Automation warehouse company AutoStore has announced the North American launch of Pio (Product In/Out), a plug-and-play version of its AutoStore cube storage technology specifically geared for small and midsize businesses (SMBs).
Based on a pay-per-pick service model, Pio allows retailers of apparel, sporting goods, crafts and cosmetics to deploy robotic automation for a relatively low investment, the company said.
“We established Pio to make our technology available to smaller businesses,” said Mats Hovland Vikse, CEO of AutoStore. “Only 15% of the world’s warehouses are automated, and fulfillment operations at smaller retailers are still largely manual. Pio levels the playing field so that enterprises of all sizes can take advantage of the space and cost efficiencies of automated storage and distribution systems.”
AutoStore said retailers pay a fee per individual item picked, with the robots, ports and softwares owned and maintained by Pio. Users only need to purchase product bins and the frames that the robots run on. AutoStore said a Pio facility is modular and scalable, running on standard software that connects to the most common online retail and shipping platforms.
“Never before has the option for a fully automated storage and retrieval system been offered to the SMB segment – and certainly not with the robotic technology that has been proven through multitudes of successful installations around the world for over 20 years,” said Magne Hatteland, vice president and head of Pio. “With Pio, you can expand without having to move, enabling users to run their businesses closer to customers. We are already seeing success with Pio systems operating at several high-profile retailers in Europe. Now that the system is available in North America, we are ready to support fast-growing independent retailers here as well.”
AutoStore said Pio will be demonstrated at next week’s National Retail Federation Big Show in New York, Jan. 15-17. For more details on AutoStore, visit its website here.