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Hamburg, Germany-based Jungheinrich AG acquired Munich-based autonomous mobile robot (AMR) developer arculus GmbH for an undisclosed amount. arculus manufactures AMRs, modular production platforms and software solutions for mobile automation. The company has a number of well-known automotive manufacturers and industrial clients from various sectors.
“At arculus, we are excited about the synergies that we and Jungheinrich will be able to offer our customers in the future. Our companies also share common goals and values, like the commitment to making it easier for our customers to meet their automation needs quickly and efficiently,” said Dr. Fabian Rusitschka, CEO of arculus.
arculus was founded in 2016, and claims its systems have completed more than 1.5 million picks and driven more than 500,000 km in production. Jungheinrich employs 18,000 people worldwide and generated revenue of $4.3 billion (€3.81 billion) in 2020.
In addition to manufacturing AMRs, arculus also is a software developer of AMR management software. The company’s portfolio includes warehouse management software and a fleet management solution for AMRs.
In acquiring arculus, Jungheinrich added hardware and software solutions in the rapidly-growing AMR sector to its portfolio of automation systems.
“With the acquisition of arculus, we have been able to comprehensively expand Jungheinrich’s expertise in the automation field of action,” said Dr. Lars Brzoska, chairman of the board of management of Jungheinrich AG. “Important areas of application – like good-to-person order picking – will see continued strong growth, not least because of the ever-increasing amount of e-commerce. With the team from arculus, we can achieve strong growth synergy and unlock important future fields of action in automated warehouse logistics. Together we are opening a new chapter in the history of the warehouse of the future.”
arculus became at least the fifth AMR company to be acquired in just the last six months. In September 2021, Locus Robotics acquired Waypoint Robotics to add heavy-duty AMRs to its portfolio. ABB paid $190 million to acquire ASTI Mobile Robotics in July 2021, and Zebra Technologies paid $290 million for Fetch Robotics. Here is a look at some of the more notable AMR acquisitions over the years.
12 notable warehouse-focused AMR acquisitions
|Locus Robotics||Waypoint Robotics||--||9/20/21||Story|
|ABB||ASTI Mobile Robotics||190||7/20/21||Story|
|Zebra Technologies||Fetch Robotics||290||7/1/21||Story|
|JASCI Software||NextShift Robotics||--||5/4/21||Story|
|Shopify||6 River Systems||450||9/9/19||Story|
|Teradyne||AutoGuide Mobile Robots||58||10/21/19||Story|
|Teradyne||Mobile Industrial Robots||272||4/26/18||Story|
arculus is a member of the VDA and VDMA expert committee for standardizing the AGV interface and has helped shape its development. The insights they gained while working with their customer went directly into the VDA 5050 standardization process. The standard allows for the quick and efficient integration of automated guided vehicles from different manufacturers into a single control system – to optimise logistics process and thus increase the degree of automation, which Jungheinrich will also benefit from in the future.
The arculus product line includes three different sized AMRs:
- arculee XS is a 505 x 540 x 400 mm (19.9” x 21.3” x 15.7”) platform AMR with a 250 kg (670 lb) payload capacity.
- arculee S is a 800 x 750 x 290 mm (31.5” x 29.5” x 11.4”) platform/lift AMR with a 1,000 kg (2,679 lb) payload capacity
- arculee M is a 1200 x 750 x 290 mm (47.2” x 29.5” x 11.4”) platform/lift AMR with a capacity of 1,200 kg (3,215 lb).
Jungheinrich AG is a major automation and intralogistics provider in Germany. The company has been around since 1953, and has provided manually driven fork trucks and tuggers for decades. The company also developed a product line of AGVs.
The addition of arculus brings Jungheinrich AG a competitive portfolio of AMRs and expands the Jungheinrich portfolio with the latest autonomous technology. The mechanical and software development teams at arculus also enable the combined company to continue to innovate and extend the capabilities of the combined product lines.
Jungheinrich has a mature and well established sales channel, which will immediately help to expand the sales of the arculus AMR product line, and enable Jungheinrich to remain competitive in the intralogistics marketplace.