Robots proving ROI in California DC

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

SAN JOSE, California—Fetch Robotics robots have now completed six months of continuous operation at one of the warehouses of RK Logistics Group. Since their deployment in August 2016, Freight robots have been working alongside the employees at RK Logistics to help transport items throughout their Livermore, CA operation.

Over the course of this deployment, the Freight robots have made more than 4,500 deliveries and covered a distance of nearly 1,000 kilometers. The material transport robots on site at RK work 24/7 over three different shifts.

The main goal of the robots is to make the employees at RK more efficient by eliminating simple tasks such as transporting items from one part of the warehouse to another. To date, the deployment of these robots has led to significant increase in warehouse productivity.

“We chose Fetch Robotics over other options because we felt that Fetch would be the best partner for our business, and every day since then has validated that decision,” said Cindy Traver, Senior Director of Operations for RK Logistics Group. “Within a few short months we saw a full ROI on our implementation, and we are able to pass the savings from this initiative on to our customers.”

“For all 1,000 kilometres that the robots have traversed our warehouse floor in the past six months, that’s 1,000 kilometres that our workers haven’t had to spend time transporting items,” added Landon Spring, Senior Director of Business Development & Marketing for RK Logistics Group.

“Fetch has partnered with us to implement programs that make our operation more efficient, but also by allocating the mundane transportation tasks away from our employees and onto the robots, we are freeing up our people for higher value work.”

RK is utilizing the Fetch Robotics’ VirtualConveyor solution, which incorporates the Freight series of Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) and charge docks with the Fetchcore cloud-based fleet management software. The AMRs work alongside warehouse workers in dynamic environments that are also shared with forklifts in the warehouse. The Fetch AMRs can safely do their jobs no matter how busy the surrounding environment.

“For anyone that wants to see a glimpse of the future with robots and employees seamlessly working alongside each other, I encourage them to take a look at Fetch Robotics in action at RK Logistics,” according to Melonee Wise, CEO of Fetch Robotics. “See for yourself how robots are the next great productivity weapon for the logistics and material handling industry.”

The navigation of the robots within the RK facility is all managed through Fetchcore. Fetchcore allows customers to quickly set up and deploy the Freight robots. Fetchcore also creates a facility map of warehouses; at RK, this process only took one hour.

The Freight AMRs navigate dynamically using the facility map, allowing the robots to plan their own paths to travel quickly and efficiently anywhere they need to go. Warehouse managers also use Fetchcore to create and schedule workflows in a matter of minutes, and provide routine task assignments. Fetchcore contains an extensible API for additional customization.