Locus robots handle multi-level warehouses

  • November 15, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

Massachusetts-based Locus Robotics has announced enhancements designed to deliver optimised order picking management for multi-level mezzanines and vertical warehouses.

The aim is to increase productivity, flexibility and throughput.

“Locus’s mezzanine management capabilities enable operators to have optimal control over order management and worker productivity, regardless of the number of levels in their warehouse,” said Sophie Pagalday, director of product marketing at Locus. “Our solution optimises each workflow for throughput and productivity with smart, in-level pick clustering and by directing associates to pick and pass orders to the next level in the most efficient sequence.”

As order volumes continue to increase, warehouse operators have quickly outgrown floor space in fulfilment and distribution warehouses. To stay ahead of demand, many warehouse operators are choosing to go vertical rather than add new buildings. However, efficiently managing workflow and personnel in multi-level operations has become a problem.

Locus operates in several major mezzanine installations in the USA and Europe and is seeing significant growth in operators going vertical.

“Nearly 30,000 warehouses will be added over the next five years to help with the on-going shifts in consumer buying trends and changing supply chains,” said Ash Sharma, senior research director at Interact Analysis. “But that alone will not be enough to cope with growing SKU counts and retailers’ desire for better stock availability. This mezzanine-style approach is finding strong adoption around the world as a way to easily provide additional warehouse capacity at existing facilities.”

Locus provides intelligent orchestration of tasks across multiple levels or mezzanines in large centres, optimising workflows and order consolidation to increase throughput. The intelligent workflow optimisation engine actively directs LocusBots and workers to follow the most efficient order picking sequence.

Intelligent, multi-level orchestration optimises each task for throughput and productivity with smart, in-level task, pick clustering and directed pick-and-pass It is easy for users to add levels, turn drop-off stations on and off, run simultaneous discrete and batch picking work streams, and reassign LocusBots across levels to meet shifts in demand.

Locus can be configured to execute tasks to match preferred workflows – including top-floor down and bottom-floor up – to facilitate seamless consolidation.

Users can access a real-time view of activity on each floor as well as productivity rates, incomplete work and more across a vertical warehouse.

Ecosystem integration means users can connect their warehouse management system and materials handling equipment such as takeaway conveyors, slides and putwalls to Locus for end-to-end workflow management.