Newegg Commerce, a global e-commerce provider for technology products, today announced it has recently deployed Geek+’s shelf-to-person mobile picking system that uses autonomous mobile robots (AMR) in its Ontario, Calif., warehouse.
The AMR system features dozens of robots that operate within a designated area before lifting and carrying mobile shelves to workstations where employees pick and scan products to prepare them for shipping to customers. The Geek+ system includes 24,360 storage locations for products within hundreds of shelves.
The P800 robots glide simultaneously on the floor throughout a designated area of the warehouse and move under racks. The robots’ routes and duties are assigned by the Geek+ software based on inbound customer orders. Once parked underneath a rack, the robot lifts the rack and drives it to a warehouse employee several yards away so the employee can pick products.
The robot can also rotate the rack to offer products from two opposite sides. All P800 robots can move at the same time without collisions to fulfill their duties, bringing racks to employees and returning the shelving units to storage areas until needed again.
Products are stored in racks based on both order frequency and compatibility. For example, a popular graphics card may sit on a shelf positioned near a human picker so it’s optimized to be efficiently picked and packed. If a CPU is frequently ordered with a graphics card, the CPU may sit on an adjacent shelf to the graphics card.
Resembling a flat circular disc similar to a large robotic vacuum, the P800 robots speed along the floor at over 3.5 miles per hour and can lift and move over 2,200 pounds.
The robotics technology eliminates the need for warehouse workers to walk long distances, a time-consuming and physically demanding process, to pick products from shelves. The system has increased efficiency and accuracy, enabling products to be picked, packed and shipped faster than traditional manual picking methods. Newegg has already seen improved employee safety and cost savings, among other benefits.
“We’re optimistic about seeing improvements in picking efficiency and storage space optimization with the new Geek+ robotics system in our Ontario warehouse,” said Tim Zhou, IT Manager for Newegg. “Newegg pursues advanced technology solutions throughout our business to offer the best services for customers, so this new system is part of fulfilling that commitment.”
The robots have assumed repetitive and physically demanding tasks which allows associates to be reassigned to more complex and value-added activities that require greater problem-solving, decision-making and cognitive skills. The robots also reduce physical strain and risk of injuries common among manual picking processes. Also, employees have acquired new skills to supervise and maintain the robots while evaluating how they operate within the entire logistics system.
Opened in September 2021, the 240,000-square foot Ontario facility is one of the company’s seven warehouses. Newegg’s other distribution centers are in Eastvale and City of Industry, Calif.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Edison, N.J.; Atlanta, Ga.; and Richmond Hill, Ontario in Canada.