ATLANTA—Among the themes emerging from MODEX 2022 here this week is the need for supply chain operators to orchestrate both people and robots. Conveyco Technologies Inc. said its RightFIT analytics and Go-Fer Bot can make order fulfillment more agile.
“With RightFIT's seven-step methodology, we can look at labor and order-picking processes,” said Ed Romaine, vice president of marketing and business development at Conveyco. “In one LaborRxFIT use case, a customer was able to reduce labor by 80% for decanting and case cutting.”
“In fact, that's a dangerous task. With three robots, the customer was able to improve consistency and put items within cells in a container,” he told Robotics 24/7. “This drives consistency and connects with WES [warehouse execution system] zones.”
Bristol, Conn.-based Conveyco said it has been supporting improvements in performance for order fulfillment, distribution centers, and warehouse operations for 40 years. The company also provides consulting and integration services.
It offers automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS), automated guided vehicles (AGVs), autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), sortation, palletizing, automated case handling, robotic picking, dispensing, and warehouse management systems (WMS) software.
Conveyco designs Go-Fer Bot to facilitate picking
Conveyco said its Go-Fer Bot is an AMR for cost-effective order picking, replenishment, and returns handling operations at businesses of all sizes. It was among the ASRS alternatives displayed at MODEX.
The system consists of robots that move beneath racks and take each order to a station with a human picker. The AMRs lift and move the racks to deliver waves of orders to the pickers.
“The bots queue in front of each workstation waiting for it to be picked, eliminating operator dwell time,” said Conveyco. “Once picked, the AMRs travel back to store the rack and automatically retrieve the next rack.”
The company said the workstations can provide light-directed, batch-picking operations on racks, carts, or conveyors, depending on throughput requirements. In addition, the system can interweave replenishment and returns between orders, at dedicated workstations, and/or during low volume times, according to Conveyco.
Integration with more AMRs such as Conveyco's TiltSort-Bot can increase capacity and labor savings, it said. Operators would then pick a SKU from a Go-Fer Bot and induct on the TiltSort-Bot “until every order in the wave has received the required SKU,” said the company.
The combination of Go-Fer Bot and TiltSort-Bot enables greater efficiencies and the filling of hundreds or even thousands of orders simultaneously, Conveyco said.
Optimization leads to cost savings
Conveyco's software constantly learns, automatically slotting the fastest-moving SKUs on shelves closest to picking stations to increase throughput, said Romaine. This optimizes inventory without the need for manager intervention, he noted.
The Go-Fer Bot can increase pick rates, ranging from more than 300 lines and up to 1,000 items per operator, per hour, said Conveyco.
Romaine said the company's AMRs, software, and modular shelving allow for a wider variety of inventory than ASRS, including loose pieces, cases, totes, hanging garments, and different pallet positions.
Conveyco claimed that its system can save up to 75% of floor space and provide 99.9% accuracy. It can also be increased or decreased in size depending on need, and the company offers a leasing program to add robots as needed to help meet seasonal demand.
At MODEX this week, the company also hosted sessions on “Labor and Space Savings—AMRs for Order Picking, Returns, Sortation, and Material Flow.” It is at Booth B2219 in the Georgia World Congress Center.
About the Author
Eugene Demaitre is editorial director of Robotics 24/7. Prior to joining Peerless Media, he was a senior editor at Robotics Business Review and The Robot Report. Demaitre has also worked for BNA (now part of Bloomberg), Computerworld, and TechTarget. He has participated in numerous robotics-related webinars, podcasts, and events worldwide.
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