Kӧrber has announced a new collaboration with Zebra Technologies’ Fetch Robotics, having worked with South Essex College in the UK to provide a bespoke autonomous mobile robot (AMR) solution for their logistics training facility, located at Thurrock College.

South Essex College boasts some of the only dedicated logistics and supply chain courses in the UK and is responsible for training tomorrow’s logisticians in areas such as warehouse management, freight forwarding and the international supply chain.

The UK’s supply industry is already experiencing labour shortages and many other challenges. For this reason, finding new talent for warehouse jobs – which are traditionally seen as physically demanding and monotonous – is another hurdle. Therefore, the college needed a solution to promote the attractiveness of the logistics environment and showcase the wave of digital technology that is revolutionizing the industry and reshaping supply chain jobs worldwide.

Zebra and Kӧrber are working with South Essex College and its course leaders to provide two of their goods-to-person Fetch AMRs and Körber’s software as part of a co-branded demo facility on site. The robots will be located in a space alongside other supply chain technologies and solutions offered by Kӧrber, such as its warehouse simulation software K.Sight CLASS. 

This will help train students in how to model an optimised warehouse and simulate how different technology improves warehouse operations. The demo facility will give prospective students the chance to interact with cutting-edge technology while providing a real learning opportunity for those already studying.

“It is invaluable for us to have these AMRs on our site,” said Jayne Sheehan, Vice Principal, Centre for Innovation at South Essex College. “By granting access to the latest digital capabilities that are shaping the wider logistics industry, our students can get a real sense of the many exciting possibilities that await them once they’ve received their qualifications. The funding for this project came from a government initiative. We are grateful to have the opportunity to invest in state-of-the-art supply chain technology for our students to gain hands-on experience.”

“With the acquisition of Fetch Robotics, Zebra has extended its strategic vision into advanced robotics, enabling us to produce market-leading innovations that customers use to increase productivity, reduce costs and improve safety,” said Marcel Kars, Vice President, Robotics Automation, Zebra Technologies. 

“The supply chain industry is facing challenges recruiting new talent, so it’s a privilege to introduce these students to the exciting robotics automation solutions we offer to customers and play a part in inspiring them to shape the next chapter in the UK supply chain sector.” 

Anton du Preez, Executive Vice President Sales Software EMEA at Körber Business Area Supply Chain, adds: “With a generation that has grown up with smartphones, technology is the key to raise the profile of the supply chain. AMRs especially have seen such an uptake throughout the pandemic, taking the walking effort and physically demanding labor for warehouse associates out of the equation. 

“It’s not only changing the way those on the warehouse floor work, making it more attractive. It’s also creating a whole new range of professions to develop and maintain the technology. That’s why we are looking forward to guiding the future of supply chain experts.”