In an era marked by rapid technological advancement and shifting workforce demographics, the acquisition of ez-Wheel in 2023 emerges as a pivotal development that is poised to redefine the landscape of mobile robotics. ez-Wheel’s entry into the APEM / IDEC family symbolizes a forward-thinking approach to integrating safety solutions within the burgeoning market of Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) and Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs). 

This acquisition is a response to a world where automation is rapidly accelerating at an unprecedented pace. As industries grapple with an aging workforce and labor shortages, the reliance on AGVs and AMRs is becoming increasingly prevalent. These technologies promise to alleviate such pressures by enhancing productivity and operational flexibility.

It is expected to enhance this growth further by making the design and implementation of AMRs more cost-effective and time-efficient, all while ensuring safe and harmonious interactions between machines and humans. 

ez-Wheel benefits from IDEC and APEM’s industrial competencies, extensive sales network, and extensive expertise in functional safety. 

The ez-Wheel product offering can be divided into two main parts: 

  • Assistance to manual handling : their Assist Wheel Drive solution provides a quick electric assistance to any manual handling equipment. ez-Wheel developed a revolutionary electric wheel that integrates a motor, batteries, and electronics directly within the wheel itself. This technology not only addresses significant challenges for both employees and companies by reducing professional risks like Musculoskeletal disorders, but also offers substantial benefits including a reduction in sick leave, a productivity boost of up to 50%, the ability to double the load with only a fifth of the effort, and a return on investment in under a year. 

  • Automation of intralogistics: their SWD® safety wheel drives provide a simple, versatile, and safety-compliant technological brick for system integrators and AGV manufacturers. The introduction of the SWD range marks a significant innovation in the field. These products integrate essential functions for mobile robotics, thereby simplifying safety compliance with the ISO3691-4 standard and offering unparalleled integration that notably reduces production and development costs for AGVs and AMRs. The SWD range is not just a technological advancement; it is a game-changer that reduces time to market and simplifies the architecture of mobile robots by up to 50%. 

The integration of ez-Wheel within our group is a testament to the potential of collaborative innovation in addressing the challenges of modern technology. It is a forward-looking initiative that promises to enhance the operational capabilities of companies across various sectors, paving the way for a future where automation and human labor are more harmoniously and productively connected. As we look ahead, this alliance is poised to play a crucial role in shaping the trajectory of mobile robotics, resulting in the growth and evolution of industries worldwide. 

ez-Wheel products are marketed by APEM in the EMEA region.  
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