The warehouse robot, as its name implies, is a mobile robot used for handling and picking in the warehouse. The rise of the concept of warehousing robots can be traced back to 2012 when Kiva was acquired by Amazon. This new type of warehousing and sorting equipment began to enter people's sight, and subsequently triggered the innovation of the entire warehousing logistics equipment industry.
The wave of warehousing robots triggered by Kiva
Kiva's picking technology uses the lifting disc on the top of the robot to lift the goods, and according to the wireless command order, the shelf where the goods are moved from the warehouse to the employee processing area, thus realizing its unique "goods-to-person" picking advantage. After using the Kiva robot, the staff can pick and scan 300 items per hour, which is three times more efficient, and the Kiva picking accuracy rate has reached 99.99%.
The successful application of Kiva in Amazon warehouses allows everyone to see the huge application prospects of this new picking method in China. Thanks to the development of the domestic e-commerce industry, the warehousing and logistics market is huge, and the huge cost reduction space of warehouses is waiting for companies to continue to explore.
Since 2014, a large wave of kiva-like warehouse robot companies have emerged in the domestic market. According to incomplete statistics, more than 50 warehouse robot companies have emerged in China. Among them, companies such as Jizhijia and Kuaicang are represented. On the basis of kiva, they also added some innovative designs, and then began to market. The leading domestic e-commerce companies and logistics companies became the first batch of experimenters.
Table: Domestic mainstream warehousing robot companies
After the large-scale application of kiva robots in China, the picking efficiency of warehousing has indeed been improved, but there are still some imperfect places. For example, the "shelf-to-person" picking method affects storage density. In addition, the lack of flexibility in the navigation mode of the kiva-like AGV QR code leads to a low degree of use of smart storage, which also has a certain impact on the efficiency of storage picking.
In addition to efficiency, the overall cost of Kiva-like solutions is also relatively high. One is that it needs to set aside a place for AGV to exercise, which will lose a certain storage density, and the load of a single Kiva robot does not exceed one ton, so the cargo that can be handled at one time is limited, the overall plan takes up a large space and the rent is high. The second is that a large part of the cost of this type of program actually lies in the special shelves, and the single cost is 500 to 600 yuan. The third is the maintenance cost-Kiva-like robots generally use QR code navigation, which requires high ground consistency. If the QR code is damaged, it needs to be reposted and adjusted in the software system.
Given the lack of overall efficiency and high overall costs, the return on investment of kiva is not so attractive to the application side. Therefore, industry insiders are constantly exploring how to maximize storage efficiency.
Continuous innovation from product technology to business model
In recent years, variants have also been developed in Kiva's technical route. One representative is to change from "shelf to person" to "bin to person". In the "box to person" solution, the robot no longer transports the entire shelf, but takes out the boxes in batches from the shelf. In the "bin-to-person" scheme, the shelves are fixed and the difficulty of transformation is relatively small; more importantly, since the robot does not move against the entire shelf, the aisle between the shelves can be set narrower and the storage density is higher. Save more places.
The "box to person" program is more in line with the development trend of more diversified SKUs and more refined logistics operations. However, the disadvantage of this scheme is that there are fewer types of goods at one time than "shelf-to-person", but this can be handled by operating multiple bins at a time or optimizing scheduling algorithms. At present, bin robot manufacturers in the industry have successively introduced many Solutions for bin picking.
Except from "shelf to person" to "cargo box to person", more new picking methods have begun to be tested and used in warehouses, such as climbing robots, follow-up picking AGVs, etc., but most of them have not been applied in batches. Still in a small range of testing.
In addition to the innovation of picking methods, the industry has also begun to introduce more flexible natural navigation methods such as laser slam or visual navigation in response to the inadequate flexibility and easy wear characteristics of QR code navigation, and make logistics operations more flexible through intelligent algorithms. Intelligent and efficient, it solves the comprehensive optimization of robot scheduling, inventory management and order execution, so as to improve the flexibility of warehouse robots to a greater extent.
In addition to the continuous innovation of product technology, warehousing robot companies are also constantly exploring business models. Originally, most warehousing robot companies have two main business models. One is to provide stand-alone equipment products to integrators, and the other is to provide directly to the terminal. Provide product solutions.
However, with the continuous maturity of warehousing robot applications, manufacturers have also begun to explore some new business models, such as operating an intelligent warehouse for enterprises. Warehousing robot manufacturers provide equipment, personnel and operational services to help enterprises manage warehouses and send them to Orders from this warehouse. Robot manufacturers are responsible for the daily operation of the warehouse and charge a certain service fee according to the number of warehouses shipped. But at present, this model has not been applied on a large scale, and it is still in the exploratory stage.
Kuaicang Intelligence: Focus on three scenarios to build a new ecology of intelligent logistics
Kuaicang Intelligence was established in 2014. It is the pioneer of domestic kiva-like robots. As the world's leading intelligent warehouse robot system solution provider, Kuaicang relies on its expertise in artificial intelligence, robotics, autonomous driving, deep learning, data analysis and other fields. Rich experience has created a new ecology of intelligent logistics.
Multi-series products cover multi-scenario applications
The main product of Kuaicang at the beginning of the industry was a kiva-like warehousing and picking robot. At first, its business scope was mainly concentrated in the field of e-commerce logistics. The rookie (Wuxi) intelligent warehouse with 1,000 units of single warehouse deployment robots created by it has caused the industry Hot discussion.
Later, with the continuous development of the industry and the continuous expansion of the company's business scope, Kuaicang continued to innovate while continuously upgrading and iterating existing products, and successively launched a number of storage robots with obvious performance advantages. For example, Kuaicang’s newly launched "Honghu" bin robot has a pick-and-place range equal to nearly twice that of similar products, allowing users to make better use of vertical space; the required lane width is about 10% smaller than similar products, allowing users More goods can be stored in the same area; the rotating diameter is equal to about 70% of the similar products, and more robots can be operated in the same area at the same time; the spacing of the Honghu bins is equal to about 80% of the similar products, and the shelves of the same specifications have a high volume rate 4.52%.
Covering the three major scenarios of e-commerce, circulation, and manufacturing
At present, Kuaicang has multiple series of robot products such as latent series, transfer series, bin handling and pallet handling. Based on the series of products, Kuaicang has created a series of excellent cases for many industries.
In the auto parts logistics unmanned warehouse jointly created by Kuaicang Intelligence and Changan Minsheng Logistics, a total of 50 intelligent handling robots and 1,520 shelves have been put into operation. The intelligent handling carts are deployed through the operation plan, and the The “people-to-people” model has changed, reducing the number of homing and picking operators in the warehouse, and realizing the unmanned operation of the warehouse. And through the investment of a customized warehouse management system, systematic management of the parts and locations in the warehouse, improve the inventory management level and warehouse storage efficiency, ensure the accuracy of in and out of the warehouse, and achieve first-in first-out. After the implementation of the project, the efficiency of each link has been gradually improved. The number of picking boxes per person has reached 960 boxes/shift, and the man-machine homing 3,208 boxes/shift. Compared with the traditional model, the efficiency of picking is increased by 85%, and the efficiency of homing is increased by 195%. The accuracy rate is 100%, and the operating efficiency of each link has created a new record in the industry.
It is understood that Kuaicang has become one of the few manufacturers in the world that has fully covered the three major scenarios of e-commerce, circulation, and manufacturing. It has served more than 500 corporate users in more than 30 industries in 15 countries, including more than 60 different industries. The world’s leading company, and its product shipments have exceeded 10,000 units.
Carpenter Ant Robot: Based on chassis technology to create a variety of composite handling robots
Shanghai Mooe Robot Technology Co., Ltd. (Mooe Robot) was established in 2016. The company focuses on the research and development, design, production and sales of unmanned handling robots and application solutions. Mooe Robot is committed to developing robots that are easy to operate, flexible and safe. , To help users improve work efficiency.
Multiple technical advantages to create a mobile chassis
The core member of Carpenter Ant is a domestic algorithm research and development and productization team engaged in autonomous positioning and navigation robots. They have ten years of product experience. With years of accumulation in the robotics field, Carpenter robots are capable of autonomous navigation, high-precision map construction, multi-sensor fusion, Human-computer interaction, multi-robot scheduling, and industrial-grade closed-loop application solutions form technical barriers.
Based on various technical advantages, Carpenter Ant has launched the M8DP mobile chassis. This product uses the latest SLAM laser navigation technology. It not only combines a variety of sensors on the basis of SLAM, but also has a small size and high-intensity load-bearing capacity, flexible movement, and terminal The auxiliary positioning accuracy is up to ±2cm, and the battery life is long. Suitable for multiple scenarios, simple deployment, fast and efficient. It is also equipped with Carpenter's independent MRC core controller, open data interface, and extremely high scalability. It supports single-machine tablet operating system and multi-machine scheduling system scheme, simple operation and easy to use. A variety of composite mobile handling robots can be built with super scalability.
In addition, the Carpenter Mooe-M8DP 100kg mobile robot chassis is the chassis with the largest load among many small-sized chassis. It is suitable for various scenarios, especially in small spaces with narrow aisles and only a single passageway. It can operate freely in a relatively primitive small logistics warehouse; it has better applicability in a large logistics warehouse, which helps the storage industry to carry out intelligent transformation.
Handling robots help logistics center automation upgrade
On the basis of the core chassis, Carpenter ant builds different handling robots to help the automation upgrade of warehousing logistics according to different application scenarios.
In a logistics transfer station, 10 carpenter ant tractors based on the M8DP chassis are used. In the logistics storage and transfer center, the M8DP chassis towed robots send the pallet goods produced by the sorting line to the destination every day, and select the corresponding In the area, the pallets of the sorting line are transported to the designated platform, replacing the inconvenience of manual transportation by the original operators. The robot also communicates with the customer's logistics management system. By scanning the barcode on the goods, the information is reported to the customer's logistics management system to facilitate data management and control. After the carpenter ant's robot is online, unmanned transportation is realized in its workshop, and work efficiency has improved significantly.
It is understood that the current carpenter ant products have been put into use on-site in many developed regions around the world such as Germany, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, South Korea, etc., and global dealer cooperation networks have been established, and they are still growing.
Jing Song Intelligence: Innovative products adapt to the rapidly changing needs of the market
Jing Song Intelligent was established in 2007 and is a leading domestic intelligent logistics system integrator and logistics equipment manufacturer. With the continuous development of the logistics automation trend, Jing Song also began to gradually extend to the field of smart devices. In recent years, based on the accumulation of rich integration experience, Jing Song has also developed a series of warehouse handling robot products.
Continuously innovate products to meet market demand
In 2017, Hefei Jingsong launched an intelligent mobile visual navigation robot. The first mobile vision navigation robot that recognizes the ground texture and feedback coordinate posture not only avoids the laying of complex road tracks and tracks, magnetic strips, reflectors or QR codes, but also ensures the integrity of the customer's ground, and is simple to maintain and powerful. . Since then, Jing Song has continued to introduce new ones in robotic products.
Recently, in the face of rapidly changing market demands, Jingsong Technology has developed a narrow lane AGV with laser slam navigation based on intelligence. The product uses the SLAM algorithm to complete the map construction and the positioning and navigation functions during the AGV travel process. The advanced natural contour navigation technology does not require any signs on the ground, no reflectors, and the AGV can automatically stop/avoid obstacles during the travel process. Fork cargo and place the cargo in a designated place with autonomous charging function. At the same time, it is equipped with a depth camera recognition algorithm. It can be equipped with a pallet recognition sensor to accurately and autonomously identify the position and posture of the pallet. Even if the pallet is moved, it can achieve efficient and accurate fork picking.
Help the rubber industry realize logistics automation transformation
In the automated logistics project created by Jing Song for Noble Rubber Products Co., Ltd., its newly developed narrow-lane AGV was selected for handling. This is a standard model with a rated load of 1000kg. In the receiving and shipping area, AGV is used for finished product delivery and empty container recycling, and it works continuously and synchronously 24 hours a day. In the production line area, after the off-line finished products are packaged, they are also transferred by the AGV to the storage area, and the AGV replenishes the empty containers to the production line. Except for the production line operators and shippers, the storage area no longer has full-time material distribution staff, and the storage and delivery information is updated in real time. Full-time staff is no longer required for inventory counting, which greatly reduces the workload of on-site personnel.
In this project, the material information relies on WMS warehouse management software for unified warehouse material management, and the materials are pulled through the customer's MES upper system. When the production line goes offline, the operator will issue a storage instruction through its own system, and Jing Song WMS will allocate the storage area to specify the cargo location, and feedback and update it to the upper system in real time. The AGV scheduling system also calculates and selects the optimal position and route to assign to the AGV instructions based on the real-time updated position information.
Hairou Innovation: "Box-type Warehousing Robot" Helps Efficient Upgrade of Warehouse Automation
Shenzhen Hairou Innovation Technology Co., Ltd. is the pioneer and leader of the box-type warehousing robot system. It is committed to providing efficient, intelligent, flexible and customized warehousing automation solutions through robotics and artificial intelligence algorithms. At present, Hairou has achieved independent research and development coverage of core elements such as the robot body, underlying positioning algorithm, control system, robot scheduling, and intelligent warehouse management system, and has carried out global patent layout.
Constantly iteratively upgrade and innovate "Couba"
Hairou’s Cooper system (HAIPICK) started in 2015 and was the first box-type storage robot system developed and put into commercial use. Since then, Hairou Innovation has been continuously upgrading on the basis of Cooper 1.0. In 2018, the third-generation library Bao Robot can already pick and move 5 bins at a time, greatly improving work efficiency and storage density. In 2019, on the basis of Cooper 3.0, Hairou completed the upgrade of hardware and software system again, and Cooper 4.0 system was officially launched.
Recently, Hairou also released its world's first carton storage robot Cooper A42N and double-deep container storage robot Cooper A42D. Cooper A42N is specially developed for carton application scenarios, which can directly carry out intelligent storage, picking and handling of cartons. Cooper A42D optimizes the telescopic fork to adapt to double-deep shelves to realize simultaneous picking and placing of deep and shallow cargo positions.
Efficient application of box storage robots in warehouse automation
Based on the continuous improvement of product picking efficiency, in the key link of warehousing and logistics, the more dense and flexible "cargo-to-person" Couba system has stood out, helping many warehouses to achieve high-efficiency upgrades.
In 2018, Best Supply Chain and Hairou Innovation joined hands to create the first commercial landing project of a bin robot system on the market. The Foshan warehouse is a clothing e-commerce warehouse, and there are pain points such as low manual picking efficiency. Hairou Innovation customized an exclusive warehousing solution based on the characteristics of the warehouse. 18 Couba robots linked and cooperated. Within one month, the automation project went online, increasing storage by 80% Density and 4 times labor efficiency, and it has been running smoothly so far.
Best Foshan Cooper Garment Warehouse
Based on the Cooper system, Hairou Innovation has helped many 3PL, footwear, pharmaceutical, and retail companies to create smart logistics.
For example, in the Hong Kong spare parts warehouse of a world's top third-party logistics company, Cooper has solved the difficulty of multiple SKUs and manual handling of heavy objects, achieving a win-win situation of digital management and efficiency improvement.
Hong Kong Cooper spare parts warehouse
For example, after applying the Kubao system in a clothing warehouse in Shanghai, the warehousing efficiency reached about 3000-4000 pieces per hour per person, the warehousing efficiency was increased by 20 times, and the outgoing efficiency was increased by 3.5 times. Its 2000-square-meter warehouse can store more than 20,000 at most. A bin; the entire system can be deployed within one week, tested in three weeks, and launched online within one month.
Shanghai Cooper Garment Warehouse
For another example, Cooper was put into use in the medical consumables management warehouse area of a hospital in Shenzhen. It was intelligently and efficiently applied to medical consumables sorting and storage scenarios, reducing personnel contact, effectively liberating manpower, and improving efficiency. It is understood that there are currently more than 20 projects actually implemented by Couba.
Medical supplies warehouse of a hospital in Shenzhen
Kellers Technology: Helping the smart upgrade of factories and warehousing logistics
Kaleshi Technology was established in 2014 and is a high-tech enterprise focusing on providing logistics robots and logistics automation overall solutions. With many years of logistics experience and technology accumulation, Kellers independently developed core high-end equipment such as smart shuttles, smart hoists, AGVs, conveying and sorting systems, providing customers with logistics system consulting and planning, software development, system integration, and operation guidance , And one-stop solutions for core high-end equipment R&D and manufacturing.
Scenario-based modular AGV equipment
At present, Kellers has AGV series products and solutions that meet various scenarios such as factory line-side production line handling, warehouse sorting and handling. Keller's high-end equipment has the advantages of high flexibility, high reliability, and high cost performance.
Facilitate the upgrade of smart logistics in multiple industries
On the basis of modular AGV equipment, Kellers combined with self-developed intelligent equipment management system to help customers in multiple industries complete the intelligent upgrade of factory production lines and warehousing, and improve operational logistics efficiency.
A multinational head plastic bottle cap manufacturer in Zhejiang had previously required a large number of workers to work in three shifts, 24 hours a day, in high-load operations. The traditional transformation plan had high investment and was difficult to adapt to injection molding processes. There are certain concerns about scale investment. To this end, Kellers provides intelligent production and logistics solutions for the I-Mover plastics industry, providing more than 15 high-end logistics handling AGVs and depalletizing equipment. Effectively reduce 80% of labor input, greatly reduce the intensity of personnel work, compress the return on investment within 2 years, and comprehensively increase efficiency and reduce costs for customers; this program is also applied to a Beijing auto parts manufacturer, a Shanghai metering instrument manufacturing plant, A 3C panel manufacturing company in Jiangxi and a finished product warehouse for a pharmaceutical company in Jiangsu.
In a large e-commerce supermarket warehouse in Tianjin, under the previous manual operation mode, the picking efficiency was low, and information management was not realized, and the picking error rate was high. At the same time, it was also faced with problems such as difficulty in recruiting during the promotion period. Kellers provides I-Picker intelligent e-commerce picking solutions, a total of 500 AGVs and related high-end smart devices. The warehouse handles up to 70,000 orders per day, which is 100% more efficient than traditional warehouses and reduces picking and handling manpower by 50%. This solution is also applied to the Nanjing warehouse of a large e-commerce supermarket and the Qingyuan warehouse of a well-known mobile internet company.
After years of accumulation, Keller’s product and logistics integrated overall solutions have been widely used in more than 20 domestic and foreign medicine, plastics, automobiles, retail, e-commerce, libraries, rail transit, cultural and sports, manufacturing, and third-party logistics. Subdivided industries, implemented more than 200 projects.
Yifeng Robot: New product of visual texture navigation robot is added
Shenzhen Yifeng Robot Technology Co., Ltd. was established in 2014 and is a professional integrated solution provider for intelligent handling. Yifeng entered the market with parking robots, and then began to extend to the logistics field. Since 2017, Yifeng has launched a number of logistics handling robots.
Create differentiated competitive products-visual texture navigation AGV
At present, Yifeng has four series of products: intelligent parking robot series, Thomas series, forklift AGV series, and elf. This series of products, the newly upgraded elf-visual texture navigation robot, is one of Yifeng's concentrated strengths and focus on building. This highly differentiated product is also a new generation of competitive products launched by Yee Fung.
It is understood that this visual texture navigation robot uses rich texture information, based on the phase correlation method and non-uniform Fourier transform to calculate the displacement and rotation relationship between the two images, achieve image matching, and generate a path map; obtain from the environment Massive and redundant texture information, with super-strong scene recognition ability, is a new trackless navigation technology route. Compared with other navigation methods, the visual navigation scheme (V-SLAM technology) adopted by this product uses a high-definition camera to obtain ground texture information to achieve real-time positioning of the AGV. There is no need to set up auxiliary materials such as QR codes, magnetic nails, magnetic strips, reflective pillars, etc. at the project site. The autonomous operation of the AGV can be completed by supplementing the AI self-learning function in one drawing. This navigation method is highly adaptable, and changes in the surrounding environment have no effect on navigation. It fully demonstrates the flexibility and scalability of the vehicle. Various connection schemes can also be customized according to the needs of the situation.
Helping the intelligent transformation of warehousing
On the basis of a series of logistics handling products, Yifeng has also created a series of excellent cases for many industries. For example, in its smart handling and transformation plan for an express company's East China warehouse. Since the production management of the warehouse logistics is completely operated by people, it is more complicated and inefficient. After Yifeng's transformation plan is launched, it adopts the goods-to-person sorting mode. The AGV performs the shelf and picking tasks according to the order under the WMS system and the AGV scheduling system in the entire production management process. The efficiency is high, the inventory is accurate, and the warehouse is operated efficiently.
It is understood that in addition to e-commerce, Yifeng's logistics handling robot products have completed more than 30 application cases in publishing, manufacturing, 3C electronics, automotive and other industries.
Guozi Robot: Three core solutions, leading the new direction of warehousing and logistics with innovation
Since its inception, Guozi Robot has been deeply involved in mobile robots. In 2017, it innovatively released the world's leading STAR SYSTEM, which broke the North American market in one fell swoop and caused quite a stir in the industry. At present, on the basis of the core technology platform "GRACE", the country has developed a full range of robot products suitable for warehousing logistics and industrial logistics.
Three core solutions
In the field of intelligent warehousing, Guozi’s solutions focus on "cargo box to person (CTP), goods to person (GTP), and order to person (OTP)", covering mobile robots, robot scheduling management systems (REX) and intelligent warehousing The three major product systems of the management system (WMS), the highlights of the system are as follows:
Box-to-person (CTP): Box-to-person picking is a box-type three-dimensional picking system designed by China based on the multi-layer box picking robot Picking. It has narrow channel requirements, high three-dimensional space utilization, high-density storage and high efficiency. Pick.
Goods-to-person (GTP): Goods-to-person picking adopts the Ants series of jack-up handling robots to move shelves/pallets to the picking station, completely subverting the traditional model of people looking for goods.
Order-to-person (OTP): Order-to-person picking is a flexible picking system based on the order picking robot Order. The robot carries the order box to the hit inventory position to assist manual picking.
Multi-vehicle scheduling: The intelligent warehouse picking solution can make full use of the advantages of Picking, Ants, and Order products to achieve mixed scheduling, improve the efficiency of warehouse picking and storage density, and save labor costs.
Subverting the traditional model is suitable for various warehouse storage business needs
Guozi’s three core solutions have completely subverted the traditional logistics warehousing model, and can efficiently complete various warehouse storage business requirements including material purchase warehousing, production warehousing, production picking and output, and finished products warehousing. Commerce, retail, medicine, food, automobile manufacturing, 3C electronics, tobacco and other industries.
Due to its business expansion, a leading office supplies retailer and distributor in the world needs a smarter robot system to deal with equipment failures and robot efficiency reaching the limit during promotion peaks. It is unable to continue to improve efficiency through the combination of man and machine. The issue of promotion peaks, followed by the problem of the waste of capacity caused by the repeated handling of SKUs in different seasons, and how to maximize the utilization of inventory.
In the intelligent warehousing and picking program created by Guozi, the explosive products and slow-selling products are stored in zones, and the high-shelf storage model is adopted to greatly increase the utilization rate of the warehouse. PICKING is used in the project to realize the handling of finer particles, reduce repeated handling, and cooperate with the picking method of man-machine combination to maximize the overall work efficiency. Since 2017, in the terminal's warehouse, China has completed the online operation of more than 1,000 robots, saving a lot of labor and traditional equipment costs.