February 1, 2023

Brad Marolf

Business & Finance Wonders

Advanced Handling Systems’ E-Commerce, 3PL Shippers Have New Robotic Options

Advanced Handling Systems‘ (AHS) third-party logistics and e-commerce warehouse customers can now choose to deploy robotic solutions from Berkshire Grey for their facilities.

AHS, which integrates fulfillment and distribution solutions and counts many Fortune 100, e-commerce, and 3PL companies among its clients, said Berkshire Grey’s (NASDAQ: BGRY) artificial intelligence-enabled automation will help its clients address labor shortages and logistics challenges that are threatening the supply chain.

“Berkshire Grey’s Intelligent Enterprise Robotic (IER) solutions set the industry standard – they have the most robust robotics portfolio, handling the broadest range of SKUs,” said Drew Eubank, senior director of engineering at AHS. “AHS brings a 40-year customer portfolio that spans Fortune 100 brands to emerging e-commerce leaders and they know that robotic automation is core to their supply chain strategy if they’re going to remain competitive. That’s why we’re partnering with Berkshire Grey – to accelerate the integration of next-generation robotic solutions into our customers’ warehouses and facilities.”

Berkshire Grey has said that only about 5% of warehouses have any automation installed today, representing a large opportunity as e-commerce takes a greater percentage share of the retail economy.

Related: Read: SPAC in focus: Berkshire Grey ready for its debut Read: Berkshire Grey shows next-generation fulfillment robots

Among its robotics systems are solutions offering various weight capacities and capabilities. The robots typically operate on grids that allow movement at high speeds within inches of each other. A robotic product sortation system can pick and load totes in the warehouse and autonomously deliver those totes to waiting vehicles. It introduced its latest generation of IER picking and mobility robots in June. They utilize artificial intelligence to offer lower-cost points and shorter delivery times while expanding the number of SKUs the robots can pick.

“Partnering with AHS allows us to deliver a comprehensive robotic automation portfolio, accelerate the adoption of AI and robotics and enable warehouse supply chains across industries to scale and grow,” James Hendrickson, director of strategic partnerships and global alliances at Berkshire Grey, said.

Berkshire Grey said its intelligent fleet of mobile robots can:

  • Integrate robotic picking with mobile robots to increase automation levels and fulfillment speeds.

  • Transform any facility into a high-throughput fulfillment system with minimal disruption to existing operations. Facilities can deploy the new robot systems in both existing and new fulfillment centers in one-third of the time of legacy systems.

  • Handle greater SKU coverage than legacy systems – including heavier items, non-conveyables, and challenging items like shrink-wrapped packages (e.g., dog food bags, glass and water bottle packs).

  • Perform faster and more flexibly than traditional approaches – conducting agile any-induct-to-any-discharge organization of goods and incorporating intelligent on-field storage supporting many use cases.

  • Dually utilize storage locations as robot highways and handle diverse SKUs directly – the new robots can rotate and adjust positions, pass under shelves and conveyor belts, and function without a tray or tote container – all of which enable speedier throughput and reduced process costs.

The AI-based software allows the robots to work collaboratively and helps them “learn” over time.

Click for more Modern Shipper articles by Brian Straight.

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