Pointing to warehouses struggling to fulfill a surge of consumer orders, the technology provider Körber has joined with autonomous mobile robot (AMR) vendor Fetch Robotics to create an automated case picking system, the companies said today.
By leveraging AMRs in a zone picking environment, distribution centers can reduce their reliance on manually operated forklifts, reducing the risk of accidents and lessening their reliance on scarce labor pools, the partners said.
According to Fetch, warehouse needs have risen dramatically over the past year, as a surge in consumer spending has increased demands at the same time that DCs face longstanding labor challenges like retaining skilled staff, accommodating seasonal fluctuations, and relying on temporary workers to operate forklifts.
The new case picking solution combines Fetch’s robots and Körber’s warehouse management system (WMS) software to enable zone-based picking, which keeps employees in aisles and enhances picking across numerous orders. In this system, AMRs roll to a series of assigned locations in the correct sequence for human pickers to build pallets optimally with tools like RF scanners, voice picking, or vision-based picking solutions.
Fetch says that approach is more efficient than a traditional case pick-to-pallet workflow, where pickers spend the majority of their shifts driving a forklift or pulling a manual pallet jack around the warehouse to each location on their pick sheet or RF device.
The launch is the first announcement from Fetch since the company was acquired two weeks ago by logistics technology provider Zebra Technologies for an estimated $300 million.
We just announced our new integrated case pick-to-pallet solution with @Koerber_BA_SC! The new solution helps make case picking safer and more efficient, thanks to Korber’s warehouse management systems optimization capabilities. https://t.co/VlJwbGEap9— Fetch Robotics (@FetchRobotics) July 14, 2021