Pallet moving robots are a powerful addition to a warehouse operation. When using robots, the efficiency gains are indisputable. Even if you don’t have immediate plans to add robotic automation to your order picking process, you can still leverage the benefits with pallet moving robots. These robots improve the workflow at the transport dock – dramatically improving the speed to unload and load trucks.
Pallet moving robots are a game-changer for e-commerce warehouses, as well as grocery and convenience store distribution centers. Any business that requires a complex orchestration of pallets in and out of the center multiple times a day can benefit from the use of robots. Robots can easily move pallets up to 2,200 pounds without supervision.
Robot Pallet Movers Dramatically Reduce the Need for Forklifts
The time and cost savings from robotic pallet movers come from the speed at which palleted goods are moved from the docking area to inventory aisles. Most notably, the time savings comes from reducing the need for forklift drivers who take pallets from the dock and navigate the warehouse aisles to drop off the pallet in its storage location. Using a robot pallet mover, forklift drivers need only to unload a pallet from a truck to the staging area for another robot to take away.
For example, with our Prime Robotics pallet moving system, a forklift operator loads a pallet onto a platform carried by a MobilePallet robot. Now the pallet has become highly mobile – with the robot taking instruction from the Robot Control System (RCS). Then, the pallet can move autonomously (without supervision or instruction from a worker) through the warehouse.
An Example of the Benefits of the MobilePallet in Action
MobilePallet can move its load to a storage location or any other desired location in the warehouse. The RCS communicates with the WMS (warehouse management system), always knowing the exact location of the pallet.
Sophisticated location and safety technology enable the MobilePallet to detect obstacles or pause for a person to cross its path. Once a MobilePallet robot has arrived at its destination, the robot sets down the platform. Next, it holds the pallet load at its storage location. When ready for it’s next mission, it departs. Now part of the inventory, when the pallet is needed next, a MobilePallet robot knows where it is stored because the RCS communicates directly with the WMS. The robot retrieves the pallet and brings it to a pick station, staging area, or other destination. Finally, MobilePallet robots automatically go to a recharge station when their battery is low and can operate 24-hour shifts.
Quickly moving heavy, cumbersome pallets unsupervised throughout the warehouse increases efficiency and reduces the labor required. As a result, fewer forklifts are needed and workflows become streamlined.
Pallet Moving Robots Assist in Many Warehouse Tasks
- Full-pallet putaway
- Staging loads for shipping
- Delivery and replenishment of empty pallets
- Order fulfillment
- Case picking
- Completed case pick to pallet wrap
- Movement of packed pallets to shipping
Create a Seamlessly Automated Warehouse That Combines Pallet Moving and Picking Robots
MobilePallet and MobileShelf, our warehouse robot that makes inventory shelves mobile, work in concert to create an automated warehouse environment that is more efficient and less physically taxing on workers. They are controlled by our RCS which integrates with virtually any WMS to improve productivity at every stage — from inventory inbounding to order picking.
Make 2021 the Year to Automate
Automating is now within reach of virtually every warehouse. Our $9K per month lease package makes this possible. Included in this package is 10 robots and all the accessories and customer support you need. As a result, this saves up to $80K every month the system is in place! To learn more about the benefits, you can read about our $9K Robot Lease Use Case and see the math detailing how warehouse labor costs are cut nearly in half.
To see all of our fully functional robots in action, I invite you to plan a visit to our Denver headquarters demo warehouse where our robots are operating today. This will enable you to see how our robots create top picking speed and higher productivity among all AMR’s on the market. We build all of our robots right here in the U.S. at our headquarters. Come take a peek at our entire robot-building process.
Please get in touch if you’d like to talk to us about your unique operation. We’re happy to recommend ways to best leverage the power of robots in 2021,
CEO and Founder of Prime Robotics
What is WMS Paralysis?
Believing you can’t even consider implementing automated warehouse robots until you’ve updated your outdated Warehouse Management System (WMS).
Waiting to initiate automated warehouse robots is a mistake. Many warehouse operators lament that although they know they need to get started down the path to automating their warehouse. However, they first need to complete the tedious and often lengthy process of updating their WMS. This process may include evaluating multiple WMS vendors. Often this can take six months to a year (or more).
It may seem logical to think that a robotics implementation will be most effective when integrated with the latest and greatest WMS, but the fact is your success in adding robots in your warehouse isn’t dependent on your WMS. Prime Robotics integrates easily with virtually any WMS (however, if yours hasn’t been updated since the eighties, it may prove more challenging).
The sooner you can implement robots, the better for your bottom line. Robots will save tens of thousands of dollars every month by drastically reducing operational costs. So, it follows that delaying adding robots comes at a high cost.
The costs incurred by waiting are real
Consider that our $9K per month lease package that includes 10 robots and all the accessories and customer support you need can save a warehouse $80K every month the system is in place. You can read more about our $9K Robot Lease Use Case and see the math detailing how warehouse labor costs are nearly cut in half.
It can take an organization a year or more to select a new WMS. Then, perhaps another year to roll it out, if there are multiple sites. Considering this, for even a small to a midsize operator, the opportunity cost of delaying a robotics implementation can exceed $1M if they end up waiting a year or more. The opportunity costs climb even higher when you add in the inherent costs of recruiting and retaining a warehouse workforce.
Often operators are surprised when I tell them it’s pretty straightforward to add robots no matter their WMS. If your WMS can set up separate storage locations, then you can handle the basic logic needed to set up some of your inventory in manual racks and some in the robot shelving.
You can also take a phased approach to adding robots. For example, if your warehouse is A-B-C stratified, you can start with your highest-turnover inventory first by assigning those SKUs to the storage area that will be serviced by the robots. Then you can continue rolling robots out across the different areas of your warehouse. You can learn more about our MobileShelf robot implementation here.
Automated warehouse robot implementation for single warehouses
Operators currently using a simple online WMS, like Tradegecko or Quickbooks to manage their inventory, can use Prime Robotics’ own built-in WMS as their only WMS. For a single warehouse that only keeps track of inventory coming in and orders going out, our included WMS can handle your needs. Furthermore, our packing station software integrates with carrier software like ShipStation. Our Robot Control System can receive orders directly from your Magento instance.
Implementation in a new greenfield warehouse site
If you’re setting up a new greenfield site, it’s typically preferable to implement warehouse robots at the same time. This clean implementation approach allows you to apply best business practices at the new site from Day One.
Add Automated Warehouse Robots Now to Boost Your Profitability Fast
It’s clear that robots impact your bottom line more than adding a new WMS. While a new WMS may streamline your operations and deliver the new functionality you want, it’s unlikely to create the immediate cost savings and massive organizational benefits that robots can provide.
I’m often telling warehouse operators that an automated warehouse robotics system can quickly start generating a cost savings that can fund your new WMS purchase. From start to finish, this process can be implemented in about three months, My advice is to add warehouse robots now to increase your profits. Out compete those in the market that haven’t yet leveraged the power of automation!
CEO and Founder of Prime Robotics
I have to say we’re pretty excited about our new robotic automation Lease Starter Package! Since the start at Prime Robotics, we’ve been focused on putting robotic automation within reach of warehouses, no matter their size. Warehouse robotic automation became Amazon’s paradigm-shifting advantage when its Kiva AMR robots changed everything about how they filled orders at their warehouses. We believe that every warehouse can add robotics to their operation today– from a 10,000 square foot warehouse on up.
We’ve created a complete end-to-end robotic solution for small to midsize warehouses that leverages the same robotics technology that powers Amazon’s warehouses. The “Make 2021 Your Year to Automate” Package is an all-inclusive robotic automation solution that can ship 6,000 orders a day.
Here’s the best part — our robot package is priced at under $9K per month! There’s really never been anything like this available in our industry: Now an operator can add robotic automation to their facility with a simple, low-cost lease instead of making a big capital investment and encountering a lot of hidden costs. This package is ideal for automating up to 20,000 square foot warehouses, and it can be easily customized for larger footprints.
What’s in our “Make 2021 Your Year to Automate” Package for $9K/mo
Our Robotic automation Lease Starter Package includes 10 of our best-in-class AMR robots and absolutely everything you need to hit the ground running.
This complete lease package includes everything you need to automate your operation to fulfill up to 6,000 orders a day.
- 8 Mobile Shelf robots
- 2 MobilePallet robots
- 1 Piece Picking Station
- 1 Pack Station
- 2 Recharge Stations
- 1 PalletLift
- 125 Shelves
- 20 Pallet Platforms
- 1 Hybrid Piece-Pallet Station
- API integration with your WMS
- API Integration with your OMS
Expertise & Support
- Team Training
- 24/7 Customer Support
- 3 Year Onsite Parts and Labor Warranty
- 2 Year Extended Onsite Parts and Labor Warranty
Implementation (2 Weeks onsite)
- Software integrations
- 1 Server to install operational equipment
- 2 training classes for your workers and administrators
- All freight costs
It’s amazing what’s possible with this system
When you automate key workflows in your warehouse using just what’s included in this package, the results are staggering. For example, our MobileShelf touts the fastest picking in the industry — 300+ picks per hour. With this system, you can process up to 6,000 orders a day (this assumes 1.5 lines per order and 24-hour operation) and dramatically reduce the labor required. Consider this: if you run at full speed 24 hours a day, this system can save $200K a month compared to a manual operation delivering the same output. When you think about the efficiency you gain, you will change how you think about your business. Now you’ve lowered operational costs and freed up capacity.
About the lease and other details
This 5-year fair market value lease puts an automated warehouse within your reach. You don’t have to become experts in robotics. We provide white-glove 24/7 customer support, active monitoring of your robots — so we can correct errors before they become an issue — and all support and maintenance. Everything is taken care of — and we’re with you for the long haul.
The time from the first meeting to implementation is typically 90-120 days. Before arriving, our team has tailored the system to fit the unique needs of your operation. Due to our phased implementation approach, your operations aren’t interrupted.
Once implemented, your system is easy to scale to grow with you — and you might add specialized robots for handling pallets or cages. For example our new robot, AutoJack can enter a truck unmanned and unload it unsupervised.
If I’ve piqued your interest, you probably have a lot of questions. You can get in touch to start a conversation. Then we can show you a demo of the package system in action in a warehouse environment. We’d like to learn more about what you want to achieve in your warehouse.
We look forward to hearing from you,
Prime Robotics Building its U.S. Made Robotic Warehouse Systems in New Denver Manufacturing Facility
June 23, 2020 – Denver Colorado – Today Prime Robotics announced its new Denver Robot Design and Manufacturing facility is fully operational and all Prime Robotics robots will be developed and assembled onsite. The company’s headquarters are in Denver. Prime Robotics is an innovator in robotic warehouse systems, with AMR robotic solutions designed for optimizing warehouse workflows to deliver 8-10x higher productivity. Adding robots to critical processes has a dramatic impact in terms of boosting efficiency and lowering operational costs.
Available today, Prime Robotics provides specialized robotic warehouse systems for industries including e-commerce fulfillment facilities, retail warehouses, convenience store distributors, grocery distributors, and manufacturing. The company’s facility also includes a fully operational warehouse environment in which its robots are deployed for both in-environment robot testing and real-world customer demonstrations.
Prime Robotics’ CEO and Founder Eric Rongley sees having everything under one roof as a big advantage, “Every day we work where we are developing, iterating, assembling, and evaluating our robots in our warehouse complete with shelves stocked with inventory and picking stations – all within our corporate headquarters. It’s inspiring for me as an innovator to watch every stage of the robot-building process every day.”
Denver is a good location geographically for manufacturing robots built for U.S. customers, with its major transportation connections converging here. Prime Robotics is using its proximity to railroad transportation to its advantage. “Robots are obviously big, heavy equipment and shipping costs to deliver eight or ten or dozens of them to a customer site is a huge expense. We’re taking advantage of the fact that our headquarters is just off the rail line that comes into Denver, so we can transport our customer robots by rail directly from this facility,” says Rongley.
About Prime Robotics Automated Warehouse Systems
The MobileShelf robot is core to warehouse automation: it brings a shelf of inventory to a worker at a pick station to fill an order. This allows workers who usually walk the inventory shelves picking items to remain stationary as inventory comes to them. MobilePallet is a powerful addition to a warehouse. First, a forklift brings palleted goods from a truck at the dock and loads the pallet onto the MobilePallet, which can then autonomously move the pallet through the warehouse without supervision. Visit primerobotics.com to learn more, you can read about the company and see videos of the robotic solutions in action at the Denver demo warehouse.
Prime Robotics Expands Mobile Robots for Warehouse Automation Sales to U.K. with its Exclusive Partnership with LAC Group
October 15, 2020 – Denver Colorado – Prime Robotics announced its expansion to the United Kingdom market with an exclusive partnership with LAC Group, a leading designer and manufacturer of conveyor and automation solutions. This partnership enables U.K. logistics, e-commerce retailers, and manufacturers to purchase Prime Robotics’ powerful robotic automation solutions in order to dramatically improve productivity across their operation. Mobile robots for warehouse automation deliver two valuable benefits starting month one: increased output and reduced operational costs.
U.S.-based warehouse robotics builder Prime Robotics designs powerful best-in-class AMR robotic automation solutions for midsize and large warehouse and manufacturing operations. Its robots make it possible to achieve order picking speeds that can increase warehouse productivity 8 to 10x versus manual order picking.
LAC is the ideal partner to lead the sales of Prime Robotics solutions in the U.K. A well-known, forward-leaning innovator, LAC designs and manufactures industrial conveyor solutions that help clients achieve huge operational efficiency gains; they bring automation technical savvy and an unmatched, deep knowledge of the U.K. market. AMR robotic automation has very little penetration in this market today, so the opportunity is ripe to show operators what’s possible with robots like the MobileShelf.
LAC CEO Chris Unwin sees this partnership as a great fit and perfect timing. “I’m delighted to secure this exclusive partnership with Prime Robotics. Their fantastic range of AMR’s will not only enhance our existing automation offering but contribute towards the goal of growing market share of automation projects within the logistics and manufacturing sectors,” says Unwin.
The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated changes in consumer purchasing habits that were already moving to more online shopping. For logistics companies, and specifically e-commerce retailers and distribution centers, this has created the perfect storm: fewer workers available to work and an overwhelming increase in the number of orders to be fill. Today these companies are taking a close look at their current manual processes, and know they must respond to this shift in buying behavior that is unlikely to change after the pandemic.
A Prime Robotics warehouse solution enables logistics companies to quickly scale their operations to meet demand without being restrained by limited available labor. This kind of flexibility is essential to minimize operational costs and maximize revenues all 12 months of the year in an industry where demand is constantly changing.
Eric Rongley, Founder and CEO of Prime Robotics is excited to soon see the company’s U.S.-built robots deployed in European markets, starting with the U.K. “I’m proud to have a partnership with LAC that bring our logistics robots to the UK market. Brexit and the pandemic have put strains on supply chains in the UK. Together Prime Robotics and LAC can provide warehouse operators and manufacturers with complete automation solutions made up products that can operate together to maximize productivity by streamlining processes,” says Rongley.
LAC has hit the ground running and is already introducing its clients and the U.K. market to Prime Robotics’ solutions. LAC is planning a fully-functional demonstration facility in London, where LAC is based, that will soon give companies across the region the chance to see the mobile robots for warehouse automation in action firsthand.
Learn more about Prime Robotics, its AMR, and fully autonomous, the company’s self-driving robots that are in development at primerobotics.com. Learn more about the LAC Group and all the new ways they are driving the robotics industry!
Know your pick speed so you can calculate your Robotic Automation ROI
If you’re considering robotic automation, I encourage you to first calculate your current pick speed, then you can get your Robotic Automation ROI. This helps you understand the value of what increasing your pick speed by 2x, 3x, or even 5x means for your operation.
The largest cost within a warehouse is typically labor
A large portion of the operational cost comes from labor-intensive, inefficient manual order picking. Did you know that in a manual warehouse (one without automation), the average worker walks 12-15 miles per shift? All this time spent walking around the warehouse isn’t an efficient use of their time. All this required walking is the primary limiting factor to improving pick speed and therefore order fulfillment speed.
Pick Speed: Manual vs. Robotic Automation
We’ve found that the most straightforward way to show a warehouse operator the value of robotic automation is to show them. We give them a quick comparison of what their current pick speed is today, and then what their predicted pick speed and orders per day can be with the addition of robotics. Our goal is always to bring value to the customer’s business, and I mean their bottom line.
Once we know the current picking productivity of manual pickers in an operation, we can calculate the optimal number of pickers and robots needed. In fact, once we have this data, we can also estimate the Return on your Investment on your robotic automation implementation. The dramatic increase in pick speed combined with lower labor demand results in a dramatic reduction in operating costs starting day one. We find that many customers have paid for their robot implementation within a year.
Robotic Automation Implementation: Time to Payback
At Prime Robotics, we like to share what we know, and we’ve refined a warehouse operations optimization model that allows you to input key data about your operation so we can recommend a complete robotic solution. Our ROI Estimator Tool lets you see your predicted boost in productivity, the optimal number of robots, and estimated cost. It’s a great first step to show you the business value of robots. Check out our online Productivity and ROI Estimator Tool and try it yourself.
So, getting back to your current pick speed. How do you measure it?
Line Pick Speed. These are the lines on an invoice. If an invoice has a line for 10 cases of tomato soup, this counts as one pick even though 10 cases are picked.
Piece Pick Speed. In the example above, the piece pick speed is 10, even though they are all the same SKU. Piece picking is probably a more appropriate metric if you’re doing case picking. Picking 3 cases of something may take considerably longer than 1 case, so it’s better to use the quantity picked as the measure and not the number of lines.
Which pick speed metric should you use?
The pick speed you use to compare manual versus automated depends on the nature of your business. If you tend to have a small quantity of eaches that get picked, like 1 or 2 at a time, you want to use the Line Pick Speed as your determinant. This is because the relative time to pick one item or two items from the same slot is marginal.
You should take the total product picked for a shift and divide it into how many man-hours that work represents. For example, if ten people working for 8 hours would be 80 man-hours. If I picked 4,000 lines during that shift, then my pick speed would be 50 picks per hour.
Picking Speed in Manual Warehouses
In manual warehouses, you can calculate the picking speed of workers by calculating the number of order lines processed in a shift. Pick speeds typical for manual picking are in the neighborhood of about 25-50 picks per hour per worker. If the warehouse has an effective WMS that provides route planning for pickers, it possible to reach speeds at the upper end of this average. If there is not a WMS, or a just very basic one, pick speed is on the lower end of this scale.
A Pick Wall
Sometimes warehouses record faster picking speeds than these. If the items being picked are small, like screws, then a pick wall set up makes it easy for the pickers to quickly pick items. A pick wall is really efficient for high-velocity items that are small, but efficiency diminishes as the wall gets longer and requires a picker to walk farther between picks. Up to 80-100 picks per hour is possible, but not typical. A pick wall is not scalable to large numbers of SKUs.
Types of Robotic Automation in Warehouses
There are several types of robots typically deployed into warehouses. They fall into one of two categories, Goods-to-Person and Person-to-Goods.
Goods-to-Person robotic systems
In G2P robot systems, the picker stays in one place and the robotic system brings the goods to them so they may pick it. This robotic system might be an elaborate rack and shuttle system or mobile robots. In both cases, a worker spends their time picking items, not walking between places. G2P systems can achieve speeds of 250-500 picks per hour. Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) systems tend to get to the 250-350 picks per hour per person range.
Person-to-Goods robotic systems
In a P2G, pickers are stationed in zones around the warehouse floor and robots enter their zone when something in that area needs to be picked. The picker places it on the robot. Over time the pickers become familiar with the location of items and get faster. Persons-to-Goods robotic systems can achieve pick speeds in the range of 100-200 picks per hour. Although not robotic, traditional conveyor operations can bring a real speed boost. Typical pick speeds for warehouses with traditional conveyor automation range from 100-250 picks per hour. Therefore, a move from conveyors to a Persons-to-Goods robotic system doesn’t provide an advantage. This may reduce labor, but it has a high capital cost and high utility bills.
Prime Robotics’ Mobile Shelf solution
Prime Robotics’ MobileShelf is an AMR Goods-to-Person robotic system. It can maintain picking speed in the 300-350 range, depending upon the customer’s workflow and packing process.
Keep in mind, labor isn’t the complete picture of savings due to automation, but it’s the largest. For example, take a warehouse currently doing 4,000 picks per shift using 10 workers. If you automate your warehouse with a robotic system capable of 250 picks per hour, only 2 people are needed now. Whereas 10 were needed for manual picking.
Let us help you calculate your robotic automation ROI
When one considers the fully loaded cost of a picker, these savings add up fast. Our ROI tool helps you calculate your robotic automation ROI. Get in touch with us and we’ll walk you through it using your own operation’s data. We’re focused on helping customers design efficient warehouses that have a big positive effect on their bottom line. Learn more about our robotics solution for Warehouses.
E-Commerce Retailer Increases Orders Fulfilled by 400% In the First Month of Prime Robotics Warehouse Robotics Technology Implementation
May 15, 2020 – Denver Colorado – Today Prime Robotics announced a successful warehouse robotics technology implementation at a leading e-commerce retailer, McDonald Paper & Restaurant Supplies. In Month One, the McDonald’s distribution center increased order fulfillment velocity 400%, allowing them to scale to keep up with growing sales without adding to its workforce.
Warehouse robotics builder Prime Robotics, based in Denver, Colorado, designs powerful best-in-class robotic automation solutions for midsize and large warehouse operations. Prime Robotics’ robots are able to improve order pick speed to increase warehouse productivity 8 to 10x compared to traditional manual order picking.
McDonald’s President Eugene Khorosh said the they were lucky they had robots in place in March 2020. “When COVID hit, sales for items such as cleaning supplies, safety equipment went through the roof. With our Prime Robotics robots in place, we easily scaled our Philadelphia distribution center, and now one worker can fulfill 1,000+ orders a day. Hiring new folks would have been impossible at the the height of the outbreak,” says Khorosh.
In January 2020, we completed the implementation for the McDonald company in only two weeks. It included Prime Robotics’ MobileShelf AMR robots, Pick Stations, robot recharging stations, and integration with McDonald’s order management system (OMS), SellerCloud, and SAP. Prime’s own user-friendly Robot Control System (RCS) makes re-configuring robot workflows and scaling on-demand easy.
“I realized right away I was in capable hands – the Prime Robotics team opened my eyes to what was possible. They dug into my operation and got to know it inside and out. My biggest fear was it wouldn’t work for us. Our operation has a lot of quirks, but it integrated easily with all the systems I already had,” says Khorosh. Prime Robotics’ 24/7 customer support is unmatched in the industry. That there’s a real person always monitoring every robot gives customers peace of mind.
At a time when warehouse operators are facing the imperative to ‘automate or die,’ Prime Robotics is seen as a trusted automation partner. “We allow companies that may lack a bench of in-house optimization and automation experts to punch above their weight,” says Eric Rongley, Prime Robotics’ Founder and CEO. “We are helping companies like McDonald win big as e-commerce continues its unprecedented growth.”
Prime Robotics has deep expertise in warehouse optimization, and its consultative, full-view approach focuses on optimizing workflow processes across the entire warehouse. Today the MobilePallet robot can move over 3,000 lbs. of palleted goods through the warehouse unmanned, and there are multiple new robots available in 2021. Always innovating, the AutoShelf, a self-driving robot that can autonomously navigate truck loading and unloading is in the works now. To learn About Prime Robotics or request a warehouse robotic automation solutions demo, go to www.primerobotics.com.
March 9, 2020 – Today Prime Robotics launched AutoShelf, a revolutionary new warehouse robot platform. This AMR AutoShelf overcomes the inherent compromises of other autonomous mobile robots (AMR) systems due to its fully patented design that integrates a mobile robot with every shelf in the system.
These smart, autonomous shelves provide for greater productivity versus previous goods-to-person AMR solutions because they eliminate dwell time in which workers are waiting for a handful of mobile robots to bring moveable shelves/racks to them at a pick station. Each AutoShelf also has integrated lights to provide pick-to-light functionality.
Goods-to-person AMRs reduce travel compared to manual order picking because the worker stays stationary and the robots bring inventory to them. The downfall for most existing goods-to-person AMR deployments is the limited number of robots to transport dumb racks. Because there are a limited number of robots, the servers have the intelligence built-in to control the robots. This optimizes the location of the times to reduce the number of missions the robots need to perform and shorten the distance on the fastest moving items.
“Auto Shelf turns this paradigm on its head by making every shelf a robot that has intelligence and can interact directly with workers. Since every shelf is smart and can move, there is never dwell time.”
“While the first version of our AMR AutoShelf will be highly productive, the inherent form factor and design provide a platform that will be extended and take on functions and capabilities that no other warehouse robot can accomplish,” adds Rongley.
“AutoShelf represents a paradigm shift that will change how inventory is handled,” says Rongley. “Just as importantly, because Prime Robotics has created a unique new robotic platform and patented all aspects of warehouse and other use cases, large customers can deploy the system with confidence that not only do they have the most efficient robot system but also that the intellectual property of the robot is clean.”
Prime is launching AutoShelf at the MODEX trade show in Atlanta on March 9 and will start taking orders for implementations beginning in Q2 of 2020.
Implementing robots in a warehouse has immense operational benefits, yet warehouse automation misconceptions keep many companies from considering making an investment in robots.
It’s undeniable that an operation that’s automated out-competes a manual operation. We see productivity improve by up to 8x. While at the same time costs are cut in half after implementing robots. Those warehouses that lag in adopting automation will find it hard to survive in a market where competitors are operating at maximum efficiency because their processes have been automated. Automated warehouses will rise to become market leaders.
So, to compete and thrive, the question isn’t whether you should automate, but when. Today robotic automation adoption is still in its early stages. Forward-leaning operations are the first to embrace it. As an early mover, you will have a competitive advantage over companies that are late to the game.
There are some common warehouse automation misconceptions we hear when we talk to operators and ask why they hesitate when it comes to automating their operations. I’d like to debunk these warehouse automation misconceptions now.
5 Common Warehouse Automation Misconceptions
#1 Robots are complex and I need an army of engineers to keep them running.
While AMR-type robots are in less than 4% of warehouses today, the technology is proven and operating successfully in the marketplace today. These robots first automated Amazon’s warehouses more than 8 years ago, and they keep getting better and more reliable. You don’t need a robot expert on staff to have a reliable fleet of robots working in your warehouse.
At Prime Robotics, we remotely monitor every robot at our client sites. This allows us to be able to correct most issues before they become a problem. Our Client Support includes 24/7 access to our experts and comprehensive robot maintenance and repair.
#2 Robots are expensive.
The cost of robots has fallen dramatically due to technology innovation and competitor robot vendors entering the market. Our clients see a Payback in one to two years on their investment in robots. We offer a lease option too, which makes it possible to automate your entire warehouse for $9K a month.
#3 Employees feel threatened by robots or fear safety problems.
Executives and workers alike can be a little intimidated by the idea of robots at first. We find that once people understand how safely they operate, how they’re able to reduce the physical burden on workers, and that they free workers from tedious picking, that they overcome their apprehension. Adding robots means their business can really grow and they can drive down expense. A growing, more profitable company is a boon for all employees.
#4 I need to upgrade my WMS before I can consider robots.
It’s not essential to have your WMS optimized in order to implement robots in your warehouse. The WMS functions needed to operate Prime Robotics’ robots are straightforward. Any WMS with a RESTFUL API or a SQL-based database easily interfaces with our robot control system. Most importantly, think about how long it’s likely to take to evaluate and ultimately select a new WMS — it takes many organizations a year or more.
When you think of the immediate savings you get from a robotics implementation, it’s clearly preferable to add robots now. Our basic $9K per month warehouse package can save an operator more than $80K a month. Integrating your robots with a newly-purchased WMS down the road is not a complicated process. What you save with robots could end up paying for your new WMS!
#5 I should wait until I open my new warehouse.
When you recognize the investment in robots starts paying for itself on Day One, you realize you shouldn’t put off automation. Think of it this way; every month you delay implementing robots you’re losing money. The sooner you implement, the sooner you start accruing those savings.
One reason we frequently hear to justify holding off on automation is that there’s a new warehouse or relocation planned in the future. It might be a new greenfield warehouse that’s a long way from being complete. The fact is our MobileShelf robots actually make a move to a new warehouse location easier. If you’re moving from a manual warehouse, packing trucks with inventory, then restocking shelves at the new site is both time and labor-intensive.
If your current warehouse automation is with a solution like our MobileShelf, it’s easy to move your inventory because it’s already in moveable shelves. Robots can drive all of your shelves onto trucks, and then unload them at the new site and place them directly onto the inventory floor. And since your WMS still knows where every item is on your shelves, you can be up and running right fast with little downtime.
No matter what your operation looks like — whether it’s 20,000 or 500,000 square feet — adding robots is the single fastest, most cost-effective way to impact your bottom line by dramatically lower operating costs. At Prime Robotics, we’re focused on making robotic automation within reach for virtually every operation.
Robotic Automation is within your reach.
We have a lease that is $9K/mo.
We’ve created our Make 2021 the Year To Automate package to provide an end-to-end robotic solution as a $9K/mo lease. This package includes 10 of our most popular AMR robots, the MobileShelf, and everything you need to automate your warehouse’s inbounding and picking processes. A worker can make up to 300 picks/hour from a stationary pick station, and this package supports the fulfillment of up to 6,000 orders/day. Everything’s included, from planning and implementation to dedicated 24/7 customer support and all robot maintenance. See all that’s included in the Make 2021 the Year to Automate package.
I also recommend you read our 2021 the Year to Automation Use Case that is an implementation of the package in an e-commerce warehouse – the numbers don’t lie. See monthly operations costs drop by $80K while order capacity increases. Read Robotic Automation Package Implementation and Cost Savings Use Case.
I invite you to plan a visit to our Denver headquarters to see our fully functional demo warehouse where our robots operating today. See for yourself how our robots enable top picking speed and higher productivity. Our robots are built here in the U.S. at our headquarters, so you can get a peek at our process.
Please get in touch if you’d like to start a conversation about what’s possible for you in 2021,
CEO and Founder of Prime Robotics