Business today orchestrates their infrastructure upon data analytics and Machine Learning capabilities to tap into real potential. To sustain in the highly competitive market ecosystem, companies must evaluate areas of improvement and increase productivity. The same applies to the core business disciplinary of warehouse and logistics operations too.
Warehouse and Logistics embracement of technology
A field that needs speed and agility to manage its number of process, including categorizing, picking, packing, storage and recovery for warehouse management, requires advanced technologies to move forward. From the day of Artificial Intelligence and data science inception, warehouse and logistics are fast catching up with their applications. Hence, we have experienced a steady growth of a number of automated components to ease the work process in the warehouse within a few years. In terms of improving warehouse safety and enhancing operational efficiency, the use of components like scanners, sensors and RFID tags have been increased in many folds. These technologies are more capable of real-time inventory tracking and monitoring and streamlining logistics process with no room for manual error. This is probably driving the growth of warehouse automation market. As customers look forward to shorter delivery time, distribution department are leaning towards advocating for automation in the warehouse.
As per LogisticsIQ study, warehouse automation market is expected to grow $27 billion by 2025. It is believed to grow at a CAGR of 11.7% during 2019-2025.
The key drivers for this massive growth change are a range of applications. But, the question is how effectively warehouse and logistics can leverage these applications to automate their operations and increase efficiency.
Warehouse Automation Use Cases
We would highlight some of the best use cases of automation in warehouse and focus on how automation is slowly reshaping our warehouse maintenance culture.
Robotic Process Automation To Increase Work Speed
Robots are programmed with Artificial Intelligence and ML to simulate human behavior and perform the task with the same dexterity as human. But, it is wondering that these robots are less likely to make any error as observed in human performance. RPA seems the latest addition to the warehouse automation work process that ease the task of picking stocks. Be it a manufacturing industry, pharmaceutical or food processing industry, picking stock is an essential activity. Integrated with high competent scanners, sensors and gamification such as augmented reality overlays, robotic process automation can make work happen twice as faster than earlier robots. Surprisingly, using RPA technology, you can bring an excellent level of efficiency to picking stock that takes as little as three seconds to perform the task. This is being a reason; robots with two hands are fast finding its way to the warehouse. On the other way around, you can cut costs on increasing labor costs.
Warehouse Automation To Reduce Repetitive Task
Automated process in Warehouse has vastly reduced the work pressure on its employees for repetitive task. There is no way out of getting rid of repetitive tasks. However, by programming a robot, task of handling various products can be shared between humans and robots. The coexistence between humans and robots is more likely to ease the work process in the warehouse. For example, a warehouse of grocery can leverage automation to its advantage to the fullest potential. An advanced feature like 5 Ghz enabled robots can easily store, retrieve stacks on the grid and put it back to the grid. This repetitive task is cumbersome and feels drained to employees. Using such application helps reduce pressure on labor.
AS/RS to process orders for shipment
We know the eCommerce sector has experienced unprecedented growth for the last couple of years. With omni-channel enabled product delivery facility, customers want their products in no time at their doorsteps. The need to fastest product delivery cannot be overlooked. However, a product shipment requires at least more than a day even if it is processed instantly. Workers different shift schedules and high product delivery fees during odd hours hits its operation and prevents shipping to windows. Warehouse automation can reduce this issue and improve user experiences by embracing automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS). When integrated with the buffer storage, it can stage order for shipment until the shipping window is accessed. This process keeps the operation on even no employee is there in the warehouse.
Adapting to smaller spaces to enhance cube transit is another key benefit of AS/RS technology. Hence, it is not a constraint for this application to operate through smaller aisles in the warehouse.
AMR to move products swiftly
Autonomous Mobile Robots are becoming quite obvious these days in warehouse. Using AMR, you can increase the rate of item picking within a fraction of time. While this time-consuming task is over, you can concentrate to move the completed order to shipment. With the installation of this technology, you can increase your productivity.
This technology can easily adapt to any facility and navigate smoothly to complete the picking task. When programmed with a map, it can set up a flexible route and identify obstacles if any to move with quite an ease. Another key benefit of using this technology is that it does not allow use of forklifts and human interference where they operate.
Cartonization Software to ease packing
As part of Warehouse automation, cartonization software is transforming the traditional path of packing goods in warehouse. When choosing the wrong carton size for the product, it leads to back-tracking and repacking the same order. Hence, this impacts the use of resources. When applied with your warehouse management, cartonization software can rightly analyze the carton size based on various factors. This eliminates unnecessary time spent on packing and righty optimizes the labor for packing orders. The task become easier when combined with AMR.
Warehouse automation is expected to drive business results more than what you can imagine. The effort of this process is quite impressive. See if your business infrastructure is ready to adopt this digital transformation. It takes only a few minutes for our experts to help you decide on your next step. SynergyLabs is a full cycle AI and ML consulting service provider. We can help you take data-driven decisions and transform your business with advanced machine learning and deep learning capabilities.