Swisslog showcased its redesigned ItemPiQ solution during Seamless Middle East, highlighting the benefits of machine learning and advanced robotics for the warehouse and distribution centre in the e-com sector.
It’s a fully automated picking solution that combines a Swisslog gripper system with new technology that can pick up to 1,000 items per hour, Alain Kaddoum, general manager for Swisslog Middle East told delegates.
Driven by the latest version of Kuka Robotics' Kuka KR Agilus-2, the six-axis lightweight robot has an arm that extends up to 43 inches to reach into bins containing single items.
It also incorporates a vision system that features a 3-D camera and smart image-recognition software that tells the robot how to best grip the items to be picked.
Machine-learning capabilities allow the robot to quickly adapt to the array of products being picked, making it ideal for retail and e-commerce applications.
“The beauty of this solution is that it can be fully automated, you can pick, put into a delivery box that’s packed automatically and sent out for shipment. It’s the ideal solution for high-volume e-commerce where you want to reduce the number of touchpoints,” says Kaddoum.
Picking is one of the most time- and cost-intensive processes in internal logistics and picking and packing can account for nearly 50 percent of all logistics costs in industrial and commercial logistics and distribution centres.
“ItemPiQ was designed to integrate with the AutoStore solution because of the size of the bin, which is fixed, and operations of AutoStore which is scalable for more stations and robotic integration,” says Kaddoum.
“The idea is that we have the bin, which is brought by the AutoStore or CycloneCarrier to the sorting station, where the ItemPiQ picks from the bin and fulfils the order.”
The core idea of ItemPiQ is that it fulfils orders, it doesn’t only pick, Kaddoum adds. “It will fulfil different SKUs from different product lines for the same order. It does this in collaboration with the AutoStore, which is driven by the same software. So it’s important to have the right WMS.”
ItemPiQ can also be linked to the AutoStore warehouse storage and picking system via the standard ItemPiQBox interface, the company said.