Success Story: Otto Group starts with an AGV and WAKU Sense in their Hermes logistics center
Otto Group tested an automated guided vehicle (AGV) in their Hermes logistics center in Ansbach as part of a proof-of-concept (PoC) with WAKU Robotics
The goal of the PoC was to verify the feasibility of integrating mobile robot systems into an existing layout and the feasibility of an efficient mixed operation with manual processes
The PoC provided important insights for the integration of mobile robots in other use cases and logistics centers
WAKU Sense was used to continuously measure, analyze, and optimize robot performance (utilization, speed, charging time, etc.)
A comparison of the target and actual process values was facilitated by WAKU Sense, enabling efficient countermeasures in case of deviations
The Hermes logistics center in Ansbach
- 2-man handling (2-MH) is used for packages weighing 31.5kg or more
- The warehouse size is 76,000 m2
- Up to 10,000 orders are shipped daily
- The company employs 250 people
Otto Group invests in an automated warehouse with AGV
The Otto Group is a trading and service group that operates worldwide. Its focus is on innovation and digital transformation to inspire customers and improve business practices. The company invests in new technologies and digital solutions and also uses them in the logistics centers of its subsidiary Hermes Fulfillment. The use of modern robot technology to automate intralogistics processes is one of the essential components of a progressive digitized warehouse. To test the integration of AGVs, the Otto Group conducted an initial PoC in the Hermes logistics center in Ansbach, which ran for four weeks.
Objectives of the proof-of-concept
Verification of the use of mobile robotics to compensate for manual processes (transporting heavy loads over long distances, transporting large pallets)
Integration of mobile robotics into the existing layout and mixed operation with manual processes
Measurement of feasibility and economic efficiency using performance values, speeds, downtime/reasons with WAKU Sense
Use of insights for scaling mobile robotics in other use cases
Identification of automation potential in the logistics center through the integration of additional robotics solutions to optimize intralogistics processes
WAKU Robotics provides Otto Group with robot expertise, market intelligence, and software solutions
The project team of the Otto Group, led by Lutz Schmidt and Wiebke Köster, decided to collaborate with an external partner who could provide the required expertise, market intelligence, and software solutions for the successful use of mobile robots (AGV & AMR). Therefore, the choice fell on the robotics experts at WAKU Robotics.
"In the end, we wanted to buy the expertise. There are so many players on the market right now, and when you start in this area, it is really difficult to keep an overview and know how to evaluate what, and WAKU offers us exactly this knowledge extension to create added value.” Wiebke Köster, Senior Project Manager | Otto Group
The project consisted of two significant milestones: defining the rough concept of robot technology and supplier selection and conducting a PoC with a selected supplier.
In the first phase, a process analysis was carried out to create a rough concept with requirements for infrastructure and adjacent processes. A suitable sub-process for the PoC was selected, in which the AGV transported commissioned large pallets from two stations to two sinks at the gates in the warehouse.
In the second phase, WAKU Robotics supported the creation of a shortlist of potential mobile robots and their respective suppliers for the selected transportation process. The choice fell on the AGV "Melkus G130" from Melkus Mechatronic, which convinced with its characteristics and ability to transport large pallets, competitive price, quick availability, and cooperative collaboration.
During the third phase, the PoC with the FTS was carried out, using the software WAKU Sense to measure and visualize the performance of the mobile robot. The project team at Otto Group continuously monitored the processes and tracked relevant KPIs. Through instant alerting, the operational team could receive error messages and quickly eliminate problems. The collected data was then analyzed and evaluated.
"The collaboration with WAKU Robotics was very open and very constructive. We were a great team.” Lutz Schmidt, Senior-Projektleiter | Otto Group
Discover the WAKU Robotics' consulting concept.
About the Melkus Mechatronic G130:
- Suitable for flexible pallet transport of heavy loads (large pallets)
- Maximum payload of 1,200 kg
- Reaches a lifting height of 240mm
- SLAM Lidar navigation (+/- 1cm)
Final insights on feasibility and robot performance
Within the framework of the PoC, it was determined that the integration of mobile robots into existing logistics centers is quite feasible.
By using the AGV from Melkus Mechatronic in the transportation process, employees were significantly relieved.
In the future, the use of mobile robots in further logistics centers is planned.
The project team used WAKU Sense's real-time dashboards to analyze process metrics such as error causes, robot performance, utilization, and battery consumption. WAKU Sense enabled the identification of weaknesses in robot operation and time-critical adjustments to be made.
Through WAKU Sense's instant alerting function, potential robot errors were immediately reported to the operational staff and could be quickly resolved, thus optimizing performance.
"I already appreciated it once. Quite simply, we are sitting in Hamburg, are not constantly involved in the topic, and can observe the system via WAKU Sense, can see what the device is doing, but also statistics, error evaluations, battery levels, all these things can be derived from it. This was especially important for the PoC. We can think about process times, do the evaluation, and when I look into the future, I can see it as a very good platform between the warehouse management and the technical systems.” Lutz Schmidt, Senior-Projektleiter | Otto Group
Why WAKU Sense?
With WAKU Sense, we enable our customers to realize the full potential of their mobile robot fleet. WAKU Sense is a manufacturer-independent Robot Control Tower, which allows the analysis, optimization, and control of mobile robots. With WAKU Sense, our international customers can operate their robot fleet efficiently. For more information on WAKU Sense, visit www.waku-sense.com.
Would you like to test WAKU Sense by yourself? Then use the contact form and we will send you an individual demo version for free. The experts at WAKU Robotics will be happy to help you get started with mobile robots!
These insights were gained to support the Otto Group in implementing further automation projects with mobile robots in their daily operations.
WAKU Robotics supports you in choosing the right robot for your application. We take care of the procurement of the robots as well as the on-site test. Our WAKU Platform software helps you to operate the robots across manufacturers and to analyze the processes.Contact WAKU