Ocado Group has introduced new technology innovations that it says will help redefine grocery etailing.
The innovations are part of the company’s Ocado Smart Platform and include the world’s lightest and most efficient grocery fulfilment bot; dramatically lighter grids; robotic arms that pick groceries directly from the grid, a solution that automates the most physically demanding job in a Customer Fulfilment Centre; the world’s first virtual distribution centre; a capability for short lead time deliveries; and a capability for powering retailers’ own storefronts with the intelligence behind the Ocado Smart Platform.
The 600 Series bot boasts nearly half of its components 3D printed making it cheaper and easier to operate. This allows the company to build lighter grids, faster and in parallel, taking weeks, not months, to install at lower cost.
Its Automated Frameload functionality automates the loading of totes with ready-for-delivery customer orders onto delivery frames ready for dispatch, replacing the manual process currently in place.
Meanwhile, On-grid Robotic Pick automates the picking and packing of customer orders directly from the grid.
With Ocado Orbit the company claims to be offering the world’s first Virtual Distribution Centre. It creates a system whereby multiple smaller footprint warehouses share a “virtual distribution centre”, which will use the latest software in AI and Machine Learning, in a seamless supply ecosystem. Ocado says that each warehouse then acts as a primary supply hub for a fraction of the stock but all have access to the combined range, offering their customers the choice of a large range.
Ocado Swift Router enables delivery of last-minute, short lead time orders as well as larger, longer lead-time orders, all from the same van while Ocado Flex means that partners can use their own webshop and app solutions while taking advantage of the intelligence of OSP.
The company said that it expects that the improved economics offered by what it calls Ocado Re:Imagined will drive incremental orders and accelerate the sign-up of new partnerships.