GreyOrange expands global footprint, opens U.S. headquarters in Atlanta
GreyOrange, the global specialist in AI-powered robotics systems for flexible automation in distribution and fulfillment centers, is establishing its U.S Headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.
To better serve local customers and meet market demands, the company has announced 50 new open positions across various departments. In its first client site in the U.S., GreyOrange will deploy 740 robots in Atlanta, and create several thousand jobs across this and other initial client sites.
In the next three years, the facility plans to manufacture and deploy an additional 20,000 robots in the U.S.
The company has been recognised as one of the world's Top 50 Robotics Companies every year since 2016, and the co-founders have been acknowledged as top 35 global innovators by MIT Technology Review.
GreyOrange is also opening a research and development (R&D) center in Boston, Massachusetts, to further expand its technology development capability and propel innovation in robotics logistics.
The company said it plans to build a team of more than 60 engineers for R&D in AI, human-machine interface (HMI), machine vision and data intelligence, adding to the current global team of 250 R&D engineers.
Atlanta and Boston were selected for their respective reputations for excellence in supply chain and emerging tech.
To drive GreyOrange’s rapid growth in this market, GreyOrange recently hired Chris Barber to lead as Regional CEO, North America.
He was a key member of the senior management of Intelligrated, a leader in supply chain and warehouse automation solutions before its acquisition by Honeywell in 2016.
In his new role, Barber will oversee GreyOrange’s expansion starting with the U.S., bringing supply chain innovation and streamlined solutions powered by AI to e-commerce, retail and logistics customers.
“GreyOrange is the world’s largest supply chain robotics company and the global leader of robotics technology for operating flexible automated warehouses,” said Samay Kohli, CEO & Co-Founder at GreyOrange.
“With our expansion into the United States and Chris Barber as our Regional CEO, we will transform warehouse processes and efficiency and enhance employee engagement and retention, bringing it on par with tech jobs.
Embracing robots, who work hand-in-hand with humans, enables our customers to boost overall productivity, minimise inventory waste, increase consumer choice and improve their company’s bottom line.”
Japan Seeks to Revive Stalled Semiconductor Industry
Post-pandemic, Japan has seen the consequences of relying solely on foreign imports for its semiconductors. Over 64.2% of its chips are usually imported from South Korea and Taiwan, leaving the country dependent on its neighbours. Industries from auto manufacturers to consumer electronics firms wait for chips, to no avail. But now, the Japanese government looks likely to put real funding behind its semiconductor industry, with top officials emphasising their support.
Domestic supply chains have never been more important. Rather than remain tied to international shipping routes during shortages and delays, governments are doing everything in their power to develop local lines of supply. But the question remains: can Japan pull it off?
How Will Japan Pay For It?
Herein lies our first issue. Japan’s debt has rapidly increased over the past few years, and the semiconductor industry will need roughly a trillion yen—US$9bn—in this fiscal year alone. This cost, however, pales in comparison to what Japan could lose if it fails to keep up with Europe and the US. Both nations have launched aggressive funding measures to revive their local semiconductor industries. And if Japan refuses to invest due to its debt, it could slow down progress in fields ranging from artificial intelligence to autonomous driving.
According to Tetsuro Higashi, the former president of Tokyo Electron and Japan’s top government advisor in semiconductor strategy, ‘If we miss this opportunity now, there may not be another one’. Yet one advanced wafer fabrication factory can cost more than US$10bn, and any money poured into the industry will go fast. That’s why Japan, rather than invest trillions and trillions in failing domestic firms, is considering a second option.
What Do They Plan To Do?
Japan now intends to look abroad and convince overseas chip foundries to come to its shores. Its past failures mostly centred on trying to merge domestic firms that were already going through tough times. ‘This sort of made-in-Japan self-reliance approach hasn’t worked out well’, said Kazumi Nishikawa, a director at the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry’s IT division. ‘This time the goal is to offer a strong incentive for an overseas logic foundry to come to Japan’.
As follows, Japan will now reach out to industry partners and leaders in other countries, including the industry heavyweight Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), to build Japanese bases. According to the South China Morning Post, the heart of Japan’s mission is a US$337.2mn research and development project in Tsukuba that will involve TSMC and more than 20 Japanese firms. ‘I think we need to cooperate with our overseas counterparts’, said Akira Amari, a senior member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. ‘[And] TSMC is the world’s top logic chipmaker’.
Indeed, if that’s Japan’s strategy, the future looks bright. TSMC recently set up a venture near Tokyo to research energy-efficient 3D chips with several Japanese partners. And in the future, the multinational chipmaker may consider expanding its Japanese operations—that is, if government incentives pave the path forward.