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
Fast and easy access to real-time business intelligence is critical to meeting demands and keeping pace with change. Download this complimentary white paper to learn why manufacturers are embracing mobile technology to stay competitive -- and what you should know before you invest.
Data capture, data collection, barcoding, and mobility technologies are not new. However 70% of warehouses and distribution centers report significant technology gaps preventing them from capturing the benefits of data capture innovations.
Event size has increased more than 200-fold since 1985.
Alliance enhances biopharmaceutical cold chain solutions and enVista’s cold chain capabilities.
Expansion doubles the size of the company's US headquarters.