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Manual work is the main driver of operational costs in retail supply chains, averaging about 80 %. In addition, heavy and repetitive manual work generates health issues, increases errors, and puts a higher demand on floorspace. Many organisations look at automation to solve these challenges, but automation traditionally means large investments and major changes or even the need to complete new warehouse infrastructure.

Replacing manual picking of goods

Solwr Robotics’ business idea is to reduce costs and HSE challenges in retail supply chains by combining excellent insight in customer’s business models with modular plug and play robotics. Solwr have developed the picking robot Grab™, which is an autonomous pick-and-place robot for warehouse operations. The innovative robot takes care of order picking in the warehouse and replaces manual picking of goods. Grab™ enables automation in existing warehouses without interrupting ongoing production. This reduces risk, is cost efficient and reduces the need for investing in new warehouse infrastructure. This approach is also beneficial from a sustainability perspective as it prolongs the lifetime of existing warehouses instead of building new facilities.

International interest for the picking-robot

After 6 years of development and piloting, Grab™ is now ready for the international market. The pilots done in Norway has proven that the picking-robot is a cost-efficient alternative to manual picking. Analysis done by Solwr shows a 50 % reduction in volumes picked manually and a similar reduction in the cost per item picked after implementing Grab™. Based on the experience from the pilot projects, the Norwegian grocery wholesaler ASKO ordered 12 Grab™ robots that will be implemented over the next months. Also, a major player in the UK Grocery market has signed up for the robot. There is a huge interest in the product and Solwr has ongoing dialogue with many European organisations.

The market for automation is rapidly growing and an increasing number of organisations have use of robots as part of their strategy. However, many automation projects require significant investments in automation systems as well as redesign of current infrastructure in the current warehouse. One of the main differentiators for Solwr’s robots is that they can be implemented at low cost in the client’s existing infrastructure. This gives a more efficient implementations and a very high ROI.

“Many European logistics driven organisations have picking challenges that can be solved by Grab™, and we see a huge potential in bringing the product into the European market together with partners”, says Torbjørn Krogen, CEO of Solwr Robotics.

About the company

Solwr is a Norwegian LogTech company which delivers the ERP platform Trace™ and the two warehouse robots Grab™ and Sort™. The main target groups are grocery wholesaler organizations and other major wholesales players in the trade industry.