A pair of OTTO 1500 self-driving vehicles at a GE repair facility have quickly learned how to find their way around the plant—and employees, reported John Hitch in New Equipment Digest.
There’s a new material handling crew at GE Healthcare’s 280,000-sq ft Repair Operations Center in Milwaukee, WI, and they are already having a huge impact on day-to-day operations. It’s a pair of OTTO Motors’ OTTO 1500 self-driving vehicles (SDVs), stocky, rugged mobile platforms that you never have to worry about getting lost or bumping in to you.
The plant handles more than 8,000 medical device repairs every month, and since being “hired” last April, the OTTO 1500 AMRs have seamlessly integrated into the workflow. Able to travel 4.5 mph and carry 3,300 lb., the independent movers are guided by an advanced OS inspired by Google’s self-driving car tech, along with a suite of sensors that ensure safe and efficient movement with no added infrastructure needed.
“What we really like about OTTO is it doesn’t need to be tied to something that is in the floor, like magnetic strips,” says Patricio Espinosa, GE Healthcare’s director of repair operations. “It can make the decision to turn and take different routes depending on where it needs to go.”
In fact, the facility has reduced its repair cell station size by 40%, according to OTTO Motors.
This is due to OTTO taking on multiple roles for different applications, from delivering broken parts to repair cells and moving fixed devices to shipping zones. No matter the task, OTTO is always cognizant of its coworkers.
“Something we’re very proud of is that our OTTO software stack has been certified by some of our customer’s safety committees to operate on manned pathways within the plant,” says product director Simon Drexler. Within the brightly lit confines GE Healthcare’s Milwaukee site, OTTO always gives the right of way to senior staff.
New Equipment Digest (NED) is the industry’s most preferred products magazine for 75 years. As the leading monthly source of information on innovative products for general industry, NED serves more than 200,000 plant operations, maintenance, engineering, production, purchasing and administrative personnel in more than 100,000 facilities throughout the United States.
The OTTO self-driving vehicles will be showcased at industry’s most important event, Drive Manufacturing Summit, Oct 2-4, 2017. This unconventional conference will bring 350+ industry leaders together to network, inform and determine how change can be integrated back into their facilities. Visit www.drivemfgsummit.com.
About OTTO Motors
OTTO™ Motors, a division of Clearpath™ Robotics Inc., designs, manufactures and operates self-driving vehicles to automate material movement inside busy factories and warehouses. Using self-driving technology much like the Google Car, the easy-to-use OTTO vehicles move inventory in a safe and flexible manner throughout the indoor supply chain. Customers include Fortune 100 brands like General Electric, John Deere, and Toyota.
Company Name: OTTO Motors, a division of Clearpath Robotics Inc.
Contact Person: Meghan Hennessey
Phone: 519-513-2416 x833
Address:97 Randall Dr. Unit 2
State: Ontario, N2V 1C5