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How Robotics Can Brighten the Future for Logistics and Supply Chain

Linda James, Logistics Tech Outlook | Friday, April 29, 2022

Compared to today's distribution centers, robots in future warehouses are projected to improve practically every parameter. These highly scalable robotic facilities will be more flexible, move faster, and produce higher quality and productivity.

FREMONT, CA: Things are changing today with robots capable of high levels of precision and accuracy. Robotics technology is starting to satisfy the expectations for a flexible and cost-effective robot capable of working in a distribution setting. Following are a few ways in which robotics is supporting the logistics and supply chain.

Sorting Centers

Unlike today, future sorting facilities will be open 24 hours a day to better synchronize with distribution centers, which will also be open 24 hours a day. Robotic warehouses and sorting centers will be just as efficient on the last shift as they are on the first. The new supply chain would operate in waves, allowing multiple shipments to be delivered to clients each day. One can minimize logistics costs and provide faster service to end customers by fully utilizing equipment throughout shifts by processing several daily delivery waves.

There are various options for accomplishing this. For example, one can investigate deploying many mobile robots to transfer items from inbound dock doors to appropriate loading places. Each mobile robot would be loaded with packages by a robotic arm, combining and sequencing itself with other mobile robots to convey cargoes throughout the sorting facility efficiently. When a truck arrives at the dock entrance, robots unload it and organize the packages according to their eventual destinations.

Distribution Centers

Compared to today's distribution centers, robots in future warehouses are projected to improve practically every parameter. These highly scalable robotic facilities will be more flexible, move faster, and produce higher quality and productivity. Different types of robots will be used in the new operations, each with a specialized task, such as truck unloading, co-packing, picking orders, inventory checking, or shipping items.

Future robots will work in tandem with modern warehouse management systems, including planning software for tracking inventories and high-precision progress orders. Because each distribution center will have fewer single points of failure, overall reliability will improve. Each robot will function independently. If it fails, one will be able to push it to the side swiftly and replace it with another robot from the fleet. Furthermore, depending on the problem, they can repair the broken robot on-site or transport it to a central repair center.

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