Fulfillment provider Zebra Technologies launched a new picking solution on October 21, 2021, consisting 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.
Built on the Fetch Freight100 platform, the FlexShelf and FlexShelf Guide provide flexible configurations for bin sizing and spacing to expand the types of items that can be picked using AMRs. Both AMRs reduce worker training time and increase picking accuracy by incorporating put-to-light and pick-side lighting to reduce the strain during seasonal peak periods when order volumes and seasonal staff are at their highest levels.
The RollerTop Guide AMR solution can reduce the amount of time pickers spend walking by up to 60%. An industry-first forklift detection feature included in this AMR enables these robots to avoid forklift blind spots, helping to prevent damage to the AMRs. Businesses deploying the RollerTop Guide AMR can integrate each picking workflow with existing fixed conveyance, sortation and automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS).
Powered by the fulfillment software package in FetchCore, the combined AMRs can deliver up to three times increased productivity in fulfillment operations and make total throughput up to 50% faster than other fulfillment AMRs. FetchCore’s cloud software package incorporates warehouse annotation, wave management, a pick heatmap, advanced fulfillment analytics and forklift detection features. The warehouse annotation feature superimposes the physical pick locations in a facility onto FetchCore – eliminating the need for QR codes and enabling AMRs to automatically adjust to reslotting within a warehouse. This is intended to address order, batch, case and pallet picking workflows to give companies the ability to quickly modify workflows on demand for warehouse operations. It enables the organization of labor and robots by integrating these processes with warehouse management systems (WMS) and warehouse execution systems (WES).
Ash Sharma, senior research director at Interact Analysis, said, “AMRs that support manual picking operations in fulfillment centers are in incredibly high demand, as retailers and 3PLs struggle to keep up with their customers’ demands. 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 operation but leverage the entire portfolio of Fetch AMRs to automate any manual workflow in fulfillment and distribution centers.”
Jon Liberman, vice president of enterprise mobility at Manhattan Associates, a PartnerConnect Premier Solutions partner, said, “Zebra’s fulfillment solution enables Manhattan Associates to combine an end-to-end, best-in-class fulfillment AMR solution with optimization capabilities inherent to our warehouse management system software. We are excited to provide a solution that increases the efficiency of each picking and case pick-to-pallet operation, especially while many of our customers are experiencing challenges with a competitive labor pool, supply shortages and smaller delivery windows.”