How Autonomous Mobile Robots Are Driving Warehouse Productivity
March 31, 2021
Autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) have often been characterized as a “wave of the future” or “next-generation” solution. But the reality is they’re already in practical use today. Proactive distribution centers (DCs) are using them to ease labor burdens, improve warehouse productivity, reduce or eliminate errors, lower operational costs, and stay nimble in constantly changing market conditions.
Mobile robots deliver many of these benefits by taking on some of the most labor-intensive warehouse jobs. These range from moving pallets, carts or totes full of goods to assisting human co-workers with pick and put operations. While AMRs handle these repetitive and often time-consuming tasks, increasingly scarce labor resources can be shifted to higher-value jobs. This alone delivers multiple benefits, such as boosting worker satisfaction while reducing injuries and turnover rates.
AMRs Are Ready for Tough DC Jobs
Due to innovations in vision, mapping, safety and other technologies developed for self-driving vehicles, AMRs have overcome traditional barriers to automation in DCs and complex manufacturing operations. They’re smart enough to “share the road” with human co-workers and other vehicles, find a different route if their original path is blocked, and respond to rapid changes in orders or logistics needs. AMRs are also highly cost-effective, requiring minimal information technology (IT) or infrastructural changes and often only a short integration period to learn their surroundings.
Versatility is another advantage AMRs provide to any logistics-driven operation. New or modified workflows, sudden changes to consumer buying habits, peak buying seasons, facility expansions and other changes can easily be handled by these smart, independently mobile robots. AMRs can adapt quickly to these scenarios and many more, learning new skills and scaling up or down to meet the operational needs of the moment.
Discover How Leading DCs Are Putting Robots to Work
To learn more about how these benefits are being achieved in real-world operations, visit our mobile robotics webpage featuring actual use cases of handling products in the field. These use cases can easily be replicated or adapted — and quickly deployed — in virtually any operation. What’s more, they also represent just a few of the potential applications of these technologies. New workflows and innovations are regularly being developed to address the unique needs of individual operations. Advanced simulation tools can help maximize the success of mobile robotics solution development.
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