Seegrid Corp., Pittsburgh, announced a strategic partnership with Topco Associates LLC, Elk Grove Village, Ill., to provide vision-guided automated guided vehicles (AGVs) to Topco members.

Topco’s Indirect Spend Solutions team will work collaboratively with Seegrid to roll out the AGV program. The revolutionary vision-based navigation system operates without laser targets, floor transponders or magnetic tape. The vision navigation solution also allows Topco members the flexibility to train and change routes immediately.

“This new strategic partnership will provide Topco members, who are supermarket retailers, food wholesalers and foodservice companies, with an innovative vision-guided flexible AGV solution that will immediately deliver cost reductions and create a competitive advantage,” says Anthony Horbal, chief executive officer for Seegrid. “Seegrid products help businesses improve throughput and improve workplace and employee safety while delivering a rapid payback.”

Supermarket chains like Topco member Giant Eagle have been operating the Seegrid vehicles for almost five years in their retail support centers.

“Incorporating the Seegrid robots in the retail support center operation has allowed us to improve dock-to-stock speed and productivity,” according to Joseph Hurley, senior vice president of distribution and logistics for Giant Eagle, Inc., Pittsburgh, Pa. “By providing a pre-defined route between pickup and drop locations, it creates a fixed time and space between product/aisle, selector and robot. The pre-defined route and volumes bring considerable consistency to our operations. From an efficiency standpoint, we have reduced manned travel from put-away by 20-30% and increased high-lift pallet per hour by 20%. The cost effectiveness that the new system incorporates has allowed us to remain successful in an extremely competitive environment and bring value to our end customers.”

“Topco is excited to partner with the leading robotics AGV supplier to deliver an innovative solution to Topco members,” says Dave Picarillo, senior vice president of Topco’s Indirect Spend Program. “The Seegrid solution provides members with a competitive advantage to reduce costs and improve bottom-line performance.”