What is Warehouse Automation?
E-Commerce companies are seeking ways to optimize their warehouses without increasing labor costs. Online sales have soared in recent years, following the pandemic. Warehouse automation.
What exactly is warehouse automatization? You might be envisioning a fully-automated system with no humans. Not quite. Like it sounds, companies use manufactured robotics, sensors, AI equipment, and other AI devices to do time-consuming jobs that would normally be done by human workers. Warehouse automation aims to increase efficiency and speed, not have humans perform these tasks at an inferior rate. These robots can help optimize warehouse space or company workflow. This gives more opportunity for human development in other areas. Warehouse automation automates repetitive tasks and does it quickly and efficiently while not monopolizing manual workers’ time.
Common Types in Warehouse Automation Fulfillment
There are many types of warehouse automation. Below are some examples of the most used types.
GTP Automation will frequently include conveyors as well as vertical lifts and carousels. This can help to increase the speed of fulfillment.
Automatic Guided Vehicles
AGV automation is where warehouses use wires, magnets and/or sensor to navigate their way through a warehouse. This type of automation is most suitable for warehouses with an open plan layout that doesn’t have too many turns and nooks.
Autonomous Mobile Robots
AMRs are flexible warehouse automation systems that are becoming increasingly popular. They use GPS systems to plan efficient routes around the warehouse and advanced laser guidance systems that can detect obstacles. It is like a robot vacuum cleaning your house, but this robot will not clean it. They can navigate difficult warehouses and places with a lot more people.
Voice Picking and Tasking or pick-by voice
A combination of mobile headsets, speech recognition software, and a voice-picking warehouse management system with mobile headsets can eliminate the use of handheld devices such barcode scanners. This can improve safety and efficiency as well as reduce error rates.
Automated Sortation Systems
The automation sortation system can detect items on a conveyor and divert them from a warehouse location by using barcode scanners. This is particularly helpful when picking up, packing and shipping items for E-Commerce websites.
What are the advantages?
Fewer Human Errors
Every manual project will have mistakes. Warehouse automation allows for fewer errors and makes it easier to fix the issue. An automation system for warehouses can help reduce the worry about errors happening every day. You no longer need to do double- or triple-check before sending out an order. All orders were pulled automatically by their barcodes or specific areas. Only one way it could be wrong is if the area had been incorrectly labeled. It can even be due to human error.
A warehouse automation system will allow you to invest in stability. You’re also investing in time. You can now manage your warehouse and do the things that you have been putting off. A focus shift can be the driving force behind growth within your warehouse as well as the company. You will begin to see results in a matter of days. Typically, once the automation system is fully integrated, which may take a few days, you’ll be able to see how seamless warehouse tasks are.
You are not investing in an automated system to help you get through the busy season. Instead, you are investing into its long-term viability. Warehouse automation will bring consistency to your company. You can no longer worry about how to staff a specific sale. Or how your staff could fulfill all your orders within your promised turnaround time. Automated robots and sensors can work in any time zone, meaning that your employees won’t need to be home. This can be extremely useful for E-Commerce sites during holidays or sales.
It is possible to spend more on an investment than you initially spent. Although it is an expensive investment upfront, labor costs can be offset by the cost savings. There are many different warehouse management systems. However, there are also systems that are specific to certain warehouse types.
Not only can automation systems assist with daily tasks in order fulfillment, they also allow for real-time inventory management. It will be no longer necessary to keep track of every item in order to find the correct numbers. Warehouse automation will do the rest. Now, you don’t have to carry around a clipboard or pen to ensure that items are correct. Warehouse automation will do the job for you with the receipts.
Lower workplace injuries
You can’t reach all items if you try to keep as many inventory as possible. It eliminates warehouse managers’ constant concern about potential injuries from robots lifting heavy loads. It will be easier for employees to not climb up ladders or worry as much about difficult-to get items.
Warehouse automation can bring many benefits. You could see significant growth in your company by making the leap into automation. This information will help you to choose the right system for your warehouse.