Southie Autonomy Achieves Code-Free Task Changeovers in Minutes
Ongoing worker shortages and supply chain disruptions have confirmed a growing need for automation. However, many existing solutions are too costly, complex, and time-consuming.
Southie Autonomy offers a completely integrated, easy-to-use robotic arm system. This turnkey robotic cell is ideal for automating packaging assembly, palletization, and kitting. Its versatility makes it a powerful tool for manufacturers and logistics providers.
To handle a wide range of tasks, the system employs artificial intelligence (AI) and vision guidance through the use of a one-of-a-kind task-based tablet application. The simplicity of the system enables a line worker to perform a task changeover in less than ten minutes.
This efficient and affordable system enables packaging companies to increase ROI by automating functions across many different SKUs and product types, without the expense of 3rd party experts or in-house automation programming expertise.
Bridging the Skills Gap
With Southie’s AI driven software, this platform creates a program for the robot to follow, enabling it to pick up objects of varying shapes and sizes. Completely new tasks can be created by non-experts using a tablet with the intuitive Southie App.
Southie’s Chief Architect, Harish Sampathkumar, says, “You just stand in front of the robotic arm. Then, using the Southie App, show the robot what you want it to pick up and where you want it to place the object. It’s as easy as showing a person how to do the task.”
Rahul Chipalkatty, Southie Autonomy Founder and CEO, points out that, “Until now, it was very expensive and complicated to set up and reprogram robots to perform different tasks, causing the automation ROI to plummet. With Southie’s platform, it only takes minutes, and no coding is required.”
The vertically-articulated six-axis RV-8CRL Vertical Robot Arm performs with outstanding flexibility for a diverse range of applications.
Packing Greater Productivity
Team members from Mitsubishi Electric Automation approached Southie Autonomy to see if there was a production gap that might be filled with flexible, easy to use robotics.
After fully understanding what Southie was looking for, Mitsubishi Electric recommended a solution using their RV-8CRL robotic arm for the efficient, affordable system that Southie customers wanted to build.
Mitsubishi Electric engineers worked closely with the Southie development team to make sure the system performed with the speed and flexibility required to meet the packaging demands of customers like We Pack Logistics.
We Pack is a leading provider of contract packaging solutions with a long history serving the food, beverage, and CPG sectors. Like others in their industry, they face seasonal cycles that create spikes in production demands. We Pack is continually in search of the latest technology and automation solutions to better support their customers. Therefore, they decided to implement the robotic system which provides the flexibility to handle these surges and keep production moving.
The system helps maintain production line continuity, even with variability in scheduling, product volumes, and pack out configurations. Each robot can pack up to 105 cans per minute on the beverage variety packing line. As for changeovers, it takes a Line Lead only ten minutes or less to changeover the robot to new pack configurations, including changes in end-of-arm tooling.
Coworker well-being is assured by the fact that the collaborative robot system/workcell is designed to operate safely around workers on the line, even when moving at top speed.
Like a human worker, the robotic arm is modular. It fits into a copacker’s/customer’s current production line process with only a few changes. The footprint of Southie’s solution is minimal, and when compared to cobots, both the speed and cycle times of the Southie solution are superior.
In addition to a slim, compact exterior and small robot base, the RV-8CRL Vertical Robot Arm’s structure features minimal protrusions, resulting in reduced interference with surroundings.
Automation Potential Realized
Chipalkatty says, “Our mission is to unlock the potential of robotic automation by removing the long-established barriers to adoption, namely cost and complexity. Supply chain providers and manufacturers now have a turnkey solution to help overcome labor challenges. And it’s a solution they can count on as their business continues to evolve.”
As a Diamond Partner OEM, Southie Autonomy receives valuable engineering, manufacturing, and marketing assistance from Mitsubishi Electric Automation. Southie is also part of Mitsubishi Electric’s e-F@ctory Alliance. This has been extremely valuable in helping Southie scale up and provide fast deployments of their turnkey robot solutions.
Southie Delivers the Whole Package
Chipalkatty says, “This is a pivotal moment for the industry. And because our flexible pricing offers options in CapEx or Robot-as-a-Service (RaaS), Southie is poised to accelerate the adoption of collaborative robot solutions across new industries and organizations.”
Mitsubishi Electric Automation fully supports Southie in achieving their goals with technical expertise, as well as training and assistance with marketing and communications. Their objective is to let the industry hear the good news.
Southie’s turnkey solution delivers:
• An easy to use robotic solution
• Fast changeovers via the Southie App
• Robot integration expertise with support
• Production continuity and flexibility
• Flexible pricing options for CapEx or RaaS
And Southie relies on Mitsubishi Electric robotic support. No fear. No worries. We’re on the journey together.