Warehouse Carts Have Evolved with CartConnect from Fetch Robotics
Warehouse carts are a key element of many material handling workflows within commercial and industrial environments. Various workflow configurations for them exist and they offer the added benefit of serving as interim storage. Unfortunately, though, their productivity is limited by their need for manual operation.
Automated Guided Carts (AGCs) are also in use within warehouses worldwide. But AGCs operate on a predefined track which curbs their output. Because of the track, they are unable to avoid obstacles. When an AGC’s path does become obstructed, a warehouse associate is required to unblock it. This does not lend itself well to efficiency.
To overcome the aforementioned productivity limitations, Fetch Robotics developed CartConnect — a new generation Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) designed specifically to maximize the efficiency of cart-based workflows in both commercial and industrial settings.
Warehouse Carts 2.0: CartConnect From Fetch Robotics
CartConnect is an autonomous material handling solution that picks up, transports, and drops off warehouse carts to any location, within any warehouse, factory, or distribution center. See how it works in the short clip below.
CartConnect practically renders AGCs obsolete by maximizing labor efficiency in cart-heavy environments. It’s a flexible solution that can be reprogrammed “on-the-fly” to adjust to workflows and schedule changes — something not possible with AGCs due to their fixed paths.
The Advantage of CartConnect Compared to Traditional Industrial Warehouse Carts and AGCs
CartConnect delivers ROI in a number of ways traditional industrial carts and AGCs simply do not. CartConnect has the ability to virtually eliminate warehouse associate travel time which is incredibly valuable when one considers non-value added travel can account for over 50 percent of all warehouse work assignments.
Warehouse Carts On-Demand: How CartConnect Works
A CartConnect solution typically includes a CartConnect AMR with one or more FetchCarts. In practice, as many as six FetchCarts can be handled with a single CartConnect robot. Warehouse associates use a web-enabled device to direct CartConnect robots to pick up and drop off locations for a FetchCart.
For example, after loading a FetchCart, a warehouse associate simply requests a pick-up and selects a drop-off location. The nearest CartConnect robot will then direct itself to the pick-up area, dock with the loaded FetchCart, and transport itself to the selected drop-off area. Once complete, CartConnect automatically detaches from the FetchCart and is immediately ready for the next task. During this transport, another FetchCart can be loaded by the same associate and be ready for the same or another available CartConnect robot to pick up.
Additional Workflow Applications for CartConnect
Fetch Robotics has deployed and integrated CartConnect to improve putaway/replenishment workflows for multiple customers. We also have several customers who use CartConnect as runners. Last mile is another workflow in which CartConnect can easily integrate itself. And, of course, order picking is very popular because many facilities already run cart-based order picking operations and very little change is needed to integrate CartConnect.
Customer Case Study: Warehouse Carts 2.0 at Work
Fetch Robotics was recently contracted by one of the world’s leading premium auto manufacturers. The organization sought an autonomous solution that would assist in putaway/replenishment operations. The goal of the organization was to increase labor productivity and eliminate overtime payment.
For the initial pilot, Fetch Robotics deployed just two CartConnect robots. Within hours, a “virtual conveyor” between forward picking and receiving was set up within the manufacturer’s facility. In the first two weeks, the manufacturer saw an increase of two times the number of lines per day. They also saved 30+ hours of labor and 118 miles of walking.
The productivity increases were so significant, Fetch Robotics has expanded deployment within the entire facility with plans to deploy at several other of the manufacturer’s sites in the near-future.
If you would like to learn more about how Fetch Robotics’ CartConnect solution improves the efficiency of material handling workflows while working alongside people, check out the links below. If you would like to discuss your immediate needs now with one of our solutions experts, you can schedule a free consultation here.
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