MSC Industrial Supply Partners with Plus One Robotics to Integrate Robotic Systems at Fulfillment Centers

June 16, 2020 by Ben Stepanian

MSC says that their partnership with Plus one robotics will “support and enhance the efficiency” of their fulfillment centers.

MSC Industrial Supply, an American leading metalworking, maintenance repair, and operations products and service distributor with over 70 years of experience and process development, has implemented programmable robotic arms with 3D cameras, AI capabilities, and pneumatic grippers.

MSC has partnered with Plus One Robotics, a world-leading vision software company that strives to collaborate human and machine services in industrial applications and to fill in the shortage for repetitive manual labor. MSC needed a modern system integrated into their shipment facilities to handle its volume of over 1.5 million products.


Novelty in Shipment

MSC, with the help of Plus One Robotics, says it has created a patent-pending robotic packaging system in their customer fulfillment center in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. MSC says that Plus one’s products, networks, and services will allow them to handle shipment in a more productive way.


Plus One Robotic's Pick One system being demonstrated with an ABB robot. Image used courtesy of Plus One Robotics.


Plus one’s solutions utilize automation and AI 3D virtual inspection to ensure that items are properly sorted and packaged. MSC plans on integrating its new methods into all five of its major centers that will be remotely operated by a Plus One Robotics crew chief out of its headquarters in San Antonio, Texas.


Future in Industry

The capabilities of automation and forever advancing machinery is what makes companies like Plus One and MSC contemporary for modern industry and its generations thereafter. “Plus One Robotics supports the growth of companies by acting as a force multiplier for labor,” said Erik Nieves, CEO of Plus One Robotics. We live in a world of consumers which doesn't seem to have a limit for demand and with a seasonal increase in demand, shipment and sorting could be too much to handle. 

MSC plans on optimizing its volume output now that it has a dedicated automated shipment system along with its experienced team of over 6,700 associates. Now that the employment of humans in the shipping and handling industry begins to decrease, programming and coding opportunities will start to rise across the automation industry. Those who may have found themselves in the “assembly line blues” could now partake in a much more interesting role.  


“Robots Work, People Rule”

The goal of Industry 4.0 and newfound automation strategies is not to replace humans but rather to serve us. The culture of assembly line employment is constantly a revolving door of personnel coming and going, so perhaps the employees rendered obsolete by new technology could gain a career in servicing or troubleshooting the machines that replaced them.

A huge benefit for automating the handling of goods is that the robots do not require a break and can endure the forever expanding demand for goods at a much higher rate. Automating shipping and handling also reduces the cost of operation. Plus One Robotics has a saying that perfectly aligns with the laws of robotics. That saying is “Robots Work, People Rule.”

You can visit MSC industrial supply and Plus One Robotics websites to learn more about their capabilities and plans on industry improvement. Learn how Plus One Robotics maintains their robots remotely and how their robots learn to operate in various environments.