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Thursday, November 19, 2020

Time to send in the robots | Technology - SHD Logistics

How can automation enable organisations to meet changing expectations and cope with future unexpected peaks and troughs in demand? Steve Richmond, Director of Logistics Systems, Jungheinrich, explains. 

Time to send in the robots
Photo: SHD Logistics

New use cases for robotics are being identified almost daily. The rapid growth of ecommerce, fuelled in part by necessity from Covid-19 lockdowns, has meant that for many organisations, the requirements for staff and goods is growing at a rate too fast to meet demand – the need for automation is now greater than ever. 

With technology advancing rapidly, almost anything can now be automated. And with intelligent navigation and precise picking technology, even items of an odd size, shape or material can be handled by robots. As this technology becomes increasingly more sophisticated, enabling robots to perform roles with accuracy, consistency and safety front of mind, this has also advanced the ability for robots to communicate with other robots around the facility..

Changing role of the worker

As automation becomes more commonplace, we will see a shift in worker demand and where workers are deployed. Within the most successful automation environments, humans still have an important role to play. But by augmenting the human worker with robots that can take on the repetitive or mundane tasks, the human is freed up to take on the more intricate or complex tasks. Technical individuals will be required to maintain the automated systems so skilled workers will be essential to manage the robotic principle of an estate. Blending skilled resources with automation – including robotics and IoT – will create a smart connected warehouse that will help organisations to increase productivity and manage rising supply chain complexity. 

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Source: SHD Logistics