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You say you want a rovolution well y’know…

04 April 2018

TGW Logistics has developed a system for fully automatic split case picking, using robots with its goods-to-person, smart, piece-picking solution FlashPick.

Integrated with the PickCenter Rovolution module, the intelligent, self-learning and flexible Rovolution robot constitutes another high-performance element of the FlashPick solution and seamlessly fits into TGW's system environment.

Able to pick a variety of products and to utilise machine learning techniques to adapt intuitively to changes in business models and product mix, Rovolution picks products accurately and quickly into totes or cartons.

Built on the intelligent TGW Software Suite that incorporates sophisticated algorithms to continuously prioritise orders based on configurable profiles, the FlashPick system allows for later order cut off times and/or earlier deliveries. It automates split case picking and can be configured to interleave orders from different distribution channels while supporting the variable and frequently changing inventory assortments in the food, apparel and general merchandise industries.

Key Points

Rovolution uses autonomous processes to correct unexpected events, which should make manual intervention unnecessary.

With findings in the field of cognitive robotics and machine learning, Rovolution gains experience with every pick and learns from it.

Rovolution can handle a huge variety of item types. Both rigid and soft packagings can be gripped accurately, whether they are T-shirts in a polybag, a box of toys or canned food.

The standardised but modular concept of FlashPick allows for upgrades or replacements at any stage in the customer’s lifecycle. With PickCenter Rovolution, a customer can chose to add robots to as many or as few workstations as required.

"Rovolution brings a new era of robotics to the material handling industry, incorporating cognitive and machine learning techniques that allow enhanced performance and decreased total cost of ownership," says TGW account director Mike Hilton. "The system has been developed specifically to help companies, particularly those in the e-commerce and omni-channel retail order fulfillment space, to meet the challenges raised by labour shortages, customer expectations, product life cycle changes and specific distribution channel requirements."

TGW has long experience in the retail sector, with customers including fast-growing European online fashion e-tailer Zalando has appointed TGW Logistics to design, install, commission and maintain the materials handling solution at a logistics centre in Germany.

The green-field development had a particular emphasis on sustainability, and was designed to strengthen Zalando's supply chain and accommodate the company's continued growth.

The TGW solution, valued at several million Euros, comprises a TGW Stingray shuttle warehouse, over nine kilometres of conveyor equipment and a picking warehouse, where the ordered Zalando goods are prepared for shipping. 

Sustainability was at the heart of the design and is achieved through the use of TGW Commander Controls and an intelligent energy management system.