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MURATEC 3D Robot Warehousing System “ALPHABOT” To Be Installed at the Distribution Center of Japan’s Leading Sports Retail Brand

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On July 22, Murata Machinery, Ltd. signed a contract with Alpen Co., Ltd., one of the best sports retail brands in Japan, for the construction of Japan’s first 3D robot warehousing system “ALPHABOT”.

Alpen aims for a 60% reduction in logistics operations & benefits of introducing “ALPHABOT”

The Alpen Group, Japan’s leading sports retail brand, has expanded its outlets nationwide to meet the diversifying needs of customers in the sports retail industry under the corporate slogan, “Making sports more accessible”.

The following three benefits can be expected from the introduction of Alphabot system to reduce logistics operations by complementing its storage capacity and reducing picking, sorting and packaging operations by approximately 60%.

  1. Shifting from conventional floor storage to three-dimensional storage with high-space efficiency to expand the range of SKUs handled
  2. Reducing the need for workers to walk around and search for products, enhancing productivity and cutting out the need for skilled workers
  3. Reducing human error and improving sorting and shipping efficiency by introducing a one-step process from picking to sorting and packaging

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ALPHABOT System

Alphabot System uses technology developed by Alert Innovation, Inc., a U.S. company which Muratec formed a strategic partnership with in 2019. The system uses a robot cart to complete everything from storage to picking.

Unlike conventional ASRS (Automated retrieval/storage system), the robot cart (BOT), drives horizontally and climbs up and down, running outside the storage rack to automatically supply products to a picking point. This eliminates the need for workers who prepare products by order from an enormous inventory of products from walking around massive warehouses, enabling efficient picking from a fixed location. In addition, because products are stored in a three-dimensional storage rack, the 3D robot warehouse can accommodate a larger volume of products with less floor space than other warehousing systems. The system also boasts a workstation for product storing and picking, enabling total picking operations from individual order picking to batch picking. This total system helps to realize more flexible shipping processes.

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Overview of the ALPHABOT System

  • Robot carts: 130 sets
  • Storage: approx. 26,000 cases
  • Footprint: 69 m x 24 m x 6 m high

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