Automated, Collaborative Mobile Robots Increase Warehouse Productivity by 2.5x and Close Gap on Labor Shortages
Zebra Technologies paves the way for a connected future of robotics, devices and people, enabling warehouse operators to double throughput and reclaim 15% of warehouse space
Zebra Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: ZBRA), an innovator at the front line of business with solutions and partners that deliver a performance edge, today announced its progress in creating connected automation solutions to help warehouse operators increase productivity by 2.5x, double throughput and reclaim 15% of their space.
Electrical components distributor Waytek has deployed Zebra Fetch AMRs to make its distribution facility more efficient and free workers from certain manual tasks since deployment. By leveraging FetchCore software that can be deployed on Zebra enterprise-grade tablets, Waytek employees can check the status and direct the movement of the AMRs. This greatly reduces the distance workers must travel to retrieve carts and move products while significantly improving efficiency and job satisfaction.
"The race to automate the warehouse is on, but there's still a lot of uncertainty among warehouse operators about where and how to begin," said Jim Lawton, Vice President, Robotics Automation, Zebra Technologies. "We've created integrated automation solutions that pair our AMRs with mobile devices such as Zebra tablets, barcode scanners, wearables, fixed industrial scanners and machine vision imagers - giving customers ways to automate critical workflows that are less complex."
Over the past 18 months, Zebra has expanded its investments in robotics automation. Since its acquisition of Fetch Robotics, Zebra has launched new automated mobile robots (AMRs) including FlexShelf which increases productivity up to three times by augmenting workers with robots that are 60% faster and carry larger and heavier payloads than other robots. The company has also introduced the RollerTop Guide AMR designed to automate point-to-point materials movement with a mobile conveyor section that can transport items to/from fixed conveyor systems and FetchCore™ Fulfillment software which optimizes picking operations.
Through its venture capital arm, Zebra Ventures, the company has invested in six warehouse automation solution providers including category leaders such as Fox Robotics, Plus One Robotics, and RightHand Robotics. These portfolio companies deliver solutions that automate different workflows within warehouse and manufacturing environments, optimizing how work moves through operations.
According to Zebra's most recent Warehousing Vision Study, 92% of warehouse associates surveyed believe that technology advancement will make the warehouse environment more attractive to workers. To complement its investments in robotics and further automate workflows and augment workers, Zebra launched its award-winning fixed industrial scanning and machine vision solutions and acquired Matrox Imaging which has an impressive patent portfolio including advanced vision capabilities.
Another Zebra customer leveraging the Fetch AMRs and fixed industrial scanners to improve efficiency and productivity is Bespoke Manufacturing Company (BMC). The apparel manufacturer relies on Zebra to enable front-line workers to focus on production, improving workflow visibility from the cutting and printing of fabric to packing and shipping. BMC is realizing significant savings in labor time, scaling to meet seasonal demand surges and credits Zebra with making it possible for the company to create and keep manufacturing jobs in the U.S.
Zebra continues to invest in robotics automation by hiring industry luminaries such as Eric Harty and Matt Wicks. Harty will lead the company's expansion opportunities in robotics automation while Wicks will be responsible for the company's robotics automation portfolio strategy, product roadmap, and stakeholder alignment.
Zebra has also expanded its award-winning PartnerConnect program with a new Mobile Robotics Specialization which gives qualifying partners access to Zebra's innovative AMR portfolio along with comprehensive training and extensive marketing, sales and technical benefits.
ABOUT ZEBRA TECHNOLOGIES
Zebra (NASDAQ: ZBRA) empowers organizations to thrive in the on-demand economy by making every front-line worker and asset at the edge visible, connected and fully optimized. With an ecosystem of more than 10,000 partners across more than 100 countries, Zebra serves customers of all sizes - including 86% of the Fortune 500 - with an award-winning portfolio of hardware, software, services and solutions that digitize and automate workflows. Supply chains are more dynamic, customers and patients are better served, and workers are more engaged when they utilize Zebra innovations that help them sense, analyze and act in real time. Zebra recently expanded its industrial automation portfolio with its Fetch Robotics acquisition and increased its machine vision and AI software capabilities with the acquisitions of Adaptive Vision, antuit.ai and Matrox Imaging. Zebra is #42 on Newsweek's list of America's Most Loved Workplaces, #42 on Fast Company's list of the Best Workplaces for Innovators and #79 on Forbes' list of America's 500 Best Midsize Employers. Learn more at www.zebra.com or sign up for news alerts. Follow Zebra's Your Edge blog, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, and check out our Story Hub: Zebra Perspectives.
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A traditional gantry system employs X-Y or X-Y-Z range of motion. Mounted on a base plate, usually granite, 2 parallel rails constitute the synchronized Y axis motion while the cross axis (bridge axis) provides the X motion. A vertical axis can be added on the bridge for the Z motion. A Split Bridge system can be less complex than a traditional gantry system because synchronization of the two parallel linear motors is not required. Both systems are used in industrial production, testing, and additive manufacturing.