Linde Material Handling and Balyo sign an exclusive cooperation agreement to jointly develop innovative robotic solutions

Linde Material Handling (MH) and robotics specialist Balyo have agreed to enter into a strategic partnership. With this cooperation, Linde MH seeks to intensify its activities in the field of automated industrial trucks, while Balyo aims to achieve a significant market penetration for its innovative technological solutions. The two companies are planning to collaborate in development, manufacture and sales under the umbrella of "Linde robotics", to extend Linde MH's solution expertise in this field.

The demand for automated industrial trucks is growing steadily. In particular, operators of warehouse trucks want to standardise their in-house material flow by deploying semi or fully automated solutions, which will enable them to use their equipment flexibly regardless of worktime specifications, prevent incorrect operation and accident risks, and also reduce personnel costs.

"Our aim is to extend our range of automation solutions to offer our customers solutions having different levels of complexity. With Balyo we were able to persuade the technology leader in robotics for materials handling equipment to cooperate exclusively with us so that we can now combine the best of both worlds," said Christophe Lautray, Chief Sales Officer at Linde MH, who is convinced that the envisaged close cooperation will be successful. "Our plan is to integrate Balyo's innovative technology into most of our products step by step, whilst utilising synergies in production and sales at the same time. At the LogiMAT trade show, we will be presenting the first jointly developed products, with more to follow soon."

"Linde MH is the European market leader in industrial trucks offering great product knowledge and a densely knit consulting and service network. For us, Balyo is the ideal partner to create the most advanced automated trucks to serve best our mutual customers," says Fabien Bardinet, CEO of Balyo, explaining the decision to start this joint development with the industrial truck manufacturer. "At Balyo, we produce a unique driving system for materials handling, together with Linde MH we will offer tailored solutions to help our customers optimise their in-house material flows and achieve major cost savings."

Based on standard Linde trucks, robots automated by Balyo technology do not require any navigation infrastructure such as laser reflectors, tracks or magnets. Instead, they use embedded autonomous laser-assisted technology, which relies on structural features such as walls, racks or columns. This exclusive technology allows a fast and easy installation process. First, the warehouse is mapped and the data is converted into a two-dimensional picture. The warehouse routes are then defined and robot missions are assigned. Equipped with laser, processor unit and digitised map, the vehicle locates itself in real time.

Changes in the warehouse, missions or routes can be implemented at any time very simply. A comprehensive software suite ensures a full integration in the warehouse environment, including connectivity to WMS and ERP and a simple control of the robots by the warehouse supervisors via an intuitive user interface.

The new robot family comes with a very advanced security solution allowing an easy interaction with the operators and an automatic restart of the truck after a previously detected obstacle has been removed and the route is clear again. Unlike other market solutions, the robots analyse their environment and can restart automatically.

Linde Material Handling GmbH, a company of the KION GROUP AG, ranks among the world's foremost makers of forklift and warehouse trucks and is the market leader in Europe. In addition, the company today offers its know-how, gained during decades of developing and manufacturing electric drive systems, to external customers for a wide variety of applications. As an international company, Linde Material Handling operates production and assembly plants in all important regions worldwide, and has a global sales and service network with offices in over 100 countries. In the fiscal year 2013, Linde Material Handling employed approximately 13,800 people worldwide and generated annual sales of EUR 2.881 billion.

BALYO designs, manufactures and markets robotic handling solutions for the manufacturing and logistics sectors. The company's innovative solution is revolutionizing the materials handling world. The technology can be found throughout Europe and is now available in North America, through BALYO Inc.

BALYO's expert teams help customers, leverage the technology, integrate the solution, reduce costs, and achieve superior returns. From the identification of potential productivity gains to the design of optimum processes, and their implementation, BALYO partners with its customers for maximum benefit.

Since its creation, BALYO's growth rate has exceeded hundred percent per year. With the financial backing from prestigious venture capital firms, and armed with a truly disruptive technology, the company is re-writing the materials handling book.


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