Assembly Line

Now Operational: The World’s First PickUpPort™

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: BOPIS

🏢 Organizations: AutoStore, Element Logic, thansen

AutoStore™, the leading robotic technology company specializing in automated storage and retrieval systems, announces that the world’s first in-store solution equipped with an AutoStore PickUpPort™, enabling fully automatic delivery of goods to customers, is now operational at thansen’s brand-new store in Copenhagen, Denmark. This cutting-edge technology is made possible through AutoStore, in collaboration with our esteemed partner, Element Logic.

This innovative AutoStore solution, implemented by Element Logic, features 14 robots and over 18,000 bins, optimizing storage space for more than 32,000 of thansen’s 200,000 items. The warehouse’s modest size doesn’t compromise the range of goods available to customers, as items are directly accessible in the store without the need to be ordered from a central warehouse.

Read more at AutoStore News

Walgreens Turns to Prescription-Filling Robots to Free Up Pharmacists

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Sharon Terlep

🔖 Topics: Industrial Robot, Warehouse Automation, BOPIS

🏢 Organizations: Walgreens, iA

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. is turning to robots to ease workloads at drugstores as it grapples with a nationwide shortage of pharmacists and pharmacist technicians.

The nation’s second-largest pharmacy chain is setting up a network of automated, centralized drug-filling centers that could fill a city block. Rows of yellow robotic arms bend and rotate as they sort and bottle multicolored pills, sending them down conveyor belts. The company says the setup cuts pharmacist workloads by at least 25% and will save Walgreens more than $1 billion a year.

The ultimate goal: give pharmacists more time to provide medical services such as vaccinations, patient outreach and prescribing of some medications. Those services are a relatively new and growing revenue stream for drugstores, which are increasingly able to bill insurers for some clinical services.

Read more at Wall Street Journal (Paid)

Optimizing Order Picking to Increase Omnichannel Profitability with Databricks

📅 Date:

✍️ Authors: Peyman Mohajerian, Bryan Smith

🔖 Topics: BOPIS, Operations Research

🏢 Organizations: Databricks

The core challenge most retailers are facing today is not how to deliver goods to customers in a timely manner, but how to do so while retaining profitability. It is estimated that margins are reduced 3 to 8 percentage-points on each order placed online for rapid fulfillment. The cost of sending a worker to store shelves to pick the items for each order is the primary culprit, and with the cost of labor only rising (and customers expressing little interest in paying a premium for what are increasingly seen as baseline services), retailers are feeling squeezed.

But by parallelizing the work, the days or even weeks often spent evaluating an approach can be reduced to hours or even minutes. The key is to identify discrete, independent units of work within the larger evaluation set and then to leverage technology to distribute these across a large, computational infrastructure. In the picking optimization explored above, each order represents such a unit of work as the sequencing of the items in one order has no impact on the sequencing of any others. At the extreme end of things, we might execute optimizations on all 3.3-millions simultaneously to perform our work incredibly quickly.

Read more at Databricks Blog

Walmart Is Pulling Plug on More Robots

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Sarah Nassauer

🔖 Topics: robotics, BOPIS

🏢 Organizations: Walmart, Bossa Nova Robotics, Cleveron

The retailer is phasing out the hulking automated pickup towers that were erected in more than 1,500 stores to dispense online orders. The decision reflects a growing focus on curbside pickup services that have become more popular during the Covid-19 pandemic and continues a broader retreat from some initiatives to use highly visible automation in stores.

Read more at Wall Street Journal (Paid)