Evolving the automated warehouse
Everything you buy online or in-store is stored in a warehouse at some point. The pandemic hastened the acceptance of e-commerce by causing consumers to stay at home and shop online. According to research firm Interact Analysis, 50,000 new warehouses will be built worldwide over the next six years.
Automated warehouse person-to-goods supplier Locus Robotics reported the billionth pick by a Locus robot this fall. This is just one example where warehouse automation is growing at an accelerating pace.
Because of these macroeconomic trends, warehouse automation remains a top priority, due in part to labor shortages and increasing demand from consumers. Logistics and warehousing are data-intensive processes that track inventory and material movement at every stage of the supply chain. The so ware and cloud-based services that track the logistics workflow from supplier to customer are increasingly being assisted by artificial intelligence-based algorithms that can “see” trends in the data — and make adjustments in real-time.
There is demand for all of the parts that go into warehouse automation, as well as for complete “turnkey” solutions. This special section looks at some of these areas as well as the technologies that make them possible.
In general, at the Mobile Robot Guide and The Robot Report, we follow most of these trends in the market and keep you up to date on the latest announcements — while our sister publication, Design World, focuses on the fascinating engineered components that make all of this automation possible.
Some of the areas where we see the greatest rates of innovation include:
- Autonomous mobile robots
- Data capture and the use of IOT devices in the warehouse
- Automated storage and retrieval systems
- Robotic sortation and piece picking
- Grocery order fulfillment solutions
- Software and cloud-based services
We hope that you find this first special section on Warehouse Automation a useful resource as you research, plan, and build new solutions for this exciting market.