The first area to automate in a warehouse is the data collection process. This part of the warehouse process is where human error can arise. Even small errors can impact the entire order process and result in costly returns, unhappy customers, and a bad reputation. Automating this part of the warehouse process is a great way to avoid such mistakes. There are several different types of warehouse automation that you can consider. Below are a few examples:
Autonomous Mobile Robots
Autonomous mobile robots in warehouse automation solutions have many advantages, such as lower floor space requirements, reduced labor costs, and no human intervention. In addition, these robots are capable of autonomous loading, unloading, and buffering operations. They are also scalable, enabling companies to add additional units to meet peak demand. This flexibility is significant in the retail sector, where a small number of robots can make a large impact. Autonomous mobile robots are now available in several forms. They include driverless forklifts, crewless aerial vehicles, and mobile robots. Many warehouse managers use these technologies to improve productivity and reduce labor costs. The average warehouse worker wastes seven weeks of labor a year performing unproductive tasks, amounting to $4.3 billion in labor costs.
Automated Person-To-Goods (AGV)
Automated person-to-goods vehicles (AGVs) have many advantages over traditional warehouse workers.
AGVs can move finished goods and raw materials from warehouses to production lines. They can also move materials and parts from one workstation to another. This repetitive process can reduce human error in material handling and prevent injuries, exhaustion, and product damage. Furthermore, AGVs can be programmed to follow specific paths in the warehouse. Some of these paths can be designed with sensors to stop when an object is detected.
Layer Picking Robots
Layer-picking robots are warehouse automation tools that automate the picking and palletizing of finished goods. They work in a rectangular area, where a robotic head is attached to a beam and moves side-to-side to pick the right product from the right stack. These devices can also be used as storage, allowing them to buffer large amounts of product.
Automating warehouse operations with a layer-pick system can help businesses improve their efficiency and accuracy. An automated layer-pick system has many parts, including a robot, software, a clamping tool, and a bridge structure. It can handle anywhere from fifty to five hundred SKUs.
Pick To Light (PTL)
PTL, or pick to light, is a warehouse distribution method that helps warehouse workers pick and process orders quickly and accurately. Its benefits include greater accuracy, less returned inventory, and a shorter turnaround time. However, it is essential to note that PTL is not for every warehouse.
Pick-to-light systems can integrate with various automated systems, including carousels, A-Frames, RF, and voice picking. As a result, PTL solutions are becoming a common choice for discrete manufacturers, enabling them to error-proof their assembly processes and improve the quality of their supply chain.
Modula Horizontal Carousels
Modula horizontal carousels are warehouse automation systems that increase productivity, reduce storage space, and improve worker safety. By delivering items directly to the operator, Modula systems reduce employees’ time searching for items and bending over. Plus, the systems are 100% U.S.-made, ensuring that your operations are as efficient as possible.Modula horizontal carousels are scalable to accommodate a variety of applications.
Vertical Lift Modules
A vertical lift module is a storage system that works on two parallel columns to move products up and down in trays. This highly efficient system can be customized to fit your particular operations. Its software is user-friendly and integrates easily with your existing systems. The system also helps you streamline picking and order processing. It automatically scans the height of items on trays and monitors the weight of each tray. This allows you to avoid over-loading and ensure safety. It can even be customized to fit individual employees, another benefit of these systems.