How TTI, Inc. Realized the Full Potential of Their Robotic Fleet
About TTI, Inc.
Specialist distributor of Passive, Electromechanical and Discrete Power and Sensor Components
European Headquarters in Maisach-Gernlinden
approx. 42,000 sqm storage area
Delivering 2.75 million products annually
TTI, Inc. faced the problem that their Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR) from Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR) and Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) GlobalAGV des Manufacturer BILA A/S couldn't operate in an environment with shared driveways which confronted the company with efficiency losses. The project team led by Tassilo Matthes, leader of the automation project, and Gökan Yilmaz, process manager at TTI, Inc., looked for an intelligent solution to the problem.
With WAKU Platform, TTI, Inc. succeeded in managing the different paths of the two mobile robot systems efficiently and safely, created new application possibilities and achieved a higher utilization of the robots. Real-time data and process analytics made the processes more visible and transparent. Overall, TTI, Inc. realized significant cost savings by using WAKU Platform in the receiving department. In addition, new use cases for robot automation were identified.
It is only because of WAKU Platform that we are now able to let mobile robots from different manufacturers drive in the same areas and aisles. The ‘intelligent area limits feature’ enables us to operate mixed traffic safely and efficiently. This gives us a wide range of uses for the AGVs and AMRs, enabling us not only to achieve huge cost savings in our receiving department but also to ensure our overall growth target of 10% per year.
Tassilo Matthes, Supply Chain Program Manager at TTI, Inc.
The initial situation
- Because of a sharp increase in demand for their products, TTI, Inc. faced new operational challenges (higher throughput volumes in their warehouse)
- TTI, Inc. decided to automate parts of its warehouse, starting with the receiving department.
- TTI, Inc. did this by deploying 12 AMRs from MiR (Mobile Industrial Robots) and three driverless forklifts “Global AGV” from BILA A/S through their system integrator JUGARD+KÜNSTNER
- It was impossible to realize many use cases of the robots as both systems couldn’t drive in the same area
- Furthermore, robots stood still and were not able to complete their missions without people recognizing and knowing root causes. This resulted in efficiency losses.
- Actual performance and utilization of the robot fleet were difficult to measure
- Data analysis and data evaluation was very time-consuming
- Robots were not visible on the shop floor when the battery was empty as a consequence shop floor workers had to search for them
- Installation of WAKU Platform resulted in efficient traffic management and seamless operations of the robot systems from different manufacturers
- Shopfloor workers can now easily define area-limits on the map where only one robot at a time is allowed access, thereby avoiding collisions
- All robots and their current status became visible in a single Live Map which increases the transparency, safety, and productivity on the shop floor
- Real-time data now provides actionable process insights such as the number and duration of missions, success rates, and order distribution between devices
- TTI, Inc. is now able to analyze and evaluate main fleet KPIs like utilization, performance, accuracy, and availability thereby improving their understanding of processes
- Heatmap of errors, analytics of warning and errors as well as technical data like charging helped to reduce conflict zones and bottlenecks. This increased availability and reduced wear and tear of robot hardware
- In case of incidents, shop floor workers receive an alert via a push notification enabling them to react immediately
- The intuitive user interface allows shop floor workers to optimally control and monitor all robots without the need for technical knowledge
Safety in internal processes is elementary for us. With WAKU Platform we have managed to display warning signals audio-visually and avoid collisions between AGVs and AMRs in conflict zones. With that, we were able to trigger more missions and increased the utilisation significantly.
Gökan Yilmaz, Process Manager Operations Europe at TTI, Inc.
The Project Phase
- In the joint workshop, a roadmap of topics was developed with the first step dashboards with process data
- The installation of the WAKU Platform initially only took place for the robot systems from MiR
- The robot manufacturer of the Global AGVs provided missing necessary data points for the interface, which was followed by the integration of the systems into WAKU Platform
- A development partnership was formed between WAKU Robotics and TTI, Inc. to continuously improve WAKU Platform
Why it was a success
+50% utilization of robotic systems
Traffic management, real-time process insights and active alerting improved uptime and OEE of both systems significantly and lead to an increase in utilization of 50%
Increased operational space to 100%
Robots of MiR and BILA A/S no longer block each other on shared routes; robots can now operate on 100% of the warehouse area -> More use cases possible
Company growth target of 10% per year
Increasing robot utilization by 50% leads to cost savings whereby TTI, Inc. is able to secure its company growth target of 10% per year
7x Robot operators
All 14 team members on the shop floor could now work with robots and respond quickly to incidents through one easy-to-use interface. This saves training effort, reduces mistakes, and leads to higher robot utilization.
Why WAKU Platform?
With WAKU Platform, we enable our customers to realize the full potential of their mobile robot fleet. Our customers use the Software-as-a-Service product to analyze the traffic of mobile robots from different manufacturers within warehouse and production environments. Thanks to an intuitive user interface, you can easily define your own traffic regulations. WAKU Platform ensures the interoperability of robots and manual vehicles, i.e. the ability of devices from different manufacturers to interact reliably with each other.