Cardinal Health has introduced autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) at their distribution facility in Dorval, Quebec, making it their inaugural Canadian site to do so. This implementation of 27 Locus robots has contributed towards enhancing the efficiency of the operation, elevating employee safety, and increasing the precision of picking and packing tasks. The 225,000-square-foot facility is staffed by over 200 employees who are now supported by the AMRs.
“Our customers and suppliers look to us for supply chain expertise, which requires us to continuously advance our processes and technology to support their changing needs,” says Russell Schuster, president, Cardinal Health Canada. “We believe that investing in automation builds further trust and confidence because our customers know that we are committed to continually evolving to best serve them.”
The implementation of robots has enabled Cardinal Health’s employees to efficiently and accurately pick more orders. The robots are integrated with the warehouse management system and receive picking instructions at the beginning of each shift. They are loaded with totes and use advanced AI and optimization algorithms to determine the most efficient route for traveling between picks to fulfill customer orders effectively.
The robots are equipped with touchscreens that display instructions in English and French and pictures of the products, helping employees to identify the correct products and quantities. The products are scanned into the robot’s digital system and placed in the totes. Once the totes are full, the robots move them to a staging area to be loaded onto delivery trucks.
By working with the robots, each employee is responsible for a specific zone in the facility and becomes proficient in the products located in that area. This means that they no longer have to transport heavy loads, improving their safety and well-being.
The implementation of robots also aids in managing labor shortages, making it easier to recruit and retain talent, as well as onboarding new hires quickly. Cardinal Health Canada is looking to extend the use of robotics to other facilities to ensure efficient service to customers across the country.
Beverlie Taylor, director of operations in Quebec and Atlantic Canada, said, “Our employees are open to change, and are excited about working with the robots. They’ve adapted quickly to this new technology.”
Added Schuster, “Our teams know that there are patients at the end of their efforts; they’re dedicated to ensuring that our customers get the products they need, when they need them. Our investments in new technologies make it easier for our employees to serve customers and ultimately the Canadian healthcare system.”
Cardinal Health has made a commitment to improving automation and efficiency in its supply chain and operations enterprise-wide, which includes the implementation of robotics. For further information, please click on this link.
Swisslog’s robotic fulfillment system and software to support new Cardinal Health at-Home Solutions distribution center