Posts

Fetch Robotics Webinar CartConnect

We would love for you to join us next Tuesday, August 27th for our latest Fetch Robotics webinar on CartConnect. This dynamic solution can speed up your facility, therefore, increasing ROI in the long-run.

Many leaders in the manufacturing and supply chain industry agree that robotics and automation are the most effective ways to stay competitive in a dynamic marketplace. However, not all automation mediums are created equal. This technology can transform the way you go about your material handling solutions and can double productivity within your facility.

This new technology is called CartConnect. 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. During the webinar, we will show how CartConnect can be used for multiple picking strategies and other applications such as put away, replenishment & retail stocking. In short, this Fetch AMR solution can give you a competitive edge in your operation.

Want to learn more? Join us on Tuesday, August 27th at 2:00 PM EST to learn how to launch your facility into the future. Sign up for the webinar today!

AMR vs. AGV

Due to market conditions such as labor challenges and increasing customer service demands, warehouse automation is a hot topic lately. Companies both large and small are looking into resources to move items throughout their operation more efficiently. If you’ve been following this trend, you’ve most likely heard the buzz around using AMR vs. AGV.

AGVs, or Automated Guided Vehicles, have been familiar in warehouses for quite some time now. AMRs (Autonomous Mobile Robots) on the other hand are a little newer to the scene. It’s important to understand what you’re getting with each of these solutions.

AMR vs. AGV: What’s the Difference?

While on the surface the two may seem very similar, there are several key factors that set an AGV and an AMR apart. The most fundamental difference between the two comes down to how they move through a facility. A guided vehicle is just what the name implies, a vehicle that operates on a fixed and guided route. Usually AGVs run along some sort of path, such as embedded magnets or wires. With this set path, an AGV does not have the ability to make quick changes on the fly, and does not always have the intelligence to stop when something comes in its path. This can lead to expensive upgrades down the road as your operational needs change. It could also put you at risk for more work-related accidents to occur.

An AMR is an autonomously navigating robot designed to work collaboratively with humans. Therefore it offers a much smarter solution. With an AMR, you get a flexible solution that offers easy adjustments as your operational needs change. In addition, the implementation for an AMR is much simpler. There is no need to make costly facility adjustments to get started. Finally, another key point that sets an AMR apart is the safety factors. AMRs use vision systems and laser sensors to ensure that accidents are avoided in any environment.

Cost Standpoint When Addressing AMRs vs AGVs

When you hear the value that an AMR can bring your operation you probably assume that the cost must be much higher than an AGV, but that is not the case. Since AMRs help you avoid costly modifications, getting started with one is fast and relatively inexpensive.

Storage Solutions is proud to partner with Fetch Robotics as a Fetch Certified Solutions Provider. Through this partnership we offer a variety of AMR solutions that can be customized to meet your needs. Want to find out how a Fetch AMR solution can assist you in achieving optimal efficiency in your facility? Click here to learn more about the products or to schedule a free consultation with one of our Fetch experts today.

Fetch Robotics Shelf

In case you missed it, we recently announced our latest partnership with Fetch Robotics. Now let’s learn how can you benefit from it. With this new collaboration comes a wide array of products and services, and we are ready to pass that along to you! Whether you face staffing issues, increased shipping volume or flexibility challenges within your operation, we will find you the right robot solution to remedy those problems.

As the leader in the Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) industry, Fetch brings numerous products to the table that can fit multiple ways in your solution. While most robotics companies specialize in a single type of robot and application, Fetch created smaller robots that can handle totes all the way up to larger robots that can move full pallets. With all varying in max capacity, we will work in collaboration with you to find the robot that works best in your solution.

Available Product Line

Fetch Robotics Products

Fetch Robotics also has their own cloud-based operating system called FetchCore. Fetch created this operating system to be as user-friendly and flexible as possible, from launch through operation. You can easily set the operation workflow for robots on the system and even pair it with your WMS software for complex solutions. However, having WMS software integration is not necessary, and therefore allows for a quick and seamless setup in any facility.

Of course, safety is of paramount importance when it comes to choosing a partner. Fetch products have received countless safety certifications. All robots are built with numerous protection features, making them extremely secure to work collaboratively with warehouse staff.

Above all, we strive to be your service partner. Therefore, we will ensure that we provide the best products and services possible for all your AMR needs.

Want to learn more? You can read more about our partner and contact us for more information here!

Fetch Robotics SSI Partnership

To round out a great 2018, we are excited to announce that Storage Solutions has completed the requirements to become a Fetch Certified Solutions Provider! This partnership will provide us with a wide variety of solutions that we feel will be able to help our customers work efficiently while saving them money.

Who Is Fetch Robotics?

Founded in 2014, Fetch Robotics is one of the leaders in robotics and innovation in the supply chain industry. Located in San Jose, CA, they benefit from the abundance of technological resources the Silicon Valley has to offer.

Fetch is the leading technology partner when it comes to Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs). With a wide variety of options, we are able to find you the robot that fits perfectly with your solution.  Together, we will work as your one-stop-shop for robotic automation from small parts to large pallets.

We are beyond excited to start working with Fetch Robotics. This partnership allows us to provide you with an even bigger solutions catalog, thus optimizing your facility to its highest point. Want to learn more about our new partner? Contact us today and we’ll give you the full breakdown on what the partnership means for you!

The Fetch team was on-site this week for a training session, so stay tuned for more details. Until then, be sure to check out the pictures below of our site visit to Fetch’s headquarters recently.

 

 

Broken Case Picking Phases

There are so many options available for Storage Solutions to address your broken case picking operational challenges. Therefore, it’s important to make sure you are matching the right approach to what your warehouse needs. The more challenging your needs are, the more likely you are to be able to make a business case with a relatively short-term ROI for more complex solutions.

Our team uses a variety of criteria to decide what equipment, automation, and technology are best to optimize each solution. The volume of items being picked is a crucial entity of this process, so we’re going to walk through some examples of what we can do to tailor each operation for peak efficiency. We will break this down into four levels of pick activity including low, medium and high-volume operations, along with advanced systems for very high volume and complex operations.

Phase 1: Low Volume

In a low volume broken case picking operation, we typically see little or no automation and limited technology solutions. Limited labor requirements make it difficult to show an ROI for complex solutions. You are most likely dealing with bin shelving or hand stack pallet rack for a storage method. These operations often use paper pick lists or RF scanning technology to manage orders. With a low volume of items picked, frequently the most cost-effective method would involve using a manual pick cart or gravity conveyor to move through the order selection process.

Phase 2: Medium Volume

For a medium volume picking operation, simple automation and technology solutions are often warranted. More dense storage methods such as carton and pallet flow are often found in these systems. Lower level automation such as powered conveyor and vertical lift machines (VLMs) may be cost-justified as well. Simple technology solutions like pick to light carts or put to light walls are other types of equipment that can be utilized in a medium volume operation. Semi-automated tapers with void fill machines may also be the best option to maximize productivity in the packing area.

Phase 3: High Volume

Next, for a high volume picking operation, automation and technology solutions will most likely be involved. While the storage methods may be similar to a medium volume operation, the overall facility solution may be configured differently. A multi-level pick module or pick zone based solution will often make the most sense. A warehouse control system (WCS) software solution may be required to manage automation components. Packing and shipping are also more likely to rely on automation. The packing process could benefit from fully automated packing list insertion and fully automated tapers, weigh in motion scales & print & apply labeling.

Phase 4: Advanced

Finally, the last pick activity level we will cover is advanced broken case picking. Advanced volume picking will benefit the most from having the bulk of the operation automated. This equipment can include various powered conveyor, sortation, semi-automated deep lane storage, ASRS, mobile robotics or other “goods to man” solutions. The picking process will likely incorporate high-level technology solutions like voice directed picking. Packing and shipping will also rely heavily on automation. Solutions such as automated unit sortation, weigh in motion scales, automated print/apply shipping labeling, and automated carrier diverts are also substantial automation and technology facets that often get incorporated in these solutions.

Every level of activity brings a different challenge, so it is important to plan for growth. We are here to help you implement the optimal facility to meet your current & future business needs. Our team will be with you throughout the process, making sure that we get you everything you need down to the finest detail.

Click here to read more about how we can optimize your broken case picking facility!

Vertical Lift Machines

Vertical Lift Machines (VLMs) are the automation solution that could bring your operation to the next level. Automation is, of course, becoming necessary in modern facilities, making VLMs the perfect solution to add to your operation.

VLMs are a “goods to man” picking solution that allows users to pick orders efficiently while optimizing space utilization within a facility. Its internal software allows this seemingly complex machine to be one of the most user-friendly tools in your warehouse.

As an extremely customizable machine, VLMs can be catered to your every need. Their location sizes can be easily adjusted “on the fly”, and their functionality takes all the guesswork out of it, maximizing pick accuracy. In addition, the extremely high pick rates and space utilization will lead to labor savings and increased revenue. With its ability to move up to 120 trays per hour, multiple machines can be grouped for maximum efficiency.

Finally, VLMs can be an integral part in decreasing your footprint in your facility. For example, in a recent project, adding VLMs to the facility decreased our customer’s footprint from 5,000 square feet to 150. That’s over a 90% increase in space for other necessary equipment.

Want to learn more about Vertical Lift Machines? Click here for more information!