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Radial selects Covariant to automate e-commerce fulfillment with AI-powered robotics

E-commerce company Radial, a Belgian Post group company, the leader in e-commerce solutions, has agreed a new partnership with Covariant, an artificial intelligence robotics company, to automate sortation in their batch-picking operations through the installation of 12 Covariant Robotic Putwalls.

The Robotic Putwalls sort a high variety of health and beauty items for one of the world’s leading retailers in Radial’s fulfillment center in Louisville, Kentucky.

The integration of Covariant’s Robotic Putwalls into the existing facility operations delivers more optimal e-commerce fulfillment performance and accuracy – providing high quality, reliable and consistent customer experience for Radial’s clients.

With a more automated order sortation system, Radial can reduce worker strain and fill gaps in its workforce, while improving overall facility output and delivery times, specifically around high-demand periods.

Deborah Williams, vice president of fulfillment, Radial, says: “We are continuously looking for novel technologies that can advance our processes and provide our clients a competitive edge, making their e-commerce fulfillment more proficient and intelligent, and Covariant’s autonomous robots do just that.

“Innovation is not all about evolving operations. It is about standing out to our clients, helping them break through, and ensuring we can guarantee them the success they rely on us to deliver. We are excited to partner with Covariant and we’re already looking at additional use cases to drive further agility across our network.”

Each of the 12 robotic u-shaped putwalls average about 100,000 picks per month with a throughput of 425 pieces per hour – a performance higher than their manual alternative.

While working side-by-side with Radial’s world-class staff, the autonomous robots can successfully pick 100 percent of the stock-keeping units (SKUs) at the Louisville fulfillment center.

The Covariant Brain, a universal AI that enables robots to see, think, and act, powers this autonomous performance. Pre-trained on millions of SKUs from connected robots around the world, the Covariant Brain allows robots to pick and place virtually any item on day one while adapting and learning from the new items the robots experience.

Ted Stinson, chief operating officer, Covariant, says: “The challenge of e-commerce logistics continues to be the cost-effective delivery of a great customer experience. Radial turned to Covariant to deliver an AI Robotic automation strategy that improves quality and throughput while reducing unpredictability.

“In six months, together we have realized the successful automation of day-to-day sortation at a major facility – and we’re just getting started.”

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