In this series, members of the PICK-PLACE consortium are portrayed. After Turkish automotive company TOFAŞ, it’s the turn of project coordinator ULMA Handling Systems. Leire Zubia, I+D technician, answers the interview.
What is ULMA Handling Systems?
ULMA Handling Systems is an intra logistic solution system provider located in the Basque Country, in the town of Oñati. We carry out our comprehensive engineering activity in material handling systems through a wide range of logistic solutions aimed at the field of distribution and automated manufacturing.
Our services cover from the design and planning of the logistic solution to the after-sales and re-engineering service, which we develop along with the client. Our commitment to innovation allows us to adapt to the customer and provide an adequate solution to any customer’s logistics needs.
We have considerable assets, with a team of around 400 professionals and more than 60 years cumulative experience in the sector.
As coordinators of the PICK-PLACE project, how did you come up with this idea? Why did you decide to set it up?
In the last years, due to the irruption of the new era of Industry 4.0 and the evolution of grasping technologies, our clients’ needs have increased, demanding more and more ad hoc automated solutions for their processes. The product portfolio we have to deal with is growing day by day, with an increasing diversity in morphology as well as in weight, and at the same time the orders’ preparation time needs to be decreased.
Consequently, taking into account these reasons and that our picking preparation is still performed manually, we decided to go a step further and focus our efforts in robotic multi-grasping technologies.
In the case of ULMA Handling Systems, what’s your main contribution to PICK-PLACE? How do you expect to benefit from the project?
As an end user, our contribution to the project will be to expose our industrial requirements and clients’ needs, in order to focus the R&D developments in the industrial field.
The PICK-PLACE consortium is composed of technological and research centers who will work on developing the best multi grasping picking systems. The result of all these studies and developments will culminate with a multi-grasping picking solution that we expect will cover our needs.
In what ways can PICK-PLACE achieve progress beyond the state of the art?
Nowadays there is a wide range of grasping systems in the market. Knowing all these systems is a must for ULMA Hanglin Systems, since we know our developments will come this way. Nevertheless, we cannot stop in the state of the art, the developments must go further and achieve a real grasping system which feed up our expectative.
We have done the first developments with air picking solutions and concrete products, reaching the conclusion that, as the products’ morphology diversifies, existing solutions are not totally autonomous and efficient.
What is your view regarding pick and place in your area?
As an international enterprise ULMA Handling Systems must focus its views in the global market. Our clients are really different from each other, with a huge variety of products. Apart from that, nowadays the industry is requesting ad hoc systems and unique solutions to cover the widest possible range of product.
Considering all these reasons, the objective of a developing a multi-grasping automated solution has become a must for us, and we are confident PICK-PLACE will achieve this ambitious goal.