How Transportation Business Can Benefit from Warehouse Automation
Have you ever thought about where your goods are coming from when you’re out grocery shopping? Or when you’re placing an online order?
Better yet, have you ever thought that maybe robots are getting your goods ready for delivery?
More and more vendors are starting to use technologies in their warehouses to work alongside humans, complete distribution goals, and benefit the company overall. What we are seeing now is the race for automation, so continue reading on to learn how automation can impact millions of people everywhere.
To start, we must acknowledge the benefits that automation is bringing to distribution vendors. The use of robots will extend capacity, hours of operation, and life-cycle of distribution centers. Plus, robots are becoming more affordable, while worker’s wages are increasing and the availability of skilled workers is decreasing.
Meeting the lack of available workers is a top priority, as current consumers demand an increased level of service and labor availability due to online sales growth. And as automation use increases, technology will expand the areas in which it can supplement human services.
McLane Co., one of the largest foodservice and grocery distributors in the United States, opened its first fully automated distribution center in 2012. The company distributes groceries and goods to retailers in Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma.
McLane’s fully automated center is 10 stories high and uses robot cranes to reach products on the highest of shelves, eliminating the risk to human life. With cranes bringing the goods to the workers, the automation system saves time and boosts productivity.
The automatic services don’t stop there, however. Wrist held scanners help workers identify products, and there are machines that automatically take apart inbound pallets or put a stretch wrap around outbound loads.
As a result, workers at this distribution center are 20% to 25% more productive than workers in McLane’s other distribution centers. It even scores better in safety measures and order accuracy.
Earlier this year, McLane opened up its second fully-automated warehouse in Ohio, so it appears that automation is truly hitting the mark.
Where Automation is Going Next
The next goal for warehouse operators will be to figure out how to integrate manual and automated processes.
To integrate both, the software is necessary to manually move materials while preventing robot downtime. This software has to calculate thoroughly and as accurately as possible when a load transfer is made.
Plus, as online sales continue to grow, robots will have to increase their abilities to operate alongside human workers in distribution facilities all over the country. It will certainly be amazing to see what we can come up with next to handle some of the major issues seen in the supply chain industry.
Where to Go From Here
When it comes down to it, to negate many of the numerous problems that can occur, transportation businesses need to ensure that there is strong communication between drivers and the back office once the ELD mandate has gone into effect.
In respect to the impending ELD mandate, if you need additional help before December 18th, Romexsoft in partnership with UTECH is here for you. With our knowledge and expertise, we will ease your fears, so you can continue doing your job efficiently.
Published at Romexsoft blog with permission of UTECH. See the original article here.
Written by Romexsoft on January 10th, 2018