Skladon is speeding up order processing thanks to AMR
The Skladon distribution center has become a showroom for robotics for a wider logistics community. In the summer, a pilot operation of the first autonomous robot was launched with the aim of increasing the capacity of warehouse operations, simplifying the work of operators, but also demonstrating the potential of robotics in logistics in the future.
The autonomous CartConnect robot from Zebra Fetch Robotics is responsible for transporting goods from picking zones to packing zones in the Mošnov fulfillment center for e-shops. It shortens the time for processing individual orders, saves employees 50% of steps, and speeds up the entire picking process.
Warehouse operators are enthusiastic because the robot:
- saves steps,
- speeds up picking,
- works on demand.
The robot currently performs up to 40 transports with 20 boxes per day, meaning approximately 400 deliveries. When transitioning to full operation, we expect up to an eightfold increase in the robot’s performance and the expansion of the fleet with additional robots.
“In mid-June, a request came in, followed by 2 months of preparation including deployment, and we have several weeks of pilot operation behind us. The best way to convince a customer is to show them the robot directly in the warehouse. Employees also see a great benefit after the first few days, because the robot saves them a lot of steps. It’s great that they have developed a personal relationship with him and take their “Karl” as an tireless partner in fulfilling their daily tasks. I personally believe that the results of this test will be so convincing that they will lead to the expansion of robotics in Mošnov.” comments Jakub Míša, senior consultant at Sluno.
WES connects robots to WMS and ERP
As part of the pilot operation, the robot receives requests to transport goods via a tablet. In full operation, it will be fully integrated with the warehouse system and will perform all tasks automatically based on the standard picking process. For its operation, it was necessary to allocate suitable zones from which it will pick the selected goods, and also to change the overall setting of the picking process.
Dashboards from the Warehouse Execution System are used for continuous monitoring and evaluation of the robot. WES can communicate with robots from different suppliers and assign them tasks based on information from ERP and WMS. It provides an overview of robot utilization and reports on the number of completed or pending tasks.
In the event that Skladon would implement more robots into its distribution center in the future, their synergistic effect would be manifested. This would make it possible to better and more dynamically plan, allocate capacities or adjust individual processes.
“We have been thinking about a similar initiative in the field of robotics for a long time, as we see it as a natural part of our further development. It can initially help us increase productivity in warehouse operations and free up the hands of employees, who can then devote time and energy to other tasks. In addition, it will take care of speeding up the picking of orders, which will then be felt by the merchant himself, for whom the speed of their processing is key to satisfied customers. In the event that the pilot operation of the robot proves successful, we definitely do not want to remain with just one prototype,” adds the implementation of the autonomous robot Max Kovář, logistics director of Skladon.
The rise in labor costs and the long-term shortage of employees on the labor market are today a problem for most companies. And it is precisely these problems that autonomous robots can solve. Their advantage is their very quick deployment and free movement within the warehouse without any additional construction modifications. The premises of the Skladon distribution center also serve as a place where other companies can live demonstrate the benefits of robotic technologies in logistics.
Sluno Robotics places emphasis on continuous improvement and moving forward. Therefore, quick deployment and daily technical support are already a matter of course within the pilot operation: train the operator, customize the software to suit the processes, or adapt the robot to the requirements of warehouse workers. For example, add handles to racks for better handling.