Robotics Are Taking on More DC Tasks

Robotic applications have historically been easier to implement in environments that call for the same precise actions to be performed repeatedly, such as welding, painting or assembly in manufacturing. Robots were also considered ideal for jobs that were dirty, dull or dangerous. Yet costs were high: both for the robots themselves and the processes needed to upgrade to an automated workflow.

Distribution centers (DCs), conversely, are characterized by constant change. Logistics tasks are unpredictable, inexact and frequently aren’t repeatable, like manufacturing processes. For example, the same combination of items may never be ordered by any other customer, or the DC may have switched to a different type of packaging by the time the same items are reordered.

DCs also create other unique challenges for automation. Today’s inventories are more massive and diverse than ever before. The ability to give consumers exactly what they want — when they want it — is a huge competitive differentiator for e-commerce. That means robots must quickly adapt to seasonal inventory changes and new product introductions.

Discover which DC tasks robots are conquering and how your DC can successfully integrate these robotic solutions.