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How to transform warehouse operations with AMRs

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Geek+ explains how by improving efficiency, flexibility, and accuracy, autonomous mobile robots are helping brands everywhere handle rapid changes in demand.

Today, new technologies are changing the world of the supply chain, with smart logistics robots at the forefront.

As the pandemic continues to accelerate the trend of online shopping, it has pushed businesses everywhere to move away from brick-and-mortar stores and build stronger e-commerce capabilities. According to UN trade and development experts UNCTAD, the e-commerce sector in the UK saw a “dramatic” rise in its share of all retail sales, from 15.8 percent to 23.3 percent in 2020. In turn, e-commerce is accelerating end-consumers expectations for product variety, and short delivery times, creating logistics challenges that must be met by a sector already struggling with labour shortages. To meet logistics bottlenecks and provide a wider variety of products on time, businesses all over the UK have started to look into the benefits of warehouse automation and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs). 

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Source: UNCTAD, based on national statistics offices.

Upgrading your warehouse with Geek+ Autonomous Mobile Robots 

Geek+, a global leader in warehouse automation, uses autonomous mobile robots and intelligent algorithms to create customised solutions that can help businesses optimise their warehouse solutions and work more flexibly, to better handle rapid changes in required throughput and support a wider range of SKUs. 

Simon Houghton, Head of Sales & Marketing - Geek+ UK & Ireland, says: “In the past year, we’ve helped several businesses begin their automation journey and quickly transform their operations to build stronger e-commerce capabilities. With intelligent robotics systems, companies can compete by meeting online shoppers' demand for same-day delivery, flexible handle challenges associated with reverse logistics, and adapt to fluctuating order demand. In turn, it also helps them better handle uncertainty and become more resilient against unforeseen events caused by the pandemic.”

By connecting networks of AI-driven mobile robots managed by an intelligent RMS (robot management system) to customers' WMS, it will optimise the process for finding, sorting, or moving ordered goods, enabling faster and accurate order fulfilment. By letting mobile robots organise inventory according to real-time demand, it improves the ability to adapt. Automatic self-charging enables 24/7 automated operations to help businesses flexibly manage periods of high throughput requirements. With no need for fixed infrastructure, the implementation process does not take more than three months. Should there be a need to expand operations, it's easy to add new robots without investing in additional warehouse space. The software interface is also highly user-friendly, enabling a fast transition and a low training cost for employees. 

Geek+’s smart logistics solutions combine Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs), business intelligence software, and intelligent algorithms to improve various logistics scenarios and support efficient and flexible operations. Today, Geek+ counts 300 global customers and has sold more than 20,000 robots worldwide. 

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Geek+ Picking System

In traditionally operated warehouses, employees often spend hours walking up and down the warehouse to locate and collect ordered goods. In turn, warehouses reliant on person-to-goods picking will have a hard time cope with the speed and accuracy requirements caused by the rise in e-commerce and customer expectations for instant gratification. 

With Geek+ Goods-to-Person & Tote-to-Person picking solution picking robots move inventory shelves, totes, or pallets to employees positioned at workstations. At the workstation, employees are guided by a user-friendly interface connected to the WMS to pick required items from the inventory shelves and place them into order containers. It is a simple and smart solution that eliminates the redundant walking of employees and improves picking efficiency by two-to-three times. 

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Sorting Solution

Traditional automated sorting equipment requires modification of on-site hardware or warehouse layout which makes it expensive to maintain, difficult to scale, and requires a large lump-sum investment and long implementation periods. 

Geek+ fully flexible Sorting solution uses sorting robots to sort small or middle-size parcels at the floor level to increase the sorting efficiency and improve accuracy. Its stage-based deployment and rapid implementation ensure warehouses can quickly respond to fluctuations in market demand.

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All Geek+ AMRs are controlled by a system that adopts intelligent algorithms at its core and machine learning to flexibly adjust operations according to real-time demand. The robots are powered by applications for path planning, traffic management, task allocation, capacity optimisation, safety emergency stops, and more.

Geek+ helps ASDA digitalise their operations and reach 99.99% sorting accuracy 

In 2020, ASDA faced a wide range of challenges caused by the pandemic such as a rapid rise in e-commerce sales, leading to rapid changes in forward and reversed volume. To keep operations going and maintain social distancing during the lockdown, ASDA was looking for an automation solution that would enable them to build more e-commerce capacity and improve ASDA’s toyou service for online sales. 

Together with Asda Logistics Services and AMH Materials Handling, Geek+ implemented sixty sorting robots in ASDA's cross-docking facility to assist them to sort the order for 34 destinations. Due to flexible implementation and the ability to quickly scale operations, it enabled ASDA toyou services to improve operational capacity while working within the existing facility. By integrating S20C robots into the existing ALS sorting system, it enabled ASDA to respond to rapid changes in order volume and continue to provide services during peak periods.

Using autonomous mobile robots has made the sorting processes easier and more ergonomic for warehouse operators while the efficiency provided has allowed ASDA to save energy and space. Dynamic software will help ASDA continuously optimise operations according to changes in demand, while the flexibility of autonomous mobile robots enables the retailer to scale operations should there be a sudden change in throughput demand; with no need for rails or fixed infrastructure, all they have to do is to flexible change the number of robots. 

"The robots work alongside our colleagues, enabling us to drive greater efficiencies at times of peak demand, which have helped to boost the number of parcels we're now able to sort through our Asda toyou service." says Jon Parry, Vice President of Asda Logistics Services (ALS).

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About Geek+

Geek+ is a global technology company leading the intelligent logistics revolution. We apply advanced robotics and AI technologies to realise flexible, reliable, and highly efficient solutions for warehouses and supply chain management. Geek+ counts 300 global customers and has sold more than 20,000 robots worldwide. Founded in 2015, Geek+ has over 1,000 employees and is headquartered in Beijing, with offices in Germany, the UK, the US, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

For more information, please visit: https://www.geekplus.com/

 

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