As demand for fast, accurate, and affordable order fulfillment rises, robotics can play a key role in retail and logistics. Berkshire Grey Inc. today announced the general availability of its Robotic Induction Station, which is intended to increase throughput and serve both e-commerce and apparel supply chains.
The Lexington, Mass.-based company said its Robotic Induction Station (RIS) systems automate a critical but mundane operational task to alleviate labor constraints, enhance social distancing within distribution operations, and maximize the utilization of existing sorters and fixed material-handling assets.
RIS customers will typically see a 25% to 50% increases in throughput capacity without incurring additional labor, claimed Berkshire Grey.
Robotic Induction Station focuses on each picking
The core of each Robotic Induction Station is fast, reliable robotic “each picking” from feeder totes or belts, according to Berkshire Grey. The company added that RIS is based on the advanced computer vision and machine learning that is core to all of its picking automation.
Stations outfitted with Berkshire Grey’s patented HyperScanner omni-directional optical identification technology can pick and place products from mixed-item totes and belt presentations. Base models will support picking from simpler divided-SKU and single-SKU totes.
“We’ve engineered our Robotic Induction Stations to integrate with a wide range of traditional sortation and packaging applications to bring new levels of efficiency and capacity utilization to existing operations,” stated Peter Van Alstine, senior vice president and general manager for retail at Berkshire Grey.
RIS is compatible with a variety of transport, sortation, and packing systems, including auto-baggers, auto-boxers, and traditional tilt-tray, bomb bay, cross-belt, and pouch sorters. A range of configurations is available.
RIS meets demands for multiple operations
“Customers are challenged to keep up with the demands placed on their supply chains by today’s omni-channel consumers, and e-commerce fulfillment is one of their primary pain points,” said Alstine. “Berkshire Grey has invented a portfolio of intelligent robotic solutions to deliver value by addressing the spectrum of operating processes within e-commerce fulfillment centers.”
The company said the speed, accuracy, and merchandise compatibility of its Robot Induction Station makes it suitable for handling apparel, health and beauty items, electronics, housewares, packaged food, child-care products, pet-care items, and other general merchandise.
RIS is part of Berkshire Grey’s omni-channel fulfillment portfolio, which also includes goods-to-robot stations, robotic e-commerce fulfillment, robotic store replenishment, and robotic parcel-sortation systems. The company said its customers typically optimize picking labor costs in break-pack and e-commerce operations by up to 70%.
Berkshire Grey said its systems can handle the broadest assortment of products, packaging, and parcels while continuously improving speed and performance through autonomous learning.
Berkshire Grey offers RIS via RaaS
The company is offering RIS as both a capital purchase and through a robotics-as-a-service (RaaS) model. RaaS makes the RIS systems accessible to enterprises on a subscription basis without upfront capital costs.
Berkshire Grey said its representatives are available now to arrange one-on-one discussions on how RIS can improve sortation efficiency and throughput.