BEIJING – Geek+, which develops advanced autonomous mobile robots and other AI systems, today launched “the world’s first smart factory” that uses robot arms to make mobile robots. The Nanjing-based factory will use Geek+ robots, artificial intelligence algorithms and other automated solutions to manufacture new Geek+ robots. The company said 100% of the company’s robots are produced by the factory, “a testament to performance and strength of the solution.”
Geek+, a 2019 RBR50 honoree, said autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) are the best way to achieve flexible production, and can also help companies realize a smart and agile supply chain. The company is also announcing the Geek+ Smart Factory Solution, using the factory as a blueprint for flexible production and intelligent manufacturing. The company added it can adapt and implement the technology to other manufacturing facilities, and “easily customize the solution to meet various production and industrial scenarios.”
Increased accuracy, traceability
The Nanjing smart factory output almost doubles traditional manual production capacity, Geek+ said, and the single-shift annual production is designed to exceed 10,000 robots. The company added that the system also guarantees more precise process control and higher accuracy with a straight-through rate for the final assembly exceeding 98%, and higher traceability of the whole process, which reduces overall management cost.
Under its production logistics management system, the robots operate together, and the factory includes:
- Robotic arms, a PLC, smart camera, and automatic tightening machine for automated production;
- Geek+ Moving System: P800 robots deployed using QR code navigation to carry shelves for inventory management, M1000 robots using QR code and SLAM navigation to store, load and unload WIPS, which allows for flexible distribution in the automated production station;
- Geek+ Forklift System: Unmanned forklifts that use SLAM navigation to access the entire pallet without ground modification.
On the AI side, the robots include several features, including:
- Scheduling: Algorithms ensure optimal efficiency so robots can figure out the best path to move around and communicate with other robots;
- Vision: The robot arm station includes an industrial vision system. In addition to the positioning and assembly function required for the production of the robot arm, it can also identify the process of repairing the product, the remaining condition of auxiliary materials, and the type of work in progress, in order to achieve a more flexible automated production process;
- Business processes: the system includes an intelligent OS for the inventory and production area, configured to understand and implement required business processes. This includes shelf heat management, work in process management, and bottleneck process optimization.
“Smart factories will be a turning point for the entire industry as they provide a truly proven alternative to traditional, fixed production and achieve flexible production,” said Yong Zheng, founder and CEO of Geek+. “What better way to show to the world the value of our solutions than to apply it to our own production? Our Nanjing factory is a window into the future of intelligent logistics and manufacturing.”
Applicable across industries
Geek+ said its smart factory solution can be applied to several industries, including automobile OEMs, auto part factories, and 3C electronics factories. It is geared to industries that require more flexible manufacturing processes to keep up with the demand for new product lines, and allow for capacity expansion.
“In the past four years, we have already developed and implemented game-changing technologies for warehousing operations,” Zheng said. “With smart factories, we continue to pave the way for a truly intelligent supply chain.”
Headquartered in Beijing, Geek+ has deployed more than 7,000 robots through more than 200 projects around the world. Its robots have been deployed in several industries, including e-commerce, apparel, retail, logistics, third-party logistics, pharmaceutical, and manufacturing. Founded in 2015, the company has more than 700 employees with offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, Japan, and Germany. The company has raised $389.4 million since its founding, the most recent round in July 2019 ($150 million).