Swisslog, a provider of integrated logistics solutions, has signed a deal with the UK supermarket chain Asda to deliver an automated goods-to-man materials handling solution called AutoStore.
AutoStore is a storage and retrieval system for single items and small parts. Goods are stored in bins stacked directly on top of each other, with picking robots traveling along an aluminum grid above the bins. Swisslog said that it allows up to 60 percent more goods stored in the same space as a conventional warehouse.
The companies said the service will handle a range of Asda’s smaller products with the potential for more future support.
Asda, a subsidiary of Wal-Mart, is the second largest supermarket chain in the UK, with 550 stores and a roughly 18 percent share of the market.
The companies expect installation to begin shortly on the first site, working around its existing distribution center operations. Swisslog said this will be its largest AutoStore installation to date and will incorporate more than 70,000 storage bins and 160 robots, linking eight stations with a dozen goods-to-man picking ports.