Dematic says it has set up a Robotics Center of Excellence business unit, dedicated to developing and engineering robotic automation.

The global supplier of integrated automated technology, software and services designed to optimise the supply chain says its new business unit is responsible for applying and implementing robotic solutions that "make order fulfilment operations more efficient, productive and responsive to today’s on-demand omnichannel distribution environment".

The Dematic Robotics Center of Excellence provides a wide variety of automated solutions built around process improvements, robotic technology, vision and software. They are applied in all functional areas of the warehouse from receiving to shipping and are designed to handle pieces, cases, totes, layers and pallets. Typical solutions include de-layering, de-palletising, bin replenishment, goods-to-robot piece picking, kitting, crossbelt and pouch sorter induct, palletising and trailer loading.

Crystal Parrott joins the company as Vice President, Robotics Center of Excellence. She brings more than 28 years of robotics and automation experience to the role and will be responsible for leading all robotics initiatives, driving robotics strategy and guiding, coordinating and supporting the development of robotic solutions. Before joining Dematic, she was with the Southwest Research Institute, responsible for the development of advanced robotics solutions.

According to Jim Stollberg, EVP Global Product & Solution Management at Dematic: “Our customers are looking for solutions that address the order fulfilment challenges created by evolving consumer trends. Robotic automation is becoming that solution. As it did in the manufacturing sector decades ago, robotic applications address labour shortages, accuracy and speed of operation.”

E-commerce fulfilment operations, retail store replenishment centres and wholesalers (B2C & B2B) represent a few of the typical market sectors that have a compelling business case for robotic order fulfilment automation.

“Technology advancement in vision, product handling and software are the key enablers that are making robotic technology, which is prevalent in manufacturing environments, more feasible and cost effective in a broad spectrum of distribution applications,” said Parrott. “In addition, we can combine our past experience implementing robotic solutions for de-layering and palletising with new capabilities to provide goods-to-robot piece picking, bin replenishment and sorter loading to deliver powerful solutions across a wide range of applications.”

Dematic employs more than 6,000 people, and has engineering centres and manufacturing facilities around the world. It is part of the KION Group and is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan.