication and underlying complexity of robotics technology, there is an ecosystem of software for robotics to support different applications and business needs. This enables a wide range of industries, such as the manufacturing, aerospace, defence and automotive sectors, to deploy robots and robotics software and manage and optimise their processes in a variety of ways.

While robotics software is clearly enabling an intelligent, agile and automated future, it is important that organisations first identify the right solutions for their needs. A trusted solution provider like Konica Minolta can assist organisations to understand the varied robotics software landscape and how they can use these software programs and simulation capabilities to control, analyse and manage their business operations.

Types of Robotics Software to Consider

1. Simulation Software

No organisation wants their investments to go to waste. Konica Minolta incorporates simulation planning to help organisations understand their logistics automation needs before committing to the relevant solutions. The 3D simulation software helps model the capabilities and ROI of various solutions in a predictive, risk-free environment so companies can make the most informed decisions.

Simulation software can also be used to run digital twins and potential scenarios before executing the robotic workflows. This predicts potential issues and calls for maintenance before the events happen, minimising costly disruptions and downtime.

2. Robotics Workflow and Communication Management Software

The workflow of materials for production and assembly lines is a key part of any supply chain. Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) play a crucial role in controlling movement and storage of materials within the warehouse while accurately managing essential information. Similarly, Warehouse Control/Execution Systems (WCS/WES) manage activity flow through the coordination of material handling sub-systems to establish the most efficient workflow for organisations.

While most AMRs come with in-built fleet management software, these are insufficient for orchestrating and optimising workflows. Typical robot fleet management platforms perform basic functions such as traffic control, robot resource management, and path planning. However, they require missions to be triggered manually by operators, which can lower the efficiency of the automation system.

Conversely, Konica Minolta’s sWorkflow allows automated dynamic mission assignment without programming. The system triggers missions automatically based on sensor data while executing work orders from the enterprise IT system. Adding sWorkflow to an existing AMR and accompanying basic fleet management software can thus elevate productivity greatly.

Another challenge that some organisations struggle with revolves around the independent navigation of AMRs. Building infrastructure accessibility software such as Konica Minolta’s sInfra platform can enable companies to access real-time status of infrastructure availability and allow AMRs to navigate building facilities such as doors and lifts independently.

3.Recognition Software

Recognition software is a program that can identify objects, people, places, speech and more from images or videos. The network used for the software is fed with a large amount of data such as images of objects or sounds that have been previously identified in order to ‘teach’ it to recognise similarities. From understanding to targeting specific audiences, recognition software offers organisations a myriad of application possibilities.

In the manufacturing and logistics sectors, for example, equipping robots with cameras and advanced recognition software creates intelligent machine vision. This enables them to handle more complicated tasks that traditionally rely on human intuition to complete.

In collaboration with MOBOTIX, Konica Minolta’s advanced imaging IoT (AI) platform “FORXAI” hosts smart solutions for intelligent video analytics capabilities. With the primary aim of safeguarding people and premises, these solutions can automatically analyse videos, filter footage, and integrate these data and insights into other business processes.

4. Remote Monitoring and Maintenance Software

Keeping equipment in tip-top condition is essential for organisations as breakdowns are not only disruptive, but potentially costly as well. Remote monitoring and maintenance software equips organisations with the ability to analyse in-service equipment and pinpoint the optimal time period to schedule routine maintenance.

Data insights, not just disparate raw data, is key to this. Data analytics software enables organisations to easily extract, break down and transform their data in innovative ways to support the business. Industry research suggests that businesses with robust data analytics have witnessed up to 12% increase in revenue, signifying a direct correlation between data analytics and business success. With data comes the power to make effective business decisions that optimise logistics operations.

Organisations looking to organise their data view can benefit from Konica Minolta’s sConnect analytics solution. Its detailed and intuitive dashboard presents actionable insights and visualises robot operational data coherently.

For companies that require more holistic management of their automation needs, managed services may be of special interest. The managed service model can help organisations speed up their robotics and automation adoption, by leveraging the expertise provided by of managed service providers. Konica Minolta enables customers to maximise ROI easily with a full suite of services from start to finish, including consultation, deployment, monitoring and maintenance.

The future has arrived

The single truth for all organisations is that, to stay competitive in today’s world, innovation is key. Advances in technology are making robots and robotics software more accessible to organisations, regardless of size or industry. There is no doubt that robotics software is opening the door to greater productivity and efficiency. The real question is, will your organisation seize this opportunity?




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