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Revolutionising Warehousing and Logistics with Hai Robotics: Insights from Nathan Zeng

Revolutionising Warehousing and Logistics with Hai Robotics: Insights from Nathan Zeng

HaiPick ACR conducting product picking

In the rapidly evolving landscape of warehousing and logistics, robotics and automation are not just buzzwords—they are transformative forces driving efficiency and productivity. Hai Robotics is at the forefront of this revolution, a company committed to advancing Autonomous Case-handling Mobile Robot (ACR) systems and Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs). To better understand the ongoing developments in this field, we spoke with Nathan Zeng, President of Hai Robotics SEA and ANZ, about the company’s innovations and broader industry trends.

Founded in 2016, Hai Robotics has quickly established itself as a pioneer in warehouse automation. Their ACR systems address critical pain points, including high labour costs, low efficiency, and the inherent inaccuracies of manual picking. Hai Robotics’ ACR systems are crucial to their advanced automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) solutions by offering solutions independent of any storage medium.

Nathan emphasises that Hai Robotics’ primary asset is its talent. The company has created a value-centric system for talent management, recognising that innovation and efficiency stem from a dedicated and skilled workforce. Their technological prowess matches this focus on human capital, positioning Hai Robotics as a trailblazer in autonomous case-handling robotics.

Autonomous Case Handling Robots: Efficiency and Customisation

Nathan discussed how Hai Robotics’ ACRs are designed to offer flexible, scalable, and standardised solutions that integrate both software and hardware. These robots enhance efficiency by autonomously retrieving and transporting specific items needed by operators, significantly reducing the time and errors associated with manual processes. Importantly, Hai Robotics’ robots can adapt to existing shelving systems, provided they meet specific standards, making them a versatile choice for diverse warehouse environments.

Successful Deployments and Target Sectors

Hai Robotics has seen notable success in deployments across Asia, particularly with high-profile clients like Anta Sports and JD Logistics. For Anta Sports in Chengdu, Hai Robotics deployed their ACR systems to enhance storage density and picking efficiency, resulting in a seamless operation that significantly boosted the warehouse’s performance. Similarly, JD Logistics benefited from Hai Robotics’ solutions, which optimised their order fulfilment processes, reducing manual labour and increasing throughput.

A recent collaboration with Maersk Contract Logistics showcases the global impact of Hai Robotics’ technology. By integrating 49 ACRs into Maersk’s 7500m² warehouse, Hai Robotics increased storage density by 30% and improved picking efficiency to handle 1104 cases per hour. Their systems’ scalability and seamless integration provided Maersk with the tools to manage peak season demands effectively.

Cost Models and ROI: Navigating the Challenges

One of the significant challenges in adopting AMRs is the initial cost. Nathan explained that Hai Robotics offers a direct purchase model, supplemented by leasing through partnerships with financial institutions. This approach provides flexibility for clients who might be deterred by the high upfront costs, enabling them to achieve a quicker return on investment (ROI). The company does not directly offer leasing but collaborates with financial institutions to ensure clients have multiple options tailored to their financial capabilities.

Career Insights and Industry Trends

Nathan also shared his career journey, transitioning from engineering to investment management, before finding his passion in warehousing, robotics, and logistics. His close friendship with Hai Robotics’ CEO, Richie, and his affinity for the dynamic startup environment have driven his career choices. He advises young professionals entering the industry to focus on continuous learning and adaptability, essential traits in a field marked by rapid technological advancements.

Looking ahead, Nathan sees strong growth potential in Hai Robotics’ core ACR technology and plans to expand into new industries. The company is exploring setting up R&D teams in regions like Singapore to understand better and cater to local requirements. This localised approach and its robust technology position Hai Robotics to continue leading warehouse automation.

Conclusion

Hai Robotics is not just transforming warehouses; it is redefining the future of logistics with its innovative ACR systems. As Nathan articulates, the company’s blend of cutting-edge technology, talent management, and flexible cost models is paving the way for a new era in warehousing and logistics. By addressing cost challenges and ensuring substantial ROI, Hai Robotics makes advanced automation accessible and beneficial for businesses worldwide.