Rucha Yantra offers easy, affordable material handling solutions
In the textile industry, transporting material from one place to another is a tedious task mainly because the materials are bulky. Specialising in building Autonomous Guided Vehicles (AGVs) and Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs), Rucha Yantra LLP – by adopting a solution-driven approach – offers effective, reliable and affordable solutions to overcome material handling challenges. Talking to ITJ’s Rakesh Rao, Rohit Dashrathi, Founder and Director, Rucha Yantra LLP, elaborates on emerging trends in material handling and some of the company’s new products such as humanoid robot, robotic vacuum cleaner, aerial robotics, etc that are currently in the development stage.
How is Rucha Yantra LLP serving the textile industry?
Rucha Yantra is a leading Indian company that provides robotics solutions for material handling challenges. We specialise in building Autonomous Guided Vehicles (AGVs) and Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) that handle floor transportation of material from one point to another without human intervention. We also have an expertise in customised Special Purpose Machines (SPMs) and robotic integration & automation services.
Committed to innovation, we are driven to develop solutions that address the challenges our customers face continuously. We strive to provide solutions that are effective, reliable, and affordable.
Rucha Yantra offers material handling services that are affordable, easy to implement and low maintenance. This makes it easier for the textile companies to accommodate the automation in the cramped shop floors as well. We are thus trying to entirely automate the process of transporting the material from one place to another, be it raw material or finished goods.
What kinds of changes are you witnessing in the textile industry with respect to material handling systems & processes (right from raw material to finished textile products)? What are the advantages of using Rucha Yantra LLP products?
When, we say textiles, it includes spinning, weaving, knitting, stitching. Each process is quite independent on its own. So, there can be different plants for each of the processes or a single plant spread across acres with designated areas which separate each process.
In any case, transporting the material from one place to another is a tedious task mainly because the material is bulky. Imagine transporting tonnes of cotton from warehouse to spinning plant or big rolls of yarn from spinning to weaving. In earlier days manual labour was used for transporting the material in textile. But as the size of the industries started growing, it became almost impossible to do these tasks manually. Then came the pallet trucks, forklifts and over-head pick and place mechanisms which are still being used in many textile industries. But all of these still need to be operated by men. Moreover, forklifts and pallet trucks are the major cause of shop floor incidents triggering workers’ safety issues.
AGVs are 100% autonomous requiring no human interaction at all. Due to this the chances of errors are reduced manifolds. Unlike the traditional forklifts, pallet trucks etc they require very low maintenance. As you all know, our standard AGV range at Yantra includes Tugger/Tow type AGVs or Unit load carriers (RAGHAV) and Tunnel Type or Flat Bed AGVs (VAMEN). VAMEN is the most suited product for the textile industry. Its specialised design makes it extremely compact and low height – even less than 300 mm. This makes it very easy to slide under a trolley carrying a big load like 100 meters cloth roll and lift it easily without requiring any manual help. It ensures completely automatic load carriage, from say spinning mill to weaving mill including automated picking and placing of the pallets, carts or trolleys.
The specialised mechanism of the AGV bed allows to transport yarns, bobbins, cloth, garments and carpet rolls of up to 500 Kg without the need of any hooking or tying. This saves manual time and effort making 100% automation possible.
Could you brief us about some of your recently launched products and their advantages?
We recently launched an AGV, VIGHNAHARTA – our first ever dedicated AGV for the healthcare industry. Literally meaning “The Saviour”, Vighnarata can work round the clock delivering medicines, saline bottles and food trays through different wards of a hospital saving precious time of the hospital staff. It can also quickly transfer blood samples, reports and other emergency apparatus, thus, helping the Healthcare Warriors. With obstacle and collision detection facility it can operate safely in the lobbies, hallways, wards and narrow passage ways even in the usual helter-skelter of hospitals. Vighnaharta can be customised according to the client’s needs. Although the current model for healthcare has a storage compartment at top, it can be completely removed or modified to accommodate other requirements according to the industry it is being used for.
Any new product in the offing?
Yes, we do have new products lined up which are under development. At Yantra, we focus on improving our product offerings through dedicated Research and Development (R&D) efforts. We credit our success to our R&D team’s continuous work on finding new and better ways to solve the existing problems and satisfy our customers.
We have two major products coming up soon. One is a humanoid robot, which usually has a torso like human beings and has varied applications. The onset of pandemic saw a rise in these AMRs in various sectors. Humanoid can be used to deliver food safely to customers in the restaurants. It can even help deliver food, medicine to patients in hospitals. With SLAM based navigation there is no need to do any modification to the floor of the restaurant or hospital to deploy Yantra’s Humanoid. The obstacle detection sensors and emergency stop facility also makes it very safe to be working around in crowded places like restaurants.
The other one is a robotic vacuum cleaner. It is gaining popularity increasingly because of the ease with which they can operate and clean any spaces. It is 100% automatic and does not require any assistance to clean. Once turned on it can clean the entire house in one go. It has obstacle detection and there is no issue of damage to any furniture. It is perfectly safe for use around kids, elders and even pets. It can also be used for commercial cleaning purposes like malls, stations, airports, shopfloors, offices and warehouses.
What kind of trends are you observing in the AGVs and Mobile Robots market with respect to their usage in the textile & apparels industry?
India is among the largest producers of textile and the textile and apparel industry in India is growing at a rate 20% annually. Due to the increase in exports and greater demand, the businesses are opting for more and more automation techniques and want to rely less on manual work. Material handling needs are different at different processes. It can be cotton, yarn, cloth, rolls, garments, drums of dye or even machinery. Along with these processes are the warehouse and storage requirements which also require a sizable amount of material movement.
Over the past few decades, we have seen an increase in the use of lifts, clamp trucks, forklifts and conveyor belts for these operations. And during the past 5-6 years there has also been an increase in mobile robots and robotic integration for these processes. AGVs are safer, can provide automated transport and reduce man hours. They are also more efficient and hence increase the productivity also. Moreover they replace the need for lifts to pick and place the material and bulky conveyor belts. Apparels industry is increasingly turning towards delivery robots for their warehouses too.
How do you intend to further boost your growth?
As far as the roadmap is considered we want to become the best of what we currently are. We have made a strong portfolio in AGVs and AMRs till now. So, investing time and money in technology and software is our first priority. Extending the portfolio to warehousing bots, service bots for commercial and household purposes are definitely on the cards. We are also looking forward to venturing into aerial robotics by next year.