August 4, 2021
Lucas Systems, which provides voice-based and warehouse optimization software for fulfillment and distribution centers, has announced a partnership with Fetch Robotics to enable the next generation of smart warehouses. Through the partnership, the companies will offer tailored solutions to orchestrate and optimize how warehouse workers interact in harmony with Fetch’s autonomous mobile robots (AMRs).
With growth in e-commerce and a shrinking labor market, fulfillment and distribution centers are facing tremendous pressures, the companies said. Lucas said its clients need help increasing throughput and maintaining high worker productivity while meeting accuracy and more stringent customer delivery requirements. These pressures are leading companies to rethink old models and focus on new, innovative ways to improve warehouse performance.
“The future environment of warehouses and distribution centers will be a mix of people, robots, machines, and systems all working together,” said Ken Ramoutar, chief marketing officer at Lucas Systems. “The precise orchestration of all the pieces will be key to achieving a competitive advantage in performance.”
“The combination of Lucas’ AI-based warehouse optimization software and Fetch’s broad portfolio of AMRs enables optimized order, batch, case, and pallet picking in distribution centers and automates virtually any manual material movement in a facility,” said Stefan Nusser, chief product officer at Fetch. “This enables our joint customers to increase picking efficiency, reduce cycle times, and reduce the impact of labor shortages.”
The combined solutions from the two companies aim to materially redistribute the division of labor in the warehouse. Robots will manage tasks best suited for machines, freeing up warehouse workers to focus on higher-valued work. For example, a worker can avoid a lot of unnecessary walking by picking items to a tote on a Fetch AMR, directing the AMR to a conveyor system to unload, and then triggering another robot to move into place for the worker to continue picking.