Alliance Entertainment Corp. announced last week that it is working with AutoStore to automate its 873,000-sq.-ft. warehouse in Kentucky where it holds music, movies, video games, electronics, arcades, and collectibles.
AutoStore makes automated storage retrieval systems (ASRS), which are designed to help facilities better take advantage of vertical space for picking and moving products.
Alliance Entertainment’s ASRS configuration includes AutoStore’s latest-generation B1 robots combined with over 52,000 storage bins. Each bin is configurable and can hold up to eight unique SKUs with a maximum weight of 66 lb. It covers 22,200 sq. ft. of the company’s 873,000-sq.-ft. warehouse.
Those systems enable a pick rate of 2,000 lines per hour across seven picking ports and a putaway throughput of 200 bins per hour, according to AutoStore.
For additional future capacity, the ASRS has been designed to be able to add two additional pick-ports as well as expand the number of Putaway ports from four to eight without modifying the physical frame or stopping production.
Under the terms of the contract, Alliance Entertainment executed a four-year lease for the ASRS. AutoStore calculated that the robots will provide a 3.5 year return on investment (ROI).
The majority will come from labor savings, lower training costs, reduced handling/sortation, and creating capacity on sortation for other product lines, ultimately speeding up the delivery to the customer.
AutoStore robots will handle vinyl records
Warwick Goldby, senior vice president of operations at Alliance Entertainment, claimed that his company is first to use AutoStore robots to handle vinyl records. However, the robots can be configured to handle any of the products in the warehouse, he noted.
“With our incredible growth in vinyl shipments at our Kentucky warehouse from 8.1 million units in 2019 to 16.3 million in 2021, we needed a system that could reduce the distance walked to pick product, to store in a more compact form, and reduce the amount of labor needed to handle the product,” said Goldby.
“We now have over 3 million units and 40,000 Vinyl Record titles in inventory, including both Alliance inventory and AMPED distributed titles,” he added. “In combination with the growth of shipments, since the pandemic, we recognized the need to shift toward larger-scale automation, as warehouses have had to adapt to the challenge of staffing and executing the workload with limited resources in ever-tightening delivery time frames.”