Rapidly progressing advancements are leading to technological disruptions which are intensely impacting supply chain management. These days, warehouses need to be smart warehouses and be equipped with technologies to keep up with manufacturing, logistics and consumers demand. To maximize productivity, efficiency and accuracy, a smart warehouse is automated, and the solutions that are executed provide flexibility and scope to their staff and processes.
Smart Warehouse Management Trends for 2020
These are some trends in smart warehouse management that are transforming the way of traditional warehouse operation into automated and modernized warehouse:
- Automated Picking Process
- IoT in Warehouse
Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV), and Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR) are autonomous technologies that support warehouses to increase productivity. These bots can calculate the shortest route and plan their journey accordingly. Additionally, they can pick and place inventory at a desired location inside the warehouse with no human intervention. AGV and AMR are equipped with an ample variety of features and sizes, each designed to execute a different set of tasks. Some include floor cleaners, forklifts, pallet movers, and other additional features as per the warehouse requirement.
Wearable devices can be allotted to each individual working in the facility. Warehouse managers can track each of their employee’s individual performance, heartbeat and vitals, and most important location inside the warehouse. Wearables can also quickly report collision or fall of goods, and by this means, enhance the safety of employees in the workplace.
Drones are equipped with a variety of sensor and cameras, which fly around the warehouse to scan bar codes and count stock. Manually checking inventory is very tedious work for the staff. With the help of IoT warehouse devices, staff will be able to scan, pickup and records its location in the real-time scenario. Drones come with pre-integrated with multiple sensors and can automate to work individually.
Automated Picking Process
Product picking is a hectic process as travelling from one end to another and picking up product consumes time and manpower, which indirectly impacts an employee’s performance. To improve this situation, warehouse managers are looking forward to using automated order picking bots and voice picking.
Order picking bots can collect the product and carry it to the order fulfilment location, so that warehouse associate can quickly fulfil the orders. Making bots automated for picking order will improve employee productivity and increase warehouse operation performance.
The term “Cobotics” refers to the combination of human skill set such as knowledge, analysis, and decision making with robotics skill set such as precision, speed, and repeatability. It is not always feasible for each warehouse to adopt automation technology instantly, especially when considering that such implementation requires significant financial support and changes in facilities. That is why most warehouses are adopting robotics-human collaboration or ‘cobots’ which collaborate with existing employees and work with them, not without them. Without changing any current process and infrastructure design inside the warehouse, cobots can transform warehouse management into an autonomous workflow.
Each device inside the warehouse is attached to the radio-frequency identification (RFID) tag, which is a unique ID to track and monitor the product. IoT devices connected to the warehouse management systems provide real-time inventory stock information and product location. This prevents inventory loss, product damage and the bottleneck of stock-keeping.
Smart storage brings considerable optimization to all store operations. Automation is on the rise, and more and more warehouse companies continue to adapt and implement it to be at par with their peers.