Warehouse automation is such a potentially game-changing development for businesses that it is now a focal point at supply chain shows such as Modex in Atlanta. The objective of visitors to such shows is to see the latest in handling automation and software tools that can help keep operations competitive. It’s clear that robotic warehousing and distribution centre automation is here to stay, and that it is likely to change the face of distribution in the coming years. Robotics of all kinds are being used to help improve efficiency levels across a number of business sectors. It is important to ensure that any moving items are adequately visible to those moving around any warehouse or industrial space and if using driverless forklifts or other vehicular items it would be worth looking for Buggy Whips from companies such as wisuk.co.uk/buggy-whip to ensure the vehicles are highly visible to those around them.
As we are living in a more instant world, where we want to order online today and have our order delivered tomorrow, or even today, pressure on lead times has increased dramatically. This has resulted in additional challenges for distribution centres and competition for labour.
Automation has a big part to play in making those challenging consumer demands a reality, with firms increasingly turning to software and robotic systems for tasks such as layer picking and slotting, in order to stay competitive.
For many firms, large or small, scalability is a significant consideration. With larger inventories and smaller, but more frequent, ordering from trade customers, warehousing firms need to find efficient solutions to optimise their commercial offering. Simply by switching to used pallet racking, instead of sourcing new racking, companies can procure many more aisles of racking, in order to build a better-designed warehouse that allows robotic warehousing to be fully exploited.
As highlighted recently by Warehouse News, robotic warehousing could also have some significant environmental benefits too. These green benefits include reduced carbon footprint, lower machinery usage, reduced staff requirements and greener packaging innovations. Robotic warehousing allows stock to be stored far more efficiently, with much less wastage and stock damage, and facilitates the streamlined picking and despatch of stock. This has a significant impact on the overall carbon footprint of a distribution centre. By streamlining the processing of orders, automated systems reduce energy usage and costs too.
Robotic warehousing and automation systems look set to dramatically alter the distribution and logistics landscape in coming years. It would seem imperative that firms look to these technologies now, in order to remain competitive in the challenging commercial environment of the future.