Zebra unveils end-to-end fulfillment solution
08 November 2021
THE PACKAGE builds on the firms’ acquisition of Fetch Robotics and is designed to enable end users to streamline order, batch, case, pallet and each picking workflows and automate material transport.
The fulfillment solution consists of three new autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) - FlexShelf, FlexShelf Guide, and RollerTop Guide - and a new FetchCore fulfillment software package for order or batch picking.
The firm sees opportunity for automating and digitising workflows in warehouses, distribution and fulfillment centres as order volumes increase, labour pools get more competitive and customer expectations continue to rise.
FetchCore enterprise cloud software allows companies to quickly modify workflows on-demand for warehouse operations. It enables the dynamic orchestration of labour and robots by integrating with WMS and warehouse execution systems (WES) to optimise order, batch, case, and pallet picking workflows. The fulfillment software package incorporates warehouse annotation, wave management, a pick heatmap, 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.
The three new AMRs expand upon Fetch’s existing case picking capabilities. Fetch AMRs are said to deliver up to three times increased productivity in fulfillment operations while total throughput in a facility is increased as a result of these new AMRs operating 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 using AMRs. Both AMRs also reduce worker training time and increase picking accuracy by incorporating put-to-light and pick-side lighting – a critical element during seasonal peak periods when order volumes and seasonal staff are at their highest levels. Attracting and retaining staff is easier as the solution can reduce the amount of time pickers spend walking by up to 60%, and features like ANSI RIA R15.08 compliance help keep them safe. Forklift detection feature enables 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).
According to Zebra’s Warehousing Vision Study, 77% of respondents agree augmenting workers with technology is the best way to introduce automation in the warehouse. Given increasing consumer expectations driven by the on-demand economy along with a limited workforce, automated processes can help streamline tasks, create happier, more efficient workers, and help businesses stay competitive in a dynamic marketplace.
“AMRs that support manual picking operations in fulfillment centres are in incredibly high demand, as retailers and 3PLs struggle to keep up with their customers’ demands,” said Ash Sharma, senior research director at Interact Analysis. “Fetch Robotics, now part of Zebra Technologies, has responded to this demand by developing an integrated fulfillment solution so that retailers and 3PLs can now not only streamline each picking operations, but leverage the entire portfolio of Fetch AMRs to automate any manual workflow in fulfillment and distribution centres.”
For more information, visit www.zebra.com