From earthquakes to multi-climate simulations: AutoStore unveils Innovation Hub to test and replicate supply chain environments

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AutoStore, the leading robotic technology company, can today unveil its new Innovation Hub located in Karmøy, Norway, a pioneering new center for testing and replicating diverse in-store and warehouse environments.

As the suppliers of robotic storage and fulfilment technology for Puma, Gucci and Asda among 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 demand.

Constructed 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. AutoStore’s new center will be able to test the solutions which 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.

AutoStore CEO Karl Johan Lier commented: “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 different 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”

Lier continued: “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We live in a time of exponential development in most areas, and then we must be able to develop solutions that are not outdated when they are used.”

Micro-fulfilment is coming

Micro Fulfillment represents one of the biggest challenges for the retail trade. If the customer does not have the item immediately, you buy it somewhere else or you buy another product. Handling consumables and groceries from regional distribution centers does not meet customers’ needs and expectations. You simply need new systems.

Lier believes that globally we will see major changes in the way stores, chains, shopping centers and online shopping are organized. Store, transport, warehouse and everything else 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. Here, the AutoStore Innovation hub will play an important role”, says Lier.