For years, warehouse managers have been looking for ways to streamline operations, foster production efficiency, and reduce costs. Thanks to technology, warehouse automation is now possible. Companies can automate processes like scanning, barcode labeling, and picking items. Leveraging warehouse automation solutions enable warehouses to improve on their service deliveries and promote the safety of the employees significantly. Automation doesn’t mean that human effort is taken over, but warehouses focus on the accuracy of machines and the ability to manage tasks within a short period without fatigue. Below are the types of warehouse automation you might need to understand.
Goods-to-person technologies (GTP)
The GTP solutions involve the use of machines to bring products to workers for packaging. The devices involved include cranes or vehicles that move around the warehouse picking up the products or materials. Most of this GTP have automated storage and retrieval solutions (AS/RS). This technology uses vehicles, carousels, and cranes to transport items and store them in the warehouse. Additionally, GTP has conveyor systems that move materials throughout the warehouse along assembly lines to the packaging or shipping areas.
Pick-to-light systems use LED lights and barcodes to enable the warehouse staff to identify the correct items when fulfilling orders. The system supplements human work, reduces walking, and greatly improves productivity by assisting pickers in determining the exact location of the items faster.
Voice picking and voice tasking
Warehouse automation has voice picking or voice tasking solutions that add communication technology. Now a warehouse can have effective communication among pickers and takers. They communicate by use of wireless headsets to ensure efficient movement and picking tasks within the warehouse.
Collaborative mobile robots
Collaborative mobile robots are in use alongside the workers to ensure the picking of materials observes accuracy and the production meets expected standards. Some collaborative mobile robots include the 6 River Systems’ Chuck, which optimizes picking routes and work priorities. The robots provide multiple benefits, including augmented productivity, scalability, flexibility, reduced walking time, and reliability.