Pallet storage innovation led Geekplus to a reliable, hybrid solution

Posted by Geekplus on Apr 4, 2024 11:20:54 AM

AS/RS pallet shuttle storage solutions are nothing new. These trusted, useful space saving robots allow companies to store pallets in the upper levels of their warehouses. But proven solutions sometimes require innovation to keep up with the ever-changing order fulfillment industry and the shifting demands of consumers. 

Pallet-to-Person Solution (1)

To push the industry forward, Geekplus adapted this proven solution by adding its foundational Shelf-to-Person mobile order fulfillment robot and surrounded it with industry-leading software and robot management programming to create a truly innovative hybrid picking solution. Why? Customers were looking for high-density pallet storage in the vertical space of a warehouse combined with all the advantages of mobile robots for ground-level picking. While the shuttle robots utilize every inch of vertical space for pallet storage and quick and flexible replenishment of the lower level, picking robots on the ground level move shelves, pallets, and racks containing the most in-demand goods to picking stations.

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The solution is already proving its use. Operating out of a one-million-square-foot fulfillment center in Georgia, a leading 3PL specializing in the e-commerce and wholesale fulfillment business was facing challenges meeting increased consumer demands fueled by an explosive growth in e-commerce orders. Their goal is to reach 85% of their consumers with standard 2-day shipping while providing industry leading customer service. That wasn’t happening. Conventional methods utilizing selective pallet racks and manually operated equipment could not keep up with the volume of their growing business. They also had labor shortages using temporary staffing agencies to fill vacant positions.

Geekplus partnered with BlueSkye Automation to fully automate this company's one-million-square-foot fulfillment center, requiring just 250,000 square feet to deploy eight integrated technologies consisting of conveyors, robotic arms, mobile sortation robots, and the Pallet-to-Person system. From receiving to packing, Geekplus eased their space constraints by adding 27,000 pallet positions allowing them to store more product in their existing space, reduce their labor reliance by 81%, and improving their average velocity to 2,200 picks per hour. With the Pallet-to-Person innovation, the 3PL improved their average per-person pick rate from 40 to 550 picks per hour.

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Since that project, the Geekplus Pallet-to-Person solution has spread to customers all over the world. This includes the most recent installation in for Wellcome, a leading Hong Kong grocery chain, in collaboration with DFI Warehouse Group. The deployment is part of a 20,000-square-foot smart warehouse.

The Pallet-to-Person solution is completely modular and scalable, meaning that companies can add on as they grow, a unique innovation in a fixed automation world; as with this customer, existing infrastructure such as conveyor belts, robotic arms, or automatic lifts can be integrated into the system for receiving and/or distributing goods.

The system is controlled by proprietary software powered by smart algorithms that can easily be integrated into existing technology. With this software, Geekplus is moving beyond the commoditization of robots into creating true one-stop, systems-based solutions for its customers.

Topics: shelf-to-person, warehouse automation, 2024, geekplus, pallet-to-person