The rise of the machines…
By Yantra Commercial Director Steve Smith
It’s a truly exciting time in warehousing logistics with rapid, software driven advances in automation generally – and robotics specifically.
I have no doubt a new era of widespread adoption of mobile robots in distribution beckons. The combination of improved technology and changes to order profiles as a result of e-commerce, plus the problem of finding and keeping quality labour, means robots have simply become accepted as a solution to these business challenges.
There are lots of them on the market now, some decent some sadly lacking and they go by a lot of different names, but most commonly are called cobots or autonomous mobile robots, or AMRs.
But rather than replace workers, they’re more of a helping hand which allows operatives to considerably reduce the walking/physical stress placed on them in standard warehouse operations.
Autonomous mobile robots have created a profound shift in how many people think about distribution and picking process automation, but most are a ‘goods-to-man’ concept that requires big and expensive infrastructure changes (cages, line marking, mobile shelves, etc) and a lengthy commissioning period.
We have chosen “SnapCart” as our AMR robotic solution, which integrates seamlessly with our WMS of choice. This autonomous cart is a ‘man-to-goods’ alternative that can be configured to any of our warehouse layouts.
Using cart-mounted pick to light technology, it can carry up to 48 totes and delivers significant improvements in picking efficiency and accuracy and also allows the same operative to put away received goods and replenish locations seamlessly – therefore maximising overall productivity.
Each operative is assigned a specific area to work within, that can be adjusted as needed, and the cart comes to them to complete their required tasks before moving onto the next set area for another operative to continue. The concept is “the picker does the picking, the cart does the walking”.
I look forward to adding this state-of-the-art robotic solution to the Yantra Fulfil business during 2020, and remember if you are a Yantra Fulfil customer this exciting development is already built in to your cost model.