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Robots require flatter floor

28 May 2020

Robots are becoming increasingly common in the warehouse setting, with a plethora of new providers emerging. But how do you make sure your flooring is up to the task of using robots?

The warehouse of the future may look nothing like it is today. For example, an Amazon fulfilment centre is vastly different to a conventional warehouse where instead of a single level, high ceiling box style building, it is now a multi-level, low ceiling height warehouse where small robots replace high reach forklift trucks.

Robotic fulfilment centres do not need conventionally high clearance ceilings, so this type of building is relatively easy to convert into a modern distribution centre.

Robotics, VNA, automated guidance vehicles (AGVs), automatic storage and retrieval systems (ASRS) and even conveyors all put greater demands on the warehouse floor than ever before. An existing warehouse floor may not be suitable for either systems without some form of rectification or compromise.

A customer operating robots for their MHE are likely to require demanding level grinding to ensure the slab meets the specification for the robots to run on.

CG Flooring Systems and sister company FACE Consultants work on these projects. FACE focuses on floor flatness testing for robotic systems, and CG Flooring Systems carries out high tolerance floor level grinding to areas identified by the FACE surveyors, to bring the slab into compliance with the specification.

This kind of work may appear to be straightforward, but in reality it is challenging, demands attention to detail and tests the skill and knowledge of technicians. After all, errors in the grinding can be difficult to recover and may lead to excessive grinding, which can also impact on the works programme.

Floor flatness testing

The CoGri Group has formed CoGri Engineering, bringing together a team to focus on the design and manufacture of revolutionary floor flatness testing equipment. The company will supply floor profilers and other cutting-edge floor testing equipment to other group divisions as well as customers throughout the world.

A new product manager, Peter Barnard, has been brought in to head up the company. Peter is degree qualified in both electronics and management as well as possessing extensive experience of the electronics and software sectors.

The company enables the Group to separate the services side of the business provided by Face Consultants in terms of Design, on site QA and testing from the product development R&D and sales side of the business which in the past has all been under the Face Consultants brand.