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Fetch, Honeywell Team for Pallet Conveyance

February 1, 2021

Offering combines autonomous mobile robots from Fetch Robotics with Honeywell Intelligrated’s Momentum warehouse execution system software and industry expertise to optimize fulfillment and distribution operations

Fetch Robotics' new PalletTransport1500 is an autonomous mobile robot (AMR) that supports cross-docking, returns and case picking workflows for contactless pallet transport in distribution centers. The PalletTransport1500 will utilize Honeywell Intelligrated’s Momentum warehouse execution system software, known as Momentum WES, to safely move pallets and other large payloads up to 1136kg (2504 lbs.). Honeywell’s Intelligrated’s turnkey Pallet Conveyance solution, powered by Momentum WES and the PalletTransport1500, is designed to support workflows for e-commerce fulfillment, store replenishment and wholesale distribution center operations.

With next and even same-day delivery quickly becoming expected service levels, distribution centers today are under immense pressure to meet rising consumer expectations with a limited labor supply. To contend with growing order volumes and accelerated order cycle times, many facilities have increased their reliance on forklifts despite the safety risks – each year, over 11% of all forklifts are involved in an injury, and a single work site injury can cost facility owners an estimated $150,000. Additionally, with vendors demanding increasingly strict service level agreements and the diversity of SKUs exploding exponentially, it’s no longer possible to keep up with delivery commitments just by hiring more people. Traditional warehouse workflows in which associates fulfill individual orders one at a time are breaking down, leading to inefficient pick paths through large warehousing facilities. This approach results in unnecessary travel time and reduced picking volume, a problem that is further exacerbated by rising order volumes.

“Even the most well-managed distribution centers are struggling to keep up with the ongoing growth of e-commerce, which is putting tremendous stress on facilities and warehouse associates to move goods in and out of facilities at record speed,” said Fetch Chief Product Officer Stefan Nusser. “By combining Fetch’s new PalletTransport1500 with Honeywell Intelligrated’s Momentum WES, distribution and fulfillment centers will now be able to orchestrate every aspect of automated warehouse execution for maximum facility efficiency and safety.”

The PalletTransport1500 consists of the Fetch Freight1500 AMR with an integrated lift and a pick-up and delivery station, and already conforms with the new ANSI/RIA R15.08 standard for autonomous mobile robots. When combined with Momentum WES, which is designed to address e-commerce fulfillment challenges by orchestrating nearly every aspect of automated warehouse execution, the PalletTransport1500 can manage long-haul material transport without any need for human involvement, saving the time spend of operating forklifts and freeing up workers for more value-added activities. By taking care of long-haul movements in the facility and keeping forklifts contained to inbound and outbound docks, the Pallet Conveyance solution reduces injuries and creates a safer, more efficient warehouse environment overall.

“To compete in the fast-paced, high-stakes world of e-commerce, modern distribution and fulfillment center operations are introducing increasing levels of automation. Too often these automated systems operate independently, performing very discrete tasks and processes,” said Thomas Evans, CTO of Honeywell Robotics. “This collaboration with Fetch to have a turnkey solution with Momentum gives those in the e-commerce industry a competitive advantage that will optimize productivity, increase operational safety, and provide significant return on investment.”

Through the integrated Pallet Conveyance solution, facilities can leverage the PalletTransport1500 to support a wide variety of workflows including:

Cross-docking: the AMR can transport pallets directly from inbound to outbound shipment areas. After pallets are unloaded from the truck, the AMR carries pallets routed from the inbound trailers/containers directly to the respective outbound shipping area location.

Returns: once inbound items are sorted based on product type or vendor, the AMR transports pallets to their appropriate return station (inventory, recycle, charity, etc.)

Warehouse transport: after received products are unloaded and palletized, the AMR moves inventory to storage locations based on business needs

This latest offering builds on Fetch’s ongoing partnership with Honeywell, which combines the power of Honeywell software with Fetch’s existing suite of AMRs to support autonomous workflows for smaller payloads. With the additional capabilities of the PalletTransport1500, the combined offering now supports picking and material movement workflows for payloads of all sizes, enabling a fully optimized warehouse environment.

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