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3 warehouse automation products to look out for

From robotics hardware to AI solutions, discover the latest and greatest in products to boost efficiency in the warehouse.

The next generation

Dematic has launched the Dematic Multishuttle (DMS) 2 E, the latest generation of its warehouse automation solution. 

The system stores products, buffers and sequences them for order picking and order compilation. The solution can achieve even better performance with improved accuracy. In addition, the shuttle is compatible with all other DMS components (including Dematic's lift and rack conveyor) and supports its patented inter-aisle transfer technology. The dynamic and sequenced provision of goods in real time ensures that the right product is delivered to the right place at the right time and with maximum transparency. Dematic iQ software (or an optional SAP solution) controls all logistics processes in the warehouse as well as order picking and dispatch.  

The system is a refinement of the proven Multishuttle 2 modular system and supplements the existing wide range of Dematic shuttles. The new version offers improved single and multi-depth storage of standard containers. Modified sensor technology and revised finger grippers allow more compact and secure storage and retrieval of the containers. Re-designed wheels ensure a smoother circulation of the shuttles in the rack. 

In addition to an improved design, the DMS 2 E is easily scalable, particularly with the option of using two shuttles on the same level. This significantly reduces the initial acquisition costs. 

The system can be easily integrated into many Dematic solutions, such as the new Dematic Micro-Fulfillment solution. Dematic iQ software controls the system. Or, like all solutions from Dematic, the DMS 2 E can also be optionally integrated into an SAP Extended Warehouse Management solution. 

A freezer version of the product is also being developed for the storage and order picking of frozen products. 

Game Changer

Renovotec Group has announced it is launching a robotics division specialising in warehouse solutions. 

‘Renovotec Robotics’ solutions will integrate the company’s warehouse process middleware with selected robotics hardware. Robotics solutions for warehousing and logistics will be available to buy, or rent using RaaS (robot as a service) with nationwide 24/7 support provided by Renovotec’s field service team. The company will draw on its proven track record in WMS including its knowledge of warehouse workflows when deploying its warehouse robotics systems.  

“Our robotics solutions will use a mix of technology and aim to increase warehouse picking productivity by up to 50%” says CEO Lance Bennett. “Warehouse robotics has the power to transform warehouse operations by eliminating unnecessary travel time for pickers and pallet movers – optimising their utilisation at a time when staff costs are rising, and resources are becoming more limited. Warehouse robotics is a game changer that we are now recommending to existing customers and other users, across the industry.” 

Partners in AI

ABB, supplier of industrial robots, and Silicon Valley AI start-up, Covariant, have announced a partnership to bring AI-enabled robotics solutions to market, starting with a fully autonomous warehouse order fulfilment solution. 

The partnership brings together the two companies with a shared vision for robotics enabled by AI, where intelligent robots work alongside humans in dynamic environments, collectively learning and improving with every task completed.  

Given the accelerated global growth experienced in the e-commerce sector, ABB identified a significant opportunity for AI-enabled robotics solutions across a broad range of applications including logistics, warehousing, and parcels and mail sorting.  

The Covariant Brain is a universal AI that allows robots to see, reason and act in the world around them, completing tasks too complex and varied for traditional programmed robots. Covariant’s software enables robots to engage in reinforcement learning: adapting to new tasks on their own through trial and error and therefore constantly broadening the range of objects they can pick. 

The first installation of the ABB and Covariant AI-enabled solution is already being deployed at Active Ants (part of the bpost group), a leading provider of e-commerce fulfilment services for web businesses in Utrecht in the Netherlands. 

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