It’s been a busy year for Jim Abraham, Sales Engineer for Storage Solutions at RARUK Automation Ltd, the automation and picking robot specialist.
In our July 1st issue we ran the story about RAR launching Danish warehouse automation provider EffiMat’s ground-breaking EffiMat Intelligent Box Mover technology in the UK. The interest the launch has generated since then has kept Jim, and the team very busy. Jim spoke to WLN.
Jim, describe your role at RAR (UK).
When I first learned about the EffiMat system I knew it would have huge possibilities in the UK. Since joining the company my role has been to spread the word about the positive effects it could have within the marketplace. I initially spoke to our existing clients who already use our range of automation and robotic equipment and this has progressed to new customers who are looking to improve their automation processes. You’re correct, it’s been a busy time but seeing how the EffiMat system has been received has been extremely rewarding.
You also have a business called R. A. Rodriguez (UK) Limited. What do they do, and how do the two businesses fit together?
R A Rodriguez are a stockist and distributor of precision bearings, gears and allied transmission components. It is our expertise in this field that led us into automation, as we supply bearings and gears to a number of robot manufacturers, and it was this activity that led us to working with the Danish robot manufacturer Universal Robots.
Who are RARUK’s existing clients, and what do you do for them?
RARUK have been supplying robotics and automation to leading UK companies for many years, providing a range of solutions either directly or through machine builders and integrators. Our customers range from leading car manufacturers and global pharmaceutical companies through to SMEs looking to take their first steps into automation.
Moving onto the EffiMat Intelligent Box Mover, what makes it so ground-breaking and what does it add to RAR’s offering?
It works in a different way to conventional Vertical Lift Module (VLM) systems to provide unprecedented speed and complete accuracy. The introduction of EffiMat to our portfolio means we can provide a one stop shop solution for complete automation.
Where do you see order picking automation going? Are we looking at the end of human order pickers?
I believe the UK is still catching up other countries with overall automation but the trend is changing as more and more organisations are seeing the benefits. In most cases, we see it as a way of upskilling personnel opposed to replacing them.
What other automation and picking robot systems does RAR UK provide? Do you supply any other Vertical Lift Modules besides the EffiMat Intelligent Box Mover?
We supply cartesian, industrial and collaborative robot and automation systems to meet a large variety of picking, packing and palletising applications.
What size of operation is EffiMat designed for?
The level of throughput really depends on the customer’s requirements and the height available. At present we can build a system up to 20M in height and this will increase to 24M by the end of the year.
What kinds of businesses are using it in other countries?
The system is used worldwide which is why we are so excited to introduce it into the UK. We have seen major sites using the system within the automotive workplace through to manufacturing and packaging. It’s versatility means the opportunities are almost endless and we can tailor our specification to specification to individual customer requirements.
What response have you had so far from UK customers?
We have been delighted with the response so far and are working on a number of major projects.
How important is space saving in selecting a Vertical Lift Module system?
Our customers in warehousing, distribution and manufacturing see space saving as a major benefit which alleviates the requirement to install mezzanine floors or move premises. However, we are noticing an increasing demand for extra speed and accuracy, which is why Effimat provides the perfect all round solution.
What kind of efficiency gains does the Effimat Intelligent Box Mover system give you?
The EffiMat system can provide efficiency gains of up to 400%, while maintaining 100% accuracy. This means it’s at least three times more efficient than traditional Vertical Lift modules.
How fast is the EffiMat system?
Using patented technology to move boxes both horizontally and vertically, the EffiMat can deliver five picking items at the same time. With an output of up to 200 boxes per hour it’s the quickest product available, delivering 100% accuracy.
How does EffiMat fit in with conveyors and other existing warehouse automation from other vendors? Can it be linked to existing ERP systems?
The system is compatible with and can be configured to work with, customers’ existing ERP systems. EffiMat can be used as a stand-alone solution or integrated with conveyors and robots which allows enables a flexible solution in smart production areas.
Is Effimat exclusive to you in the UK?
Yes it’s exclusive to us in this market.
What are the steps in buying and installing an EffiMat system?
In all instances, I attend site to ascertain where the EffiMat can be fully utilised to give maximum benefit. Once a specification is agreed, RAR Automation will oversee the fully delivery, installation and commissioning of the system and give full technical training and support.
Is each EffiMat system tailored to the client’s needs or are they made to one standard spec?
It’s always tailored to the client’s needs and the system can be supplied with different box heights than can even be sub-divided. We can also incorporate our ClassicMat into the overall specification which works like a conventional VLM system to provide even more storage space.
Where can people find out more about EffiMat?
You can find a new video I have recorded about the Effimat system here: youtu.be/xuZQpYuUa9A Alternatively, please visit www.rarukautomation.com
Are you exhibiting at any UK trade shows this year, and if so, what are you showing on your stand?
We will be at IMHX from 24th – 27th September, at the NEC, Birmingham. Here we will have a live EffiMat system in operation alongside a MiR 200, which will demonstrate the efficiency of both units and their compatibility to work in unison.
Where do you see RAR UK going from here?
Automation is here to stay and RAR UK will be at the forefront of this exciting and progressive industry.
RARUK Automation Ltd
01462 670 044