DK Fulfilment’s facility in Coventry will welcome the trials of an intralogistics robot transport system in June. DKF and Intelligent Robots have been awarded an Innovate UK grant for this project that will see the logistics company installing a fleet of Intelligent Robots’ RPUCK autonomous mobile conveyor robots at its 165,000 sq ft site.
“Third party logistics (3PL) warehouses have traditionally been manually driven, but with the growth in online retail and the well-documented warehouse labour shortages, more and more 3PLs simply must consider automation as a way of improving operational efficiency, so we are delighted to be working with Intelligent Robots on this exciting trial,” commented Mark Elward, Managing Director of DK Fulfilment.
The RPUCK robot is ‘the world’s simplest conveyor robot’, designed to reduce the time that order picking staff spend pushing trolley loads around a store. Workers will be able to pick orders directly on to a trolley within a designated picking zone and, once a trolley is full, a robot delivers an empty trolley to the picker and takes the full load directly to the packing and dispatch area of the store.
“So far robotic solutions have been technology rather than process driven, which we believe explains the lack of adoption we have seen – particularly in logistics. We want to turn this on its head by taking a fundamentally holistic approach to tackling business and technology challenges,” said Zheng Lin, CEO of Intelligent Robots. “The Innovate UK grant not only gives us the opportunity to validate that our approach is valuable for a wide range of businesses, but, under the guidance of DK Fulfilment, we believe the trial will support our belief that our product is a genuinely innovative solution.”
Innovate UK is the operating name of the Technology Strategy Board, the UK’s innovation agency. It award grants to help UK businesses realise the potential of new technologies, develop ideas and make them a commercial success.