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GreyOrange implements robots in Active Ants’ warehouse

GreyOrange has implemented its GreyMatter operating system and Ranger MoveSmart robots in Active Ants’ new e-fulfillment center in Roosendaal, the Netherlands.

The 20,000 square meter warehouse features the GreyMatter Smart Zone Transfer application, utilizing Ranger MoveSmart robots to autonomously move and sort inventory in flexible process flows not possible with fixed conveyors or sorters.

“The GreyOrange robots team with our employees to fulfill customer orders with greater efficiency while also creating a high quality, pleasant work environment. The setup is unique in the world,” said Jeroen Dekker, managing partner at Active Ants.

Active Ants provides warehousing services to various e-commerce companies in Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany with the goal of raising the efficiency and accuracy of e-fulfillment through innovation, automation and the deployment of robots.

The Dutch e-fulfillment company stores, packs and distributes goods for more than 250 customers and more than 3 million orders annually.

At the Roosendaal e-fulfillment center, Smart Zone Transfer happens autonomously as GreyMatter software orchestrates the complete process flow as Ranger MoveSmart robots convey inventory to various workstations.

The process begins as Ranger robots take empty boxes to employees who fill them with goods brought by other robots. Next, Ranger robots transport the filled boxes to packaging machines where they are sealed and weighed.

Then, Ranger robots collect the packages and sort them to the correct zones for shipping directly to customers.

Process flows executed by Ranger robots can be altered as needed through simple changes in GreyMatter’s intuitive Command Center interface.

With traditional conveyor systems and most existing software platforms, this type of change would typically take months of customized solutioning and implementation.

Dekker says: “No matter what I need to do with zone transfer, I can alter the process flow in GreyMatter even though I’m not a programmer.

“This level of flexibility allows us to meet our current needs while also having the ability to quickly make changes. We can easily modify the robot movements if needed as well as scale up the solution in line with our throughput growth to smartly manage capital investment.”

Akash Gupta, co-founder and chief technology officer for GreyOrange, says: “Fast-growing companies require automation that equips them to easily adapt their fulfillment processes as market dynamics change.

“They don’t want to be constricted by fixed infrastructure that locks them into process flows for 10 to 15 years. The power to quickly adapt is what gives retailers an edge in today’s world, and it’s a foundational design principle of our GreyMatter Fulfillment Operating System and family of Ranger robots.

“We’re pleased to deliver this unmatched innovation and versatility to Active Ants as part of their goal of delivering exceptional service to their customers.”

Unlike fixed infrastructure that is difficult or impossible to reconfigure, Ranger MoveSmart autonomous mobile robots perform with complete flexibility.

Through orchestrated integration with GreyMatter, Ranger MoveSmart can convey, move or sort anywhere in the distribution center and provide rapid response to changing processes and accelerated throughput.

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