RMT Robotics celebrates 30 years of automated materials handling at ProMat
March 23, 2011 - MMH Editorial
RMT Robotics will celebrate its 30th anniversary at ProMat 2011. In Booth 3821 at ProMat, RMT Robotics is featuring its newest generation of case and layer picking robotic gantry systems, engineered to meet the food and beverage industries’ need for high SKU mixed product distribution.
RMT stands for “Robotics and Manufacturing Technology,” a name originally given to the company by its startup crew of three: Doug Pickard, Richard Baumann and Dave Wilmshurst. With extensive experience introducing robotics and machine vision while employed at General Motors, the team of entrepreneurs realized that other industries could benefit from their knowledge of robots and application experience and with that, decided to venture out on their own.
RMT Robotics was launched in 1981 in St. Catharine’s, Ontario, initially occupying the third bedroom of a townhouse that two of the founders shared. Facing the credibility challenge of working from home was only half the battle, as potential customers at the time remained skeptical that the fledging robotics industry, flush with participants and plagued with technical limitations, could deliver products and solutions that could reliably automate their time tested manual production methods.
The legacy of RMT as an innovator and robotics industry pioneer was forged in their development of large and fast gantry style robots for case handling. While most robotics companies developed pedestal and scara type robots, RMT fashioned a unique industrial robot in the gantry design. True to their focus, over the decades RMT has evolved the robotic gantry from small and slow to goliath proportions; today’s RMT gantries can each be almost half a football field in proportion and accelerate to tremendous speeds. In one example, a modern multi-gantry system orchestrates the picking of 300 concurrent SKUs at a rate of more than 250,000 cases per day, a materials handling feat unimaginable only a decade earlier.
In 2010, RMT Robotics was acquired by its former rival Cimcorp Oy (http://www.cimcorp.com), a Finland-based global supplier of automated material handling and picking solutions. In 2011, the newly merged entity offers fully integrated case picking and order fulfillment solutions, tire handling systems, specialized robotic gantry technology and the ADAM mobile robot.
“RMT will continue to grow by offering innovative and best-in-class material handling solutions for a targeted set of applications. It means applying state-of-the-art robotics to the mission critical task of order picking for warehouse distribution systems where pick accuracy, reliability and cost effectiveness are paramount,” said Doug Pickard, founder and president, RMT Robotics. “We will continue to be very active in ensuring that RMT Robotics’ systems are the most efficient and productive in the market. Our mission is to help our customers compete in an increasingly aggressive and price sensitive global markets. ”
Robotic gantry picking builds mixed pallets, saves space
In a press conference held Tuesday, RMT Robotics unveiled new robotic gantry designs for automated case, layer and crate picking in food and beverage distribution facilities.
ProMat 2011 will be held March 21 - 24, 2011 at McCormick Place South in Chicago. The tradeshow will showcase the latest manufacturing, distribution and supply chain solutions in the material handling and logistics industry.