Locus Robotics primed for expansion across the UK and Europe
July 15, 2022 07:37AM
Locus Robotics primed for expansion across the UK and Europe

This position has been reinforced with the opening of the company’s European headquarters in The Netherlands, a move set to act as a springboard to the next phase of growth in the company’s ongoing development as the AMR supplier of choice to some of the world’s leading logistics businesses.To get more news about Logistics Robotics, you can visit official website.

It is a position the company’s senior management in the United States could barely have imagined when they took the decision to expand their operation across the Atlantic three years ago. But then, the world is a far different place now than it was even eighteen months ago.

The justification for the expansion into Europe back then had been an easy one. The region was primed for growth with the e-commerce industry seeing a steady and predictable increase in the levels of business being transacted in fulfilment warehouses throughout the UK and the EU.

Pioneers in the use of the company’s autonomous mobile robots were reporting dramatic improvements in their productivity levels as a result of deploying fleets of the robots in their fulfilment warehouses.

Companies such as pharmacy and beauty retailer, Boots UK, which partnered with Locus Robotics early in 2019. It opted to deploy 135 of the collaborative LocusBots in its Burton-upon-Trent warehouse facility to support anticipated peak season volume growth. The LocusBots were deployed to work collaboratively with the warehouse’s existing workforce, travelling to various picking locations while the pickers remained at their station and the robots ferried the goods to the packing station.

Instantly, hours of unproductive walking time on the part of the human workforce were eliminated from the picking process, workers no longer had to haul heavy carts around the warehouse floor and productivity shot up.

The deployment was such a success that the LocusBots helped drive a 200% increase in productivity, helping Boots fulfil more than three million items throughout the Black Friday season (November 21 through December 2). The Locus solution also improved workplace culture, with a 77% reduction in worker accidents and a significant reduction in worker absences and attrition, with cross-generational acceptance of the Locus technology.

Seeing such results, Boots opted to scale up its Locus solution in January 2020 to more than 200 bots. The timely decision to expand its robotic fleet benefited it greatly during the unanticipated COVID-19 pandemic when shopping moved from in-store to online.

Similar rises in productivity were reported amongst Locus customers in other countries in the EU. All this being achieved even before the full onset of the pandemic.But the justification for increasing warehouse automation was growing even before issues such as Brexit and the pandemic combined to act as major accelerants.

Temporarily boosting the size of workforces with armies of labour was increasingly being seen as unsustainable. Rising labour costs and the availability of workers in a shrinking labour pool was forcing many companies to implement change; add to this the effects of the pandemic and the need to have socially distanced warehouses, then even the most robust of supply chains were being severely tested.Complicating the picture for operators has been the UK’s split from the single market. Multi-national operators fearing disruption to supply chains in the wake of Brexit have been setting up satellite operations on mainland Europe to avoid problems, many tempted by relocation incentive schemes offered by the likes of the Belgian and Dutch governments.

Savvy UK operators have planned ahead. In many cases this has meant accelerating investment decisions. Plans to automate processes which may previously have formed part of a five-year, even a ten-year business plan were brought forward so upgrades could be made straight away and the technology installed to enable productivity improvements that could keep pace with growing order volumes.
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