Mobile Industrial Robots (Odense, Denmark and Stony Brook, NY, US) tripled revenue in 2017 to USD12m and aims to reach USD32m this year. Around 25% of sales came from the US, 20% from Germany and 15% from China.
The company has also made senior appointments, with former PricewaterhouseCoopers and LEGO Education International managing director René Tristan Lydiksen becomming chief commercial officer and Danfoss R&D director Søren E Nielsen appointed as chief technology officer. The current CTO Niels Juls Jacobson moves to chief strategy officer.
According to MiR CEO Thomas Visti, growth in 2017 was primarily due to multinational companies that returned with orders for larger fleets of mobile robots after they tested and analyzed the results of their single MiR robots.
He said: “Of course, it’s about reading the market and analyzing developments; we saw some positive trends in 2016, but we aimed very high. For us, it was about having a strong plan to ensure we could execute in development, production and sales. I always say that what happens in three years in other companies happens in three months at MiR, and the speed at which we have grown certainly bears that out.”
In 2017, MiR more than doubled its employees from 27 to 60, and intends to increase staffing by another 50 employees in 2018. It is doubling the size of its headquarters in Odense, and added a large test and training center in Odense in 2017.
Also during 2017, MiR established offices in Shanghai, Barcelona, Singapore and Dortmund, to be closer to its markets and its current 120 distributors spread across 40 countries.
In the US, MIR is investing heavily to respond to what it says is strong demand. The company established its first international office in New York in 2016, and will open a San Diego office in 2018 to support West Coast distributors and customers. Planned hires of six new sales and technical support staff in 2018 will more than double the number of US employees.
A significant factor in MiR’s growth was the spring 2017 launch of the powerful MiR200, which can lift 200 kg, pull 500 kg, is ESD-approved and cleanroom-certified.
Visti said: “MiR200 has been very well received and represents a large part of our sales. The product meets clear needs in the market and increases potential applications for autonomous mobile robots. We’ve also launched a new and extremely user-friendly interface for our robots, which even employees without programming experience can use. It makes it even simpler for our customers to implement and use the robots.”
MiR continues to invest strongly in product development and in the organization to ensure that it maintains its status as the market leader.
Vistiagain: “While the market for mobile robots is still at an early stage, it is expected to explode in the next one to two years as more companies discover the possibilities of using mobile robots to automate internal transport. MiR is fully ready to seize the opportunities and hold its market-leading position.”
MiR claims to have more robots maneuvering through facilities all over the world than any other manufacturer. It’s customer list includes Honeywell, Argon Medical, Kamstrup, Airbus and Flex and many others, MiR now has more robots maneuvering through facilities all over the world than any other manufacturer, as confirmed by ROBO Global LLC. This benchmark index tracks the global robotics and automation market and has been licensed by fund providers in the US, England, Canada, South Korea and Australia.
Robotics industry expert Frank Tobe of ROBO Global added: “MiR’s rapid rise parallels another trend: of businesses using point-to-point mobile devices instead of human messengering or towing. It isn’t MiR alone that is finding significant growth – other suppliers are also selling well above expectations. But MiR’s rise is also being propelled by Thomas Visti’s use of a tried-and-true global network of distributors/integrators, which he developed for Universal Robots. That has helped MiR jump-start its global sales from distributors that trust that MiR has a product that is well-crafted and well-suited to manufacturers worldwide. MiR has found a niche market of manufacturers wanting local deliveries within their facilities using mobile robotic solutions.”