Managed by J.-L. Thomé, BA Robotic Systems Group (Mordelles, 180 employees, turnover: €30 million, +15%) manufactures wireless load carrying robots that increase safety or manage all the flows in an industrial or logistics site. More than 300 sites across Europe are fitted with BA Systèmes’ robots. The market is growing fast: the sector is experiencing recruitment problems and companies are replacing low added value activities with robots. Its customers are groups such as Danone, L’Oréal, Clairefontaine or Système U. BA Robotic Systems Group files 2 to 3 patents/year and devotes 15% of its turnover to R&D, particularly to invest in new markets.
Its BA Healthcare subsidiary is dedicated to the design of mobile robotic solutions for the medical sector.
It developed Discovery IGS 730, an innovative mobile base for cardiovascular surgery and oncology designed with General Electric and which equips a hundred operating theatres. It enables the surgeon to obtain the image of their patient without leaving the theatre almost in real-time. It is the first in a new range of medical assistant cobots. This cobot won the IERA award in 2014, given by the International Federation of Robotics.
The company has also developed ROBO-K and VHIPOD, which are involved in walking therapy. Health professionals using these robots have even discovered new applications and re-education techniques.
1st European mobile cobot
BA Robotic Systems Group has also built the first European mobile cobot, from the P-RC2 (Platform for Robot Controller Construction) research project whose aim is to develop a software environment for the factory of the future 4.0, partnering with the CEA, Akéo Plus (Château Gaillard), Sarrazin Technologies (Perrecy-les-Forges) and Arcure (Paris).
The cobot is a type of assistant robot that aids humans in simple handling or logistics tasks that are repetitive, even arduous and non-ergonomic. Cobotics is one of the technologies that is switching the industry over to 4.0 without eliminating humans from the production line: human capacities are increased and focused on higher added value activities. This almost unique innovation in Europe interests industrial groups who could sign contracts in 2018.
BA Robotic Systems Group also offers the GF2, an all new autonomous and automatically guided robot, specifically designed for the agri-food industry and the bottling market, with very high production rates. It optimises pallet transport with the simultaneous transfer of one or two loads, side by side. It moves at a speed of 2 metres per second and features 360 degree horizontal, lateral and vertical security equipment that adapts to the type of load transported.
Alliance with Alstef
Both are specialists in automated solutions, BA Robotic Systems Group and Alstef (Boigny-sur-Bionne, 45; turnover: €70 million) have created the B2A Technology JV (Boigny sur Bionne, 500 employees; anticipated turnover for 2018: €130 million; Anticipated turnover for 2023: €200 million), whose objective is to become the French leader in automated solutions for intra-logistics, airports and robotics. Both partners retain their identity and brands. This operation enables them to pool their R&D and commercial activities by presenting comprehensive industrial offerings. The project is supported by Future French Champions (partnership between CDC International Capital and Qatar Investment Authority, 32% of the capital).
BA Robotic Systems Group and Alstef have strong ambitions for international synergies: extremely active in Europe, BA Robotic Systems already achieved 30% of its turnover from export and can now count on the Alstef network, which particularly has two subsidiaries in Canada (Montreal) and Russia (Moscow) for its luggage sorting activity. The prospects are good as 70% of European warehouses are not yet automated, potentially 90% globally, and airport logistics is showing an annual growth of 10%.
Sources : Ouest France – 22/11/2017, Les Echos – 05/01/2018 & 06/03/2018, BA Robotic Systems Group
Photo credit : BA Robotic Systems Group