Fetch Robotics recently announced the addition of new capabilities for TagSurveyor, a robotic RFID solution providing complete visibility of assets within fulfillment centers, distribution centers or warehouses via visualization of inventory data on a facility map.
With the ability to autonomously and continuously capture RFID data, TagSurveyor enables manufacturers to finetune inventory planning with more up-to-date and accurate data in order to operate leaner and more efficiently. Ensuring accurate inventory counts is a key concern for distribution and fulfillment centers, which stand to lose over a trillion dollars due to poor inventory management practices that result in lost or misplaced items. Traditionally physical counts require hours of manual work and demand high labor costs, which often results in inaccurate data collection and a failure to collect location-specific information. As a result, warehouse managers only see the number of items instead of their location throughout the warehouse, leading to unnecessarily high inventory levels, wasted man hours looking for inventory and dollars lost in expedites, re-orders and write-offs.
Fetch's TagSurveyor is a cloud-enabled inventory management solution designed to improve inventory tracking, increase accuracy and save customers time. The TagSurveyor robot uses powerful RFID technology along with robot localization in a facility to gain a complete view of the warehouse and its assets, returning valuable insights to customers through the cloud. With its built-in localization capabilities, TagSurveyor geotags all items with their location in the warehouse to create sophisticated visualizations of the entire facility. TagSurveyor makes it possible to increase inventory counts and checks from once-a-month to multiple times per day – providing autonomous insights.
"Distribution and fulfillment centers are becoming more data-driven, but most facilities still lack basic information such as up-to-date inventory counts. Fetch is developing a full suite of robots to provide new levels of insights into warehouse operations and workflows," said Fetch Robotics Vice President of Products Stefan Nusser. "With Fetch's cloud platform, customers already using Fetch robots can add a TagSurveyor with no additional effort, and can outfit their facilities with any of Fetch's broad range of AMRs to help them find, track and move anything from parts to pallets."
Once deployed in a facility, TagSurveyor organizations the visibility into inventory levels or the movement of assets, makes it easy to analyze changes, additions or removals since the last survey. Specifically, organizations can overlay on a map of their facility assets that were supposed to be in a location that are no longer there, assets that are in a location that are not expected, or the movement of an asset from one location to another in a facility. Companies can also deploy TagSurveyor on an as-needed basis through Fetch's Robots-as-a-Service model, which allows companies to scale effectively as the business grows.
Fetch is a pioneer in cloud-enabled robotics. By leveraging the cloud, Fetch is able to provide a much higher level of tailored service with low overhead. “It provides a whole new way of supporting the customer from an automation perspective,” CEO Melonee Wise tells IndustryWeek. “Cloud is also a better avenue for keeping updated with security updates and patches. It allows Fetch to provide a small company with world class security by using a hosted cloud service.”
According to Wise, the cloud also empowers greater business intelligence capabilities to help companies better and more dynamically understand their operating environments in a way they normally wouldn't be able to because the unique ability to collect meaningful data as robots move throughout the facility.