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The Future of Supply Chain with Robotics: Here's How

By Logistics Tech Outlook | Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Robotics has enabled innovation in many industries today. The introduction of robotics in the supply chain helps businesses to keep pace with distribution challenges and consumer demand for convenience and variety. The slow uptake of automation in the supply chain has a number of technical barriers. Despite this slow uptake, the benefits of robotics are well understood. The supply chain can be complex, but robotics can help streamline it.

The world’s first industrial robot was created for transferring objects from one place to other. Today, supply chain plays a vital role in robotics, where it handles the movement of the products within a warehouse. The portable robot such as Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) uses markers, magnets, and vision systems to navigate a warehouse. Transportation of goods can be done faster by machines automatically than human beings. Also, the machines are not restricted regarding the weight they lift.

According to the Information Service Group, 72 percent of enterprises will increase their investment in robotics by 2019. The next generation robots will have improved performance and sensing capabilities. Automation in the supply chain will reduce cost, eliminate errors, increase speed, and link applications. The robots will also be lighter, flexible, easier to program, and affordable. A combination of micro-technology and the ability to create compact robots will enable automated visualization in the supply chain.

Amazon has automated many warehouse systems to reduce the labor cost. In 2017, it was noted that Amazon was using more than 100,000 robots for various tasks. They are automated to pick and package products in the warehouse.  The efficiency is increased, and the errors are reduced by this method. Robots can cease the activity if they touch anything unexpectedly during the picking and packaging process.

The implementation of automation here increases safety for human beings in dangerous tasks. The automated robots will have decreased setup time and require less supervision. The benefits are enormous because they can work independently around the clock. As technology improves and the price decreases, the autonomous robots will find a way into the future in the supply chain.

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