Padraig Regan, Chief Product Officer, StayLinked,
What technologies are going to be important to the warehouse of the future?
The future economic outlook will continue to present businesses with unpredictable challenges. These are likely to include ongoing labour shortages and supply chain disruptions that could make forecasting future demand a challenge. The successful warehouse of the future must be underpinned by agile and resilient technology solutions that allow warehouse operations to pivot their business models in response to outside pressures.
It is unlikely that one technology will dominate, a one size fits all approach doesn’t work in a sector that is so varied. Instead, warehouse operations will seek solutions tailored to their specific requirements. It’s most likely that warehouse operators will deploy a mixture of technologies including sensors and tags for real-time location tracking, temperature monitoring, humidity tracking and solutions for monitoring impacts and drops.
Data from sensors and tags will need to be translated into meaningful metrics that can inform workflows to drive greater efficiency and productivity. Gaining that level of granular visibility will require data collection and analysis tools, which will undoubtedly be standard in the warehouse of the future.
Additionally, voice technologies, and other hands-free technologies including heads-up displays, will be deployed in combination with sensors and beacons to help guide the workflows.
Will interest in automation and robotics continue to increase?
Various forms of robotics have been used in warehouses for several years now, and the adoption rate is accelerating. With warehouse operators continually looking for ways to get products to customers faster, autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) provide the necessary flexibility and adaptability to meet evolving business environments.
According to recently published1figures, the Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) Market size was valued at USD 1.61 billion in 2021 and is predicted to reach USD 22.15 billion by 2030.
How ubiquitous AMRs will be will depend on leaders finding sufficient capital investment to transformwarehouse operations.
Has shortage of labour increased demand for automation?
Warehouse operators have well understood the importance of deploying autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) to improve warehouse efficiencies, reduce cost, and overcome the ever-growing challenge of labour shortage.
As a result, there will continue to be a rise in the adoption of AMRs to intelligently performvarious operations such as picking, packing, moving of goods, sorting, and replenishment. By automating theselabour intensive but non-value-adding activities it frees up the workforce to work on higher-value activities that add incremental value to the business and to customers.