- Huw Hughes
Japanese fashion group Fast Retailing has announced partnerships with
two robotics startups in a bid to step up its warehouse automation.
The company, which owns Japanese fast-fashion giant Uniqlo, has linked
with Mujin Electronics Co Ltd (MUJIN Inc.), a Japanese intelligent
industrial robot controller manufacturer, and Exotec Solutions SAS, a
French robotics solutions provider.
The two startups will help Fast Retailing make its automated warehouses
faster and more efficient by developing and internationally deploying
picking robots employing artificial intelligence-based motion planning.
Fast Retailing said it plans to initially automate one facility each
with MUJIN and Exotec Solutions internationally. This comes after last year the
company partnered with worldwide leader in materials handling
systems DAIFUKU Co., Ltd., which has helped the company begin to automate
two warehouses in Japan and another two abroad.
Moving forward, the fashion group said it plans to expand its
partnerships with similar companies that have “advanced technologies”, while
“recruiting experts to spearhead supply chain reforms.”
Takuya Jimbo, group executive vice president of Fast Retailing, said in
a statement: “Fast Retailing is pleased today to welcome two new partners
to an alliance we created a year ago. We will draw on the outstanding
ability and experience of all three partners to strengthen our supply chain
by stepping up our warehouse automation and global transformation.”
“Placing customers at the heart of our business means delivering the
right products that meet the real needs of customers, at the right price,
in the right quantities, in the right place and at the right time. This is
something we aim to be the first company in the world to achieve.”
Photo credit: Uniqlo, Facebook