Note: Today’s post is part of our “Editor’s Choice” series where we highlight recent posts published by our sponsors that provide supply chain insights and advice. This article is from KNAPP and looks at innovations in e-grocery.
Food retailers are predominantly depending on central fulfillment centers (CFC) and micro fulfillment centers (MFS) to process their e-commerce orders. Businesses are increasingly reaching for innovative ways to process their orders, essentially moving towards full automation.
Advantages of fully automating grocery e-commerce
One of the reasons why grocery e-commerce is moving towards fully automated warehouses is simply because it’s more economical. Automation comes with reduced error rates as well as improved and faster picking processes. This in turn increases throughput and efficiency. Another reason why automation is booming is that highly automated concepts mean employees no longer need to do the heavy work. Food retailers as well as consumers benefit from this model, as they receive their ordered items quickly and in the best quality, which is complemented by flexible solutions for the last mile.
Robots with AI for picking groceries
Our Pick-it-Easy Robot handles a broad range of groceries reliably and fully automatically. The robot uses its specially designed grippers to gently pick and carefully place delicate items. Thanks to its artificial intelligence provided by AI startup Covariant, the robot learns with every pick. Over time, it learns how to process more and more types of items and to place them automatically in the shopping bag. Several camera systems support the robot during the process. One of the cameras keeps an eye on the source container. Here, the item is identified followed by an analysis to determine which item the robot should pick next. This way, the Pick-it-Easy Robot keeps good track of the source container, which is why it always knows how to best handle an item. This information is also used to place the item in the best location possible in the target container or shopping bag. Heavy, less delicate food items are placed in the bag first. Lighter items are placed on top. This creates an ideally packed grocery bag ready for direct delivery to the consumer. And this brings us to our next innovative process.
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