Fabric, a technology company for retail fulfillment, today announced it has secured a new patent for its innovative multi-tote size automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS). This first-of-its-kind technology enables the storage of multiple varying tote sizes within the same shelving unit, optimizing warehouse efficiency.
Fabric’s ASRS is the only automated warehouse system capable of handling multiple tote sizes in one shelving unit. This flexibility allows companies to optimize their use of space, especially in micro-fulfillment centers (MFCs) in smaller local areas or within the confines of their retail stores. By storing large and small products in the same location, businesses can accommodate a broader range of SKUs, avoid wasted capacity and minimize their storage footprint.
“The growth in e-commerce is fueling pressure on retailers to expand inventory selection while keeping logistics costs low,” said Ori Avraham, Fabric’s VP Product and co-founder. “Fabric is the only automated fulfillment solution offering the technology that accommodates different tote dimensions in a single storage system so businesses can maximize inventory density, reduce operational expenses and scale to meet growing demand.”
A key element in warehouse management is the ability to utilize vertical space effectively, maximizing storage capacity. In an automated system, each tote can hold either one SKU or a few, but each SKU must be stored in a separate bin within a tote to ensure precise tracking of product locations and quantities.
When dealing with diverse SKU sizes ranging from large toilet paper to small mascara, being limited to a single tote size results in wasted storage space, effectively holding nothing but air. With the ability to use different tote sizes, which can be stored freely in multiple locations, the multi tote size ASRS opens a huge opportunity for ‘smart stock management’ algorithms and ultimately denser storage. This allows companies to streamline their operations, stock a wider range of products and adapt to changing customer demands without costly and space-consuming modifications.
Fabric‘s latest patent builds upon the company’s previous patent portfolio of unique topology and robotic technologies that equip retailers with tools to stay ahead in the rapidly evolving e-commerce market. The new multi-tote size ASRS is available to customers today.
Earlier this year, Fabric also announced a collaboration with Maersk, which now uses a 38,000-square-foot automated fulfillment center in Dallas powered by Fabric’s advanced robotic and software technology.