Automation and robotics company, GreyOrange, announced the release of its next-generation software platform, GreyMatter™, at the launch of the latest warehouse of the Nitori Holdings Group (TSE 9843), Japan’s largest furniture and home furnishing chain with over 400 stores. The Butler™ robotics system from GreyOrange is deployed at the Osaka centre of Home Logistics, a logistics subsidiary of Nitori Holdings which operates 34 distribution bases and a logistics network for product delivery to stores and e-commerce customers across Japan.
The GreyOrange goods-to-person robotics system at the Osaka warehouse of 160,000 square metres is one of the largest Butler sites in the world. It has been designed to handle automated inventory storage (putaway) and picking using self-navigating robots to bring mobile shelves of inventory to the operator to accelerate putaway and order fulfilment.
In the Butler system, GreyMatter™ is an end-to-end Intelligent Order Fulfilment software solution from GreyOrange that controls and manages automation in a warehouse via collaboration among devices comprising Butler robots, storage racks, pick-put stations, charging stations, among others. Central to the GreyMatter software is its Artificial Intelligence (AI) which operates at several levels to drive autonomous collaboration to automate warehouse functions and processes.
Its always-on AI algorithms learn from large amounts of data and identifies patterns quickly to perform in real-time to make super-smart decisions. It adapts to changing inventory profiles and order fulfilment requirements to optimise path planning and navigation of the robots and racks. This enables the team of robots to work together to maximise storage, streamline zoning, improve space utilisation and accelerate order fulfilment. This is particularly important for operations handling same and next day deliveries that require faster efficiency and accuracy, and a higher throughput in a volatile multi-SKU environment. The GreyMatter software is applicable across industries such as e-commerce, Store Retail and Factory Warehouses.
Manabu Matsuura, CEO of Home Logistics said, “For a start we stocked the most popular items capable of fulfilling over thousands of online orders a day. The Butler robotics and advanced software collaborate among the devices to take efficiency to new heights. The most number of items are brought from the racks to be picked in the shortest time, which is a very productive process. Over time as the system is continuously learning about our products, we expect to see increasingly higher levels of efficiency. Our staff appreciate working with these new processes as it is easy and they are seeing good results in their output.”
Nalin Advani, CEO – APAC, GreyOrange commented, “GreyOrange and GROUND Inc., our distributor in Japan, are honoured to work with the Nitori Group to deploy our Butler robotics solution and launch our next-generation Artificial Intelligence, GreyMatter, at the Home Logistics centre. E-commerce growth in Japan is forecasted to grow to US$200 billion within the next three years, and will accelerate annually in the lead up to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. We are excited to play our part in this exhilarating journey.”
He added, “On top of Nitori’s industry-leading warehouse operations, we worked together to layer the AI-powered software to create a revolutionary process for order fulfilment. Within the AI of GreyMatter, the Industry Engine we have designed for e-commerce provides control at even more granular levels than before. Using machine learning and analytics, it is able to predict product popularity and seasonal trends, and more, to magnify the efficiencies for order management.”