To increase teammate productivity and bolster safety, GEODIS announced a goods-to-person robotics program with Grenzebach. Over the past year, GEODIS and Grenzebach have been engaged in a pilot program for a large consumer electronics customer at GEODIS' Nashville, TN campus, which features Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) and mobile storage units (MSUs) designed to make the jobs of GEODIS teammates easier, safer and more productive. Following the success of the initial program, GEODIS and Grenzebach are now introducing this robotics program to additional clients.
"The goal for working with Grenzebach is to make our teammates' jobs easier and safer by minimizing travel while also increasing picking efficiency and accuracy—and we see tremendous results already," said Eric Douglas, GEODIS Executive Vice President of Engineering and Technology. "We're estimating pick functions will nearly double and that training time for new employees will be reduced by more than 50 percent. This is critical for our clients who need to meet the rapid pace of today's consumer demands."
The program optimizes warehouse operations by both speeding up processing and saving space. The Grenzebach AGVs lift and move MSUs to and from picking stations, where teammates remain stationary as opposed to walking the warehouse and pulling a pick cart. Thus, travel paths for teammates are minimized, and a safer work environment is provided. The picking stations can be used for both picking and replenishment. They provide teams with a number of tools to work efficiently and accurately. For example, pick-by-light technology assists each teammate in picking the right product from the right shelf. Put-to-light technology indicates in which box picked items need to be placed. This not only speeds up picking but also helps reduce errors. A warehouse software in the background allocates work intelligently. The system is scalable; in peak times, for example, adding more vehicles helps to deal with an increased workload.