AutoStore unveiled a new Innovation Hub in Karmøy, Norway. The all-new facility is dedicated to replicating diverse in-store and warehouse environments. It will enable AutoStore to better serve both current and future clients by providing a testing environment that replicates real-world use cases.
AutoStore clients includes brands such as Puma, Gucci, Best Buy and many other global brands. As a result of the increase in e-commerce fulfillment, the company is experiencing continued growth in revenue and clients. Through the sales process, AutoStore has 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.
The facility was built in just seven months, and 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, analyzing 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.
“We identified the need to test solutions under a number of different situations, but we could not set up a test center for cold environments, one for heat, and at the same time one for a modern store solution, one for medical storage and so on. Therefore, we set up a center where we could simulate different situations and needs. This agile approach offers our clients competitive market advantage, and places them at the heart of new innovations within the sector that can propel them forwards,” said Karl Johan Lier, CEO of AutoStore.
“Within the robotic technology industry, we do not have time to let the processes drag on. As a technology company, we must identify needs, and together with our partners and customers develop good solutions that can work immediately. We live in a time of exponential development in most areas, and then we must be able to develop solutions that are not outdated when they are used,” Lier continued.
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 Lier.