Sophisticated robotics enhance safety and the workplace environment
Mobile, collaborative robots support our workers in high-volume, ecommerce warehouses, making the inventory picking process faster and more accurate. Our employees work side by side with cobots that guide the employees to the correct storage areas, validate the inventory and transport it to designated packing stations — realizing an average 2x productivity improvement over workers alone. GXO uses robotics in logistics to improve performance for our customers.
Autonomous goods-to-person systems add value for our customers in several ways. Inventory pickers can be repositioned at packing stations, and the robots bring units, in bulk, to each station. We also configure an option where the robot climbs the shelves to retrieve fewer units in a smaller bin. Robotic goods-to-person systems can deliver 4-5x productivity improvements and, importantly, enhance worker safety.
Our industrial robotic arms are an efficient way to customize ecommerce fulfilment, because they perform repetitive movements with great precision. We use robotic arms to do everything from engraving products and programming electronic devices to building pallets of packaged goods in preparation for distribution. Each robotic arm is configured by our team to suit the task, the product and the workload.
Strategic outsourcing for a battery manufacturer
A large manufacturer of batteries for automotive, watercraft and motorsports wanted to outsource the retail distribution of its batteries to reclaim more space within the customer’s manufacturing facilities. After a competitive bid process, the customer selected GXO as a logistics partner for regional retail replenishment. Key factors in the contract award were our technological capabilities, extensive in-house industrial engineering talent, the quality of our facilities and our culture of engaging a committed workforce.
After GXO successfully launched a 250,000 square-foot distribution center, including goods-to-robot automation, the customer awarded us a second facility. We implemented a first-of-its-kind solution that loads pallets of single-SKU batteries on robot butlers. The batteries are carried by the robots to a cell of robotic arms, which assemble mixed-SKU pallets for shipping. Our engineers designed custom end-effectors that allow the robot arms to grip and lift batteries weighing up to 50 lbs. without damaging labels or packaging. All of this technology, together with KPI tracking, is integrated into our digital warehouse ecosystem. This gives us on-site control to manage higher volumes of store-specific orders, as we move into the next contract phase.
- Ramped up the goods-to-robot system ahead of schedule
- Improved safety and ergonomics for employees performing picking tasks
- Accomplished a significant business rule change from a seven-day lead time on outbound orders to same-day shipping
- Reduced strain on production plants, allowing the customer to focus the plants on core competencies
- Fulfilment at both facilities performed at least 25% better than the other outsourced logistics sites in the customer’s network