While Americans are distracted by all the yelling about illegal immigrants taking jobs in the U.S., the Nitori Holdings Group, Japan’s largest furniture and home furnishing chain, has quietly signed a contract with GreyOrange and GROUND Inc. to provide robotics solutions. GreyOrange’s robotics system will be deployed at Home Logistics, a logistics subsidiary of Nitori Holdings that operates 34 distribution bases and an efficient logistics network for product delivery to stores and e-commerce customers across the country.
GreyOrange is a multinational technology company that designs, manufactures and deploys advanced robotics systems for automation at warehouses, distribution and fulfillment centers. It plans to exhibit the Butler system that will be used by Home Logistics at LogiMAT, an International Trade Fair for Distribution, Materials Handling and Information Flow, in Germany on March 14-17, 2017.
Manabu Matsuura, Corporate Officer of Nitori Holdings and CEO of Home Logistics, said, “We were impressed to find that the GreyOrange Butler is an entirely new robotics concept for warehouse automation unlike automated storage and retrieval systems. Also, Butler satisfies our corporate philosophy that we always pursue ideal workplaces for everyone. For example, we have been an early adopter of technology solutions and were the first user in Japan to leverage robotic storage systems in our warehouses last year.”
This is a system that will be capable of automating storage and retrieval functions at warehouses and distribution centers like Home Logistics. The GreyOrange Butler system will be installed at the Home Logistics Osaka distribution center, to handle automated inventory storage and picking. The Butler software adapts in real-time to changing inventory profiles and order fulfillment patterns, resulting in high productivity and accuracy. This system will be capable of delivering a far higher throughput than many picking systems in use worldwide, and certainly a higher throughput and greater accuracy than hiring human pickers. System like the GreyOrange Butler will improve both order fulfillment accuracy and the speed at which ordered products can be picked, packed and shipped.
GreyOrange executives expect that solutions like the Butler robotics system being installed in Home Logistics’ Osaka distribution center will improve fulfillment for the large and growing ecommerce market in Japan. This nation is already the fourth largest ecommerce market and this market is expected to grow up to US$200 billion by 2020. Nalin Advani, CEO of GreyOrange, said of this deal with the Nitori Holdings Group, “The Nitori Group is far-sighted in anticipating the challenges of warehouse operations and addressing it with robotics. We are also excited to be selected for the Japan market where specifications for technology are among the most demanding in the world.”