Robots and a Safe Environment

March 19, 2020

robot worker with safety paneling

In this new age of warehouse or facility labor shortage, more and more companies are turning to automation and robotics to help fill in the gap and increase productivity as well. With e-commerce showing no signs of slowing and innovative supply chains being rewarded, you can bet that companies embracing this new dawn are showing better ROI and efficiency. One aspect of adopting robotic help for your warehouse to review is that of safety. While the overall safe environment you provide to your operations is crucial, when adding robotics or automation to the mix it requires a new set of ideas and priorities to ensure your workers and ‘bots can coexist.

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How to Calculate Automation ROI

October 10, 2019

robotic palletizer system in action
Return-on-investment is critical to automation projects, but justification isn’t straightforward. If you’re trying to convince management to make capital improvements to your operation, a smart, accurate and succinct ROI summary can work wonders. Let’s dive into some methods you can use to understand what to do — and what you can’t quantify.
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Days Of Future Past – The Impact Of Industrial Robots On Your Workforce

February 14, 2019

robot fulfillment

A research paper was released last month by two Harvard labor economists highlighted one of the coming decade’s most interesting talking points: the automated labor of the future. We are no strangers to the unique opportunities that adding robots can provide. What this paper sought to do was estimate the current effect of the introduction of robots on wages and employment, while also focus on the future they pose in industrial and manufacturing economies.

With this kind of research being conducted (with many more studies to be revealed for sure) and a spotlight put on the future robotic workforce, many with facilities that could use their services would be wise to discover how they can benefit. But what, exactly, should you be looking for?

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Warehouse Robotics – How to Apply Them to Your Needs

May 3, 2018

warehouse robotics

While warehouse robotics can be thought of as too futuristic, there are many e-commerce fulfillment applications being installed today that are set up to take full advantage of all they have to offer a facility. Some may be leery of this technology, but it would be a mistake to say that robotics would never apply to your warehouse.

Today’s robotic applications are all based on existing applications and technology, not uncharted research, and each generation of technology gets cheaper. Here are some important considerations when looking at applying warehouse robotics today.

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Harnessing Automation to Improve 3PL Performance

April 27, 2017

Warehouse conveyor in 3PL

As your 3PL grows and attracts more clients, products, and infrastructure, your product movement and storage capacity won’t be able to keep up with the increased volume. Growth is a great problem to have, but it’s still a problem.

Intelligent warehouse automation is an effective way to create better flow, enhance efficiency, ramp up throughput, reduce errors and improve your processes.  Introducing automated systems into your current warehouse environment can produce drastic reductions in time spent on certain day-to-day activities.

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Planning the Future of Your Warehousing Operation: Don’t be Left Behind

January 24, 2017

a concept for mobile robotics

The landscape is constantly changing for warehousing, distribution and order fulfillment operations, but it’s rarely changed so quickly as the last half decade — and will likely change even more the next five years. The rapid growth of smart devices, database efficiency, and robotics guarantees that elite storage and order picking operations in 2025 will be different than those of today.

In fact, distribution centers and warehouse operations that want to thrive must change, adapt and think differently.

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How WCS Controls & Synchronizes Automated Equipment & Systems

February 4, 2016

Automated Conveyor System

When you deploy automated equipment and systems like conveyor sortation, picking, packing, and order consolidation, you may think that getting the equipment to do its basic job is the goal. That optimal production and worker performance had been gained. There’s a digital element that you may not have considered, though – a warehouse control system.

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The Future of Robotics: An Interview with FANUC America

October 8, 2015

Fanuc Robotics Family

More and more companies are adding various forms of robotics to their operations as they seek to improve productivity, enhance worker safety, and keep labor costs down. We recently spoke with Wes Garrett, Packaging Account Manager at FANUC America about robotics in the material handling industry. He provided some great information regarding cost of ownership, indicators robotics may benefit an operation, and trends in new technologies.

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What are the Latest Industrial Automation & Robotics Trends?

June 12, 2015

ProMat 2015

According to new research from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), manufacturers will significantly accelerate their use of industrial robots over the next decade. BCG data shows approximately 1.2 advanced robots are expected to be deployed across the U.S. by the year 2025, resulting in 25% of all manufacturing functions becoming fully automated. A USA Today article on the research findings notes that, within two years, the number of advanced robots in the U.S. will begin to grow by 10% a year. “Replacing employees with robots is projected to result in a manufacturing workforce that’s 22% — or a few million workers — smaller by 2025 than it otherwise would have been,” says USA Today.

So what does all of this mean for manufacturing and distribution?

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15 Experts Weigh in on Manufacturing’s Shifting Workforce Demographics

June 4, 2015

Industrial workers

Manufacturing skills gap. Talent shortage. Shifting workforce demographics. What are the trends?

Call it what you will, but the fact remains that the U.S. manufacturing industry faces a pressing issue in the coming years if current worker retirement rates continue to accelerate and projections for industry expansion prove accurate. Research from the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte indicates there could be as many as 2 million unfilled manufacturing jobs by 2025, up from initial estimates of 600,000. As noted in a Huffington Post article on the research findings, retirement and rapid industry growth are the two driving factors contributing to the skills shortage.

To get a better sense of how the industry is addressing the challenges (and potential opportunities) associated with the increasing skills gap, we recently conferred with industry partners, leaders, and subject matter experts.

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