The Skypod solution of the French startup Exotec will support retail brand Auchan in improving its storage and order preparation system.
Exotec, the French warehouse robotics specialist, will equip Auchan Retail Luxembourg’s warehouses with its Skypod solution.
Its autonomous mobile robots (AMR) will take over functions including storage and order picking.
The solution prepares orders by transporting goods that are stored inside bins or trays between racks and picking stations. AMRs circulate in the warehouse between the shelves, place the goods in their tray, and return to the order preparation point where employees finalize the packages.
Skypod aims to reduce wasted space within the warehouse, as well as to be faster and more efficient while improving the safety and working conditions of employees of the retail group.
37 robots, 876 lines/h
Robots can work 24/7 and easily move large volumes of goods over long distances. They are able to move at 4 m/s on the ground, to carry up to 30 kg in standardized bins and can stack bins up to 12 meters high.
“Exotec’s warehouse management system (WMS) and 37 Skypod robots serve three picking stations and navigate among 15.000 storage bins, ensuring an order preparation of 876 lines per hour,” explains the startup.
“By offering a flexible, scalable and easy-to-use system, Exotec will enable Auchan Retail Luxembourg to adapt its automation solution to its changing needs.”
Since 1996 in Luxembourg, Auchan Retail Luxembourg operates 3 hypermarkets, 4 Auchan Drive collection points, 12 convenience stores and employs more than 1,200 employees.
Founded in Lille (France) in 2015, Exotec launched its first Skypod system in 2017. The company opened its first office in Tokyo in 2019.
It expanded in 2020 in North America with a second office in Atlanta (Georgia) and opened a Central European location in Munich in 2021.
Valuated at 1,75-billion euro, Exotec raised €293 million in funding from a Series D funding round in 2022 and became the first industrial unicorn in France.
The fundraising should enable the group to accelerate its international development, particularly in the United States and to recruit an additional 500 R&D engineers by 2025.
Exotec already equips warehouses of brands such as Carrefour, Decathlon, or Uniqlo, in France and abroad.