Once a concept only really seen in sci-fi movies, automation is something that has since become a part of most industries in some form or another. Any work carried out within a warehouse is no exception, especially since the cost of owning and running the space can be extremely expensive, which is why efficient solutions need to be found. Most importantly, there are endless processes that can pose danger to employees, which is why safety measures – including those that are automated – are constantly being reviewed and developed.
Future-proofing a company involves looking at ways the business can save money as well as how it stay relevant to its customers. Automation is also a huge consideration of the process, since this is exactly what technology in all forms is designed to do.
Here is an overview of some of the most popular automated processes seen within a warehouse environment to shed light on just how much the industry is constantly changing.
Automatic Guided Vehicles
If you consider just how long it takes to walk from one end of a warehouse to another, let alone when this journey is multiplied countless times a day, it’s clear this just isn’t a productive way for employees or management alike to spend their time. In addition, the risk of injury is heightened especially around heavy loads or other warehouse machinery.
The solution we’re seeing to the issue is automatic guided vehicles, which come in a range of configurations. Known as AGV for short, it’s possible to find vehicles that can carry out practically any task within a warehouse such as forklifts, pallet movers, floor cleaners and much more.
The reality of working in a warehouse is that some tasks can become incredibly repetitive and tedious. As a result, employees may lack determination, which could lead to a whole host of problems such as health and safety errors, costly mistakes or simply a high employee turnover.
Gamification is the process of incentivising tasks with a reward, either through a physical gaming style interface or with a rewards programme within the wider workplace.
Some have even suggested that gamification could allow for a better amalgamation between robotics and human employees since automation is going to be here to stay.
Automated Picking Process
Anyone who has seen the behind the scenes of the Amazon warehouse or similar large online retailers will know that automated picking greatly speeds up the ordering, delivery and stock management processes.
Quite simply, compared with manually finding an item and retrieving it, let alone several items, automated picking machines dramatically speed up the process. Also, as the machines can fit into very tight spaces, less room is required versus if a human would be making the journey. This means that more stock can be fitted into the area, maximising the usage of the warehouse as a whole.
Data Analytical Software
It’s easy just to focus on the physical aspects of a warehouse when thinking about all how various processes can be automated, but what about the stats? After all, a warehouse is a business like any other, and having a full understanding of its activity and ultimately its profitability is key.
Versus manually collecting data, software makes it easier than ever to run an efficient business. Everything from stock management to supplier costs and even accounting can be completed at a touch of a button. With less focus on number crunching, more time can be spent on the business itself, including coming up with creative ways to reach new heights which is an important part of future-proofing a business in itself.
Warehouse Equipment UK
Metreel is a leading supplier of warehouse equipment relating to power feeds, handling and fall protection. From conductors to cranes, you’ll find it all here at Metreel! We’re based in Ilkeston, Derbyshire covering the UK and beyond.
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