During a five-month pilot test, XXL workers set a new throughput record using the FusionPort workstation. Read about their experience to learn how next-generation, ergonomically advanced automation can help support both people and profits in a modern, thriving warehouse operation.
Maintaining business growth is challenging at a time when labor scarcity, e-commerce demands, and record inflation are weighing down on retailers. To thrive, businesses need to plan for the future by continuing to invest in their warehouses and people. Sporting goods retailer XXL is doing just that by adopting the new AutoStore workstation, FusionPort.
The new Port is designed to support worker well-being and productivity at a time when both are essential to riding out economic turbulence. With dual Bin delivery openings and integrated visual aids, FusionPort facilitates seamless, automated picking workflows and processes that keep pick rates high. Bins are tilted and covered with safety hatches, and the Port is equipped with an ergonomically friendly user screen, to ensure workers remain comfortable, safe, engaged, and happy.
“We see several advantages with the FusionPort,” said Kai-Remi Berge, XXL’s AutoStore Manager.
“We have been very impressed with its efficiency, the ergonomic design, and the fact that it's very easy to handle in the event of any obstacles that arise.”
FusionPort is made for companies like XXL, an innovation-hungry and tech-savvy e-commerce retailer continually seeking to maximize performance in ways that suit their 5,000+ employees, most of whom work in warehouses. When they ran out of space at their Gardermoen distribution center in 2010, they installed AutoStore empowered by Element Logic.
Since then, they’ve undergone eight expansions to help them scale amidst online demands. Today, they have a robust system with over 80 Robots, 21 CarouselPorts™, 1 RelayPort™, and 158,000 Bins. Seeking to improve the speed, efficiency, and resilience of their facility, XXL has opted to pilot new AutoStore equipment whenever possible, including RelayPort and the R5+™ Robot.
In November 2022, they integrated the FusionPort into the 8,000-sqm Grid. Overall impression: it's more sleek, comfortable, quiet, and stable than other workstations. But it's also fast — with FusionPort, XXL reached a productivity milestone in the history of their 13-year-old AutoStore system.
“With FusionPort, we recently hit a picking new throughput record, with 480 Bins per hour, and that was picking winter goods which are typically larger and take more time. In the summer months when goods are typically smaller I think we can probably reach between 500 and 550 Bins/hour,” said Berge.
"With FusionPort, we recently hit a new throughput record, with 480 Bins per hour, and that was picking winter goods which are typically larger and take more time. In the summer months when goods are typically smaller, I think we can probably reach between 500 and 550 Bins/hour.”
Berge said the Port also provides tangible benefits to warehouse workers who are hard to recruit and retain in today’s tight labor market.
“We like the way the furniture feels and the way the Bin openings are tilted. It’s better for the user that’s picking, better for their shoulders, and because there are two different openings you’re picking from, there is more movement,” said Berge.
“It’s also lower, which means shorter people can easily use it without needing to stand on a tote. We’ve also had less user-initiated stops because the carriage is so stable.”
Berge added that FusionPort took only one week to install at XXL and required considerably less room than other workstations, making it ideal for scaling the warehouse and connecting to other technologies when business demands change.
“If you’re looking to perform as efficiently as possible, then we can strongly recommend this Port,” he said.