What do Venice, Italy, Henry Ford, Toyota, and a Japanese insect have to do with how your operation manages production, costs, and profitability? If you’re applying lean principles to any of your processes, the answer is: everything.
Historical accounts of lean methodologies typically include well-known references to 15th century Italy, and later attributions within the automotive industry. The Japanese insect, however, may have you puzzled.
The Water Spider Spins a Lean Web
Mizusumashi — or, whirligig beetle — is highly efficient at multitasking. It pivots between water and air, monitoring and attending to several food source locations simultaneously. Its mastery of its environment serves as the inspiration for the trending concept of the “water spider” manufacturing.
To put it in context, “water spider” lean or “water spider” 6 sigma refer to operations wherein a specific team member prevents workflow interruptions to accelerate speed to market. By consistently anticipating and responding to needs, the water spider eliminates distractions and keeps team members focused on value-added activities.
Traditionally the water spider refers to a person, but autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) are giving the designation a new dynamic.
MARC Gives Water Spider Manufacturing More Legs
The roles of a water spider and an AMR are identical. Each allows humans to do what they do best on the production line.
The MūL Technologies mobile autonomous robotic cart (MARC) is a stellar example of an automated water spider, and not just because it was voted the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin.
MARC is rugged enough to tote up to 250 pounds, and technologically simple enough to be up and running in 10 minutes — without Wi-Fi connectivity or complicated and expensive track systems.
In addition, the efficiencies of MARC’s E-Z Go Navigation system help move parts, tools, supplies, products, and other items throughout facilities easily:
- No operator training needed
- No complex map or shared use interfacing
- Extremely simple programming — operators push the cart anywhere and press a location button for 6 seconds to set a known destination
- Operators tap one button to send MARC to any pre-programmed location
- Multiple modes of operation, cart models, and accessories based on use case
- Sensor system provides extra measure of safety as MARC “sees” and responds to its environment, including avoiding people and obstacles
Visually, here’s how MARC would execute a typical use case within your manufacturing or warehouse environment:
Even better, you can see MARC in action with a 30-minute, no-obligation interactive demo presented by the MūL Technologies team. You and your colleagues can attend using the convenience of your connected devices! Get questions answered and see how MARC can take your productivity to the next level. Book your demo today!