Autonomous Forklift

Assembly Line

Self-Driving Vehicles Are Finding a Home in Industrial Operations

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Paul Berger

🔖 Topics: Autonomous Vehicle, Autonomous Forklift, Warehouse Automation

🏢 Organizations: Kimberly-Clark, Newell, Third Wave Automation, Outrider

Kimberly-Clark credits hundreds of autonomous forklifts with helping the consumer-products company keep Kleenex facial tissue, Cottonelle toilet paper and other goods flowing to stores despite labor shortages during the Covid pandemic. Sharpie maker Newell Brands says the vehicles are helping deliver safety improvements and cost savings across the company’s operations.

Kimberly-Clark has more than 300 autonomous forklifts at its North American warehouses, up from about 30 in 2019, said Sarah Haffer, vice president of customer logistics for the company’s North America consumer division. Haffer said Kimberly-Clark’s warehouses with autonomous forklifts have provided some of the most consistent service levels to its retail customers. “We have been able to manage through Covid with real stability and beyond in terms of throughput and capabilities,” Haffer said.

Newell Brands, whose products also include Coleman outdoor recreation equipment and Rubbermaid food storage goods, uses more than 200 autonomous forklifts across its facilities. Newell Chief Executive Chris Peterson said robotic vehicles have reduced incidents of damage to goods and are delivering “significant cost savings.”

Read more at Wall Street Journal