Smart warehousing is the automated version of logistics management allowing minimum human intervention
Technology has exponentially reached every nook and corner of the logistics industry. As innovations hop in, people also look for sophisticated facilities in every purchase. The increasing demand and high expectations of logistics have made warehouses adopt futuristic technologies to become smarter. These smart warehousing methods are fully-automated in most cases, giving humans a minimum chance to intervene in the process.
One of the major things that Covid-19 pandemic has changed is the way people purchase. Humans’ behavioural changes are purely evident in recent days. This sudden shift in consumer behaviour is placing new demands on all aspects of logistics and warehouse operations. As a result, the logistics industry is looking for technological solutions to address the challenges. One quick resort is to shift the normal warehousing functions using disruptive technologies. The adoption of these emerging innovations in storage space is called smart warehousing. Smart warehousing is the culmination of warehouse automation, in other words, automating various components of warehouse operations. Similar to smart homes, smart warehouses enable several automated and interconnected technologies. A smart warehouse is automated for improved productivity, efficiency and accuracy. The solutions that are implemented gives flexibility and capability to employees and their processes.
Besides, when fll-automation in warehouse is seen as trouble, other substitute solutions like cloud-based warehouse spatial intelligence (WSI) are also embraced. WSI is a new category of warehouse software solutions. This emerging trend combines unique spatial and real-time data like indoor locations, images and videos, and advanced sensors with cloud-based analytics to gain actionable insights and automate decision making without human intervention. However, the technology has a long way to make it to the mainstream. For now, smart warehousing is stealing the stage. Henceforth, IndustryWired brings you some of the applications of smart warehousing.
Warehouse management system
Warehouse management system plays a pivotal role in consolidating all the critical warehouse information in the form of data into an easily accessible platform. Following that, people involved in the logistic process are allowed to view working, real-time statistics, and accurate planning capabilities. The warehouse management practices also leverage a bunch of benefits such as improved pick and inventory accuracy, enhanced work flexibility, real-time access to quality data, accurate demand forecasting, etc.
Robots are doing much more work in a warehouse than we think. Robots are redefining the way warehouses function from arranging and transporting products to the right place to deliver them to the transport bases. AI-powered robots pick up goods and redistribute them within a fraction of the time required by human operatives. Machine learning algorithms can help warehousing robots select the most efficient picking and slotting routes and determine the best type of packing based on size, number, weight and type of products. Remarkably, a lot of collaborative robots or cobots are also invading the warehouses giving humans minimum intervention with machines and warehousing processes.
Automated storage and retrieval systems
Automated storage and retrieval systems have been around for many years. Earlier, they were expensive, inflexible and did minimum work in the warehouse. But today, the scenario has changed. The technological evolution has made automated storage and retrieval system into a much sophisticated and beneficial source. It improves accuracy and reduces labour costs.
The old patterns of warehouses constructed with brinks and cement that demand hundreds of labours inside its walls are off the court. Currently, warehouses are fully connected with advanced analytics capabilities and remarkably, wireless connectivity solutions like Wi-Fi, 5G and IoT. These features make data available to all the concerned people. Data availability gives real-time access to keep track of all the logistic movements.