S&S Activewear (PPAI 256121, Platinum) has announced a deployment of hundreds of robots at its warehouses, a result of its growing partnership with German company Körber Supply Chain and Geekplus robotics. The robots are intended to increase efficiencies within the supplier’s processes and represent a big step toward automation within the promo industry.

The announcement includes plans for robots to be implemented in three separate S&S warehouses, one of which – in Lockport, Illinois – has already commenced. The 750,000 square foot Lockport facility saw the deployment of 340 robots from Geekplus.

“Our customers deserve a seamless experience from order to fulfillment, and we’re excited about the increased efficiencies we’re already seeing through our collaboration with Körber,” says Brian Beale, chief technology officer at S&S.

Warehouse Process Optimization

The Geekplus robotic solutions are intended to create optimized processes within warehouses like ones that S&S operate out of. Geekplus’s PopPick machines facilitate inventory management by moving goods stored in totes to pick stations. The autonomous devices move and slot inventory, creating a streamlined flow to get products to their destinations.

This technology reduces the amount of near-constant walking by warehouse employees who otherwise would have to do this work manually.

“Our longstanding partnership with Körber has been crucial in bringing our revolutionary solutions to a wider audience,” says Randy Randolph, director of channel partner sales at Geekplus. “This deployment with S&S highlights the huge impact of our mobile robots in helping retailers meet the crush of e-commerce orders while improving quality and efficiency.”

S&S has already cited success and increased efficiency in the use of the robots, which are designed to support more than 4,500 lines per hour through 24 picking stations. The supplier is pleased with the order fulfillment and quality assurance capabilities of the systems in place through the partnership with Körber.

“Innovation is a core tenet of S&S’s decades-long history in the apparel industry,” says Beale. “Advancing our warehouse operations with Körber and Geekplus’s robotics and automation expertise has been a natural and impactful evolution in our technology journey.”

The robotics system is designed to scale with the business of the warehouse they are implemented within in order for the company to avoid being constrained by the investment in the technology.