10 Jul 2019

SATO and ZMP Partner on Logistics Robot Route Navigation Solution to Minimize Travel Distance for Pickers in the Warehouse

SATO, a global pioneer in the development of auto-ID and labeling solutions and ZMP Co., Ltd. (hereinafter ZMP) announced Visual Warehouse® for CarriRo®, an integration of the CarriRo® AD autonomous delivery robot from ZMP and SATO’s route navigation solution Visual Warehouse® to minimize the walking distance of pickers in the warehouse and distribution center.

Picking generally accounts for 60 percent of all warehouse operations, which mostly involves walking. Reducing the walking distance of picking workers is one of the most effective ways to increase productivity, even when the flow of goods increases.

Visual Warehouse is a navigation system that uses a unique algorithm to calculate the shortest path for pickers. It provides the shortest route to the goal determined and indicated on the virtual map based on the coordinates of inventory and the current location in the warehouse which is declared by the workers via handy terminals.

Visual Warehouse for CarriRo adds the shortest route for the worker and optimal junctions to meet the CarriRo AD robot to the route map as markers while the robots move around the facility autonomously and wait at the optimum meeting points.

Zone picking process

  1. Workers are dedicated to picking in areas determined for each.
  2. CarriRo AD follows instructions from Visual Warehouse to autonomously travel via the shortest route and standby at the indicated location.
  3. After loading items picked by the worker and placed onto CarriRo AD, the robot automatically travels to the next area to complete the picking order.

By repeating these steps, the walking distance of the worker is minimized and the picking labor is reduced. In addition, workers can concentrate on picking exclusively within a specific area, which contributes to improved efficiency. Visual Warehouse generally achieves a 20 percent improvement in productivity at worksites and the collaboration between SATO and ZMP is expected to further optimize processes.

Route settings can be flexibly changed regardless of location and CarriRo AD is equipped with a “following” mode making it possible for multiple CarriRo AD robots to operate in a single area smoothly. The system can assist picking operations even at distribution centers and factories where the work flow and layout are already fixed by following and waiting for the workers.

The details of Visual Warehouse for CarriRo and the start of sales will be announced at ZMP World in Tokyo from July 23-26, 2019. Additionally, demos and usage applications will be introduced at the same time at the CarriRo EXPO.