October 21, 2021
Zebra Technologies has announced three new autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) through its Fetch Robotics division, to help businesses improve their fulfillment operations. The new robots – FlexShelf, FlexShelf Guide, and RollerTop Guide, as well as a new FetchCore fulfillment software package – aim to help warehouses automate and digitize their workflows.
The FetchCore enterprise cloud software lets companies quickly modify workflows on-demand for warehouse operations. It enables the dynamic orchestration of labor and robots by integrating with leading warehouse management systems (WMS), and warehouse execution systems (WES) to optimize order, batch, case, and pallet-picking workflows. FetchCore’s new fulfillment software package incorporates warehouse annotation, wave management, a pick heatmap, advanced fulfillment analytics and forklift detection features. The warehouse annotation feature superimposes the physical pick locations in a facility logically into FetchCore, eliminating the need for QR codes and enabling AMRs to automatically adjust to reslotting within a warehouse.
“Zebra’s fulfillment solution enables Manhattan Associates to combine an end-to-end, best-in-class fulfillment AMR solution with optimization capabilities inherent to our warehouse management system software,” said Jon Liberman, vice president of enterprise mobility at Manhattan Associates, a PartnerConnect Premier Solutions partner. “We are excited to provide a solution that increases the efficiency of each picking and case pick to pallet operations especially while many of our customers are experiencing challenges with a competitive labor pool, supply shortages, and smaller delivery windows.”
The three new Fetch AMRs expand on its existing case picking capabilities, while providing unique advantages over existing each picking AMRs in the market. Zebra said the AMRs can deliver up to three times increased productivity in fulfillment operations, while total throughput in a facility is increased because the new AMRs operate up to 50% faster than other fulfillment AMRs.
Built on the Fetch Freight100 platform, the FlexShelf and FlexShelf Guide provide flexible configurations for bin sizing and spacing, which expands the types of items that can be picked with the AMRs. Both robots also reduce worker training time and increase picking accuracy by incorporating put-to-light and pick-side lighting, which can be critical during seasonal peak periods when order volumes and seasonal staff are at their highest levels. The company said it also employs an industry-first forklift detection feature that allows the AMRs to avoid forklift blind spots, helping prevent damage to the AMRs. Businesses deploying the RollerTop Guide AMR can integrate each picking workflows with existing fixed conveyance, sortation and automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS).
All of the new AMRs can be purchased through a capital or Robots-as-a-Service (RaaS) model, depending on customer preference, Zebra said. All of the AMRs operate on a facility’s existing Wi-Fi network, with the option to use current handheld, voice and vision technologies that interface with FetchCore’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) in the cloud.
“In 2020, we introduced SmartSight as our first automation solution for front-of-store retail, and we welcomed Fetch and its broad portfolio of AMRs for material transport in logistics and manufacturing into the Zebra family just a few months ago,” said James Lawton, vice president and general manager of robotics automation at Zebra. “Our new comprehensive fulfillment solution brings together the best of both companies to help our retail, wholesale and third-party logistics (3PL) customers overcome the biggest challenges in their each and case picking workflows with automation that is truly intelligent.”
For more details on the robots, visit the Fetch Robotics website.