A fleet of 7,000 logistics robots for a new generation of automated warehouses with almost zero labour. This is the strategy of Geek +, based in Beijing, to support e-commerce and production
The economy of the future will be increasingly smart and the logistics companies that will be the first to be able to speed up and reduce employees will also be among the first to lead the market.
As in the case of the four-year start-up Geek + Technology, which has become a rising star in the Chinese automation revolution, pushing the country towards logistics robots for the e-commerce and production sectors.
As confirmed by Zheng Yong, founder and CEO, Geek + has implemented over 7000 robots and completed over 200 intelligent logistics projects on four continents. To its customers, Geek + offers four different robots based on artificial intelligence: picking, moving, sorting and forklift systems
Geek +’s main customers include Alibaba Group Holding, SF Express courier and state-owned automobile manufacturer FAW Group
Zheng in an interview last week on the SCMP, said: “I think we did a good job combining technology with industry applications. How to sell it [smart logistics] to the consumer and gain even more confidence, besides facing our competitors – this is the challenge that awaits us. ”
The future of which Geek + speaks is possible to trace it in its smart factory in Nanjing, opened on September 25th. The new structure, designed with an annual production of over 10,000 robots, employs industrial robots, its own AI algorithms and its own production logistics management system, and other automated programs for assembling robots.
The procedure for checking and moving the products is impressive: the robots automatically complete the final tests and the inspection of the finished product, after which they proceed directly into the area of the finished product to be packaged and prepared for shipment. Without any employee.
Zheng on the factory said: “Over the past four years, we have already developed and implemented revolutionary technologies for storage operations. With smart factories, we continue to pave the way to a truly intelligent supply chain.”
That growth potential has made Geek+ a major focus of venture capital firms in the robotics industry
However, Geek + is not the only one aiming to become the vanguard for robots and logistics factories. For example, last year, the Uniqlo Japanese clothing retail chain has restructured its existing warehouse with an automated system created in collaboration with the Japanese logistics company Daifuku, helping to reduce personnel costs. Another example is JD.com, which transformed a 40,000 square meter warehouse in Shanghai with Mujin technology last year.
“It is still limited … and companies still need to hire a lot of workers to handle the big sale season,” Liu Yunhui, professor of mechanical and automation engineering at the faculty of engineering at the Chinese University of Hong Kong said. “It also requires warehouses to have a suitable layout [for logistics robots to work efficiently].”
To be sure, the largest logistics robots player in the industry remains Amazon Robotics, which has more than 200,000 such systems deployed. This company, formerly known as Kiva Systems, is a subsidiary of US e-commerce giant Amazon.com.