Lane Automotive deploys picking robots

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
Lane Automotive Exotec robotic picker
Lane Automotive is automating fulfillment workflows with robots.

An aftermarket racing and high-performance automotive parts retailer/wholesaler is automating its North American distribution operations. 

Lane Automotive, which operates a 10,000-sq.-ft. showroom store at its Southwest Michigan distribution center, is utilizing the Exotec Skypod robotic picking system, which was integrated by Convevco and Exotec in December 2023. 

Specifically, Lane Automotive deployed 62 robots, five picking stations, and 59,600 storage bins in its Southwest Michigan distribution center. After deploying the Skypod system, the facility expects to realize a sixfold increase in throughput, deliver faster turnaround times, and support quality customer experience.

The company chose to deploy Exotec robotics to manage multichannel fulfillment of the facility’s inventory of more than 100,000 SKUs across 660 brands while improving the speed and accuracy of its pick, pack, and ship operations. 

This includes time-sensitive customer orders, many of which are placed just ahead of special events and race/competition weekends. Decathlon Canada, the Canadian division of the world’s largest sporting goods retailer, also utilizes Exotec Skypod robots to process high-volume and high-speed orders, initially rolling out the technology to help meet the demands of holiday shopping and returns and handling 8 million items per year with the solution

"The seasonal nature of our business generally sees its peaks between March and June, and prior to Exotec and Conveyco's complimentary automation solutions, this volume could stress our operational capacity" said James MacEachern, COO, Lane Automotive. 

"As a company that is steadfast in its passion for its customers' success and the products it distributes, we had to identify the right goods-to-person robotics and integration partners that could easily integrate with our existing automation and distribution ecosystem to help transform our operations for years to come," said David Meadow, CIO, Lane Automotive. "Exotec and Conveyco not only delivered on this transformation, they were key partners in our distribution automation journey. With Exotec's Skypod system at the core of our operation, we were able to easily integrate additional best-in-class automation technologies to fully maximize the efficiency and throughput of the Skypod system."

"Our project with Lane Automotive showcases the immense potential of warehouse robotics in revolutionizing even the most challenging logistics operations swiftly and efficiently," stated Stanislas Normand, managing director of Exotec, North America. "Having Lane Automotive place its trust in our solutions is a significant endorsement and a testament to our ability to support their exceptional 60-year legacy of serving the racing community with unwavering dedication and excellence."

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