Discover 6 Productivity Advantages of Goods-to-Person AMRs

by Prime Robotics
Goods-to-Person,G2P AMRs,AMRs

Recent market research valued the global autonomous mobile robot (AMR) market at $2.97 billion in 2022, making it one of the leading warehouse automation investments. That number encompasses the two types of AMRs most often used in distribution and fulfillment: Goods-to-Person (G2P-AMRs) and Personal Assist (PA-AMRs). Yet G2P-AMRs led the AMR technology market in investments in 2022, representing more than 48% of global share.

The disparity in adoption rates could be because the two kinds of AMRs generate very different productivity and efficiency gains. While it’s true that both are flexible solutions that require minimal infrastructure modifications—as opposed to fixed equipment, like conveyors, sortation, or automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS)—for easy, scalable deployments, their optimal applications are very different.

G2P-AMRs transport payloads from highly dense storage systems to workstations for order fulfillment, eliminating employee walk and search time. In contrast, PA-AMRs are a step away from conventional, paper-based picking and don’t require significant process changes. They replace a manual cart or pallet jack by following associates as they travel through the warehouse, picking needed items.

Here are 6 productivity advantages G2P-AMRs deliver in warehousing, distribution, and fulfillment operations.

1. G2P-AMRs eliminate associate travel.

In a G2P-AMR deployment, the robots retrieve items from storage locations and then transport the goods to associates assigned to workstations for picking. By eliminating the need for personnel to walk the aisles to fill orders—an activity that can account for as much as 70% of an operation’s labor costs—G2P-AMRs improve productivity by as much as six times in comparison to conventional picking. For operations that struggle to retain associates, G2P-AMRs can reduce reliance on manual labor by 50%.

2. Software optimizes G2P-AMR travel.

Robot control software (RCS) integrates with overarching warehouse execution software (WES) to direct the operation of a fleet of G2P-AMRs. The WES assigns tasks to the robots and orchestrates their travel along the shortest path. While the software is common to both kinds of AMRs, G2P-AMRs eliminate the amount of time associates spend traveling to pick orders. A previously paper-based, manual picking operation using G2P-AMRs can attain rates of 350 or more picks per houra nearly 300% increase in productivity.

3. G2P-AMR fleets are scalable.

Operations that experience seasonal peaks or demand spikes can easily induct additional G2P-AMRs into their fleet to help handle increased volumes. Many vendors offer leasing options, further supporting on-demand deployments. While both are also true of PA-AMRs, G2P-AMRs do not require additional pickers to keep pace with the uptick in orders. Indeed, with G2P-AMRs, a formerly manual picking operation can complete more picks with fewer associates. This increases efficiency by as much as 65%.

4. End-to-end automation is possible with G2P-AMRs.

G2P-AMRs enable end-to-end automation, retrieving totes from an AS/RS and presenting them to a robotic picking arm at a goods-to-robot picking workstation. The G2P-AMRs can also transport completed picks to robotic palletizers and automatic stretch wrappers. Not only does this reduce dependence on labor, but it also increases picking productivity by an additional 10%. Further, some operations using these solutions have achieved three times higher picking productivity over manual methodologies.

5. G2P-AMRs can transport a variety of unit loads.

Depending on the application and other types of automated systems deployed within the operation, G2P-AMRs might transport individual totes of products for each picking; full pallet loads of the same product for case picks; or multi-tiered shelving units for case or each picking. Regardless of the unit load handled, software sequences the G2P-AMRs to ensure each one presents only the needed item at the right time. Displays at the workstation show the associate which and how many items an order requires, saving search time. It also enables picking accuracy rates of up to 99.9%.

6. Multiple workflows can leverage G2P-AMRs.

Capable of working around the clock, G2P-AMRs can also support different inventory handling processes within an operation. They can assist with receiving, put away, forward-pick replenishment, staging, buffering, and consolidation of orders combining oversized items with smaller eaches. This 24/7 availability and ability to integrate into workflows can extend G2P-AMR productivity gains throughout an operation.

What else can G2P-AMRs do for your operation?

G2P-AMRs offer multiple benefits beyond increased productivity. Discover how they can benefit your operation in comparison whitepaper, aiming to help you determine the best time of AMR for your warehouse application. Download now for a deeper dive into these technologies and their optimal applications.

Prime Robotics