LAS VEGAS – Ocado Group recently announced a deal for Ocado Intelligent Automation (OIA) to provide automated fulfilment technology at a distribution site for McKesson Canada. The deal will see Ocado sell its unique warehouse fulfilment technology in a sector outside of grocery retail for the first time, and provide the AI-powered software applications necessary to operate that technology long term.
McKesson Canada is a leading diversified healthcare provider in Canada and is the largest pharmaceutical distributor in the country.
OIA on display at Manifest
At Manifest 2024 in Las Vegas, the organization had its Ocado Storage and Retrieval (OSRS) system and battery swap robot arm on display. The technology will be utilized at McKesson to help pick healthcare related items in a similar fashion to Ocado’s long-standing grocery retrieval operation.
“Today represents a new and exciting milestone as we bring the amazing benefits of Ocado's technology to the healthcare distribution and logistics sector,” said Tim Steiner, CEO of Ocado Group. “Our technology is ideally suited to supply chains that require dense storage, highly accurate inventory management and secure stock control.”
The OSRS system utilizes partially-3D printed robots to move atop its grid layout system and move bins that weigh up to 35 kg (77 lbs). Along with its plastic bins, as part of the rollout to McKesson Canada, Ocado also will utilize metal bins for fire safety. The company’s metal bins help reduce fire loss risk by 99.4%, according to testing done by FM Global.
Ocado’s battery replacement robot (pictured above), supports the OSRS robots to allow an automated battery exchange and charging option to keep robots moving.
In May 2023, Ocado acquired Massachusetts-based 6 River Systems and its Chuck mobile robots.
About the Author
Tim is the Editorial Director of Robotics247.com. His mission is to provide valuable information and insights to robotics professionals and decision-makers, and to help them solve business challenges. He is a creative, deadline-driven, and detail-oriented storyteller. In addition, he is a sports broadcaster and public address announcer.
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