inVia Robotics announced the national availability of its first goods-to-box robotics system, which was created to transform the fulfillment and material handling operations of e-commerce providers and warehouses.
inVia Robotics provides an automated turnkey system that increases the efficiency of its customers’ businesses by fitting into existing workflows, without requiring companies to reconfigure their floors or change shelving. Its robots integrate seamlessly with warehouse management systems (WMSs) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions to maximize existing technology investments, while adding functionality and adaptability to a changing environment.
“E-commerce is booming, but retailers are struggling to keep up with consumer demand due to rising price pressures, increasing expectations for faster delivery and a shortage of warehouse labor,” said Lior Elazary, CEO of inVia Robotics. “For decades, the man-to-goods model reigned supreme, but now, with robots in the warehouse, goods can autonomously navigate across warehouses to be sent to their final destinations quickly and cheaply. Robotics is the next evolution of automation and unlocking its benefits will enable more businesses to stay competitive, which will positively impact the industry and economy.”
The top three challenges facing supply chain executives, as identified by a Deloitte and Material Handling Institute (MHI) survey, are hiring and retaining a skilled workforce (58 percent), meeting customer demand for fast response times (56 percent) and lowering delivery costs (56 percent). Robots’ potential to improve productivity offers a solution for all of those challenges by working alongside human workers to pick and ship more products faster for less cost per pick. In fact, 94 percent of chief executives who already use robots in their businesses believe they have increased productivity, according to recent PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) research.
The company’s solution is available through a robotics-as-a-service business model that requires an upfront investment, enabling more businesses to take advantage of robotics productivity gains. Customers pay monthly for each robot, which allows them to quickly scale up or down to meet seasonal or fluctuating demand. If a robot malfunctions or requires an upgrade, inVia Robotics swaps it out to ensure downtime is minimized.
inVia Robotics’ approach to service robotics is already improving the warehouse operations of several of the world’s biggest e-commerce providers. Its customer LD Products, one of the largest printer and office supplies companies, automated what used to be manual processes, and helped it overcome labor shortages and seasonality, while scaling as its business grows.
“inVia Robotics gives us the edge to compete with some of the larger e-commerce companies,” said Aaron Leon, CEO and founder of LD Products. “Since we launched our inVia Robotics system, order accuracy shot up through the roof. We also are processing a lot more orders with the same amount of people, so it reduced our labor cost per order and increased customer satisfaction. Additionally, its robotics-as-a-service model gives us cost certainty, as we know how much we’re going to pay per pick. We don’t need a huge capital expenditure to hit the ground running and the speed of deploying a new system will expedite how quickly we can open up a third fulfillment center in the U.S.”
inVia Robotics’ GrabIt robot can lift items of up to 30 pounds and up to 24 inches wide, ranging in size from a deck of cards to a 24-pack of soda. It can also reach up to 8 feet and work for 10 hours on a single battery charge. Comparative robotic solutions typically can only handle items weighing about 3 to 6 pounds and have a limited reach into shelf space. Once a product is picked, a GrabIt can offload an item to its companion, TransIt, which can accumulate orders and zip them to an awaiting box to be shipped.
inVia Robotics’ Robotics Management System enables its customers to dynamically change their workflow in real time, as well as minimize wait times, empowering businesses to change their processes on the fly. It works alongside the company’s Robotics Operation Center, which notifies inVia Robotics of any issues that need to be addressed, to ensure that a robotic fleet is performing the right tasks and functioning properly at all times.