Warehouses are susceptible units. A simple mistake in the execution of these tasks can lead to huge losses. Warehouse automation is designed to minimize the occurrence of any mistake by improving operational efficiency. It should be the desire of every warehouse manager to coordinate the adoption of automated technology that addresses the specific needs of that warehouse.
There are many types of warehouse automation technologies that exist. Typical warehouse activities include:
- Assembling items for sale, inventory.
- Putting items away.
- Moving items inside or between warehouses.
This is because several activities occur in the warehouses, and even though some technologies have different functions integrated within them, others are standalone in design. These technologies include;
Label, Print and Apply
Print and apply labeling lets users tailor-make and apply labels directly onto a package. Such labels comprise barcodes, 2D codes, QR codes, and graphics and serialization codes. These applications can vary from one end-user to the other depend depending on the labeling needs.
Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGVs)
These vehicles are best used in less crowded warehouses where there is adequate space for navigation. They use magnetic strips or sensors to maintain a fixed path through the warehouse. They also have minimal onboard computing power.
Voice picking and Tasking
This technology uses speech recognition software and mobile headsets to give directions to warehouse workers by directing them on where to pick or place a product. The other name for this procedure is pick-by-voice.
Automated Sortation Systems
Sortation involves identifying items on a conveyor system and diverting them to specific destinations using different system methods. The common sortation categories that are applied in many houses are:
- Slow speed
- Medium speed
- High speed
This category utilizes vertical lift systems, conveyors, and carousels to increase the speed of warehouse picking. It is probably one of the ideal approaches for increasing efficiency and reducing congestion.
Many industries and market drivers are setting the pace when it comes to innovation. The supply chain community is equally expected to embrace innovation by constantly incorporating technology automation into its operations. The benefits that come with automation are numerous, and if well adopted, a lot of costs can be reduced.