The PickOne Rapid Deployment System for Mixed Case Depalletizing
At Plus One Robotics, we feel deep empathy for our customers. Each of them operates under unique constraints: budget, schedule, real estate, desired metrics, and more. And this is true even at the best of times.
Recently, these constraints are exacerbated by supply chain challenges roiling the industry. Whether the issues involve people or parts, 3PLs and retailers are contending with dangerous delays, escalating costs, and suboptimal results.
Where Does Depalletization Fit?
With customer constraints in mind, we set out to design a system that would address some of our customers’ most pressing needs. This led us to tackle depalletization.
Depalletization (also called “depal”) — the process of unloading objects from a pallet— is one of the initial steps in any warehouse operation and should never be a bottleneck dragging down throughput in the rest of the building. Automating from the start sets the right pace for productivity throughout the rest of the workflow.
As with other automation efforts, the benefits of automating depalletization affect both labor and product. For labor, customers can expect consistent throughput as robots maintain production speed and quality regardless of shift duration. Employees also benefit from reduced injuries, whether they’re from repetitive movements or accidents, and often gain the ability to take on more cerebral roles in the operation, adding to job satisfaction and reducing turnover. Our depalletizing vision technology assures that items are consistently oriented on the conveyor, supporting downstream process requirements.
Typically, we work with a customer and an integrator to design a bespoke solution. But this takes time, and after engaging many of our current and potential customers, we discovered that there was increasing demand for quality systems with a relatively small footprint that could — most importantly — be deployed very quickly. In the face of acutely felt pain, some customers could no longer justify spending valuable cycles poring over custom designs and site plans. Instead, they want something predictable, reliable, and immediately available to demonstrate production benefits.
They want the PickOne Rapid Deployment System.
What is the PickOne Rapid Deployment System (RDS)?
With over one million picks per day, Plus One Robotics is the market leader with the most scaled deployments in warehouse automation. Our broad experience in depalletization with Fortune 50 customers means that our technology is right-sized for the problem at hand. Using AI over our Lidar and point cloud data to generate a first pass on accurate pick points ensures that customers receive a good return on investment. At the same time, our software is agnostic meaning that it works with any robot arm, cloud, and camera. When necessary, our proprietary Yonder system kicks in for human-in-the-loop adjustments.
From a customer perspective, the PickOne RDS has a similar workflow to existing manual stations, making it easy to integrate. Pallets are placed at the pallet unload station. From there, the robot arm depalletizes the pallet, picking and placing boxes and other goods onto a conveyor connected to the rest of the inbound conveyance system.
What makes the PickOne RDS the right solution?
There is an ever-increasing demand to improve throughput across the entire supply chain. To address the diversity of products sold, PickOne RDS has been designed to handle a wide variety of mixed SKU pallets — everything from cases and cartons to trays and bags. By taking on the most back-breaking of tasks, the PickOne RDS also ensures buy-in from the operations team, which can then be deployed more effectively to tasks that truly require human dexterity and ingenuity.
Taking up just over 90 square feet, the PickOne RDS can start delivering value within a day or two after installation, reducing the risks of automation through a tried-and-true design, while also serving as a gateway to more custom solutions for organizations not yet ready to take the plunge of a full design-and-deploy cycle. If desired, the PickOne RDS can be readily upgraded to a more extensive customized system.
Solution or Stop-Gap During Challenging Times
Supply chain challenges also mean that the PickOne RDS, with its modular design and readily available components, can be used as a stop-gap to improve performance while more resource-intensive systems make their way through the global transportation and manufacturing backlog. Utilizing standardized components requires less spare part inventory for manufacturing, enabling faster assembly and implementation.
Whether your organization wants to dip a toe in the automation waters with a low-risk solution or quickly solve for bottlenecks in existing depal workflows, the PickOne RDS is a great first step toward custom automation, and toward a beneficial partnership with Plus One Robotics. Regardless of where you are in your journey, we look forward to collaborating on long-term solutions that meet your budget and scheduling needs.
Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org today for more information about the PickOne RDS system.
Cynthia Yeung is the Head of Product at Plus One Robotics. Previously, Cynthia was the COO at robotic coffee bar startup, Cafe X, and, before that, led next-gen product development at SoftBank Robotics. At Google, they worked on projects for Maps and Google[X], and served on the steering committee for Google’s LGBT employee resource group. Cynthia is a founding board member of Women in Robotics.