Nord Modules create applications for autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) that can reduce monotonous repetitive work and increase productivity. These standard modules are robust solutions which extend the functionality of mobile robots, taking automation to a higher level.

Like many robotics companies today, Nord Modules launched in Odense, Denmark. Nord Modules’ goal is enabling AMRs to perform multiple material handling tasks with highly flexible and space-efficient top modules that deploy easily and transfer loads quickly and accurately. The top modules optimize logistics, increase worker productivity and deliver a superior return on investment (ROI) for the entire AMR system.

Nord top modules—including the new Quick Mover 180 (QM180)—and corresponding automated gates and carts are deployed in a short time and reduce docking times compared to other AMR docking methods. They’re extremely versatile, with one top module able to handle multiple material handling tasks. The small footprint optimizes our customers’ valuable floor space.

The company changes production and logistics setups in the robotics and automation business, and they do it in a way that everyone can participate. They like to call it „One System Fits All”, making it possible for you to automate your business without buying a ton of different robots/applications, connecting mobile robots with factories.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

NORD MODULES: With our robust solutions in industrial quality, we extend the functionality of mobile robots, taking automation to a higher level. Our safe and ready to use products enhance heavy payload transportation between production lines and storage systems. With a continuously growing global distribution network our support is just around the corner, ready to help automating production.

Companies with a high volume of repetitive and heavy material transport needs, such as in automotive and electronics manufacturing, have the largest user base today. A global automotive OEM with a large US facility uses the Nord Pallet Mover 1500 (PM1500) on Mobile Industrial Robots’ MiR1000 to pick up and deliver pallets of materials to production lines. We’re also seeing interest from manufacturing industries such as plastics molding and metal. A Danish manufacturer of hygiene products was making its own mobile robot application for the healthcare industry when high production volume led the company to allocate its own AMR for internal production and now uses the QM180 on a MiR250 to transport materials from station to station.

E.E: What’s the news for 2021 about new products?

NORD MODULES: We will keep our focus on our newly announced Quick Mover 180, the most flexible and easy-to-deploy top module to enable autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) to perform multiple material handling tasks. When coupled with Nord’s automated load-transfer gates with collaborative robot (cobot) arms, the space-efficient QM180 creates the first fully autonomous material handling system, with material flowing seamlessly from production lines to the AMR to the warehouse. This autonomy—along with the QM180’s speed, space and flexibility benefits—optimizes logistics, increases productivity, lowers overall costs and delivers a superior return on investment.

With a single top module, the QM180 handles a plethora of materials—gates, half pallets, plastic boxes, carton boxes, carts and cobot solutions. Without changing top modules, this unmatched flexibility gives manufacturers the ability to:

  • Transport multiple types of containers from A to B to C;
  • Pick up the shelf cart SC400;
  • Pick up goods from gates (SG155 og WG155) and deliver to a drop-off point;
  • Precisely re-position goods to another automation area (e.g., a CNC machine).

“While AMRs transform material transport, increase plant efficiency and reduce employee injuries, their benefits are only maximized with top modules and high-quality gates or carts that transfer the materials,” said Kenneth B. Henriksen, chief commercial officer, Nord Modules. “With the QM180, for the first time, customers can use a single top module on their AMR to transport materials to a cobot-armed gate that can autonomously pick up and transport multiple types of materials.”

The QM180 transports materials to gates installed at production lines, storage systems and conveyors. The gates can include Nord’s CT155 (cobot tower), with an attached cobot arm that picks up the materials and places them where they need to go next. With this “one system fits all” strategy, material handling becomes faster, easier and much less expensive because the AMR doesn’t have to be refitted with various top modules to transport and deliver different kinds of containers.

Besides these newly launched products at the end of this year (2020), we always keep our focus on giving the highest service level to our fantastic partners around the world, as well as launching new products in 2021, so stay tuned.

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

NORD MODULES: Nord Modules’ offering is in demand by a double-booming market. Not only defined by the growing robot penetration, but also by the many “meeting points” or “stations” each robot is co-operating with. Wherever and whenever manufacturing layout and intralogistics are being redesigned, we see robots and cobots entering in exponentially growing numbers. 

We furthermore see a demand multiplier for our kind of products because each mobile robot tends to co-operate across many different “stations”. Nord Modules’ products and adaptations are designed to enrich and harvest this double-booming market.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

NORD MODULES: The primary trend we are looking into is a future with Matrix production. So instead of the way things are being done some places with long production lines, we see that some of these factories will draw benefit from changing to matrix production. Matrix production is part of flow production and is based on categorized and standardized production cells, which can be arranged in almost any number on a grid. The cells contain, for example, turntables for storing components, tool holders and robots. Matrix production is a much more flexible way of producing goods, which goes well hand in hand with one of our 3 corner stones: Speed, Space and (you might have guessed it) FLEXIBILITY.

With long production lines it is nearly impossible or at least not affordable to make smaller batches. More and more people want to have custom made solutions, and this requires a high level of flexibility, which matrix production can offer. But if you want to get the most out of the matrix production and make your production even more beneficial you should consider having an AMR robot to deliver goods to the robot cells. Nord Modules’ applications are made with Flexibility in our mind, perfect for optimizing matrix productions, we even consider ourself as experts within load transfer.

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

NORD MODULES: We revolutionize how applications for mobile robots can be used. In our opinion we created the most innovative and flexible system yet: we call it, „One System Fits All”. We make it possible for you to automate your business without buying a ton of different robots/applications.

Our most innovative and flexible product the Quick Mover, QM180 makes it possible for one top module to handle different tasks and solve your challenges. The Quick Mover can handle most tasks, and that’s with only one top module. With our One System Fits All solution the Quick Mover takes over the tedious and manual tasks. Also improve conditions of the employees and do the dull and dangerous tasks related to manual labour and you don’t even need a facility renovation or change your entire factory layout.

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2021?

NORD MODULES: We have a strong believe that 2021 will be the year where factories will start to invest again after a challenging 2020 with COVID-19. One thing that COVID-19 have taught factories around the world, is that they are even more vulnerable in situations like this. Therefor we see people are no realizing the need for automating processes that can easily be taken over by mobile robots, and letting the employees take care of more value creating jobs, and we expect to increase our sales by more than 100%.