The warehouse robots are a solution to maximize the productivity of logistics facilitiesIn a context where speed and efficiency have become essential for any warehouse, companies are looking for solutions capable of boosting their logistics operations.
In this article, we present the most common robotic machines in warehouses (including AGV vehicles, autonomous mobile robots, robotic arms, and automated storage systems) along with their applications and benefits.
Warehouse robots are devices used to automate the flow of goods and thereby increase productivityThis technology works independently or with the collaboration of operators to perform operations such as moving goods between two points, preparing orders, or storing products on the shelves.
A robotic warehouse enables businesses to serve their customers without interruption, with robots and automatic material handling equipment performing warehouse operations with minimal operator intervention.
In recent years, warehouse robots have had a huge impact on the supply chain and have been implemented in many warehousesThe reason is obvious: companies that have a global vision of the supply chain or provide cross-border shipping service for flexibility and increase logistics performanceAccording to some studies the global logistics robot market volume was estimated at $ 1.85 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach 2.35 billion in 2026.
In the face of continuous market changes, companies are aiming for automatic solutions to ensure the timely delivery of ordersWarehouse robots have become an effective alternative to optimize the supply chainIts main advantages are:
1More precise operationsManual merchandise management carries a high risk of error (depositing an item in the wrong location, missing an item in an order, etc.)Since warehouse robots are fully autonomous and driventhe management software, they are very precise and do not make mistakes.
2Increased productivity and efficiencyUsing robots in the warehouse makes work much faster and more efficientFor example, the operator can remain at the picking station while waiting for the goods necessary for the preparation of the orders to be conveyed to himstacker cranes and conveyorsThis way, he doesn’t have to scour the warehouse to locate the affected items.
3Gain in securityHandling goods carries a high risk of accidents, especially when the loads are heavy or their handling requires uncomfortable postures and repetitive movementsThe robots perform different tasks with precision, without the risk of accidents.
4Collaboration with operatorsRobots simplify the day-to-day tasks of operators and help them become more efficientFor example, these machines are able to effortlessly move large volumes of load, allowing the operator to concentrate on other higher value-added tasks.
In short, automating warehouse processes with the help of robots is one of the most effective strategies to achieve a threefold goal: reducing operating costs, improving service quality, and increasing overall efficiency of the storage facility.
Robotics is a constantly evolving technology that incorporates more and more improvements to achieve new functionalitiesHere are some of the robots commonly used in the warehouse:
AGV (Automatic Guided Vehicle) vehicles have become popular in the market over the past decadesThese are transport vehicles similar to forklifts, but without a driver, moving in the warehouse following a previously programmed pathTheir function is to move the goods between two places in the warehouse in complete autonomy, thus freeing the operators from this repetitive work.
AGVs allow different areas of the warehouse to be communicated with each other or to link the storage area to production lines.
Aidedtechnologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs ) are devices capable of performing tasks and moving around the warehouse without having to be directedanyone or anythingTo do this, they are equipped with sensors, guidance software, and digital plans of the warehouse in order to interpret their environment.
Their function is the same as that of AGV vehicles: to move goods between two pointsThe difference between the two lies in the navigation system usedIndeed, AGVs move along a predefined path using guided laser systems or wire guidance, while AMR robots adapt their route according to information received from the environment in real-time.
Automated warehouses allow companies to benefit from robotic logisticsIn fact, automated storage devices such as stacker cranes, mini loads, or even the automatic Pallet Shuttle system take care of the storage of goods in their respective locations in complete autonomy.
Automatic transport equipment such as pallet conveyors, on the other hand, move goods to any point where they are neededThe use of these machines has a major advantage: operators can concentrate on other more rewarding operations.
The robotic arms are also booming in warehouses as they simplify order preparation and help operators to handle heavy loadsThese robots resemble a human arm because they are equipped with components that allow them to perform rotations and translations.
Warehouse robots are drivenwarehouse management software that guides their every actionIn highly technological warehouses, where handling equipment and robots perform operations such as transferring goods or preparing orders, it becomes necessary to implement management software.
There are so many warehouse management systems that are capable of organizing warehouse operations and controlling robots to perform them efficientlyThis software also tracks the movement of goods to know their position in real-time, while eliminating up to 99% of errors.
Warehouse robots are a smart solution to deal with the changes facing the supply chainIntegrating technology into logistics facilities is an investment aimed at improving results and driving business growth.
Name- Srividya KannanBio- Srividya is a techieheart having global working experience in the USA, Europe, and AsiaShe is the director and co-founder of MyXBorder, a company providing cross-border shipping solutions.