Autonomous mobile robot (AMR) maker Fetch Robotics will broaden its collaboration with industrial systems provider Honeywell with a system that links pallet-carrying robots with warehouse software in a move to reduce forklift traffic through DC aisles, the companies said today.
Fetch has integrated a rolling bot called the PalletTransport1500 with Honeywell’s Momentum-brand warehouse execution system (WES) software in a combination that could optimize fulfillment and distribution operations, the partners said.
The system adds a lifting mechanism to San Jose, California-based Fetch’s existing Freight 1500 robot—which can move pallets and other large payloads of up to 2,504 pounds—and supplements that with a series of static pick-up and delivery stations.
Together, the combination of Momentum WES and the PalletTransport1500 comprise Honeywell Intelligrated’s Pallet Conveyance solution, which is designed to support workflows for e-commerce fulﬁllment, store replenishment, and wholesale distribution center operations. Specifically, the product could help DCs to meet rising consumer pressure to provide next-day and same-day delivery while constrained by limited labor supply, Fetch said.
One key to achieving that goal is to reduce the need for human involvement, saving the time spend of operating forklifts and freeing up workers for more value-added activities. By using robots for long-haul material conveyance, the system allows DCs to restrain forklifts to operating only at inbound and outbound docks, Fetch Robotics’ Chief Product Officer Stefan Nusser said in a briefing.
Employees would still be required to operate forklifts for complex operations like loading and unloading trucks or placing loads in high rack areas, but robots are a safer tool for moving those loads across the warehouse due to their forward- and backward-facing Lidar scanners, Nusser said. Linked with the Momentum WES, the system is designed to handle complex DC workflows such as case picking, returns, cross-docking, and mixed-case pallets, he said.
“To compete in the fast-paced, high-stakes world of e-commerce, modern distribution and fulfillment center operations are introducing increasing levels of automation,” Honeywell Robotics CTO Thomas Evans said in a release. “Too often these automated systems operate independently, performing very discrete tasks and processes. This collaboration with Fetch to have a turnkey solution with Momentum gives those in the e-commerce industry a competitive advantage that will optimize productivity, increase operational safety, and provide significant return on investment.”
?? Excited to be launching our new AMR, the PalletTransport1500. As part of Intelligrated's Pallet Conveyance solution, the PT1500 supports workflows for e-commerce ful?llment, store replenishment and wholesale distribution center operations.https://t.co/xe1s9btA4l pic.twitter.com/jHl66ecxOZ— Fetch Robotics (@FetchRobotics) January 28, 2021