Flipkart has introduced a hundred robots onto their factory floor in Bengaluru to help in processing orders. This move was done to increase efficiency in the supply chain network and decrease the burden during the sale days.
The robots, also known as automated guided vehicles (AGVs), have been designed to carry small products and place them in their designated area. They will also carry the products and drop them in the chute with an assigned pin code, reports Economic Times.
The AGVs can run on battery power for seven to eight hours and have been designed in a close grid to ensure that the robots do not collide with each other. The report goes on to state that the robots can go through over 4500 packages in an hour.
"The big problem that we want to solve with automation in e-commerce is supply chain. We want to solve for precision, we want to solve for scale and we want to solve for efficiency. All of these aspects are very important for us if we want to reach the next 200 million customers," Krishna Raghavan, the SVP of technology at eKart, was quoted as saying by ET.
By increasing the throughput without making any changes to the infrastructure or manpower, Flipkart has calculated that the efficiency will increase by 60 per cent. Flipkart added that this will make it easier for them to redirect the manpower to other areas in the supply chain.
The report goes on to say that the robot will increase efficiency by a factor of three which could make people nervous for fear of losing their jobs. However, the e-commerce site's management assured its workers that robots and humans working side by side is necessary for maximum output and it is not the case of one without another. With the introduction of the bots, Flipkart hopes that humans will have more free time to do value-added work which robots cannot do.
"In terms of up-skilling, while you have a person just placing a product on the bot as one activity, there's more that happens behind the scenes when it comes to operating that machinery. The other thing is when we expand this offering to other facilities, these folks will actually become trainers," Raghavan said.