Reliance Industries Ltd-backed robotics company Addverb Technologies will open its second manufacturing plant in the country in the next three months.
The company makes fixed and flexible industrial robots. Fixed automated robots include automated storage and retrieval systems like pallet shuttles. Flexible robots include autonomous mobile robots and sorting robots where one can change the configuration anytime, and no fixed infrastructure is required as in the case of fixed robots.
The company also plans to use the new unit to take some of the pressure off its current facility, which also serves as a software research, R&D and experience centre.
“The new facility will be dedicated to large-scale industrial robot manufacturing, while the existing one will focus on specialized manufacturing.” Satish Shukla, co-founder, Addverb said.
The e-commerce industry has moved towards innovative methods of order fulfilment. Like a movie where the real action happens behind the scenes, the real magic in the e-commerce industry now happens in their existing warehouses, which have turned into smart warehouses using automation and robotics. In these warehouses, autonomous and assisted robots perform multiple tasks simultaneously to achieve speedy deliveries. These robots track and locate the purchased products, line them up for delivery, package by locations, and update the inventory status, all with minimal human intervention.
As per a recent report, companies across the e-commerce industry have embraced automation to accelerate their existing plans and lay a more robust, resilient and agile foundation. Once considered simple storage facilities, today’s warehouses have morphed into dynamic fulfilment centres, where goods are received, stored and dispatched. To put it bluntly, robotics and automation in today’s warehouses play a crucial role in the global supply chain.
To keep up with this industry practice, organisations are investing heavily and allocating a large sum of their expenditure on digitalising their operations and automating their warehouses.
Addverb, a global robotics company providing complete end-to-end warehouse automation solutions, announces a strategic partnership with Element Logic, a warehouse optimisation provider and the world’s first and largest AutoStore™ partner. The partnership follows an extensive and lengthy analysis of Addverb’s technology, functionality, and way of working and provides the opportunity for both parties to create use cases around AutoStore projects.
Pieter Feenstra, Addverb’s CEO of the EMEA region, said, “Our ability to serve the market demand will exponentially increase, offering access to a complete automation solution combining AutoStore systems and Addverb’s Mobile Robots. We believe the strong portfolio, innovation expertise, and depth of resources we bring together through this partnership will allow us to create even more value for our customers.”
“This partnership will spark the ability to create use-cases around AutoStore projects, which will turn around a better ROI for customers and have less dependency on the scarce labour,” said Hans-Jörg Braumuller, Group Design & Consulting Director at Element Logic.
In the distribution phase of the supply chain, packaging and shipping are crucial. Accurate and timely order fulfilment are the hardest part of establishing an e-commerce business. Consumer needs are evolving with time and are becoming unpredictable. Businesses are adjusting their operations to accommodate these expanding demands, and autonomous packaging has emerged as a result.
Businesses can gain from the automation of the packaging process in a number of ways, including reduced labour costs, decreased waste, and enhanced productivity and throughput. This comes at a time when the market is experiencing a challenge with the growing demand for online shopping. The packaging procedures can be entirely or partially digitalised with automation equipment.
Due to the pandemic, many people were forced to opt for online shopping mode and became used to it. Besides the existing rally in e-commerce, FMCG, retail, and 3PL industries, the Government’s vision to push forward manufacturing in India with initiatives like Make in India and Production Linked Incentive (PIL) are enabling warehousing demand from other sectors like automotive, pharmaceutical, cement and steel to grow at a CAGR of 16% in the next five years compared to 15% in FY 2021.
The main goal of an effective supply chain is to reduce inventory levels in order to avoid locking up capital in storage or transportation and to maximise capital productivity. This strategy depends on the smooth operation of the whole supply chain, and this new tendency necessitates technological innovation in the supply chain across all industries. Grade A facilities that are well-organized, have advanced automation and required manpower are more suited to meet modern expectations, particularly for the e-commerce sector. For others to keep up with the innovation, warehousing automation is also expanding at this moment.
According to a market study, the Indian warehouse automation market will reach USD 512.2 million by 2026, compared to USD 86.2 million in 2020.
To nurture talent and foster innovation, Addverb has crafted its policies, practices, and philosophies to build a culture rooted in passion, courage and people connection. It strongly believes that people spend a significant portion of their lives at the workplace, and an employer must provide a good ‘Work-Life Integration.’ There is no swipe-in/swipe-out or minimum fixed working hours at Addverb. It practices an open leave policy, where employees can take any number of leaves as required, without any impact on salaries.
To ensure continuous learning and growth of ‘Addverbians’, Addverb creates learning journeys comprising e-learning programs and instructor-led training. It has tie-ups with leading platforms like Harappa Education and Udacity for the same. Further, the organisation sponsors higher education for its employees from time to time.
With supply chain disruptions not entirely mitigated and with a shortage of labour, the demand for reliable warehouse automation is higher than ever. Different challenges require different types of automation, both fixed and flexible, but many automation companies only offer one style of robotic automation solution which may not be enough.
Automating logistics with robotics not only means lowering costs – it also means keeping up with today’s high demand. Finding the right hardware automation for different types of orders is a challenge, especially if both types of orders are handled from one logistics center. There are a couple of different options that companies can choose to suit their automating logistics needs better.
Fixed automation has been a tried and tested option for decades and is used mostly for deliveries from FMCG to retail or from retail to store. With fixed automation one should consider solutions with stacker cranes or shuttle systems (think fixed racking, rails, etc) and it requires roller conveyors around it to bring pallets or boxes to and from a warehouse.
Flexible automation allows manufacturers or logistics companies to quickly alter production capacities or warehouse capacities as needed. Where adaptability and scalability are required, this kind of automation tends to be the number one choice. Many e-commerce companies need automation due to their demand but do not yet know what their future demand will look like. Flexible automation allows these companies to start with a certain set of robots like Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs), Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs), and sorting robots, and then scale up or down or combine with other robots when required.
Thinking small makes big things feasible for MFCs (micro-fulfilment centres), says Pieter Feenstra, CEO, Addverb EMEA.
A sharp contrast to its traditional counterparts, being compact can be considered an evolutionary advantage for these modular facilities one which makes them financially and logistically viable on various counts. On a very basic level, they can be accommodated in densely populated cities and urban centres, placing them at an advantage in comparison to the sizeable, centralised distribution hubs (as large as 300,000 square feet) situated in city outskirts or on industrial estates.
The modular nature of MFCs allows them to have high storage density by utilising cubic volume of space and enables easier quality control and data management.
The highly volatile and demand-driven nature of e-grocery allows little room for error, and counts on speed and accuracy of operations, neither compromising the other. The technology for an MFC is a mix of fixed and flexible automation. For fast-moving and fixed SKUs, Addverb’s Quadron shuttle (Carton Shuttle Solution) is suitable. For slow-moving and flexible SKUs, Addverb’s Veloce AGV/ AMR is deployed. Each of these is said to deliver with 100% accuracy and minimal human intervention.
One of the most important but easily forgotten aspects of day-to-day life is how products get in front of the average consumer. Everybody consumes, but not everybody thinks about the process from manufacturing to storage, to distribution, and finally to the handover unless a problem arises. It is also no surprise that over the past few years, companies have seen an unprecedented spike in demand for faster delivery. That is where companies like ours come into play – in the logistics behind how things get from point A to point B. Each year, the need for a wide variety of robotics continues to grow. These robots can be specialized in storage, transport, picking, and sorting. Each has very different but equally important functions to optimize the warehouse logistics process, and each is crucial for a smooth timeline without too many interruptions or delays.
At Addverb, our robots are designed to enhance warehouse logistics performance. Zippy, our ultra-fast moving Sorting Robot, performs 100% accurate SKU level sortation up to 20,000 sorts/hour. We have Dynamo, our robust autonomous mobile robot (AMR) powered by natural navigation for efficient material movement. Quadron, our carton shuttle solution, and Multi-Pro, our pallet shuttle solution, perform the storage and retrieval of materials from a warehouse. While this is a brief overview of how robotics and automation can enhance logistics and smooth out processes, warehouse automation improves efficiency and costs drastically and are, within themselves, innovations of today.
In present times, the automation technology is not just restricted to the automobile industry but has matured a lot and is used in many industries especially in the manufacturing sector. Automation technology has advanced a lot and has gained recognition of its own, the most famous and used branch of it is automation through robots or robotics technology.
The robotics market in India has gained momentum as a result of industrial expansion, digital revolution and adoption of automation at a large scale. In terms of annual installation, the industrial robotics market in India stood at 5,000 units in 2019 and is estimated to reach 11,760 units by 2025, expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.41 per cent during the 2020-2025 period. These industrial robots can be automatically controlled, programmed and manipulated in three or more axes. Based on mechanical configuration and level of autonomy, these robots perform various material handling operations such as movement, picking, sorting, and shuttling etc.
With the onset of Covid, which has drastically impacted supply chains, automation has become from a ‘nice to have’ to necessity. Complete end to end automation solutions that automate all the processes in a warehouse from inbound, storage, picking, and outbound to point solution providers that automate individual processes where high throughputs are required. Automation vendors like Addverb, can provide end to end solutions with large portfolio of products such as AGVs, AMRs, picking technologies, ASRS, shuttles, IoT solutions and software suite.