How a leading logistics services provider transformed its warehouse with Fetch’s autonomous mobile robots
Written by Clint Reiser, Logistics ViewPoint
RK Logistics is a leading logistics services provider supporting high-tech businesses in the Silicon Valley area. RK had expanded its site in Livermore, CA to 300,000 square feet and increased the facility’s throughput considerably. Still, RK Logistics’ customers were expressing demand for even more throughput, but the facility was encroaching upon several capacity constraints. Looking for a viable solution, RK Logistics evaluated the use of robotics as a means of increasing worker efficiency and the overall throughput of the facility. The company chose Fetch Robotics’ VirtualConveyor solution as the option that best met its requirements. The VirtualConveyor solution incorporates Freight series robots, charging stations, and the FetchCore fleet management system that orchestrates and coordinates the fleet, its travel paths, and its workload. RK Logistics chose to introduce the Fetch Robotics AMR solution in phases.
RK Logistics deployed Fetch Robotics’ VirtualConveyor solution to support the spare parts and manufacturing parts fulfillment operations of a leading provider of microchip manufacturing machinery. The solution simultaneously runs three Freight series robots 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The robots are positioned in locations central to the highest pick volumes of parts, each robot stationed about 6-7 rows apart. Workers receive orders on their RF guns, pick a wave, then load onto the robot and dispatch it for consolidation to outbound shipment. The robots transport the items and free up employee time to focus on the higher value-added processes. Phase 1 has been in operation for over six months and achieved its throughput goals and achieved a rapid payback on the cost of implementation. Furthermore, RK Logistics increased throughput volumes with less man hours, reducing its cost per line item, which ultimately allowed it to pass on savings to its customer.
The Final Word
The Fetch Robotics solution utilizes advanced sensing technology that allows the robots to work dynamically with people while avoiding other mobile objects such as forklifts. But more importantly, the Fetch AMR solution is programmable and adaptable to changing facility needs, such as changes in routing requirements or other parameters. In contrast, traditional AGVs typically operate from point A to B and are only one step more flexible than bolted down hardware that requires a facility to adapt its operations to layout of the installed automation.