Innovation Hub to test in-store and warehouse logistics
Micro-fulfillment as big challenge for retail industry
AutoStore unveils its Innovation Hub, a pioneering new center located in Karmøy, Norway dedicated to testing and replicating diverse in-store and warehouse environments.
As the suppliers of robotic storage and fulfilment technology for many global brands, AutoStore is experiencing a continued growth in revenue and clients. The robotics company has therefore sought to create a testing facility that can allow for faster fitting of automated systems for its clients in order to keep up with order demand.
Built in just seven months, the facility is fitted with a combination of robotic technology and infrastructure for supply chain and retail facilities that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The Hub will be able to test the solutions that are developed for global retailers and their store and warehouse facilities.
The facility’s environment can also be adjusted to allow the robots to be tested in both hot and cold conditions, analysing how the oxygen level changes when goods are stacked within storage systems. The Hub also simulates earthquakes to see how warehouse and store technology would respond to potentially harmful situations, as well as a number of other functions.
Micro-fulfillment is coming
Micro-fulfillment represents one of the biggest challenges for the retail industry. If a company does not have the item immediately, the consumer will either buy it somewhere else or another product altogether. Handling consumables and groceries from regional distribution centers do not meet the order fulfillment needs and expectations of today, giving room to automation systems that can.
Lier predicts that globally there will be major changes in the way stores, chains, shopping centers and online shopping is set up and organized. Stores, transports, warehouses and every aspect of logistics will be connected in completely new ways.
“The needs will vary from store to store, and industry to industry. Our flexibility must enable the brands to streamline operations in line with their specific needs, and to achieve this we must constantly test and develop new solutions. The AutoStore Innovation hub will play an important role here,” says Karl Johan Lier, CEO of AutoStore.