MiR reports manufacturers turning to greater automation post pandemic
Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR), a Danish manufacturer of autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), has announced a 55% increase in sales in Q1 2021 over the same period last year, and believes the increase in sales reflects a global trend to accelerating automation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. A large number of Q1 sales are from multiple orders from multinational organisations that continue to invest in large fleets of MiR robots as they automate material handling and internal logistics.
“Automation and digitalisation are critical measures to strengthen manufacturing businesses during and after the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Søren E Nielsen, President, MiR. “Consequently, many companies that successfully tested AMR solutions are returning for more and planning full-scale deployments of up to 50 robots to improve internal logistics and efficiency and enable their workers to focus on higher-value tasks.”
Automotive and electronics companies continue to automate internal transport with AMRs; these robots are also widely used in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) sector, the pharmaceutical industry and logistics. The global pandemic has also propelled the development and growth of cleaning modules for MiR robots as they are deployed to disinfect offices, hospitals and other public places to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
MiR also puts its growth in Q1 down to increased interest by technology manufacturers in integrating robotic platforms with their products to make their automation solutions mobile and flexible. For example, KEN Hygiene Systems in Denmark uses MiR robots to automate the filling and emptying of washer disinfectors in sterile centres in hospitals.
MiR’s AMRs are used at many top companies such as Novo Nordisk, Ford and Honeywell. The largest percentage of orders in Q1 were for the company’s MiR250 model. To meet MiR’s growth and development projections, the company hired 26 new employees in the first quarter, a 10% increase in staff, and has 21 positions open worldwide.
“2020 was a challenging year for everyone, and after several prior years of high growth in personnel, last year was quieter,” Nielsen said. “In line with a return to high growth, we are launching new initiatives that require new employees. It’s an exciting time to be at MiR and within the automation sector overall.”
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