Key Features & Attributes

EXCEPTIONAL Capital Efficiency

In an Alphabot ASRS, the mobile robots are the only moving parts. There are no lifts or conveyors. In an Alphabot Each-picking System, a second set of moving parts is added at the workstation in the form of the pickers' hands. Robots can travel to all storage locations and workstations, so throughput capacity and storage capacity can be scaled independently. High SKU density and efficient space utilization also contribute significantly to capital efficiency.

 

High Reliability and Availability

There are no single points of failure. Every bot has multiple paths to all storage locations and workstations, and the system will continue to operate effectively if one or even multiple robots fail. Mean time to resolution is very fast, since failed robots can just be pulled out and repaired outside the system. As a result of these factors, system availability is exceptionally high.

 

Fast Order Completion Time

The system completes 25-item orders in less than 6 minutes on average, with 95% of orders complete in less than 10 minutes. 

 

Best Labor Efficiency

Highly ergonomic workstation design enables a flow of product- and order-containers (on the robots) at a sufficiently fast rate to enable pickers to achieve sustained pick rates of ≥ 800 eaches per hour.

 

Space Efficiency

Three-dimensional system architecture uses all available vertical space for both storage structure and workstations, with a storage architecture and replenishment model that yields an exceptionally high SKU density. As a result, system footprint is exceptionally small.

 

Inventory Accuracy

Near-perfect inventory accuracy and item-level traceability can be achieved.

 

Scalability and Flexibility

Because the number of robots is a direct function of the sales volume, the system can scale effectively down to low volumes, which is essential in food retail for being able to yield an ROI on the automated fulfillment of only online orders. However, a key feature of Alphabot is its upward scalability as well, which comes from the robot's ability to operate horizontally at all vertical storage and workstation elevations. The system architecture and operating methods distribute bot traffic essentially randomly within the 3-dimensional system structure, both in the aisles and at the picking workstations, which minimizes congestion and task interferences.

There are several new automation solutions appearing on the market that feature mobile robots operating within a 3-dimensional storage architecture without lifts, but a common feature of all of them is that all of the 2-dimensional horizontal movement of robots between storage and workstations occurs on a single plane, either on the floor or on top of a grid structure containing stacks of containers. As throughput requirements increase, requiring more and more robots, bot cycle times degrade due to the ever-increasing congestion of robots moving within this single plane. As a result, the number of robots required to satisfy an increasing demand curve will at some point start increasing exponentially with demand, not linearly. At some level of demand, a given system will become saturated and gridlock will occur. Because bot traffic in an Alphabot system is distributed vertically throughout the operating envelope, the demand limit at which the system maxes out is many, many times more than in competitive single-plane solutions. Indeed, Alphabot is designed to be able to support the entire volume of packaged goods sold in the store.

 

Fast, cost-effective Installation

Modularized structure design allows rapid system installation, with multiple crews assembling modules in parallel at ground level which are hoisted into final position. Robots auto-initialize upon induction, with zero set-up labor, so that commissioning takes very little time once structure is in place.

 

Multiple Temperature Zones

Alphabot technology supports multiple temperature zones, including ambient, chilled, and frozen.