Amazon.com Inc. began as an online book retailer and is now a leader in both e-commerce and supply chain automation, so it's no surprise that other companies are following its example. HAI Robotics today said it has deployed its first warehouse robots in Australia. Integrator BPS Global implemented HAIPICK robots at retailer Booktopia's 14,000 sq. m (150,000 sq. ft.) distribution center in Lidcombe, New South Wales.
“By deploying this innovative robot solution, we have doubled our capacity and significantly improved our picking and putaway rates,” stated Tony Nash, CEO of Booktopia. “This gives us the confidence we need to continue to serve our customers.”
Founded in 2004, Booktopia claims to be Australian's biggest online bookstore. It reported turnover of more than $165 million a year and was listed in the Australian Financial Review/BRW's “Fast 100” from 2009 to 2017, the only company to be listed eight times.
Booktopia benefits from HAIPICK robot reach
Although Booktopia was primarily looking to automation for efficiency gains, the company said its entire operation has benefitted. The rising rental cost of warehouses has become a problem for many companies across Australia, and HAIPICK makes it faster and easier to increase capacity and storage, said HAI Robotics.
HAIPICK differs from typical autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) in that HAI Robotics' systems have a telescopic fork that stretches 4 m (13.1 ft.) high. This gives the robots the ability to carry cartons as well as individual totes and to bring multiple cases to pickers or conveyors in one movement.
Booktopia has used HAIPICK to facilitate the completion of multiple customer orders at one pick station, greatly improving fulfilment and dispatch rates, said the partners.
“COVID-19 placed immense pressure on e-commerce retailers, and we saw volumes reach record heights across the entire retail landscape,” said Malcolm Druce, managing partner at BPS Global. “We're thrilled to work with Booktopia on the first-ever deployment of this innovative automation solution in Australia. This investment ensures they are well-placed to meet rising demands and continue to service the nation with its favorite books.”
HAI Robotics expands beyond China
Established in 2016, HAI Robotics said it is a pioneer in autonomous case-handling robotics (ACR) systems. The Shenzhen, China-based company said its customized warehouse automation uses advanced robotics technology and artificial intelligence algorithms. HAI Robotics serves industries including third-party logistics (3PL), apparel, e-commerce, electronics, energy, manufacturing, and pharmaceuticals.
HAI Robotics obtained $15 million in Series B+ funding in March. The company's HAIPICK ACR series has obtained the CE Mark, meeting European safety standards.
In addition, HAI Robotics said it has been expanding rapidly outside China, establishing offices in Tokyo and Fremont, Calif., and making local partners to deliver automation faster and provide full services. With over 200 ongoing projects worldwide in various industries, the company offers its business and services across five continents.
Founded in 1992 and headquartered in Hong Kong, BPS Global Group is a leading provider of construction and logistics infrastructure and services. BPS Global Australia provides services around business systems design, consulting, logistics automation, and project execution and maintenance.
“Through our partnership with BPS Global, the end customer gets access to both local advice, implementation, service, and support, as well as the latest in robot-based automation technology,” said Michael Rolfing, director of sales Australia at HAI Robotics.
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