When Office Depot decided to consolidate three distribution centers and a crossdock facility into one, new state-of-the-art DC in Newville, Pa., the office supplies retailer looked for an automated materials handling solution that was efficient and flexible. More importantly, they wanted a system that would deliver a competitive edge in the marketplace.
They found that edge in a goods-toperson picking solution featuring two different mobile robots (Kiva Systems, 781-221-4640). One robot handles cases while a larger robot moves pallet loads in the facility that went live just a few months ago.
Betting a part of your distribution strategy on robotic materials handling may seem like a risky move, especially given the conservative nature of retail distribution. But, Office Depot is convinced that the time has come for robotics in the DC; after three decades on the manufacturing line, robotics technology is proven, reliable and, says Office Depot, a potential game changer.
About the Author
Bob Trebilcock, executive editor, has covered materials handling, technology and supply chain topics for Modern Materials Handling since 1984. More recently, Trebilcock became editorial director of Supply Chain Management Review. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484.
Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling magazine
Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today
Association for Talent Development recognizes proven practices that have delivered measurable business results.
Straying from its typical seasonal trajectory, United States-bound waterborne shipments dipped from March to April, according to data recently issued by Panjiva, an online search engine with detailed information on global suppliers and manufacturers.
Agidens is the new company name of the former Egemin divisions that will continue together after the sale of the Handling Automation division to the KION Group in May.
A well-designed driver wellness program could make the job more attractive and help alleviate driver turnover.
The quest to boost worker productivity and improve customer fulfillment is driving materials handling professionals to increase strategic investments in advanced warehouse mobility solutions.
Just where and why are these investments being made?