Consumer products giant, Unilever, has partnered with Turkey-based Milvus Robotics to help automate the movement of product and material through their Home and Personal Care factory in Turkey. Unilever deployed a fleet of fifteen SEIT500 and two SEIT100 AMRs at the factory. Serving over 2.5 billion consumers worldwide with personal care and wellness items, food and beverages, and various homecare products, Unilever is without a doubt one of the most successful and high-impact corporations in the world. Unilever produces high volumes of consumer products within its factories worldwide. As a result, streamlining operations and automation systems help to improve operational efficiency and reduce costs while significantly impacting product quality, profitability, and employee safety.
Identifying and understanding systems and processes
Prior to partnering with Milvus Robotics, the inefficiencies throughout the delivery, storage, distribution of materials were causing significant problems. The factory was utilizing far too much space to the milk run, leading to additional safety issues on the employee floor. Beyond the safety issues, they were experiencing an unstainable dependency on labor-intensive operations and equipment costs due to the high level of dependence on manual material handling. The overall result was a factory that was failing to perform to the best of its ability due to disorderly systems, overspending in labor, and inefficient use of physical space. Considering potential safety issues and significant financial impacts due to wasted employee hours, added labor costs, and increased employee mistakes, Unilever Konya HPC factory evaluated Milvus Robotics’ SEIT series autonomous mobile robots for their intralogistics operations.
Ready to save the day: autonomous mobile robots deliver value
Right away, Milvus Robotics set to work designing custom attachments for their fully autonomous robots to address the number of complex challenges facing Unilever. Their engineers and system professionals took the time to create meaningful, impactful, and lasting adjustments to the factory floor and organizational processes by deploying a fleet of highly sophisticated robots and logical systems solutions that were intended to eradicate the unnecessary, unsafe, and costly operation design that was at the root of the factory’s problems. Milvus Robotics replaced the existing, inefficient systems with fully autonomous and safe internal transport systems – headed up by some of the most innovative and cutting-edge autonomous mobile robots available today.
With more than a hundred pallet platforms installed both in the warehouse and production area, as well as the fully automated pallet delivery capacity of the SEIT500 with lift attachment, which features up to 500kg of payload, the transformation was instantaneous. The SEIT500 robots with conveyor attachment were used to take advantage of automatic feeding systems by transferring the various pallets and specially designed containers, delivering a more flexible and safety-focused way to transfer the pallets while working over long distances. Also utilizing the SEIT100 robot with pin-hook attachment, Milvus Robotics was able to implement a moving detachable cart designed to transport labels in boxes as it picks up the cart in the supermarket area and delivers it to the line side, allowing operators to retrieve or store boxes safely, efficiently, and ergonomically. The on-demand delivery approach eliminates the need for additional buffer area, simplifying the management of line side delivery.
The result? A seamless deployment of fully autonomous mobile robots that delivered maximum efficiency, improved outcomes, and round-the-clock workloads that drove profits. With nearly 10,000 work hours clocked, over 100,000 km travelled, and zero accidents or incidents, Milvus Robotics’ autonomous robots improved productivity within the factory a stunning 20% compared to the previous labor-intensive system. As a global and trusted supplier to Unilever, Milvus Robotics was able to bolster their success, improve their workflows, enhance employee safety, and boost their overall profitability. With more and more large corporations starting to use autonomous mobile robots, Milvus Robotics will continue to improve and elevate the efficiency, safety, and productivity of businesses throughout the world. Together, Milvus Robotics and Unilever were able to utilize SEIT robots in several other factories, including Unilever’s Knorr and Lipton factory in Istanbul, and further expansions of corporation, autonomous robots will be deployed to more Unilever facilities throughout the world in 2021.