OTTO Motors and AMT automate material handling at a packaging facility

OTTO Motors

Alongside an increase in global demand, manufacturers are experiencing a labor shortage that has impacted productivity at their facilities. In fact, while 4.6 million new manufacturing jobs are projected to be created by 2028, 2.4 million of them could go unfilled, leading manufacturers to automate as the solution. Manufacturers are now also requiring a safer and more flexible solution than automated guided vehicles (AGVs), conveyors and forklifts.

The only way to survive in manufacturing is to automate.

Scott Kilpatrick

Vice President of Sales, AMT

Applied Manufacturing Technologies (AMT) is a family-owned company from Orion, Michigan, and is an industry leader in robot automation engineering, manufacturing systems integration and turnkey industrial controls globally. For more than thirty years, AMT has helped customers automate their manual processes to combat their labor shortage and safety challenges. 

Together, AMT and OTTO Motors partnered to implement the first robots at Rehrig Pacific Company (Rehrig Pacific). For over one hundred years, Rehrig Pacific has been tackling supply chain and waste and recycling challenges with industry-leading reusable plastics products and solutions. Today, Rehrig Pacific specializes in designing secondary packaging solutions—specifically, plastic injection molded totes and bins—to address the unique supply chain needs of Fortune 500 companies across various industries.

AMT and OTTO Motors were determined to improve productivity and safety at Rehrig Pacific’s Florida facility, while combating their labor shortage problem with an integrated, automated material handling solution.

The partnership

AMT has over thirty years of experience integrating industrial automation solutions, including palletizing, depalletizing and advanced material handling.

AMT values innovation and investing in cutting edge technology, which is why partnering with a leading autonomous mobile robot (AMR) provider was the right fit for AMT. Together, AMT and OTTO Motors help solve labor shortages and safety challenges by automating manual material handling with innovative AMRs.

The solution

Rehrig Pacific selected AMT to implement their first robotic solution because of AMT’s extensive experience and hands-on approach to solving material handling challenges. OTTO AMRs complement AMT’s robotic front-of-line and end-of-line solutions.

The flexibility of the system was a surprise to me because with the traditional automation software, you’re telling something to go from A to B, whereas with OTTO, you’re telling it to go from A to B, but it can choose its own path in between.

Alex Kennedy

Senior Controls Engineer, AMT

At Rehrig Pacific’s Florida facility, the totes move down the conveyor and are labeled with a unique barcode. A FANUC robotic arm stacks the totes onto a pallet, and once the pallet is full, an OTTO 1500 with a lift attachment arrives at the front-of-line station. OTTO picks up the pallet and drives the totes to the end-of-line station where the pallet is stretch wrapped. The process continues as each pallet is completed at the front-of-line station.

Image 1: OTTO 1500 driving to the pallet stacked with totes, preparing to take it to the stretch wrapper across the facility.

Image 1: OTTO 1500 driving to the pallet stacked with totes, preparing to take it to the stretch wrapper across the facility.

The impact

AMT’s partnership with OTTO Motors created an innovative solution for Rehrig Pacific. Together, the partners met weekly to discuss the implementation, and if there was ever a need for troubleshooting, OTTO was always a phone call or email away. AMT found the OTTO Fleet Manager incredibly simple to use when a facility change had to be made.

Fleet Manager is a great tool that anyone can pick up on the fly. If you need to expand your modules by any means, it’s very easy to jump in and do so. You can add and remove pieces and hardware throughout the factory and it’s not going to affect OTTO’s capabilities. [The AMR is] going to learn and relearn how to get around and do its job.

Tyler Bruder

Automation Engineer, AMT

Together, OTTO and AMT delivered a turnkey solution for Rehrig Pacific, showcasing the importance of strategic partnerships when implementing autonomous material handling solutions.

I don’t think I’ve attended a meeting in the last six months where someone hasn’t wanted to talk about AMR technology.

Scott Kilpatrick

Vice President of Sales, AMT

As labor and safety challenges become increasingly prevalent for manufacturing facilities and warehouses worldwide, leaders are automating material handling workflows with AMRs to solve them. It is partnerships like the one between AMT and OTTO Motors that are enabling these productivity-improving solutions to be implemented efficiently and effectively.

You can learn more about the partnership between OTTO Motors and AMT by visiting OTTO Motors’ booth #4832 and AMT’s booth #902 at the Automate trade show in Detroit, Michigan from May 22-25, 2023.

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