ULTRA BLUE: Robotic Truck Loading

Reliably Automate High Volume Truck Floor Loading Operations

Manually loading trucks and trailers with completed boxed orders in warehousing and manufacturing facilities requires a lot of repetitive and heavy lifting. Bastian Solutions’ ULTRA BLUE™ loading system brings automation to warehousing and manufacturing facility docking stations. This mobile robotic platform is designed to support high volume, fluid loading operations of boxes with consistent footprint dimensions.

This unique automation solution was expertly designed to combine a retractable mast, custom EoAT (end of arm tool) and articulating conveyors to quickly handle cases inside truck trailers, reducing the risk of worker injuries from manual lifting and reduces product damage or loss with secure handling, while ensuring productivity gains. As you explore various box floor loading automation options, Bastian Solutions experts will work with you to evaluate current and future operations to identify efficiency opportunities.
 

LIMITED ORDERS AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY IN 2023

Ready to find your solution?

ULTRA-BLUE-robotic-truck-loader-trailer-800px

How It Works

ULTRA-BLUE-robotic-truck-loader-trailer-imageThe ULTRA BLUE Mobile Robot offers a unique solution to truck loading in that it can autonomously drive to and from dock doors into truck trailers without additional infrastructure. No rails or in-ground equipment are required, making this a flexible solution that can operate in a variety of warehouse layouts.

Once at a trailer, ULTRA BLUE transports, lifts and places individual boxes or cases directly into the trailer. Boxes travel from an extendable conveyor attached to the back of the ULTRA BLUE, up the retractable mast to the customized EoAT where they are placed inside the trailer, from the floor up. ULTRA BLUE can be integrated into approved existing material handling equipment such as telescopic conveyors, flexible powered conveyors, carton erectors, in line case weighing systems, barcode scanners, sortation systems, depalletizing systems and more.

The customized EoAT has six degrees of freedom allowing for compact storage and necessary reach for case placement within a trailer, allowing for repeatable precision and tight tolerances. The robot performs these steps without human labor intervention or lifting of loads. This opens opportunities for associates to be better leveraged for more important and non-repeatable tasks.

The ULTRA BLUE features two main loading methods:

  • Consistent Row Loading – for cases with same dimensions within the same case wall or entire truckload, normally tall and narrow boxes. Medium to heavy cases that are taped or lidded.
  • Variable Height Loading – for cases with the same footprint dimensions, normally short and wide cases. Light to medium weight boxes that are folded, taped or lidded.

Precise Placement and Navigation

Bastian Solutions’ ULTRA BLUE rides on an omni-direction base allowing for lateral traversal between dock doors. A combination of natural feature and reflector-based navigation allow for precise localization inside the trailer and shipping dock areas without a human operator.

LiDAR scanners identify structures inside the truck trailer to ensure accurate case placement. In the dock area, reflector-based navigation uses a set of well-positioned reflectors to designate the operating area.

Quick Recovery and Minimal Maintenance

Intuitive recovery processes and fault recovery instructions minimize system downtime. When an operator needs to recover a fault and resume operations the HMI (human machine interface) assists operators with visualizations on where or how the fault may have occurred, allowing for quick recovery time. Remote access and monitoring are optional for improved support. In the case of repairs or recover operations, the mobile robot can be driven manually.

If loading operations are halted in event of required repairs or out-of-spec products, ULTRA BLUE can operate in a “safe manual mode” to deliver or receive cases on the EoAT. The ergonomic staging height allow for loading and unloading operations to continue manually.

All in One Solution for Maximum Productivity

Unlike other technologies, ULTRA BLUE merges several capabilities into a single solution – receiving, transport, lift, positioning and placement of cases. Its operations start inside the warehouse and extend all the way to the interior of a truck trailer. This eliminates common intermediary steps when it comes to truck loading, such as loading to pallets first and using forklifts to maneuver those loads to the trailer.

Each ULTRA BLUE Mobile Robot can service two to three warehouse dock doors, allowing a fleet to scale for necessary shipping requirements without additional infrastructure. Requiring only a single operating technician to manage the fleet through a centralized control HMI (human machine interface), the technician can view progress and trigger a robot to move to the next dock door, which it can do autonomously without an onboard driver. The HMI features visualizations, DVR cameras, and a data historian for performance monitoring.

The ULTRA BLUE’s unique features allows for continuous throughput through two to three work shifts. Its non-stationary design means that the ULTRA BLUE can traverse between multiple dock doors. This allows time for empty or full trailers to be swapped out while ULTRA BLUE is working on a neighboring dock and trailer.

Applications

Common applications that can benefit from ULTRA BLUE’s unique solution, may include:

  • Trailers that require floor to ceiling (box floor loading) with tight tolerances.
  • Ambient, clean and protected environments with indoor facility temperatures between 35°F and 90°F.
  • Operations with multiple shifts, multiple doors and operators.
  • Use of cases or boxes that do not have a high variation in dimension or material.
  • Loading of products that are robust and do not require extreme delicate handling, like consumer goods, apparel, medical and personal products, dry packaged goods.
  • High volume of continuous loading of boxes for shipment.
  • A need for flexibility for future expansion or adaptability to handle additional docks for peak seasons.
 

Features & Benefits

  • 24/7 operations with high reliability, consistency and repeatability
  • Achieve ROI with improved throughput and reduced labor costs
  • Make consistently sized box floor loading more repeatable and consistent
  • Automate difficult manual loading from the floor to ceiling within truck trailers
  • Reduce injuries and improve workplace ergonomics
  • Efficient space utilization reduces freight costs with dense freight packing
  • Get the most efficient space utilization within every truck vehicle container
  • Customized EoAT securely handles cases and reduces damage
 

Specifications

  • 24/7 operations
  • Loads 1,000+ cases per hour in 24/7 operations
  • Requires only a single operator to manage a fleet of ULTRA BLUE Mobile Robots
  • Can be integrated with existing material handling equipment or designed as part of a larger fully automated system
  • Compatible with most trailers, intermodal containers, dock levelers and telescopic conveyors
  • Designed with industry standard safety equipment and to customer’s specific safety requirements

 

About Bastian Solutions R&D

Bastian Solutions R&D (Research & Development) work builds on experiences with a variety of industries and clients, from the latest technology in aerospace to streamlining manufacturing and leveraging new trends in ecommerce. With an eye on market changes and foresight into the evolution of the industry, our experts identify additional opportunities to meet the needs of operations in the near and distant future by creating technologies that lead the future of material handling solutions.
 

Learn more about Bastian Solutions Innovation  >  

 

Learn More

072022-ULTRA-BLUE-robotic-truck-loading-One-Pager-thumbnail

ULTRA BLUE Product Overview

BastianSolutions-Robotics-brochure-card-image

Our Robotics Capabilities

 

Ready to find your solution?

Close