Mobile Industrial Robots (Holbrook, New York), the market leader in autonomous mobile robots, grew revenue by 160% in 2018, matching its 2017 growth and meeting its forecast.
MiR, which did not disclose its profits, is now part of American company Teradyne, the leading supplier of automated test equipment.
MiR told RoboPro Magazine that its success was due, in large part, to it’s multinational customers, including the Toyota Motor Corporation, which are investing in fleets of mobile robots to optimise internal logistics and to gain competitive advantages in the production and supply chain.
Some 30% MiR’s 2018 sales come from the Americas (27% in the US and 3% in Latin America).
“Large multinational organisations, who are happy with the benefits they’ve received after trying one of our robots, are now investing in fleets spread across more of their plants, with some purchasing as many as 15 to 25 MiR robots at a time,” said Thomas Visti, CEO of MiR. “Our robots make it easy for these companies to follow the increasing shift to a mass-customisation model, where they manufacture a higher number of customised products in smaller batches, requiring an agile production facility with flexible and easily adaptable logistics. Our user-friendly technology fits this model well.”
MiR is driving growth from new products and a new “robots as a service” offering to help more companies benefit from the technology.
In addition to increased sales of multiple robots to companies like Toyota, which already uses MiR robots to optimise logistics in plants in the US and Asia, the company’s growth in 2018 also came from the launch of the MiR500.
Around 40% of sales of the MiR500, which can pick-up, transport, and deliver pallets, have come from US companies. The continuous growth worldwide means that MiR expects 2019 will bring even more new products, along with 100 new employees and new offices in the US, China, and Japan.
According to Visti, the company also expects to increase revenue as much, if not more, over the next year, while expanding the types of companies that can benefit from autonomous mobile robots.
He said: “In 2019, we’ll continue to focus on delivering solutions that companies are requesting. That means we’ll also support companies that are used to leasing equipment such as electric forklifts and AGVs by starting a new ‘mobile robots as a service program’ via our external partners. Now we can lower the initial investment required to make it easier and more attractive for these companies to get started with our collaborative autonomous mobile robots.”