Flipkart introduces robot-based sortation technology

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on March 19, 2019 Published on March 19, 2019

To scale up processing of customer shipments

Flipkart has introduced a robot-based sortation technology — Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) at its Soukya sortation center in Bengaluru.

Designed to optimise efficiency and precision on the back-end of the supply chain, these AGVs will help Flipkart meet growing customer demand, ensuring faster delivery and a better experience for online shoppers.

The Soukya set-up involves over 100 self-guided bots that automatically sort packages to the right customer pincodes by identifying encoded information on each package. It can process up to 4,500 shipments in an hour and can be scaled over five times with minimal changes, enabling better throughput from an existing facility, removing the need for space expansion and enabling the current manpower allocated to the task to be upskilled to do higher value-adding work.

With 1,000 employees at present, the Soukya sortation centre processes lakhs of shipments every day. The AGVs will work in conjunction with the facility staff who will be trained to operate them.

“With the Automated Guided Vehicles, we are re-imagining new growth path, while orchestrating new and innovative ways of working. We believe this will help bring efficiencies, agility and scale to the supply chain operations, helping us serve the customer better. This India-first initiative is the first stepping stone in this journey. Going forward, we will be looking at how we can help build the country’s nascent automation ecosystem through R&D and collaboration so we can continue building India-specific solutions” said Krishna Raghavan, Senior Vice-President of eKart Tech at Flipkart, in a statement.

As the automation and robotics ecosystem in India is currently in a nascent stage, Flipkart plans to partner with start-ups and university campuses to drive innovation and research in this space. The company will be building a Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Robotics and Automation, focusing engineering, product and automation teams under one umbrella. Some future mandates for the CoE will be to further automation, IoT, electric vehicles etc. This will help continue building India-specific solutions, hiring talent, and incorporating affordable automation into the business model.

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Published on March 19, 2019
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