The once dreamed-about technologies in stories are rapidly becoming a reality, with many industries adopting them for a variety of functions. Recent technological advancements have provided many benefits for the warehousing industry, whether it’s used for routine tasks or hazardous ones.
Human workers now have a way to speak to the warehouse management system by using speech recognition and speech synthesis. They are able to do this with a headset, microphone, and wireless computer worn on their person as they perform tasks. Workers receive verbal instructions from the system and relay feedback to confirm the task’s accomplishment—all this is done with radio frequency and a local area network.
Warehouses commonly use voice technology for order picking, goods receiving, and stock checking. It’s an environmentally friendly practice because it reduces and even eliminates the need for paper picking labels. This leads to a cleaner and safer warehouse.
Employees don’t need as much training since they are dealing with voice-directed tasks, which are easier to understand than paper-based tasks.
Machine-to-machine technology (M2M) is quickly assuming many warehouse activities. Its primary function is to monitor all automation aspects. This technology has been applied to various types of equipment, including:
- Pallet machines
- Wrapping and automated packages
- Work cell automation
- Coating machines
When combined with warehouse management systems, M2M technology makes monitoring production and controlling equipment easier, particularly with the order fulfillment process. It reduces quality control issues and records machine health. M2M collects and trades information to provide warehouse managers with meaningful data they can utilize for verifying operational procedures and hastening decision-making. M2M technology improves customer service with predictions and accurate delivery times.
M2M handles the following procedures:
- Product and asset tracking
- Repair and overhaul
Warehouses are slowly turning to M2M technology with third-party applications in the cloud, making the data M2M collects easily accessible and editable. There is also no need to reconfigure existing software.
The International Data Corporation predicts that as technology progresses, mobile robots will begin appearing in more industries at a rate of 70% by 2020. These collaborative robots (co-bots) are able to maneuver in a real-world environment equipped with environmental perception, localization, mapping, and motion planning. Because of these capabilities, robots in warehousing effectively cope with:
- Moving products around the facility
- Faster shipping requirements
- Increased order volumes
- Proper order packing
Warehouses are adopting robotic technology to improve their productivity, experience fewer safety incidents, have a higher order accuracy, as well as pay less in operational and labour costs.
If any of these trends reflect your warehouse, the experts at The Material Handler will help increase your workflow efficiency to accommodate your human and automated labour conditions. From our first analysis to design and implementation, we find the perfect space optimization solution for you.
We extend our services to Burlington, Mississauga, and the GTA, so contact us today to begin optimizing!