Flexible warehouse automation
10 August 2021
LINCOLNSHIRE-BASED supplier of flexible warehouse solutions, OW Robotics, is now supplying the F4 automated forklift to businesses seeking to increase flexible automation in the warehouse.
The F4 is an automated robot that is designed to move palletised stock in the warehouse. It can work alongside warehouse operatives, existing materials handling equipment and pallet racking - for a hybrid approach to order picking and packing.
It provides a cost-effective solution for warehouse operatives looking to boost order fulfillment, reduce forklift related accidents and running costs, and free-up investment in staff for value-added roles.
The F4, which is manufactured by OW Robotics’ partner, Hikrobot, works in harmony with OW Robotics’ Q3 and Q7 robots as part of an integrated A-to-B solution. It has a customisable lift height of 1.8m and can run for eight hours before it automatically charges, meaning it can be effectively fulfilling movements around the clock to meet operational demand.
Head of robotics at OW Robotics, Joe Daft, believes the F4 is the next step for warehouse operators looking to automate large parts of their warehouse operation, he said; “Right now, businesses are faced with some really tough challenges to be able to meet and increase their order fulfillment. According to recent reports, the UK is facing its worst labour shortage since 1997, this includes warehouse staff. It’s at a time when customers expect quick, easy online ordering and demand fast delivery. Without a high level of automation, it’s a real challenge to meet these expectations.
“That’s why many businesses we are working with and having conversations with are automating key processes in the warehouse. The F4 automated forklift is naturally the next step to complement A-to-B warehouse robotics like our Q3 and Q7 models which are great at moving products around the warehouse.
“As it has been designed from the ground up to be automated, it uses the same technology as other robots. It has safety measures integrated to reduce forklift related incidents, including SLAM based navigation technology that can adapt to the changing environment and gives millimetre precision accuracy. It runs at 1.2m/s and the model can be easily integrated into an existing robotics solution if a business needs to add more robots to increase fulfillment.
“Businesses are reviewing their warehouse operations following the effect of the pandemic and driving down costs while increasing order throughput is the ultimate goal. Automation is going to be key to that, and I expect we will see more warehouses adopt technology, like the F4, in the next few years.”
OW Robotics supplies automated warehouse robotics solutions to businesses operating in retail, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, wholesaling and in the building supplies industry.