AutoStore opens new U.S. headquarters in New Hampshire

AutoStore features demonstration ASRS grids and picking stations at its New Hampshire facility.
AutoStore features demonstration ASRS grids and picking stations at its New Hampshire facility. Credit: Eugene Demaitre

Last month, AutoStore Holdings Ltd. opened its new U.S. headquarters and experience center in Salem, N.H. The Nedre Vats, Norway-based cube storage provider had announced its intention to expand its presence in the Boston area in March.

Executives including Paul Roy, vice president and managing director of North America, and Israel Losada Salvador, chief operating officer, congratulated their employees and welcomed guests including local government representatives and the consul general of Norway.

“From the fjords of Nedre Vats, boldness is on our DNA, and our people are our core assets,” said Annete Matre, chief people and information officer at AutoStore. “This will be a melting pot for growth, creativity, and innovation.”

The grand opening of AutoStore's new U.S. headquarters.
The grand opening of AutoStore’s new U.S.
headquarters. Credit: Eugene Demaitre

The new building doubles the company‘s footprint from its facility in Derry, N.H., to 40,000 sq. ft. (3,716 sq. m) and will grow from 40 to about 100 staffers. It is part of the Tuscan Village community and unifies sales, training, and customer-service functions for AutoStore’s automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS).

The HQ includes offices, flexible meeting spaces, and a new Experience Center and AutoStore Academy.

Experience Center includes three demo grids

The new space includes three demonstration grids of varying sizes, noted Jon Schechter, vice president of North American business development at AutoStore. They showcase robots including the R5 Pro, which launched in October 2023.

The demo grids also include example areas for inbound parts, RelayPort and the ergonomic FusionPort for order picking, and customer-facing pickup for items such as groceries.

“In Denmark, we have one like an ATM that reads QR codes and is open 24/7,” said Matre. “With RelayPort, we can achieve 650 bins per hour for fulfillment.”

In addition to high throughput, AutoStore touted the dense space utilization and energy efficiency of its ASRS.

“Ten robots use as much power as a single vacuum cleaner,” Schechter told Automated Warehouse. “We have 99.7% uptime, thanks to few moving parts. We’ll train technicians here on how to handle exceptions.”

One of the three grids is a full-size system, 16 bins or 20 ft. (6 m) high, spanning two floors of the new facility. Visitors can see shuttles operating through clear walls, as well as at the top of the grid. A space in the middle of the grid shows how multiple AutoStore grids can be connected.

AutoStore Academy to open soon

The third grid at the new U.S. headquarters is part of the new AutoStore Academy, which will combine classroom training with hands-on experience in grid design and assembly, plus robot maintenance. The robots use machine learning and can self-recover for 90% of errors, said Schechter.

Training of technicians and partners at the academy will begin later this year, said the company. AutoStore has 300 research and development engineers and an innovation hub in Norway, and it trains about 2,500 people per year, Schechter said.

“We can now show more new modules than in the past six years. Sixty percent of our customers take advantage of our modularity, since no two warehouses are identical,” he said. “We’re also testing grids for refrigerated and frozen goods.”

AutoStore also recently announced the Pio P100 ASRS for smaller e-commerce businesses.

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AutoStore grows globally

Founded in 1996, AutoStore said its hardware and software are compatible with third-party systems. The company said it has installed about 1,450 systems in 54 countries. Its partner network of systems integrators such as Swisslog, Bastian, Element Logic, Kardex, and Dematic distributes, designs, installs, and services its ASRS worldwide.

Also last month, AutoStore opened a factory in Thailand, serving Asia and the West Coast and joining its existing production in Poland. It has about 1,098 employees and 65,000 robots worldwide.

The company chose New Hampshire because of the talent pool around the MassRobotics cluster, access to transportation, and to better serve its 232 customers in North America, Schechter explained.

“While growth slowed from 2021 to 2022 across warehousing, we grew 10% last year, and we expect sales to grow 20% to 30% in the medium term,” he said. “Our North American customers include Best Buy, CVS, Decathlon, and DHL Supply Chain, and they have AutoStores at different stages of their supply chains and in multiple facilities.”

Eugene Demaitre
Written by

Eugene Demaitre

Eugene Demaitre is editorial director of the robotics group at WTWH Media. He was senior editor of The Robot Report from 2019 to 2020 and editorial director of Robotics 24/7 from 2020 to 2023. Prior to working at WTWH Media, Demaitre was an editor at BNA (now part of Bloomberg), Computerworld, TechTarget, and Robotics Business Review.

Demaitre has participated in robotics webcasts, podcasts, and conferences worldwide. He has a master's from the George Washington University and lives in the Boston area.