The impact of the pandemic has accelerated some far-reaching megatrends – such as rising online consumer demand, labour shortages and global supply chain uncertainty.
Despite some major leaders declaring the pandemic ‘over’, these megatrends are here to stay, and their impact on supply chain and logistics is more prominent than ever.
We’re seeing businesses continue to grapple with labour shortages, while consumer demand is still largely unpredictable and volumes unprecedented.
The linear growth patterns and demand planning strategies of the pre-pandemic world are largely irrelevant in today’s environment, and relying on finding not only the right people, but the right amount of people, to scale up an operation is becoming increasingly challenging.
While automation technology has been a major feature of warehouses, manufacturing and logistics for some time, more recently warehouse technology has pushed the barriers through use of autonomous mobile robots (AMRs).
AMRs essentially provide the opportunity to look at these industry challenges in a smarter way, factoring in new growth targets or considerations. They can carry out many processes in a warehouse or distribution centre, such as intricate product picking, fulfillment and pallet moving. This removes many lower value activities that employees would have previously needed to do, making them far more productive.
These robots are helping businesses around the world conquer the major industry challenges of today.
How can AMR improve an existing warehouse?
AMR technology gives organisations the flexibility to grow and to expand their operations, or to keep up with the volumes and the growth they are experiencing without the need to move facilities.
Instead of having to buy new property and grow the footprint with traditional fulfillment or fixed automation, AMRs can be deployed into an existing facility.
AMRs allow increased volume to be processed in a smaller footprint, allowing organisations to stay in the same facility, while increasing throughput. When you decide to move to a new location, the AMR solution can come with you.
Because AMRs are a flexible solution, you can dynamically increase on a gradual basis, rather than having to take a big-bang approach. Your operations can expand as they need to, based on growth over time, instead of having to predict five years in the future and build a solution that fits that exact prediction.
Using sensors, cameras, and embedded safety mechanisms, AMRs build a digital map of their environment, meaning they don’t need guide rails or tracks, and can move around objects. This also frees more space on the warehouse floor by reducing static rail systems.