19 March 2019, India:
E-commerce firm Flipkart, has introduced the first robot-based sortation technology, Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) at its Soukya sortation center in Bangalore.
The AGVs are designed to optimise efficiency and precision on the back-end of the supply chain.
These AGVs will help Flipkart meet ever-growing customer and scale demands, ensuring faster delivery and an enhanced experience for online shoppers, the company said in a statement.
The use of AGVs will enable Flipkart to upskill unskilled labour and future automation will create space for Indian engineers to leverage their expertise in this arena.
The Soukya set-up involves 100+ self-guided bots that automatically sort packages to the right customer pincodes by identifying encoded information on each package.
It will enable better throughput from an existing facility, removing the need for space expansion, and will enable the current manpower allocated to the task to be upskilled to do higher value-adding work — all at similar or lower cost.
Flipkart plans to partner with startups and university campuses to drive innovation and research in this space.
The company will be building a Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Robotics & Automation, focusing engineering, product, and automation teams under one umbrella. Some future mandates for the CoE will be further automation, IoT, electric vehicles etc.
Krishna Raghavan, Senior Vice President of eKart Tech at Flipkart said, “With the Automated Guided Vehicles, we are re-imagining new growth paths, while orchestrating new and innovative ways of working. We believe this will help bring efficiencies, agility and scale to the supply chain operations, helping us serve the customer better. This India-first initiative is the first stepping stone in this journey. Going forward, we will be looking at how we can help build the country’s nascent automation ecosystem through R&D and collaboration so we can continue building India-specific solutions.”
(Image – Flipkart)