Breaking Down The Categories And Types Of Warehouse Automation
In an industry that relies heavily on efficiency and accuracy, the rapid advancement of technology has been hugely influential in the world of logistics and supply chain management.
As new and emerging technologies were integrated into the typical methods of warehouse management, warehouse automation emerged as an extremely efficient way to optimize the flow and productivity of warehouse processes.
What is warehouse automation and how can it help streamline warehouse operations?
Shaping the future of logistics, warehouse automation refers to a broad range of automated processes and systems revolutionizing Warehouse Management Systems.
Warehouse Automation focuses on optimizing the storage and flow of goods within a warehouse to create the most efficient system possible, ensuring businesses can deliver a competitive edge.
Warehouse Automated Systems are massively beneficial to warehouse managers as they:
- Reduce labor costs by minimizing the need for manual labor
- Minimize the potential for human error in handling inventory
- Improve customer satisfaction with effective order processing
- Optimize storage to increase space on warehouse floor
- Streamline overall warehouse productivity and profitability
Whether you’re operating a local small business or at the helm of a large international company, an automated warehouse can greatly influence how your business functions for the better.
Understanding the categories of warehouse automation
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to warehouse automation.
It’s a versatile solution for managing warehouses for businesses of all sizes. It offers a variety of scalable systems to respond to the different needs of individual businesses.
Let’s dive into the various warehouse automation categories:
- Basic Warehouse Automation: Allows the simple and straightforward movement of goods within a warehouse to minimize the need for transferring goods manually.
- System Warehouse Automation: Manages the logistics of warehouse processes and order completion to ensure tasks are managed strategically and efficiently.
- Mechanized Warehouse Automation: Supports warehouse workers in carrying out physical tasks such as moving inventory or picking products for delivery.
- Advanced Warehouse Automation: Uses automated systems to carry out the mechanical tasks required to streamline workflow and minimize manual labor.
Now that you’ve got an idea of the different degrees of automation you can incorporate into your Warehouse Management System, let’s dig a little deeper by examining some of the most effective types of warehouse automation technology.
Exploring the different types of warehouse automation systems and technology
Material Handling Automation
The correct handling of inventory is fundamental to the success of any warehouse operation.
Material Handling Automation uses technology to reduce the need for manual labor by taking care of the physical transfer of goods within the warehouse.
These technologies minimize the risk of physical injury, errors in handling inventory, and damage to products in the process of being handled by humans.
Some material handling technologies commonly found in warehouses:
- Conveyor belts and rollers
- Automated Guided Vehicles
- Robotic picking and packing
- Automated sortation systems
At Pio, we use fully automated robotics that help you streamline the flow of goods within your warehouse seamlessly, so you don’t have to rely solely on manual labor anymore.
#1 Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RS)
Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems are designed to optimize the use of storage space and enhance inventory management.
These automated systems efficiently handle the storage and retrieval of goods and ensure products are located in the best possible place within the warehouse (best sellers closest to the shipping line, for example.)
Instead of shelving, cube-based storage solutions are used. They consist of individual bins stacked vertically on top of one another to radically reduce the amount of space required. (By 90%, to be exact.)
Whenever you need to retrieve a product, all you have to do is look up and select the item like a vending machine, and our automated system will deliver it to your workspace right away, reducing labor by 80%.
#2 Order Fulfillment Automation
Customer satisfaction depends on the successful and seamless completion of their orders, making order fulfillment a critical aspect of warehouse operations.
Thankfully, automation has dramatically improved the efficiency and accuracy of processing orders while increasing the speed of completion.
Robots automatically deliver orders to your workstation when they come through, so you can get working on packing and shipping orders right away.
A lot of systems allow one warehouse worker to pick and pack around 130 order lines per hour (or 1000+ per day) with 99.9% accuracy, meaning same-day shipping for your happy customers!
#3 Inventory Management Automation
There’s no room for error when it comes to the management and tracking of inventory.
Automated inventory allows you to prevent unnecessary mix-ups caused by human error and seamlessly track inventory that’s in and going out of your warehouse to maintain accurate records of stock levels.
Our Automated Warehouse Management System allows you to track inventory in real time, locate products, and accurately manage inventory levels. It also provides you with the necessary data to optimize inventory allocation and warehouse layout for order prioritization, increasing the overall efficiency of your warehouse.
#4 Security and Safety Automation
Ensuring the safety and security of both goods and warehouse staff should always be a priority for your business.
With automated access control, you can manage entry and exit points of your warehouse to ensure that only authorized personnel can access certain areas.
Storing your inventory and warehouse data securely on our Warehouse Management System also ensures that outside parties aren’t able to view what you’ve got in stock, reducing the threat of theft.
Streamline your warehouse processes with Pio to boost efficiency and support productivity
Whether it's handling products, organizing storage, or completing customer orders, Warehouse Automation is transforming the way we store, manage, and distribute products for the better.
Each technology offers a more efficient and productive way for your warehouse to function, so you no longer have to worry about in-house operations and instead can focus on growing your business.
When you partner with Pio for your warehouse management needs, your warehouse becomes more convenient and efficient without any of the planning on your end.
Our automated warehouse solutions are super easy to install and integrate and are scalable to suit the unique needs of your business in its current phase while allowing room for you to expand.
Your entire warehouse system is accessible and managed through our all-in-one, easy-to-use platform.
It really is that simple.
Get in touch today to learn more about Warehouse Automation and how it can benefit your business in no time.