Ryder deploys Fetch robots in "smart warehouses"
Showcase sites support three consumer brands with robotics, autonomous vehicles, sensors and wearable technology, Ryder says.
Fleet management and transportation giant Ryder System Inc. has partnered with logistics technology providers such as Fetch Robotics to launch three "showcase sites" that demonstrate its use of advanced automation and real-time visibility in warehouse applications, the firm said today.
Miami-based Ryder opened the facilities in the Miami, Dallas, and Chicago markets. The sites feature advanced automation, such as state-of-the-art robotics; autonomous vehicles and drones; sensors and automatic identification tools; and wearable technology, like smart glasses and ring scanners.
@RyderSystemInc redefines the #smartwarehouse as mobile, flexible & scalable through partnerships with innovative startups in #robotics, #drones, #sensors, and #wearabletech. @fetchrobotics https://t.co/LvODNmWf2H pic.twitter.com/gGDxqZlhHg— Ryder (@RyderSystemInc) January 17, 2019
The warehouses were established for "three leading global consumer brands," Ryder said, and are designed to bring together innovative startup technologies and smart capabilities customized to optimize operations and best serve customer needs.
"We are evaluating advanced technology and automation solutions that require minimum investment but deliver maximum return," Steve Sensing, Ryder President of Global Supply Chain Solutions, said in a release. "We focus on technologies that are mobile, flexible, and scalable, so they can flex with changing demands. As Ryder customers continue to face increasing omni-channel fulfillment demands, rising consumer expectations, and a nationwide warehouse labor shortage, we will continue to innovate and automate the parts of the process that make sense."
According to Ryder, the investment is already paying off, as the company described improved statistics in several key performance indicators (KPIs):
- Robotics - The implementation of robotics throughout a Ryder-managed warehouse produced a 25-percent increase in productivity and 20-percent operating savings, simply by reducing travel time in the warehouse, which can account for 30 percent of an employee's shift. A video showed the robots working a warehouse floor.
- Drones - At a Ryder customer warehouse, drones successfully scanned pallets and locations in 20 minutes, compared to a manual scan which took 90 minutes. Additionally, a cycle count on the entire warehouse took just three hours versus two days. The drone can also identify available pallet locations and verify product placement.
- Sensors - Identification tools provide real-time asset location and enable performance management. When implemented throughout a Ryder facility, productivity and cost savings increased more than 25 percent.
- Wearables - When Ryder deployed smart glasses at a customer warehouse to improve picking processes, the time it took to pick and scan inventory decreased by five to seven seconds per item and improved efficiency by 33 percent.
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