Based in Germany’s fourth strongest region, Lüdenscheid in southern Westphalia, DAHL Automation specializes in the cross-industry integration of turnkey automation systems for production logistics with its corporate brand mR MOBILE ROBOTS.
With automated guided vehicles (AGV), autonomous mobile robots (AMR) and mobile Cobot Palletizers for automated intralogistics, the company covers the essential automation needs for in-plant transport processes, mainly in manufacturing companies of various sizes.
Since 2009, DAHL has been among the pioneers in the field of integrating collaborative robotics in Germany and works together with renowned system partners in the installation of customized transport concepts as well as the further development of cobot technologies for smooth cooperation between humans and robots.
Interview with Manuel Fleper, Marketing & Brand Manager at DAHL Automation
Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?
Manuel Fleper: As a manufacturer-independent integrator, MOBILE ROBOTS automates intralogistics processes. We break new ground for our customers and revolutionize their production peripherals – with industry-specific modules and customized solutions. Through the targeted integration of our autonomous transport robots in industry, trade, research & healthcare, we optimize the flow of goods & materials and thus increase the productivity of human employees.
With the automation of internal goods, material and equipment transports by AGVs and fleets, we set new standards for resource-saving, contactless and safe transport processes in manufacturing medium-sized companies and large enterprises. This increases their process efficiency and creates new opportunities for exploiting untapped business potential.
E.E: What’s the news about new products?
M.F: As an independent development, we integrate a flexible palletizing application with Cobots into our customers’ intralogistics processes designed for efficiency and safety. With a mobile frame and two pallet bays, mR MOBILE ROBOTS’ Cobot Palletizing Kit is an easy-to-commission, ready-to-use and fully integrated solution that allows our customers to automate unwelcome, burdensome and time-consuming tasks unfenced and without significant adaptation of their production layout.
Available in different versions with collaborative robots from Universal Robots and Doosan – handling max. payloads of 25 kg – the compact kit, positioned on a rolling mobile frame, requires comparatively little space. This means that the palletizer can be used flexibly in the production hall wherever it is needed. The mobile Cobot Palletizer can be individually expanded with any peripherals and accessories from our portfolio – e.g. with a Vision System for position and orientation detection of parts. An intralogistic connection of the pallet bays by product-feeding conveyor belts or to a driverless transport system is also provided for conceptually and can be easily implemented.
E.E: What are the ranges of products?
M.F: We have already mentioned our mobile Cobot Palletizers. In the area of driverless transport robots, we have access to well-known platforms through a variety of partnerships, for example from MiR or Rexroth for small parts and SLC transport with payloads from 20 to 260 kg. We integrate autonomous pallet transporters, e.g. from Robotize, F3Design, Wewo or ek Robotics, for a wide variety of applications with payloads currently ranging from 425 kg to 1.6 tons. We serve the transport on floor level as well as the rack storage of goods up to a height of 2.5 meters, in individual cases even more.
E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?
M.F: We are convinced that the future belongs to our market; the signs in the manufacturing industry are clearly pointing to automation of intralogistics, because the use of mobile robotics is growing disproportionately strongly worldwide. This is stated by several concurring statistics and studies. The data shows a growth of more than 70% in deliveries in 2021 compared to the previous year. For 2022, units shipped will have surpassed the 100,000 mark. By 2027, the number of installed units of mobile robots is forecast to reach more than 4 million.
E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?
M.F: In view of the current and expected future staff shortages in production, which we are observing above all in our domestic market, as well as rising costs and efficiency pressures due to intensified global competition, there is an enormous need for manufacturing industries in Europe to catch up in terms of automation. We believe that process innovations are indispensable if Europe as a production location is to hold its own in the long term against massive competition from Asia. The automation of many applications – including the sometimes complex intralogistics – actually offers a great deal of economic potential that has not yet been exploited. We believe that medium-sized companies in particular, with their focus on sustainable competitiveness, will still have to rethink in many respects and break new ground. For them in particular, the perspective of external innovators and expert advice from independent technology integrators can be very helpful. We see it as our mission to support those companies whose industrial production forms the backbone of the European economy, so to speak, with our intralogistics modules in such a way that they are not left behind technologically. The consequences of such a scenario would be fatal in the long term.
E.E: What estimations do you have for 2023?
M.F: For these reasons, we expect the market to develop as forecast. What we are currently experiencing in our day-to-day operations actually suggests that the analysts are correct in their assumptions. In this respect, our signs point to growth. As a business unit of the United Robotics Group, we will make our contribution to massively changing industrial environments, making them more attractive and healthier for the people who work there, and making them more sustainable for the market and thus fit for the future. For this reason, just a few months ago we changed our formerly rather tranquil location and moved into a new, much larger competence center. We are currently significantly expanding our personnel capacities in the areas of sales and integration (programming, commissioning and service) and strengthening the partnerships in our large network so that we can continue to be equipped for our tasks and a reliable partner for our customers as demand increases.
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