stow Group Launches Movu Robotics Brand for Modular Warehouse Automation

Movu Robotics has a new headquarters and an Experience Centre to demonstrate its systems.

Movu Robotics

Movu Robotics' product line includes mobile robots, picking systems, and pallet movers.
stow Group has rebranded stow Robotics as Movu Robotics to consolidate its autonomous offerings for movement, storage, and picking.

stow Group yesterday announced the launched of its Movu Robotics brand, which replaces the name “stow Robotics” and is intended to strengthen the company's robotics business unit as it meets increasing customer demand for storage automation and warehouse robots.

“Faced with challenges of labor shortages, cost increases, storage density, growing volumes, and [the need to improve] accuracy, companies are turning to robotics and automation for solutions,” stated Jos de Vuyst, CEO of stow Group. “Movu Robotics offers an integrated ecosystem of standardized and scalable automation technology that speeds rollout and reduces risk for all kinds of customers.”

He added that the company wants to “democratize material handling” by making adoption of robotics easier for warehouses. The global market for materials handling equipment could reach $350 billion (U.S.), according to Grand View Research.

By understanding the key drivers of growth in robotics and automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS), stow Group said it expects that Movu Robotics “will become an esssential player.”

stow Group promotes automation

As labor shortages increase demand for automation, robotics vendors must show that they can improve accuracy, efficiency, flexibility, and profitability, as well as shorten lead times. stow Group said it has 40 years of experience with supplying logistics and materials handling systems, starting with racking.

The company established stow Robotics in 2021. It claimed that it has developed a portfolio of systems for pallets, bins, and items as energy-efficient and practical alternatives to stacker cranes.

Despite the potential benefits of robots and automation, many customers perceive them as being complex, expensive, and resource-intensive, needing long lead times for installation. Movu Robotics said it is addressing these concerns by making automation easier for the world's warehouses to adopt.

'Leaving no warehouse behind'

Movu Robotics' main vertical markets include e-commerce, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), and cold storage in Europe and North America. The stow Group unit said it plans to “deliver simple, standardized plug-and-play solutions that require less engineering and grant short lead times for execution, allowing customers to keep their operations running.”

The stated goal of Movu Robotics is to ensure that “when it comes to opportunities for automation, no warehouse is left behind.”

The company added that its new headquarters near Antwerp in Lokeren, Belgium, brings research and development, engineering, and production under one roof. It combines 5,000 sq. m (53,819.5 sq. ft.) for offices with 10,000 sq. m (107,639.1 sq. ft.) for logistics and manufacturing operations.

Movu Robotics has also built a “state-of-the-art Experience Centre,” where it can demonstrate the latest technologies to customers and partners.

The company plans to employ more than 300 people across Europe and the U.S. by the end of this year. It said it expects order intake of more than €300 million ($320.4 million U.S.) in 2023.

Movu Robotics makes portfolio accessible

“Smart enough to make any operation feel simple and easy, Movu robots help to take a load off the customers’ minds as well as their shelves,” said Stefan Pieters, CEO of Movu Robotics.

“Our solutions are designed to make warehouse automation and robotics not only more accessible, but also more scalable,” he said. “They will enable any warehouse around the world—big or small, regularly or awkwardly shaped—to be upgraded and become more productive, more efficient, and more successful.”

Movu Robotics' warehouse automation portfolio includes the Movu atlas pallet shuttle, the Movu escala bin shuttle, and the Movu ifollow autonomous mobile robot (AMR) for pallet transport or collaborative picking. It also includes the new Movu eligo integrated robot arm, which is offered as a picking workstation for escala.

stow Robotics acquired iFollow SAS last year, in addition to Raiser Robotics in 2021.

In addition, the company offers load carriers and its own warehouse execution software (WES) to control and manage all of these systems. Customers can “gain the key advantage of seamless integrated racking and robotics,” said Movu.

The broad portfolio means that Movu's users have a single partner to talk to, providing efficient project management and reliable lead times, Movu claimed. Customers can also rely on a safe and resilient supply chain that assists in delivering high service levels, it said.

stow restructures

stow Group now has two independent brands: stow Racking and Movu Robotics. While both of these brands retain their independence, they can still help each other with expertise, technology, and global resources it said.

All of stow's robotics and automation products, business activities, and operations, including research and development, manufacturing, sales, and finance, will be under the Movu Robotics brand. This includes the ifollow AMR business.

The management team includes stow's de Vuyst and Movu's Pieters. Both units have board members with experience from logistics and other industrial sectors, said stow.

Modular subsystems for minimal TCO

Movu Robotics noted that it can integrate technologies in its portfolio into a single autonomous system as a solution, with components such as racking, shuttles or AMRs, software, Wi-Fi, and commissioning. This enables easy installation, adaptability to new business needs, and a minimal total cost of ownership (TCO), it said.

This approach makes upgrading warehouses easier, not only for existing users of logistics automation who want to upgrade their systems, but also for those taking their first steps to adoption, said Movu.

The standardized, modular design of Movu Robotics' systems maximizes flexibility and minimizes complexity, engineering costs, and the time for upgrades, the company asserted. It also allows for installations to start small and expand or contract as needed.

Movu works directly, through channel partners

As part of its strategy for not leaving any warehouse behind, Movu Robotics offers end users its products through a direct channel, which includes network of sales offices in main territories. It said it provides opportunities for small and midsize enterprises (SME) with as few as 5,000 pallet locations to automate.

The company also offers an indirect channel, in which Movu can provide fully functional storage subsystems to a systems integrator. Both approaches are intended to help address labor shortages and cost inefficiencies.

stow noted that it supports its customers with its four decades of industry experience and a global customer-service network.

In addition, Movu Robotics said it is constantly working on innovation and entrepreneurial thinking as a dynamic business unit. The company said it is planning its next product launch for 2024.

Movu Robotics, a member of stow Group, is a new warehouse automation brand that stands out by bringing easier logistics automation solutions to the world’s warehouses.

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Movu Robotics

Movu Robotics' product line includes mobile robots, picking systems, and pallet movers.

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