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Invited to China Industry Daily for an exclusive interview | Breaking the traditional shelf storage model and developing space logistics robots for household appliances

Time: 2023-11-08  /   View: 458 times

Interview host: Xu Ying, General Manager of the Equipment Division of China Industry Daily

Invited guest: Liu Jinshi, founder and chief engineer of Ston Robot

CeMAT ASIA 2023 was held in Shanghai, where Ston Robot Changzhou Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as "Ston Robot") unveiled its innovative "aerial forklift" products represented by its T800-MINI, showcasing its hard power in cutting-edge technology and product polishing to the industry. Liu Jinshi, the founder and chief product engineer of Ston Robot, introduced in an interview with China Industry News that this series of products can be called a new logistics equipment operation method. It transfers traditional ground storage to the air, completely breaking free from the constraints of ground space. The use of a reduced dimensional containerless control system is more cost-effective and efficient than traditional ground logistics storage management products.

Design concept positioned at home appliance level

"This new model may change the warehousing pattern in the logistics field," Liu Jinshi said when discussing the design concept. "At the beginning of the design, we clearly positioned the product as a product that can be as flexible and user-friendly as household appliances." Liu Jinshi explained, "What we are doing now is a product, not an engineering project."

"It's not difficult to understand that home appliance products can be used as long as you purchase them and press a button," Liu Jinshi said. The T-series products can easily solve various complex logistics scenarios, achieve full intelligent sorting of tens of thousands of items, arrange items in the storage process, and achieve optimal space utilization through software algorithms, achieving maximum time and space efficiency.

Simply put, this newly developed system does not require electrical engineers, drawings, wiring, or debugging, achieving a programming free technical level.

In the installation phase, the entire system is a data control system that adopts a modular approach. As long as it is connected to the factory's ERP system, the installation can be completed in just one day, and there is no need to modify the user's existing system.

"Aerial Forklift" - T800-MINI

The T800-MINI is truly known as the "aerial forklift". The reporter saw on site that it is different from the traditional ground management mode at the end of the warehouse - the T800-MINI product operates at a distance of 3 meters from the warehouse ground in the air, using its nine axis robotic arm to accurately and quickly grasp the required items, place them in flexible pallets, and achieve rapid entry and exit of items. It can be vividly likened to a flying "aerial forklift".

T800-MINI is specifically designed for low rise factories with a height of 3-8 meters, with small investment and fast returns. The maximum load can reach 3 tons and the maximum span can reach 15 meters. Moreover, T800-MINI does not require rail beams and adopts a ground rail installation method, without the need for factory renovation. T800-MINI utilizes the advantages of air sorting to significantly improve warehouse space utilization. It divides the warehouse into two parts, with the line side warehouse used for storage and the processing and manufacturing area used for production. With the same cost, it achieves value doubling.

Cai Jiacheng, General Manager of Ston Robot Fujian Taiwan Sales Branch, gave a detailed introduction to T800-MINI at the booth. He introduced that T800-MINI is a technology product independently produced by Ston Robot, which can revitalize old factories through the gripper of space logistics robots and replace forklifts and workers used in the original factories, using a "frame" mode instead of the warehouse storage mode. He specifically mentioned that in the independent production part, this product does not have an electrical control cabinet and adopts servo driven low code.

The T series space logistics robots integrate technology from the crane industry, forklift industry, truss robot industry, CNC machine tool industry, servo controller industry, and software industry. They adopt a high-dimensional approach to encapsulate advanced technology and make complex industrial robot systems into standard products that are as simple and easy to use as household appliances.

Fast iteration and compatibility can cover the entire industry

When it comes to development experience, Liu Jinshi said that the T series products were officially released in 2022, and after 5 years of research and development, they have finally successfully achieved marketization. The current product is already the seventh generation, and its biggest technical advantage is originality, and the technology iteration is very fast. In a year and a half, it has developed from the first generation to the seventh generation, which proves that the compatibility and flexible design of the T series products can keep up with the needs of the market and customers.

Practice has proven that Liu Jinshi and his design team's concept of developing home appliance grade products is correct. Once entering the market, the T series products have gained recognition from users in multiple fields such as machine processing.

Liu Jinshi said, "The T800 product adopts full servo technology, which can be suitable for 90% of tray sizes in the market, and has strong compatibility with products from all industries." The successful cases of the T series products involve multiple industries. The first user is an enterprise in the flooring field, with over 7000 varieties of products and over 160 tray sizes required for storage and retrieval. Previously, the company relied on manual operation of forklifts to find the necessary processes from over 7000 varieties, which was a headache. In the end, the company adopted three robot products from Ston Robot, which covered the entire warehouse and supported all pallet sizes for the current user.

In addition, Ston Robot utilizes AI algorithms to maximize warehouse access. The storage technology of T series products does not have the traditional concept of storage space, which is equivalent to building blocks in a three-dimensional space, and can achieve maximum inventory volume through calculation.

Another customer is a machining bearing enterprise, with a wide variety of bearing varieties. Originally, manual delivery was not possible, resulting in large production batches and low warehouse storage capacity. Sometimes it takes time and effort to search the entire warehouse for a single component. After using Ston's space logistics robot, they increased their inventory by 5 times, increased their outbound efficiency by 30 times, and achieved fast sorting function. The company originally intended to build a three-dimensional warehouse, but now it has successfully solved all the problems with just one spatial logistics robot (15% of the cost of a three-dimensional warehouse).

Liu Jinshi stated that although the T series product is a new product, it has already received a good market response due to its stability. Now the company's performance is growing rapidly, with orders in hand reaching over 100 million yuan and intention orders exceeding one billion yuan. It has related customers in fields such as home appliances, fertilizers, machinery, and new energy. In the future, Ston Robot plans to be a model project for leading enterprises, allowing more customers to understand this new track.