Arvato Cooperates With Robot Specialist Nomagic
As part of its holistic automation strategy, supply chain and e-commerce service provider Arvato will be using the “justPick” robotic item-picking solution from Polish robotics specialist Nomagic at its Dortmund site. The system will be used to pick individual item orders from the fully automated Autostore warehouse.
Arvato is increasing the targeted use of robots at its logistics centers. After successfully implementing several robot-assisted palletizing and depalletizing applications at various locations, the supply chain and e-commerce services provider has now decided to use the robotic item-picking solution “justPick” from the Polish robot specialist Nomagic as the next step in its holistic automation strategy.
Arvato operates a 30,000 square meter distribution center for several fashion clients at its site in Dortmund, Germany. As part of the “Autostore Port Picking” (ASPP) pilot project, Nomagic’s “justPick” robot will be used to pick individual item orders from the fully automated Autostore warehouse. It is planned that, following the successful pilot, other robots will follow and handle picking at the Autostore system in Dortmund. Arvato currently operates ten Autostore systems worldwide and therefore sees great potential for further scaling of the robot solution. Further applications at shuttle storage workstations and for pocket sorter loading are also in planning.
“The autonomous robot system enables us to respond to our customers’ requirements more flexibly and with shorter throughput times by continuously processing customer orders – especially during late and night shifts,” says Axel Mayer, President Lifestyle Fashion & Sports at Arvato.
Highly modular and flexible solutions
At the Dortmund site, Arvato is taking a further step on the way to a fully automated order fulfillment process with the automatic provision of goods by the Autostore system and automatic picking by the robot. “Nomagic was the only supplier that was able to map both the picking process for order fulfillment and the returns replenishment process without changing the existing infrastructure,” explains Christoph Echelmeyer, Vice President Operations and Head of the site. The “justPick” robot not only fulfills customer orders, but also replenishes the Autostore system.
Wherever possible, Arvato designs its automation solutions – whether robotics, goods 2-person, AGVs, or packaging solutions – not as stand-alone solutions, but always in the context of its proprietary “Warehouse Automation Toolbox (WAT).” “We feel it is very important for solutions to have a high degree of modularity and flexibility. This approach is driven in part by our high level of diversification and positioning in a wide variety of business areas such as high-tech, healthcare and consumer products, with their vast number of different items. From our point of view, Nomagic’s ‘justPick’ solution does an outstanding job of addressing these points,” explains Markus Billmann, Senior Expert Process Automation and Future Warehouse Team at Arvato. Nomagic was able to convince Arvato of its merits with a large number of already-implemented systems that are very close to the use case of the pilot project and future projects, says Billmann.
The “justPick” robot is equipped with a gripper tool changer, which enables an independent switching of various suction and gripping tools during the container change at the carousel port of the Autostore system. On the one hand, this increases the possible throughput of the system, as downtime or idle times are effectively minimized, and on the other, it increases the number of grippable items on the hardware side, which has a positive effect on the future-proofing and scaling of the system in terms of third-party usability. Markus Billmann: “This flexibility is enormously important to us in the dynamic environment we operate in as a 3PL service provider.”