The new decade dawns in the warehouse industry with technology as the hero. No longer will warehouse workers be wandering around the warehouse floor armed with clipboard and checklist for picking product. No longer will the forklifts be humming like a beehive of activity. That low buzz you hear on the warehouse floor is the sound of technology. Everywhere you look in the modern warehouse, you’ll find automated systems and new technologies that are truly nu-vogue and innovative. The question is, on what fixtures will products be stored and how efficient will they be?
Warehouse robotics – Many warehouses already use robotics AGVs, or automated guided vehicles, on the warehouse floor. Rather than riding a forklift, drivers control an automated guide vehicle that can move about the floor in a much more efficient way than the forklift. It’s smoother, smaller, sleeker. Before investing in a warehouse robotics system, make sure the unit’s size is complementary to your existing warehouse fixtures. It should fit comfortably between the aisles of pallets and rack systems and be able to reach the higher storage containers. Don’t throw out your forklift until you’re sure the new robot is tall enough and strong enough to bear the loads.
Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems, AS/RS – Again, size is key. If your racking system already employs automated technology, an AS/RS is probably not a necessary investment. These pieces do perform as described. They will automatically put product in its proper storage pod and on the proper pallet. The units will also retrieve the product when it’s time to be shipped.
Articulating Robotic Arms – Robotic arms are more commonplace and growing in the new decade. If you have a workbench or desk area near a storage unit, you can customize an articulating arm to the particular size. Articulating arms have two or more joints, and their movement is only as smooth as their articulation.
Voice technology will be popular in the new year. Just like your home automated system, your warehousing system can also be contacted by using just voice commands. Speakers will need to be clear and concise to ensure the correct result, but what a physical relief. Instead of taking the pallet jack to the aisle location and bringing the necessary inventory to the shipping dock, you’ll now be able to simply speak to the system and the command: “Bring boxes from Aisle 8, row 5” will be seamlessly executed.
Mobile technology gives you access to your warehousing inventory and fixtures on your laptop computer, your smart phone and your tablet. You can literally get updates 24/7 from anywhere you are located. Assuming your warehouse is in a tip-top organized state, it will be easy to navigate around and keep your eye on the robots while you are away.
At Everything Warehouse, we are watching the industry technology trends carefully. While we’re not in the market to sell robots or technology, it does have an impact on our business and the industry overall. We can certainly help you find a place to see the technologies and advise you on your storage solutions. We are maintaining the position of the most value-added supplier of quality warehouse fixtures. We want to be your go-to resource for all things warehouse.
Call us today. You’ll get a person, or at least a person’s voice on voicemail, not a robot’s. You can be sure your calls will be answered and/or returned in a timely fashion. Need a different shelf for your racking system to accommodate a robotic arm? Let us know. We’ll get on it. Need a different rack system for new product that will also communicate with the new AS/RS units? Ask our industry experts and they’ll find you an answer. Want to be the first on the block with the most updated rack system? Everything Warehouse is your first point of contact. Don’t fear the dawn of a new decade and all that accompanies it. Embrace it, and know that some things remain consistent.