How Warehouse Operations Can be Improved with Robotics

Linda James, Logistics Tech Outlook | Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Robots deliver significant value to warehouse operations as they can eliminate errors, speed up order fulfilment, minimize overhead expenses, and facilitate better inventory management

FREMONT, CA: The use of automated devices, robots, and software applications to carry materials, perform various activities, and streamline or automate warehouse processes is called warehouse robotics. Robotics has risen to prominence in the supply chain, distribution center, and warehouse management sectors in recent years, and it continues to play an essential role in warehouse automation.

Modern warehouses are being forced to seriously examine the usage of robotics due to technological breakthroughs and a highly competitive business market. Warehouse robots are no longer only a good accessory for successful warehouse operations due to their capacity to boost productivity, accuracy, and operational efficiency.

The warehouse automations provide value to warehousing operations by automating mundane, repetitive processes, enabling human workers to prioritize more complex duties. Let's look at some of the most frequent types and usage of warehouse robotics to better understand the ROI of these automation technologies.

Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs)

Within warehouse facilities, automated guided vehicles assist in the transportation of commodities, supplies, and inventory. AGVs are utilized in operations to replace forklifts and pick carts that are operated manually. Some AGVs navigate warehouses independently, following pre-determined paths indicated by cables, magnetic strips, tracks, sensors implanted in the floor, and other physical guides.

Automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS)

AS or RS consists of a series of computer-controlled systems that aid in inventory management and on-demand storage and retrieval of items. These systems, frequently linked with warehouse execution software, are designed to help with quick product recovery and placement. They can readily traverse product aisles and vertical heights to deposit as cranes or shuttles on permanent tracks.

Collaborative robots

Collaborative robots are semi-autonomous mobile robots that assist human workers in the warehouse with a variety of activities. Many collaborative robots accompany human pickers throughout the warehouse floor and serve as mobile storage bins for orders that have been picked. Some lead associates and transfer loads through the warehouse, directing workflows. Sensors on collaborative robots allow them to differentiate between obstacles and boxes, allowing for precise navigation across the facility.

Articulated robotic arms

Multi-jointed limbs are used to manipulate products throughout distribution centers and warehouses via articulated robotic arms, a pick-and-place robot. These arms can be employed in different warehouse tasks because they can move, turn, lift, and maneuver things.

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