Multi-fleet orchestration solution improves warehouse efficiency

CoEvolution’s multi-fleet robot orchestration delivers more warehouse throughput and better use of space to service 417 giant retail stores.

By CoEvolution June 1, 2023
Courtesy: CoEvolution

Smart logistics specialist CoEvolution has announced its revolutionary CO-PICK smart warehouse system delivered substantial increases in warehouse efficiency for South Korean multinational Lotte, raising throughput at the facility by 30% more SKUs per day.

The AI-powered CO-PICK solution used by Lotte has been tailored specifically to the customer’s needs, using a multi-vendor fleet of robots and orchestration software to deliver highly efficient picking, order fulfillment and integrated logistics support for 417 Lotte Super stores.

Lotte Group is a Fortune 500 company and a leading retailer in South Korea, with a significant presence in the retail, food, electronics, confectionary and other industries. Having considered and researched multiple options, it selected CoEvolution to work on a project to automate its entire warehouse transferring operations using a multi-vendor robot fleet.

The challenge

The wide variety of SKUs and high requirements for picking efficiency and accuracy within the retail industry places substantial pressure on warehouse operations. Lotte required a new system of warehouse automation to help ease pressures resulting from a rapid increase in the minimum wage in Korea.

During a periodic review of its warehouse systems to see how the latest technology could deliver operational improvements, Lotte Global Logistics found isolated ‘islands of automation’, large amounts of manual work required for transfers, and unused vertical space within the warehouse that could be optimized for storage. Robots were identified as providing an opportunity for further productivity and efficiency. In order to ensure the warehouse system operated smoothly and at optimal levels of throughput, they decided to look into a multi-fleet robot solution to carry out the range of tasks required.

The solution

The company considered multiple options from a range of different solutions providers and decided to adopt CoEvolution’s CO-PICK solution to accelerate its warehouse logistics operations. CoEvolution designed a custom multi-vendor robot fleet orchestration solution based on Lotte’s preferences to provide highly efficient goods delivery across 417 stores. The retailing warehouse project saw CoEvolution identify a range of solutions using different robot combinations that were then tested via its SIMULATOR product to ensure the best choice was made.

For the solution, they integrated the mobile robots with its robot control system (RCS) so they are able to operate as a single fleet. In this particular project, the smart logistics control system docked with Lotte’s warehouse control system (WCS) to create a customized automated warehouse solution that provided full control and visibility of the new operation at Lotte’s warehouse.

The solution involved a combination of high-tote robots used for efficient picking and latent autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), which were docked with the existing system, and equipment such as conveyors and robotic arms to facilitate smooth and efficient pallet transferring and order picking.

Figure 1: Courtesy: CoEvolution

Figure 1: Courtesy: CoEvolution

The smart warehouse solution utilizes different types of robots working collaboratively to deliver high throughput and high storage density, significantly reducing customers’ labor and storage costs in many different kinds of warehouses.

The benefits

As a direct result of the new automated warehouse solution connecting and accelerating order fulfillment, overall efficiency rates went up at the Lotte facility, with throughput raised by an additional 30% SKUs and storage capacity increased by 200%. In addition, a 20% release of manpower was achieved from heavy pallet transferring, which had previously all been handled manually (a crucial consideration in an era of ongoing labor shortages).

Fast to deploy and easy to dock with Lotte’s system and existing automated equipment, the multi-fleet orchestration warehouse software is simple to maintain and use. There is no complicated configuration required for set up, and little or no training required for operators before they can start using it.

The solution delivers highly efficient and accurate performance in warehouses, alongside improved use of space and secure data transfer. It has connected and automated the whole process, from issuing orders to implementation, with all the simplicity and ease of use of a fully integrated system.

With the help of CoEvolution’s CO-PICK solution, Lotte Global Logistics was able to break the boundaries of the original independent islands of automation, scheduling robots to connect the whole transferring process and turning the warehouse into one open map.

Figure 2: Courtesy: CoEvolution

Figure 2: Courtesy: CoEvolution

Commenting on the success of the retail warehousing automation project, Vice President of Lotte Institute of Logistics Technology Seungkee Baek, says, “We are delighted that we selected CoEvolution and CO-PICK to come on this automation journey with us. The new smart warehousing solution has increased our productivity and throughput, made optimal use of our warehouse space and works seamlessly with our operators.”

CoEvolution Co-Founder and COO Michael Wang adds, “The best CO-PICK solution for Lotte combines high-tote robots and latent AMRs with the existing conveyors and robotic arms to deliver optimal efficient pallet transfer and order picking, connecting the whole logistics process.

“With our Industry 4.0 CO-PICK solution it is possible to simulate and select the best multi-vendor robot fleet orchestration combination for your business and manage it through a single control system. Expected productivity gains are available within days, alongside the flexibility to scale at your pace. Automation doesn’t need to be complicated!”

– Edited from a CoEvolution press release by CFE Media.

Author Bio: CoEvolution is a leading solution provider of automation logistics. The company offers a unified robot control system which can orchestrate and optimize a mixed robot fleet’s task assignment, path planning and traffic control, which gives customers the flexibility to choose the best combination of robots from multiple vendors.