Walmart-backed online marketplace Flipkart announced a large-scale deployment of robot-based sortation technology at its Soukya facility in Bengaluru. The company has deployed 100 Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) at its sortation centre where the machines will be able to sort packages based on encoded information on each parcel. The company expects the deployment to increase process efficiency by 60%.
The facility, which deploys 1,000 staff members, will train the employees to operate these machines and increase throughput without the need for expansion. Also, the facility will upskill the staff to do higher value work. A statement issued by the company said that with the AGVs in place, the centre can process 4,500 shipments in an hour and can be scaled up over five times with minimal changes. This helps the marketplace speed up deliveries and boost customer experience.
“With the AGVs, we are re-imagining new growth paths, 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,” said Krishna Raghavan, senior vice-president at eKart Tech, which is the logistics arm of Flipkart.
Flipkart has also announced that it will partner with startups and university campuses in the space of robotics and automation. It will be building a Centre of Excellence (CoE) for the same. The company said that the focus of the CoE will be on Internet of Things and electric vehicles.
“Going forward, we will be looking at how we can help build the country’s nascent automation ecosystem through R&D (research and development) and collaboration so we can continue building India-specific solutions,” said Raghavan.