Wemo Automation is one of the leading international manufacturers of Linear-Robot-Systems and Automations cells for the plastic & palletizing industry. With 35 years’ experience and over 10,000 robot cells installed worldwide, the company gives customers a trust and competence in everything from simple to complex automation solutions.

Wemo is based in Sweden with full production, development, and service organization ready to sell, support and service their products worldwide.

Interview with Johannes Kjellgren, CEO of Wemo Automation AB 

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

Johannes Kjellgren: We have two main business areas.

We are doing everything from simple to complex automation solutions, mainly within plastic industry which is based on our wide range of linear robot systems. We are doing simple pick & place solution but also more complex automation cells which includes, mobile robots, six axes’ robots, peripheral equipment such as laser marking, vision systems etc. All based on the wish from the customer.

The other business area is Wemo Handling, which is focusing on ensuring an effective way of palletizing items into boxes or boxes to pallets. This is an area segment which is mostly today covered by the six axes robots, but where we see a big potential and added value to use linear robot systems in many applications, e.g. reduced floorspace, high capacity, flexible laying of patterns etc. This is an area which is not limited to the plastic industry but stretches to anything that is going into boxes or on pallets.

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

J.K: We have developed a special Wemo Handling software for our Wemo Handling area. This is based on the same user-friendly programming software that we use within plastic automation. By inserting the measurements of boxes, you get different palletizing patterns. This gives a flexibility and easy-to-use way of working.

Another news is our developed Wemo Connect which should give the user an instant access to the documentation, current operating status, cycle times and can also interact with our Swedish manufacturing plant or our preferred partner regarding service requests.

We are also showing how ABB’s six axes robot can be combined and controlled by a Wemo robot. This gives the customer the possibility of finding the best possible automation solution, combining two robot types.

E.E: What are the ranges of products?

J.K: We have one of the widest product programs on the market for linear robot systems, that ensures the customer a flexibility and trust to find a suitable solution for their specific needs. We have a standard product program, but we always try to find the right solution for smart automation. In addition to robots, we have conveyor systems, safety nets, end-of-arm-tooling, and much more. We also have several cooperation partners, e.g. vision systems, marking systems, etc. in case customer wish to have something is not in our standard program.

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

J.K: Generally, I would say that the automation market is growing and there is a big demand to automize as much of your production process to stay competitive today and in the future.

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

J.K: Market is really changing quickly and influencing factors like the pandemic, war in Ukraine is of course making companies think about how they can secure their supply and production of products in the best possible ways. For the Automation industry, it has created opportunities as more and more companies are looking into moving back production from Asia and Central Eastern Europe and to have production close to the customers. To make this competitive automation is a must and that is giving opportunities for us who is working in this field. 

Another, factor that is influencing the automation trend positively is the demographic change, population in developed countries are getting older and many are going into retirement. So, lack of competent people is also a strong driver for companies looking into automation. Within the Plastic industry, would say that the trend is recycles material and going away from one time used plastic products. For example, some of the bigger fast-food chains are introducing reusable products as packaging, cutlery etc. These is happing in many areas such as travel, industry, packaging etc.

Digitalization – connecting machines together is also high on the agenda, and here we are well prepared with a highly developed OPC UA interface, where we can share a wide variety of data with other machinery.

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

J.K: We do have a modern product program fitting to the customers need, but in this year, we are developing it further with new Wemo Handling software, updated Wemo Connect, and the fact that we are one step ahead in the connectivity of machines in the same process.

E.E: What estimations do you have for the rest of 2022?

J.K: So far the year has been good in regard to order intake. We have a good order intake and have good prospects for the coming period. However, it is a time of uncertainty, especially when you keep in mind the macro-economic situation, with higher interest rates, logistics issues, war in Ukraine, energy prices etc. So, it is very difficult to predict the future at the moment, but long-term we are looking very positively on the market in which we are working.