About Honeywell Intelligrated: We are a leading North American-based, single-source provider of automated material handling solutions and intelligent software that drive fulfillment productivity for retailers, manufacturers and logistics providers around the world. Through a broad portfolio of automation equipment, warehouse execution system software, services and support, our solutions give businesses a competitive edge in increasingly complex commerce and fulfillment environments. Vice President of Product Development, Matthew Wicks met with RIA recently to share his company vision and how becoming RIA Certified has benefited the company.
RIA: Tell me a little bit about your company. What is Honeywell Intelligrated's main objective?
MW: We design, manufacture, integrate and install complete material handling automation solutions, including conveyor, IntelliSort® sortation, Alvey® palletizers, robotics, automated storage and retrieval systems, and voice- and light-directed picking technologies — all managed by advanced machine controls and our best-in-class Momentum™ warehouse execution system. By drawing on an ever-expanding portfolio and deep industry expertise, we provide best-fit, scalable solutions to help businesses optimize and manage their entire fulfillment processes, from receiving to shipping — and everything in between.
Honeywell Intelligrated’s Connected Distribution Center is designed to help companies make the digital transformation from manual to automated processes and keep up with the rapidly escalating pace of modern commerce demands. Through the seamless integration of sensors, controls, automation and labor, we’re providing the real-time business intelligence to help our customers make informed business decisions, ensure worker safety, and maximize equipment uptime and lifecycles.
RIA: Give an example of a challenging application your company developed.
MW: One example of such an application is a project for a food manufacturer operating with numerous manual palletizing systems serving production lines scatted throughout their operation. Honeywell Intelligrated designed a solution to consolidate all of these legacy lines into a new centralized palletizing system, all while the customer remained in full production. The solution uses many of the equipment types in the Honeywell Intelligrated portfolio, including case and pallet conveyor, high speed sortation and integration expertise of robotic palletizers and stretch wrappers.
We conducted all mechanical, electrical and controls engineering for this solution in-house, along with manufacturing most of the equipment, as the project required tight coordination and collaboration with all of the various disciplines.
RIA: What are the primary industries you serve?
MW: Honeywell Intelligrated helps retailers, manufacturers and logistics providers build smarter distribution and fulfillment operations, using the right mix of automation, software and labor. This includes e-commerce, food, beverage, consumer goods and pharmaceutical operations, just to name a few.
We also back every project with 24X7 multilingual technical support and access to lifecycle service through a network of national, regional and local service centers.
RIA: What markets do you serve – global or domestic?
MW: We serve clients both domestically and internationally.
RIA: What is your vision for the company?
MW: From initial concept through ongoing service and troubleshooting, Honeywell Intelligrated provides total lifecycle support for each system. This maximizes performance and return on investment for our customers.
Honeywell Intelligrated's core values ensure a customer-centric approach to every project and drive all company associates to consistently deliver results, "The Honeywell Intelligrated Way."
RIA: How would you describe the current state of the robotics industry in your country/state? What are the challenges you face?
MW: We’re in the midst a “robotics revolution.” However, many distribution centers (DCs) still operate without robotics. Currently, around 80 percent of warehouses are manually operated, meaning they have no automation support. That is about to change as a tight labor market driven by the uptick in e-commerce has created a situation ripe for automation.
Traditionally, industrial robots have not thrived in dynamic, unstructured environments like the DC. The high volume of varied and complicated tasks clash with the predictable, repetitive tasks that industrial robots have previously handled. But all that’s changing with a new generation of smart robotics. Advances in technology – specifically perception, processing power and gripping – are key enablers for expanding robotic capabilities for the DC.
RIA: Why did you decide to become RIA certified?
MW: We see a lot of companies entering the automation and robotics market, both in terms of end users looking to take advantage of the technology and companies offering robotic integration services. This means the cost of entry for robotic systems can be lower, but it can also come with an unintended cost, with the level of integration not up to industry standards.
We have supplied robotic solutions for more than 30 years, proven experience engineering systems that deliver the rates, quality and the total cost of ownership required, and we take into account the evolving safety and training considerations to comply with industry regulations relevant to a robot application. By becoming an RIA-certified integrator, we're not just touting our experience and skills, we're able to show that we hold ourselves to the exacting requirements of RIA's rigorous certification process.
Robot integrators certified by the RIA are part of a recognized, elite group of accomplished, trustworthy professionals who are leading global and domestic robotic automation. Certification gives our customers confidence that our competency and experience meet the requirements for their robotic automation needs.