The term “smart warehouse” refers to a warehouse in which many aspects of the warehousing operations are automated in order to increase productivity, efficiency, and accuracy of the operations.
This allows for more adaptability and capacity in the warehouse’s procedures and staff. In the traditional warehouse, to convey goods to the shipping docks, employees have lists of items that need to be picked up.
However, in the smart warehouse, robot carts load the ordered items into containers and then deliver them to workers for the next step making every little task automated. Orders are automatically received, and then the system confirms that the products are in stock before sending pick-up lists to the robot carts.
Here are some components to look out for when turning your manual warehouse into a smart one.
Proper insulation is key
Since warehouses stock important goods, it’s very important that they’re well insulated so that the items are safely stored and delivered intact. If you’re looking into automating your warehouse, you should also have it properly insulated.
Apart from mold, critters and other pests can easily infest your warehouse and destroy your goods if it’s not appropriately insulated. Additionally, the carbon footprint will be lowered, which is also something to look out for, especially since you’re automating the rest of the process and thus will be using more energy.
The use of AI
Every sector, not only warehousing, is increasingly turning to artificial intelligence (AI) because of AI’s potential to enhance production with minimum mistakes. AI can assist warehouse robots in finding the most efficient path for selecting merchandise. As well as figuring out the appropriate box for a particular shipment, you can use this tool to figure out what kind of things to send and how much of each.
AI is also being used in certain warehouses to pack items in the most space-efficient way possible.
Drones and cobots
Drones are being used to safely and quickly access hard-to-reach warehouse sites. Drones that are used in the warehousing industry are fitted with cameras, sensors, RFID technology, or barcode scanners.
Because of all these features, they’re a lot quicker and more precise than the more traditional methods. They are used for a variety of inventory-related duties, such as locating things, taking stock, and doing cycle counts.
Furthermore, it’s possible to automate heavy and repetitive jobs, such as machine feeding, material handling, and assembly, with the help of cobots (or robots). Though these additions may be expensive, they will make your warehouse more functional and profitable in the long run due to increased productivity.
Automated guided vehicles
Forklifts are frequently replaced with automated guided vehicles (AGVs), which help in material handling and freight transportation. In addition, warehouse robots are used to select and box merchandise. Basically, they’re automated pallet jacks that are a lot more nimble.
They are more efficient than humans, can transport more stuff at a time, and even know the best route to get the commodities they need. Amazon is said to have more than 200,000 mobile robots in its warehouse network which is one of the main reasons their business is so effective. The AGVs work side by side with human personnel for ultimate productivity. Since human labor and the associated hazards are no longer involved, this technology saves both time and money.
The internet of things
IoT involves several smart gadgets to connect with each other and exchange data. Essentially, this enables robots to interact with a warehouse management system as well as any other required technology.
This automated and seamless process ensures that no critical information is lost in the delivery process. Each stage of the process would have to be performed by hand if not for the Internet of Things. The manual systems are prone to mistakes because of how much data needs to be processed every step of the way.
The Internet of Things, on the other hand, has almost removed the need for human intervention, allowing for greater efficiency while also minimizing the likelihood of error.
This article was written by David Edwards from Robotics and Automation News and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive Content Marketplace. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.