Seamlessly integrate robotics in your warehouse
As of the late 1980s, heavy-duty industrial robots have been implemented by large system integrators to automate the manufacturing lines of large companies. They pay off at scale, but huge investments and technical know-how are necessary to install and operate them, creating a significant barrier of entry. Today, a new generation of robots, so called collaborative robots, make warehouse automation affordable and useful even for one-off tasks . The “Amazon effect” is also driving transformation in warehousing across industries and this has shown:
- Increased warehouse flexibility
- Safer Operations
- Flexible Scale up and Down
- Operates 24×7
- Lower Labor Costs (represent just 10% of the equivalent human labor cost, 20% of forklift operating costs, 50% of conveyor costs and 66% of AGV costs.)
Moving from hardwired perfect repeatability to more flexible, low-cost, perception-driven cobots removes the need for specialized system Integrators, lowers costs, and drives innovation.This will make it possible for smaller companies to afford it and that reduces the automation barrier tremendously, which will bridge the gap between fully automated and fully manual. This increase in market demand has created an opportunity for SAP to leverage its existing technology (e.g. DSC/EWM and BTP) with partner solutions from the next-generation warehouse robotics vendors to deliver a seamless solution to our customers
With SAP Warehouse Robotics, users of SAP EWM – our solution for managing inventory and supporting the processing and movement of goods – can integrate various warehouse robots in a matter of hours or days, not weeks or months. SAP Warehouse Robotics scales and supports heterogeneous fleets running on the same software stack.
High Level Architecture
With SAP Business Technology Platform, SAP has developed the SAP Warehouse Robotics Application that will allow for heterogenous robot integration with SAP Extended Warehouse Management. Below is the representation of how the SAP warehouse robotics application will work across different scenarios.
There are multiple scenarios we can integrate our warehouse robotics solution with vendor solutions. One example is the landscape approach where we can connect to robots on a warehouse floor via an edge device (SAP or 3rd. party). this allows for minimal disruption and connectivity without the need of an active network connection by leveraging edges services and the warehouse robotics solution. The data between the bot and the application can then be streamed when connectivity is active again but no productivity is lost during the process. Below illustrate a simple example of how EWM can work with robots.
What makes Warehouse Robotics Unique
Easy and fast to implement, operate, scale
- EWM integration out-of-the-box with predefined scenarios
- Add robots on-the-fly
Vendor agnostic – heterogeneous fleets
- No vendor lock-in – maximum flexibility, freedom of choice
- Multi-device and multi-use-case fleets – business demand driven rollout
Orchestrates complex scenarios leveraging EWM
- Conveyor belts, stacker cranes, etc. à Material flow interface
- Forklifts, human pickers à RF-device connectivity Autonomous mobile robots à Warehouse Robotics
At SAP we plan to work with leading partners in the robotics industry to meet our customers end to end warehousing needs. Already we have relationships with Locus Robotics, Fetch, HAI Technologies and Geek+ and will be onboarding more partners. To follow this blog we will publish how our warehouse robotics application will operate with these vendor solutions and various ulitization scenarios.
If you would like more information on how we work and integrate with SAP Extended Warehouse Management, you can get more information on the Solution Overview
(https://www.sap.com/assetdetail/2022/07/449dd941-397e-0010-bca6-c68f7e60039b.html), help on how to get started with integration to your EWM environment (https://help.sap.com/docs/WAREHOUSE_ROBOTICS) and further blogs on warehouse robotics capabilities (https://community.sap.com/topics/extended-warehouse-management/warehouse-robotics)