First Automated Robot Warehouse

First Automated Robot Warehouse

Kroger and Ocado have recently set their sights on setting up the first ever fully automated robot warehouse in Monroe, Ohio. The project is said to have an investment of $55 million put into it and is also tipped to add 410 brand new jobs to the Ohio area. Instead of what uses you may expect Kroger and Ocado plan to utilize the warehouse as a customer fulfillment center (CFC) and also plan to set up 20 similar facilities around the United States.

Joining Forces For First Automated Robot Warehouse

Earlier this year Kroger and fairly large grocery retailer Ocado announced their big power partnership when they then set their sights on realizing the idea of a fully automated warehouse, which they’re currently calling “the shed”. As previously mentioned they plan to build another 20 of these buildings, likely to serve the same purpose, customer service. One of the main reasons the partnership was formed from Kroger point of view, is the fact that Ocado already possesses advanced retailing technology and warehouses. Ocado even already has experience with building these huge robot run facilities, which allow for lightning fast deliveries.

In one of Ocado’s warehouses in Andover, UK, robots prepare over 65000 orders of grocery every week. This incredible system is sustained using an air traffic control system which allows multiple robots to move freely across a grid, along with charging themselves and communicating with each other. Arguably more efficient than actual normal warehouses? Alex Tosolini, Kroger’s Senior Vice President of New Business Development stated, “Ocado is a UK-based company with global ties and advanced digital and robotic capabilities. Working together, we will develop the strongest possible supply network to support a seamless customer experience that can serve every person in America. It’s all about building a seamless supply chain to provide our customers with an amazing shopping experience”

Competition For The First Automated Robot Warehouse

The exclusive partnership between the two companies was a very big thing for Kroger as many other firms all over the world are dying to get a piece of Ocado’s technology as well. In fact, they had previously leased some of their equipment out to firms in France, Canada, and Sweden. Kroger also has to compete with arguably the biggest company on the planet at the moment, Amazon, who currently already use over 100,000 robots in their delivery services! It calls this Amazon Robotics drive units, operating in 175 fulfillment centers. Walmart also poses a new threat as they have also recently announced they plan on using automated shopping carts for online deliveries.

Although robots do appear to be the main thing driving these companies at the moment, don’t worry, humans do still run a lot of the operations and human and non-human workers work together in harmony at these companies every day. We’re not replaced quite yet. In fact, many human workers state their jobs are better since the introduction of robots as the bots take on the more monotonous tasks.

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