What exactly is warehouse automation? Just as it sounds, companies use automated machines such as robots and sensors to complete important tasks throughout day-to-day operations. Warehouse automation companies optimize customer fulfillment and create more room for growth. Automation systems take time-consuming tasks and do them quickly and efficiently without monopolizing the time of manual workers.
Particularly helpful for e-commerce sites, automation creates faster fulfillment and shipping times for valued customers. When you think about the number of orders on the back end of an E-Commerce site, it can be a little overwhelming to wonder how a warehouse team could possibly get all of the orders out in a timely manner. Automation makes it possible for companies to continue to offer fast turnaround times and keep their loyal customers happy. We’ll dive into some of the best warehouse automation companies to think about whenever your company is in need of some automated help.
Common Types of Warehouse Automation Fulfillment
Not all warehouse automation systems are the same. A few of the more popular system types are below:
Goods-to-person (GTP) typically uses conveyors, vertical lift systems, and carousels to double or more the speed of warehouse fulfillment.
Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGV) use magnetic strips, wires, and/or sensors to navigate fixed paths through a warehouse. Think of this as a really big robot vacuum that isn’t actually cleaning. Not great for complex floor plans and spatial constraints, but given the right circumstances, it is very reliable and good for a growing business.
Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) are very flexible and one of the more popular types of automation for warehouses. They use GPS systems to create efficient routes throughout the warehouse, as well as advanced laser guidance systems to detect obstacles. Safe to navigate complex warehouses and places with lots of human traffic, making it very user-friendly.
Voice Picking and Tasking — pick-by-voice. Using speech recognition software and mobile headsets can eliminate the need for handheld devices like barcode scanners. With fewer products, this can not only improve safety but efficiency and room for error.
Automated Sortation Systems identify items on a conveyor system and divert them to a warehouse location using barcode scanners and sensors. This is effective in receiving, picking, packing, and shipping for eCommerce sites particularly.
When to Switch to Automation
Companies begin to realize the time has come to consider automated processes once the orders outweigh the help. If valued customers have delayed shipping and fulfillment times, or if shipments are coming in more frequently and with more weight, it may be time to implore some automated help.
Here are 10 warehouse automation companies to consider:
A world leader in warehouse resource planning and vision technology, Logistiview uses Smartglasses. Their innovative technology guide employees through their tasks, and they are able to execute each task quickly and efficiently. Moreover, they take a hands-free approach to improve efficiency and accuracy.
2. Lucas Robotics
As the name hints, they use robotics to provide warehouse fulfillment. Lucas uses business intelligence, multiple languages, and accessory ports while fulfilling. The only downside here is that a human still needs to physically pick the products from the shelf and check for any defects before shipping. This can still dramatically reduce the amount of physical time and effort that would otherwise be needed for warehouse fulfillment.
Geek+ develops smart forklift robots, moving robots, sorters, goods-to-person pickers, bin-to-person picking robots, and collaborative pickers, all to help with time-consuming tasks. Their AMR robots cater especially well to retail, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, and automotive industries.
4. Westfalia Technologies, Inc.
Works with companies to design and produce a unique automation solution. Allows businesses to achieve their own personal goals while seeking growth. Westfalia works with companies to help them achieve their company goal because no two companies are the same.
Offering vision-guided vehicles with auto-navigation features, Seegrid is a company that has proven to be effective. Their products maneuver through warehouses without wires, lasers, magnets, or any guiding tape.
SnapFulfil offers a cloud-based system with room for growth in more ways than one. Flexibility is at the forefront of the user-friendly management workflow offered by giving customers the ability to change the way their warehouse is managed no matter what the numbers look like. Changing the way items are picked, packed, and shipped out can be a huge game changer for keeping customers happy and coming back in the future. Besides being efficient, it’s fast as well. Their system can integrate within minutes, and users have been known to see results within the first 45 days.
7. TGW Systems Inc.
There is not one answer when it comes to automation for TGW Systems. They work to design, manufacture, implement and maintain trusted end-to-end solutions for customers to run their companies at the highest efficiency level. Their developers understand that each company is different. So, they use different versions of the automation systems to create the perfect fulfillment process.
8. Vecna Robotics
Vecna works to streamline the materials handling process by using self-driving forklifts. Automated material handling robots in multiple variants include conveyors, pallet jacks, and tuggers. They offer hybrid fulfillment solutions to combine robot and human collaborative efforts to create a seamless workflow. Additionally, they use real-time data and predictive analytics to drive workflow better.
9. Verity AG
Verity uses drones to effectively run a warehouse. They are autonomous indoor drones with data-driven intelligence. The fully integrated inventory management system creates the opportunity for zero-error warehouses. Verity also takes away any questions about inventory management and answers them with modern technology in low-traffic drones.
GreyOrange is artificial intelligence and cloud-enabled. With an intelligent decision-making platform called GreyMatter, it works as quickly as data flows into the system. Likewise, decisions to optimize order fulfillment by managing its customer’s robotic fleet to send information to the human side of the workforce.
Now that we’ve covered the best time to switch to automation, as well as some key components to look for in an automation company to suit your business, you’re ready to hop on the automation train. Investing in an automation system, specifically from the above list, for your warehouse could be the best thing for the upcoming growth of your company.
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