Pallet Transportation Transformed: Automated Material Handling for Modern Logistics and Manufacturing Organizations

Pallet Transportation Transformed: 8 Workflows Featuring Fetch Robotics’ Freight500 and Freight1500 AMRs That Automate Material Handling for Modern Logistics and Manufacturing Organizations

Today, billions of pallets are in daily use within logistics facilities across the United States and demand for them continues to grow. A recent report on market demand for pallets shows the global pallet market is projected to grow to $25B by 2025. 

The use of forklifts, pallet jacks, and stackers are serviceable and dependable options for pallet transportation. However, with the growth of eCommerce, rising consumer delivery expectations, and a shortage of skilled labor, the landscape has changed. Modern logistics organizations now require faster and more efficient ways to transport palletized loads. 

How the Market Has Reacted

Similar to how innovative 3PLs, manufacturers, and distributors have sought an efficiency edge when it comes to cart-based workflows, when it comes to automating large case and pallet transportation, these organizations have turned to the Freight500 and Freight1500 from Fetch Robotics.

Part of the Fetch Cloud Robotics Platform for On-Demand Automation, the Freight500 and Freight1500 Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) enable on-demand large case and pallet transportation in facilities, without the need for infrastructure changes or complex IT installations. No wires, magnets, or tape are necessary. Nor are dedicated servers and WiFi.

With the Freight500 and Freight1500, forklift operators are no longer required to spend valuable time transporting goods. Instead, they can focus on value-driving tasks like picking, storing and replenishing up and down racks. This workflow process change also reduces traffic, congestion, and accidents, creating a safer warehouse environment.

The Freight500 handles payloads up to 500 kg. The Freight1500 has an industry leading payload capacity of 1500 kg. A full array of 2D and 3D sensors provide 360-degrees of vision that enable Freight500 and Freight1500 to move smoothly and safely, even in environments shared by people and other material handling equipment.

The Freight500 and Freight1500 also deliver huge value by automating material handling workflows found within a variety of commercial and industrial logistics sectors. Below are several examples.

Major Pallet Transport Workflows For 3PLs

Staging Palletized Loads for Shipping
Workflows featuring cases that require packing at multiple stations before heading off to shipping can create consolidation issues that impact productivity in most 3PL environments.

The introduction of a Freight500 or Freight1500 into this particular workflow can help mitigate consolidation issues significantly. Using the Fetch Cloud Robotics Platform to deploy these industrial AMRs from station to station, associates can drop boxes and various bulk items onto empty pallets situated on top of the robots and then build palletized loads which are then sent to pack-out.

Key Benefits of Freight500 and Freight1500: 1) Saves movement and travel time and 2) increases throughput by improving the pallet building processes.

Pallet Delivery and Replenishment
Empty pallets no longer need to lay around after completing deliveries. Instead of allowing pallets to pile up at drop-off points, reusable pallets can be stacked onto a Freight500 or Freight1500 and return to their point of origin for replenishment, saving manual labor and space in the process.

This same workflow utilizing the Freight500 and Freight1500 can be applied to the benefit of pallet recycling programs which are active in many logistics facilities. Pallets that are beyond repair can easily be transported to consolidation zones for pickup and recycling.

Key Benefits of Freight500 and Freight1500: 1) Saves movement and travel time, and 2) contributes to the success of environmental responsibility programs and securing ISO certifications.

Major Pallet Transport Workflows for Ecommerce

Case Picking and Replenishment
Picking large boxes can be common in some ecommerce facilities. After picks are complete, orders are then grouped and sequenced for shipping. Dedicated Freight500s and Freight1500s situated at the end of aisles for stacking boxes can handle the transport of these loads to shipping — limiting the necessary amount of travel and movement required of pickers. Case-level replenishment can also be automated to save time and effort.

Key Benefits of Freight500 and Freight1500: 1) Saves movement and travel time, and 2) improves order cycle time.

Transport Larger Multi-Line Orders from Sorting to Shipping
Large-size totes and bins are often used for transport of larger consolidated orders. Whether filled via manual picking or from ASRS and VLM systems, several of these larger orders can easily be placed on a Freight500 or Freight1500.

Key Benefits of Freight500 and Freight1500: 1) Saves movement and travel time, 2) decreases order dwell time, and 3) allows pickers to focus on more productive tasks that drive business like picking, storing, and replenishing.

Movement of Packed Pallets to Shipping
With an empty pallet on board, Freight500s and Freight1500s can be sent autonomously to different areas of the warehouse to pick up and deliver a multi-line request. This allows pallets to be built as the material is being pulled from shelves versus material being brought to a staging or consolidation area.

Major Pallet Transport Workflows for Manufacturers

Moving Finished Goods
Finished goods are often stacked onto carts or pallets for transport to testing or packing. By introducing a Freight500 or Freight1500 to this workflow, large finished goods can be stacked onto the AMRs for delivery to their next destination, removing the need for manual transportation by an associate.

Key Benefits of Freight500 and Freight1500: 1) Saves movement and travel time, 2) allows associates to focus on higher-level tasks, and 3) mitigates cumbersome stacking at the end of the line, as well as backups caused by lack of space.

Work in Process Movement (WIP)
When it comes to handling raw materials for large and heavy finished products, pallet transport of these materials to kitting or subassembly can easily be handled by a Freight500 or Freight1500 AMR.

Key Benefits of Freight500 and Freight1500: 1) Saves movement and travel time, 2) allows more associates to focus on production-focused tasks and 3) optimizes production flow.

Transport of Packing Material and Dunnage
The manufacturing line process generates a large amount of trash. Everything from foam to plastic and cardboard easily pile up, creating efficiency and potential safety issues. Off-loading this responsibility to a capable AMR provides a cleaner, more efficient workspace and mitigates potential safety pitfalls.

Key Benefits of Freight500 and Freight1500: 1) Saves movement and travel time, and 2) allows associates to focus on higher-value tasks.

The Freight500 and Freight1500 allow logistics and manufacturing organizations to automate case and pallet transportation workflows on demand. If you would like to learn more about how these industrial AMRs can improve throughput and maximize efficiency while working alongside people, forklifts, and other material handling equipment, check out the links below.

If you are at the very beginning of your robotic automation journey and are not sure where to start, we are ready to help. Fetch Robotics offers pre-sale consulting services to help identify workflows that will ensure you achieve maximum productivity once deployed. We can evaluate your operation and determine exactly how the deployment of a Freight500 or Freight1500 can improve efficiency in your facility and lower your costs. Schedule a consultation with one of our solution experts today. 

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