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As the demand for greater efficiency and productivity in warehouses and fulfillment centers continues to rise, the adoption of Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) is becoming increasingly prevalent. However, misconceptions and myths surrounding these robotic solutions can hinder their widespread acceptance and implementation. In this blog post, we will debunk some of the common myths associated with AMRs and shed light on the truths behind these misconceptions.

MYTH 1: AMRs are only good for small goods.

FACT 1: When it comes to material handling, ForwardX Robotics ensures that our AMRs offer unparalleled versatility, available in various sizes and are capable of handling different payload capacities.

As the global leader in case picking AMR solutions, our flagship Max Series AMRs have been deployed in 80+ customer sites with an impressive payload capacity of up to 1,200 kg, or 2,645 lbs. This robust and sturdy robot is specifically designed to efficiently handle heavy loads within the warehouse environment.

At ForwardX, we understand the importance of catering to diverse needs in material handling. Our wide range of AMRs ensures that businesses can find the perfect fit for their specific requirements, eliminating the need for oversized carts or utilizing AMRs to cover the movement of those carts. This automation not only reduces the risk of injuries among the workforce but also enhances overall operational efficiency.

ForwardX Robotics‘ Flex AMR

MYTH 2: AMRs are limited to picking tasks.

FACT 2: While AMRs have recently been popularly associated with picking workflows, ForwardX AMRs offer a vast range of capabilities that extend well beyond picking tasks.

We have developed a comprehensive product line offering end-to-end solutions in both warehousing and manufacturing. We have a near even split between warehousing and manufacturing deployments among our 220+ projects addressing critical aspects of material handling such as receiving, storing, put-away, picking, even pallet stacking, JIT Delivery, and SPS systems.

Our AMRs, including Max and Flex, are highly versatile and can seamlessly transport materials within the warehouse, efficiently handle the movement of returned items during put-away, and ensure smooth delivery of goods to packing stations. Additionally, our groundbreaking Max Lift model revolutionizes the delivery process by enabling direct transportation of pallets from picking aisles to the staging area for wrapping and subsequent delivery.

Moreover, our Lynx Series tugging AMRs, with impressive payload capacities of up to 1,500 kg, or 3,306 lbs, are designed to tackle the challenges faced in automobile manufacturing. These AMRs offer both unidirectional and bilateral towing capabilities, providing robust solutions for this industry.

Our Apex series of Autonomous Forklift AMRs encompass a wide array of tasks such as end-to-end pallet movement, pallet stacking, high shelf receiving, and put-away.

Our wide range of AMRs and unwavering commitment to delivering comprehensive and advanced AMR solutions sets us apart in the industry.

MYTH 3: AMRs are exclusively designed for fulfillment on a single floor.

FACT 3: Modern AMRs can be capable of navigating multi-floor warehouses.

Our advanced navigation systems and sensors enable our AMRs to move seamlessly between different floor levels, including mezzanines and autonomously calling and using elevators. At ForwardX, we have achieved the remarkable feat of fitting multiple AMRs within a single elevator, allowing for vertical fulfillment and optimizing operational efficiency. Our AMRs efficiently transport materials, products, and pallets across multiple floors with precision. They leverage real-time data intelligence and connectivity to optimize their routes, circumvent obstacles, and adapt to dynamic environments. Moreover, they integrate with warehouse management systems to receive real-time order updates, proving to be invaluable for multi-floor fulfillment in warehouse and manufacturing operations.

MYTH 4: AMRs are primarily suitable for sites with existing infrastructure (Brownfield sites).

FACT 4: AMRs are versatile and equally effective for both Brownfield and Greenfield sites.

ForwardX AMRs can be easily integrated into operations, whether it’s retrofitting an existing facility or building a new one. One of the greatest advantages of AMRs is their flexibility and ease of deployment. Unlike traditional automation systems, AMRs do not require extensive infrastructure modifications or fixed infrastructure such as conveyors or rails. Implementing AMRs can be a seamless process without disrupting existing operations.

In Greenfield sites, our AMRs can be rapidly deployed in as little as two weeks, allowing for immediate automation and quick operational setup, resulting in increased profitability.

For Brownfield sites, the introduction of AMRs can be customized to meet specific needs and integrate with existing infrastructure, such as conveyors or robotic arms. This flexibility ensures a smooth transition to automation and maximizes the benefits of AMRs in any warehouse setting.

MYTH 5: AMRs are too expensive.

FACT 5: ForwardX Robotics offers a Robots-as-a-Service (RaaS) model, revolutionizing the adoption of automation. Plus they’re really cool!

Instead of large upfront investments, warehouses can subscribe to a cloud-based service that provides access to AMRs. This shift from capital expenses to operational expenses simplifies budget approvals, shortens the time to return on investment, and allows greater flexibility in budget allocation. By adopting AMRs through RaaS, warehouses can adapt their automation capabilities to match demand fluctuations during peak seasons or special promotions, effectively aligning costs with operational requirements.

And even if you opt for the CapEx purchase model, ForwardX guarantees a 3-year ROI for eligible projects, so don’t hesitate to reach out see if you qualify!

MYTH 6: AMRs are stealing jobs.

FACT 6: At ForwardX Robotics, we believe in leveraging the power of our innovative assisted picking and material handling solutions to foster collaboration between AMRs and workers, ultimately enhancing their work experience instead of replacing them.

By automating mundane and physically strenuous tasks, our AMRs enable human workers to prioritize more complex and value-adding activities. Through our assisted picking solution, extensive walking distances become a thing of the past, as our AMRs efficiently traverse the facility and safely transport materials. This symbiotic relationship between humans and robots enhances overall productivity and efficiency within the warehouse, leading to potential job creation as businesses grow.

Moreover, AMRs are filling a gap in the workforce. According to Interact Analysis’s Post-Show Analyst Report (from ProMat 2023), “Vendors commented that ROI discussions with potential customers have become much easier (and almost irrelevant) in the past 12 months as manual operations are becoming impossible in certain workflows due to the lack of labor.”

(Read more on this in our blog post—Labor Challenges and the Role of AMRs).

If you’re aiming to drive productivity and efficiency in your warehouse or manufacturing facility, regardless of its size, ForwardX Robotics offers cutting-edge AMR solutions that can revolutionize your operations. Experience the transformative power of automated material handling technology and unleash a whole new realm of possibilities for your business.

Contact us to learn how we can help you enhance your operational efficiency while significantly reducing costs.

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