Pure-play contract logistics provider GXO Logistics has achieved what it claims is an “industry first” by deploying 6 River Systems (6RS) collaborative robots, or cobots, on multiple mezzanine floors in one of its distribution centres in Milton Keynes.
“This multi-tiered installation is groundbreaking for us and a first in our industry,” enthused Gavin Williams, Managing Director, GXO UK and Ireland. “The solution illustrates our significant investment in technology that helps us improve productivity for our customers and safety for our colleagues while optimising vertical warehouse space in Europe.”
GXO collaborated with 6RS to develop and test new features on the cobots, which automatically travel from one location to another carrying picked items, reducing employees’ walk time and helping them pick items from inventory more efficiently. At another GXO site in Stoke-on-Trent, the cobots – affectionately known as ‘Chucks’ – have enhanced picking accuracy by 40% and reduced new employee training time by 80% since being deployed.
“Our work with GXO at the Milton Keynes distribution centre is a prime example of 6 River Systems’ ability to meet the needs of high-volume organisations that are building multi-tiered warehouse installations,” commented Jerome Dubois, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of 6 River Systems. “As businesses continue to seek automation solutions to meet increasing consumer demands, we’re innovating to equip them with technology to enhance safety and productivity.”
As part of its accelerating investments in technology and automation, GXO more than tripled its cobot count year-on-year in the quarter ending 30 September 2021. By using Chucks and other innovative warehouse solutions, GXO achieves significant improvements in pick rates, accuracy and employee satisfaction.