Automation is taking over the supply chain management industry all over the world and for good reason. In this scenario, the use of robots for warehouse management does not come across as a surprise anymore. These new-age robots by Armstrong are powered by automated systems and specialized software for transporting materials and goods from one place to another. They also designed to perform various tasks which help in streamlining or automating warehouse processes. Contrary to the past decade, robotics today has gained prominence in not only the supply chain but also distribution centre and warehouse management circles. Advancements in robotics continue to play a significant role in warehouse automation.
Why are Robots in Warehouse Management Gaining Popularity?
Robotics engineering has developed by leaps and bounds over the past few decades. The engineers have worked hard to mesh new technological developments such as artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT), to develop automated robotics technology. Several innovative companies that own warehouses as a part of their supply chains have approved of the positive outcomes that effective automation solutions have brought into their enterprises.
Robots in warehouses perform autonomously by the virtue of the following:
- Advanced technologies in the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning
- Highly sensitive sensors with quick response capability
- Supply Chain Management or SCM software
Few types of Robots for Warehouse
Robots are use for the fulfilment of different purposes in a warehouse. They include picking, physical pick and place, packing, and transport of product between the staging areas for putting away or replenishment of the inventory.
Robotic arms are primarily used in manufacturing plants and case distribution environments for years. There have been rapid advances in vision systems and end effector or gripper technologies. These allow better piece picking applications and pick and put operations. The robotic arms can be use at a GTP workstation or mounted to a mobile robot for every picking. These are great for handling repetitive tasks, such as loading empty cartons to overhead conveyors, placing discrete units to be inducted to a unit load sorter, and sorting units into outbound shipping lanes.
Collaborative robots or Co-bots
Co-bots can reduce the distance travelled by the pickers working in collaboration with them. Pickers spend most of their time walking and these bots reduce some of the wasted time spent walking.
Mobile Rack Goods-to-Person (GTP) AMR
Mobile Rack GTP AMR robots can bring inventory with the help of mobile rack systems to the workstations. These bots known as Come-to-Me Bots offer more flexibility with the storage of products than other GTP solutions. These robots can transport products contained on storage units of various configurations such as shelf units, garments on hangers, etc to the GTP workstations.
Unit Load Transport Autonomous Mobile Robots
Unit Load Transport AMRs are design to address two major limitations of traditional AGVs. AGVs cannot be deploy in areas that either without other trucks or human movement or where they can be given priority safely. Also, the cost of AGVs is on the higher side. This makes AMRs more flexible and less expensive. These robots are often use for the transport of products for Put away or the transport of pallets across longer distances. They are also useful for moving stacks of empty pallets and transportation of trash. They are also sometimes use for case-picking co-bots.
Global Market for Use of Robots in Warehouse
Armstrong has more than 20 years of excellence in the field of industrial automation. The warehouse automation market grew by more than 13% globally in 2018 to record sales over USD 12.5 billion. Robots for warehouse are experiencing a steady increase in investment, driven by increasing levels of automation within the warehouse as well as the integration of supply chains.